1 Peter 3:1-4:6
The world is preoccupied with outward appearances. As Christians, we should be more concerned with our inward attitude. ‘In your hearts reverence Christ as Lord’. Pray for His ‘attitude’- ‘a tender heart and a humble mind’(8,15; 4:1). We believe the Gospel – ‘Christ died for our sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God’. Let’s share the Gospel – ‘Be always ready to give…a reason for the hope that is in you’. How are we to share the Gospel? – ‘with gentleness and respect’(18,15). We must get the attitude right – ‘so that nothing will hinder our prayers’(7). We need more than the ‘right’ prayers – words that sound good. We need the right attitude. The blessing will not come because our words sound good. It will only come when our attitude is right.
1 Peter 4:7-5:14
In all the service we offer to God, there is to be the offering of worship: ‘To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever’(4:11; 5:11). We will not learn to serve God unless we are learning to worship Him. There is a ‘form of religion’ which ‘denies the power’ of God – ‘These people honour Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me’(2 Timothy 3:5; Matthew 15:8). They go through the motions – but their hearts are not in it! We must pray that God will deliver us from this kind of thing: ‘O for a heart to praise my God! A heart from sin set free; A heart that always feels Thy blood, so freely shed for me’(Church Hymnary, 85). ‘Religion’ is about respectability. Salvation is about renewal: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me’(Psalm 51:10).