Christians Living in Harmony (Marshall)

The IVP New Testament Commentary Series: 1 Peter

In 1 Peter 3:8a the apostle calls Christians to be like-minded. This doesn’t mean that Christians need to have the same political views, dress the same way, agree on the same way to school their children, or agree on the same Bible translation to use. It means something much deeper. Here’s how I. Howard Marshall explained it:

They should live in harmony with one another. The Greek word (literally, “to be of like mind”) means that Christians should have the same basic aim of serving God and loving one another, instead of being guided by individual, selfish interests. This is important advice in a world where individualism holds sway and everybody is encouraged to do his own thing. Obviously Peter does not mean that each person has identical aims, but rather that the dominant aim of every Christian must be the same, namely to love and serve God, and that other aims are derived from and subordinate to this one.

Christians, therefore, will work together and not act in isolation. Rather than competing with each other’s interests they will help one another to achieve what is God’s will for their lives. In other words, if I believe that God is calling me to do something particular in my life, then it must harmonize with my duties toward other Christians in helping them to do what God calls them to do. I must resist the temptation to think that my specific calling from God is so important that I must not allow concern for other people’s needs to deter me from pursuing it.

 I. Howard Marshall, 1 Peter, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1991), 1 Pe 3:8.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015