Doing the Stuff | 1 Peter 3: 1-17

  • Peter points out that our lives can spark an interest in others, which provides an opportunity for us to talk about “our hope.”
  • The way we live will create opportunities to talk about our faith with people around us. 
  • Peter reminds us that natural circumstances to share the gospel are good, but it is the way we live that will often bring out the curiosity in others. 
  • A complete picture of evangelism embodies the deeds we live out and the words we share with others. 
  • Pre-evangelism is the work of bringing people far from God into proximity of the gospel so that they may hear and receive the gospel message with clarity. 

1 Peter 3: 1-17
3 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. 5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you[a] of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Suffering for Righteousness' Sake
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.

10 For “Whoever desires to love life
    and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from speaking deceit;
11 let him turn away from evil and do good;
    let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.

Here Peter addresses the two-pronged approach to evangelism. (1) Living a life that is marked by unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind (deeds), and (2) being ready to give an account for what it is that we believe (words). 
  • Have you ever had an unpleasant experience with evangelism where one of these was prioritized over the other? What happened?
  • How would you rate yourself in words? In deeds? (Use whatever scale you find helpful!) Why is one easier for you than the other?
There will be parts of living and sharing the gospel that are more comfortable for some of us and more intimidating for others.  Fortunately, Paul in 1 Corinthians describes the function of the church as a body.  This means that many of us will operate and find success, give support, and do the work of the church in different ways.  The point is not to get pigeon-holed into one type of evangelism, method, or framework that you think you should be doing. Instead, lean into what you are already good at, and keep growing in the rest. 
  • Think about the way you are gifted.  From the previous four lessons, are there any aspects or opportunities of evangelism that excite you more than others?
  • Do you find yourself more drawn to “pre-evangelism” or “evangelism?” Explain.
  • What might be some appropriate next steps in developing the parts you feel less drawn to?
  • Do you know anyone in your life with who you could make a good team regarding evangelism?  What do they complement in you, and what do you complement in them? 

If you consider yourself a more gifted pre-evangelistic contemplate these questions:
  • How can you bridge the gap to share the gospel with the people you are already around?
  • How can you bring your non-christian friends into the realm of the people who describe themselves as more gifted evangelists? 
If you consider yourself a more gifted evangelist contemplate these questions:
  • How can you create more pre-evangelistic opportunities where people are curious about faith?
  • How can you get around more people who have already developed and sense that different life that Peter speaks of? 
  • Reflect on question 4 in the New Self section.  Do you have any ideas on how you could bring this into reality soon?  Who needs to meet your friends? Whose friends do you need to meet?

Father, we ask that you give us the courage and creativity to walk in the world around us yet remain close to you as we do.  You give us the strength and knowledge to do this well, and the power that we receive is from you and you alone as you are with us.