Stand Right With GodBro. David Chancellor
1/7/2001 6:00 PM
1 Peter 3:12-18
"The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous..." This is for our good. In life, not everyone will encourage us to do that which is right. We may be persecuted sometimes for doing good, but we shouldn't let that keep us from doing good. People won't always understand or approve of what you do. "If you suffer for righteousness' sake... be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled." We want to have a concern about doing what is right. When terrors or troubles come, keep God first. There will be things that will come to challenge your stand, but God is most important. You won't always be politically correct, but you will do what you know God would have you do. Keep God first, and the desire not to let God down. Be able to speak up for God when it is the right place to speak up for him. We also want to speak in such a way that God will be honored. Stand for God in spite of it all. We need, first, a good conscience. Keep your conscience clear. It will help you when you must stand. If someone speaks evil of you and you don't have a good conscience, you will have a hard time handling it, whereas if you have a clear conscience you can go on and leave the situation with the Lord. The ones that spoke of Peter as an evildoer were religious people. Peter and the saints were spoken of as evildoers because they were doing what seemed to be right. If you fellowship a saved person who may not have a clear understanding on some things, you may be called an evildoer. It is important that we handle things from the view, "God, would you be pleased with me doing this?" Peter was called an evildoer because he followed Christ. Peter wasn't wanting people to suffer for doing bad as though they weren't bad. He said, if you must suffer, let it be for doing good. Taking a stand has to do with what I do. It is not denouncing others, but saying, "This is right, and I will do this." If you will live a consistent, godly life, people who speak evil of you will eventually be ashamed. If you treat everyone you meet right, it is hard to argue with a life like that. If you suffer for living what you know to be right, that is alright. If we stay right with God, that is most important. This doesn't mean you will be independent, but follow God's leading rather than men's opinions.
This is Paul's testimony. He was a religious sinner. Sometimes people will think they ought to do some thing that makes life difficult for you. Paul, no doubt, had a load to deal with after he was saved. He was probably sorry about causing some to turn from God. We don't want to do this - be a hindrance to another. At times we could be misguided in our understanding. It is at these times that we need to search to find the truth of the matter. It is sad to take a stand against someone, especially if we have only heard one side of the story. We don't want to be a hindrance or cause someone to turn back. We need to be careful what we think we ought to do, when we really ought not. We want to be careful in our actions. There may be those who look on and think you followed the wrong course. We need to be faithful to what God helped us to understand. We may suffer persecution, be pressured to go with things, but God would have us to stand and do what is right.
Daniel purposed to do right. if we would stand for God we need to determine to go with that which is right. Daniel had favor with the prince of eunuchs, but this favor did not extend past the fear. Daniel worked to allay the fears and to accomplish that which he knew was right and good. We want to be faithful to God. Don't go with every impression that comes along. We could, in our mind, purpose many things, but we need to purpose what God has said. The devil would have us purpose to do that which would make our walk with God difficult. We should purpose based on what we find in God's word. As we understand things, we want to be committed to them. At times, pressures will come to pull us away from what God has shown us. Stand true anyway.
These officers came back without Jesus and were berated by the Pharisees. They told them they couldn't bring Jesus back. They knew he was of God. The Pharisees considered those who believed in Jesus to be deceived. Then Nicodemus (one of their own) spoke up, "do we judge before we hear?" We could be asked some of the same questions that Nicodemus faced. "Could all these other brothers be wrong?" If they are contrary to the word of God, yes. If God's word does not say a thing, then whoever else does doesn't matter. If there is a difference, we need to search and see what is right. If God's word doesn't say it, we better not. When all speak what God says, we will all speak the same thing. Keep God first. This doesn't mean we make a big deal out of it, but we keep with what is right. Nicodemus may have come by night, but at least he came and tried to find out. He wasn't interested in being like the others. We need to try to find out and understand the matter. "All of these" isn't the question, but "What did God say?" is the question. If you stick with what God said and keep him first, if you are called an evildoer you are in good company. At the judgment the question will be: What did you know? and What did you do with what you knew?
Be strong in the Lord. Put on the whole armor of God. Why? "That ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." He would try to turn you aside from what God has said. We aren't against people, but the other things mentioned in verse 12. Spirits will come against us. We will have to resist these spirits. We don't want to get an attitude toward people, but to recognize what is at work and stand firm. When you have done all God has shown you, stand firm. Be true to what God has helped you to see and understand. Get hold of the weapons and keep the shield of faith. We don't have to be moved from our stand. Hold on to all of these things. You will need them to be able to do it. We can live for him in spite of all those that may not approve. We aren't out to create a fuss or be independent. We need to keep God before all others. Our actions need to be taken with God in mind. Be settled to stay true and go through.