April 8, 2018 – 1 Peter 3:1-12

Lesson Date: April 8, 2018

Focal Scripture Passage: 1 Peter 3:1-12

AIM: To lead students to discover the Bible’s clear instructions for their behavior and the benefits of following those instructions, and to confess their sins and commit to obeying God’s instructions from now on.

 

Before class: Read the notes on 1 Peter 3:1-12 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Get enough copies of the note-taking sheet titled “As a Christian, How Should I Behave at Home?” for your anticipated attendance. Have a few pens or pencils on hand for any students who might need one. Write “Salvation Living, Part 2” on the marker board or chalkboard.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): NOTE – This passage has clear and distinct instructions for men and for women, as well as instructions applicable to all believers. Focus your lesson on the instructions most applicable to your class members. Use one of the following case studies to introduce the lesson.

For women: Amanda is a Christian, but her husband Brad is not. She has shared her concern for her husband with some of the other saved ladies at work, and even asked them to pray with her that he would accept Christ. One day as she was leaving for work, Brad asked, “Amanda, do you have to wear your skirts that short – and do they have to be so tight?” Amanda exploded. “You don’t understand, Brad. To get ahead at the office you have to be noticed by the boss and the clients. If I wear frumpy clothes I’ll never get the important contracts, much less any raises or promotions. And besides, I buy my clothes with my money from my paycheck. You don’t have any right telling me how to dress!” Ask: “Do you think Brad will be interested in becoming a Christian? Why or why not?”

For men: Johnny is praying for several important matters. He has been asking God for a pay raise, or perhaps even a promotion. He’s also praying about some health issues affecting several family members. In spite of all his prayers, nothing seems to change. Over dinner last night he chewed his wife out. That’s not the first time – he often treats her disrespectfully. In fact, Johnny is frequently harsh, mean-spirited, unconcerned, and unloving toward his wife. Ask: “Why do you think Johnny’s prayers aren’t being answered?”

Tell the class today’s lesson will reveal answers to those questions.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the students that we are studying the New Testament book of 1 Peter, which the Apostle Peter wrote to Christians who were suffering under Roman persecution.
    • Direct their attention to the lesson title, “Salvation Living, Part 2,” written on the board.
    • Remind them that last week we had an Easter lesson about the resurrection.
    • This week we pick up where we left off two weeks ago. In that lesson (1 Peter 2:13-25), we were told to submit to the laws of man, submit to our employers, and follow Christ’s example when we suffer for doing the right things.
    • Tell the class in today’s lesson we will discover more instructions for salvation living.
    • Give everyone a copy of the note taking sheet titled “As a Christian, How Should I Behave at Home?
    • Ask them to take notes on what the Bible says their behavior should be.
  2. Instructions for Christian Wives.
    • Read 1 Peter 3:1-6 to the class.
    • Go through the verses, explaining the meaning of any words that are not clear to your class members (such as conversation, chaste, and fear).
    • Ask questions to help the ladies understand how they can apply the Bible’s teaching to specific areas of their lives. Some such questions are:
      • “What does it mean to be in subjection to your husband?” (to be obedient; to allow him to make decisions and then follow his leadership without complaining; to willingly submit to his authority; see also 5:22 and Col. 3:18).
      • “How can a saved wife win her lost husband to Christ?” (by living a godly, submissive life in front of him; in fact, this is the only time the Bible says a Christian’s behavior can influence a lost person toward salvation).
      • “Is it wrong for a woman to wear nice clothes, jewelry, or make-up?” (no, but it is wrong to over-do and focus more on the outward appearance than the inward attitude). Explain that Peter did not forbid women from wearing jewelry; what he forbid was going to worldly extremes just to be “fashionable” or to be noticed (see also 1 Tim. 2:9-12). Warren Wiersbe explained it this way: “Christian women can be attractive without being worldly. In fact, the outlandish fashions sported by much of the world would embarrass the devoted Christian woman and make it difficult for her to witness.”[1]
      • “What should be the most noticeable or beautiful thing about a Christian woman?” (her inner spirit and attitude; this is incorruptible and will not fade away with age, as will outward beauty).
      • “Whose example can Christian women today follow?” (the holy women of old, such as Sarah).
    • Summarize: Christian wives should display Christ living within by being submissive, modest, and godly.
  3. Instructions for Christian Husbands.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 1 Peter 3:7.
    • Tell the class this verse contains very important instructions for husbands.
    • Explain the meanings of the words honor, vessel, and hindered. Ask the following questions to help the men apply these teachings to their own lives:
      • “What are ways you can honor your wife?” (by treating her as one having great value and worthy of the greatest care).
      • “Do you honor your car, your house, your gun, your job, or other things more than you honor your wife?”
      • “Spiritually speaking, what do you and your wife have in common?” (you are heirs together of the grace of life).
      • “What will happen to your spiritual life if you don’t treat your wife with the honor and respect due to a fellow Christian?” (your prayers will be hindered).
    • Summarize: Christian husbands must be wise in their relationship with their wives, treating them with honor and care.
  4. Instructions for All Believers.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 1 Peter 3:8-12.
    • Explain that these instructions are for all of us, regardless of our marital status or position in the home.
    • Briefly lecture on those verses, using the following outline:
      • We should have unity with other Christians (v. 8a).
      • We should be compassionate, loving, tenderhearted, and mannerly with other Christians (v. 8a).
      • We should never return evil for evil, but we should be a blessing to others (v. 9).
      • We must not speak evil or tell lies with our mouths (v. 10).
      • We should run from evil and pursue good, realizing that God is for the righteous and against those who do evil (v. 11).
      • Ask: “According to verse 12, whose prayers does God hear?” (those who are righteous – Christians who obey the instructions included in this lesson).
    • Tell the students verses 10-12 are quoted directly from Psalm 34:12-16.
    • Summarize: All Christians should guard our tongues, avoid evil, and take our requests and needs to the Lord in prayer.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the class today’s lesson has included several very practical instructions for Christian behavior. Briefly review by asking volunteers to tell some of the instructions they have written on their “As a Christian, How Should I Behave at Home?” sheet.

Say: “If I give you instructions, you can choose to obey them or ignore them; that is your choice, because my instructions may or may not be good instructions. The instructions we have just read, however, are God’s instructions. Since God never makes a mistake, we would be foolish to ignore His instructions.”

Tell the students if we want to enjoy the blessings described in verses 10-12 (a good life, God’s attention to our prayers, and avoiding God’s judgment), then we must obey the instructions found in verses 1-9. Conversely, if we don’t do the things God tells us to do in verses 1-9, then we shouldn’t expect any of the blessings listed in verses 10-12.

Ask: “Do you want God to hear and answer your prayers? Do you want harmony and happiness at home? Do you want to enjoy good days?” If so, we must confess our sins and commit to obeying God’s instructions from now on. Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Encourage them to privately confess their sins and shortcomings and make a commitment to God to live by His instructions. Voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize 1 Peter 3:12. Encourage them to follow through on the commitments they made in class this morning. Make yourself available to counsel and advise any class members who might need help.

[1] Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament, 1992 by SP Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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