Class Notes: 6/15/2008
1Pet 3:15-16 Holding a good conscience and giving an answer of the hope that is within you with gentleness and respect
In our study of the mandates for the believer in God's pre-determined plan we are presently examining the mandate found in 1Pet 3:15; for the believer to sanctify or set apart the TLJC in their hearts or stream of consciousness and as a result be focused on TLJC rather than the adversities in life and to be ready to give an answer of the "hope that is in them" that results from the believer's occupation with TLJC.
1Pet 3:15; Because of this, (the sanctification of TLJC In there heart) believers will be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks.
Last time we discussed some aspects of the source of the hope that is in the believer and then began to discuss the words translated "with gentleness and reverence" which describes the way that the believer is to present the information to those who ask.
Believers are to communicate their hope when asked, and at the same time they are to show deference through their gentle, respectful behavior.
The issue here is to make the Gospel presentation objective, leaving the decision regarding weather the one who has asked believes or not to their free volition in the privacy of their soul.
What they believe is their business and there is no room for any pressure for them to believe. God the Holy Spirit will bring all the right pressure in the right way at the right time.
Believers should expect that some of the questions they will be asked while giving an answer of the hope that is within them will seem unreasonable and they may become exasperated and impatient, so the mandate for gentleness and respect is appropriate.
It is more effective to present the Gospel with gentleness and respect especially when what is being presented is being rejected. We must always remember that it is God who grants the change of thinking decision, which leads to believing in TLJC. 2Tim. 2:25; and there is nothing the one who is witnessing can do to cause the change of thinking no matter how bad they want it to occur.
1Pet 3:16; Having a good conscience from the PMA of Bible Doctrine such that, when they gossip against you or slander you because of your good behavior in Christ s those who slander may be put to shame.
Remember the context of our passage is the suffering that the Jewish believers who are Peter's primary and initial audience are going through. We have already seen that the natural inclination is to believe that the cause of the suffering is Divine discipline resulting from bad decisions made from a position of weakness, but we have seen from the example of Job that as part of God's plan for the advance of the believer that is not always the case.
Job's friends falsely attributed his sufferings to sin in Job's life, but God actually described Job as being righteous and says he did not sin because of the suffering. Job 1:22; Job 2:10;
He was not sinless, but he was a mature believer who applied the appropriate Bible Doctrine Job 1:5;
Remember Job was a patriarchal priest like Abraham and we can see from this passage that he lived according to the ritual of that dispensation.
1Pet 3:16; The word translated "keep" is the present active of Greek verb "echo" which means to” keep on having and holding on to" or "maintaining".
The word translated "good" is the Greek word "agathos" that we studied at length last year, refers to "Good of intrinsic nature" or "Divine Good” which we have defined as "A right thing done in a right way for the right reason at the right time"
Divine Good is what the believer who is motivated by God the Holy Spirit does as they conduct their lives according to the Faith, Hope, and Love which characterizes the PPOG of the church age 1Cor 13:13;
The only way the believer can produce this type of good is from their function inside the PPOG for their lives as they apply spirit taught or epignosis Bible Doctrine under the mentor ministry of God the Holy Spirit. Phil 2:13; Eph 2:10;
The word translated "conscience" is the Greek word "suneidesis" The conscience is where the believer's norms and standards are established and kept. The believer's conscience is to be programmed with grace norms and standards based on Bible Doctrine.
The believer's awareness of their position in union with TLJC and the efficacy of his substitionary spiritual death on the cross establishes the basis for the good conscience because it purifies their conscience Heb 9:14;
Their subsequent application of the doctrine of acknowledgement of known sin per 1John 1:9; as a problem solving device keeps the conscience purified. The word translated "cleanse" in both passages is the Greek word "katharizo", means to purify.
One of the purposes of Doctrinal teaching is for the hearers to have a good conscience. 1Tim 1:5; Again the word translated "good" is the Greek word "agathos" or divine good. The good conscience is the result of proper thinking and motivation in what one does.
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