Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

Five Growth Attitudes
1 Pet 3:8

8 To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind-hearted, and humble in spirit; (NAS)

8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: . (KJV)

A few years ago I went by some of the houses I lived in as a boy. When we drove by one of the houses it was for sale and it was open so I went in, and looked. I relived several experience I had in that house.

I went into the basement, and was amused to be reminded of the marks burned into the pillars as years ago I marked my height. There were several marks as I would every six months or so show my growth.

I have often thought it would be good to have a definite way of measuring Christian growth. I do not know of any sure way of doing that where most would agree.

In the text today we have five attitudes that can represent growth. Look at them with me, and lets try to measure if we are growing.

1.    If I Am Growing It Shows In My . . Attitude of Harmony. v 8 a 

8 To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind-hearted, and humble in spirit;

A Growing Attitude of Harmony. (KJV " one mind")
(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)
2. homophron ^3675^, (homos, "the same," phren, "the mind"), occurs in <1 Pet. 3:8>, RV, "like-minded" (KJV, "of one mind").

    1.    Speaks to Christian agreement.
    2.    Notice these verses of scripture.

Matt 22:37-40
37 And He said to him,"' You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 "This is the great and foremost commandment.   39 "The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.'     40 "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." (NAS)

John 13:34-35
34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (NAS)

    2,    From these verses I conclude:
            a.    We ought to all agree we should love the lord Jesus Christ with all of our hearts
            b.    We ought to agree that we should love the lost and want to see every lost person come to
                    Jesus Christ.

            c.    We ought to agree that we should love one another.

The St. Louis Cardinals baseball team has one player who receives more attention than all the rest of the team put together. Mark McGwire gets a standing ovation every time he comes to the plate. How does that effect the rest of the team? I have heard several players say they get just as excited as the fans. Brian Jordan (the right fielder) said "I watch him take batting practice because I think he is going to hit a ball all the way out of the stadium, and I want to see it.

Ron Gant (the left fielder) said "I was one of the first to greet him when he won the ball game with a home run. It was like I was the biggest fan in the park.

At this time the team is in harmony about McGwire.

The Choir sings the same song. The individual members sing different parts but they blend in harmony. The bass doesn't sound like the soprano but together in the choir the can sound beautifully.

A man was visiting an insane asylum one day, and he noticed that all the insane people were on the field outside, but there was only one guard. He asked the guard, "Aren't you afraid?" The guard said, "Absolutely not." He said, "Don't you believe that since you are the only one here, these people could over-run you and break out of the asylum?" He said, "That's impossible." The man asked, "Why is that impossible?" The guard replied, "Because lunatics don't unite."

One of the realities is that Christians have a propensity to lunacy. We allow the enemy to split us from a common theme.

Illustration         Poem Saying

    To dwell above with saints we love,     That will be grace and glory.
        To live below with saints we know;     That's another story!


Harmony will demonstrate Growth.

2.    If I Am Growing It Shows In My . . Attitude of Sympathy. v 8 b

A. A Growing Attitude of Sympathy. (KJV Compassion)
(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)
sympathies ^4835^ denotes suffering with, "compassionate," <1 Pet. 3:8>, RV (KJV, "having compassion"). See A, No. 3.#
3. sumpatheo ^4834^, "to suffer with another (sun, `with,' pascho, `to suffer'), to be affected similarly" (Eng., "sympathy"), to have "compassion" upon, <Heb. 10:34>, of "compassionating" those in prison, is translated "be touched with" in <Heb. 4:15>, of Christ as the High Priest. See TOUCH.#

    1.    This word means to feel with. To have compassion.

In one of my pastorates a little 6 year old boy was accidentally blinded. He got to where he could handle this but his mother really had a problem with it. If someone said I understand how you feel, and she would angrily say no you don't. You don't have a child who is blind.

But even if we don't understand fully we can share in the grief or sorrow. We have the example of Jesus , and the teaching of Paul

    2.    The example of Jesus.       John 11:35 Jesus wept. (NAS)
            a.    Why did Jesus weep?
            b.    He knew He would raise Lazarus.
            c.    He wept because of his sympathy with the people.

    3.    The teachings of Paul.

Rom 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. (NAS)

1 Cor 12:26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if {one} member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

Our bodies work in harmony. If you hit a finger with a hammer every part of your body sympathizes with the finger. This is an illustration of how the Christian community should function.


Sympathy will demonstrate Growth.

3.    If I Am Growing It Shows In My . . Attitude of Brotherly Love. v 8 c

A.    A Growing Attitude of Brotherly love (KJV love as brothers)

Strongs Dictionary
5361 philadelphos (fil-ad'-el-fos);
from 5384 and 80; fond of brethren, i.e. fraternal:
KJV-- love as brethren.

    1.    In the epistle of 1 John their are check points about personal salvation. One of them is love for
1 Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. (NAS)

    2.    We are to have a deep and profound respectful love for those in Christ. Every Christian we know
            should know we love them.

    3,    We may have different convictions, and desires but we should never the less love one another.

During Vacation Bible School a teacher had an experience with her primary class that she says she will never forget. Her class was interrupted on Wednesday about an hour before dismissal when a new student was brought in. The little boy had one arm missing, and since the class was almost over, she had no opportunity to learn any of the details about the cause or his state of adjustment. She was very nervous and afraid that one of the other children would comment on his handicap and embarrass him. There was no opportunity to caution them, so she proceeded as carefully as possible. As the class time came to a close, she began to relax. She asked the class to join her in their usual closing ceremony. "Let's make our churches," she said. "Here's the church and here's the steeple, open the doors and there's..." The awful truth of her own actions struck her. The very thing she had feared that the children would do, she had done. As she stood there speechless, the little girl sitting next to the boy reached over with her left hand and placed it up to his right hand and said, "Davey, let's make the church together." This story may be seen as a parable of our search for oneness in Christ: to put our inadequate, handicapped lives alongside the lives of others and to pray, "Let's make the church together."


Brotherly Love will demonstrate Growth.

4.    If I Am Growing It Shows In My . . Attitude of Kindness. v 8 d 

A Growing Attitude of Kind-heartedness. (KJV pityful)

2. eusplanchnos ^2155^, "compassionate, tenderhearted," lit., "of good heartedness" (eu, "well," and splanchnon), is translated "pitiful" in <1 Pet. 3:8>, KJV, RV, "tenderhearted," as in <Eph. 4:32>.# (from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)

We get the word spleen from that word. You see the greeks always felt that a man's emotions were down in his bowels, down in his stomach. You ever hear someone said, "I love you with all my heart?"

        a.    Where does nervousness attack the body?   In the stomach.
        b.    Sad when little children have stomach problems because of domestic turmoil.
        c.    Sometimes we say my problem is not what I am eating but what is eating me.
        d.    The Greeks were not so wrong about the seat of emotions.

A crippled boy was once hurrying to catch a train. Carrying gifts under his arm, he was struggling with his crutches. Suddenly, a man bumped into him, knocking his parcels in all directions. The man then paused and scolded the boy for getting in his way. Another gentleman, seeing the youngster's distress, quickly picked up the scattered gifts and slipped a dollar bill into his pocket, saying, "I'm sorry! I hope this makes up for your trouble." The child who couldn't remember being shown such kindness, called after him, "Mister, thank you! And sir, are you Jesus?"

"No," replied the man, "but I am one of His followers."

Recently I took my car to the Lincoln - Ford dealer. My 1986 Confidential has a supension problem. I left it there for a week, and they never touched it. They said "we didn't want you having to spend money on the suggested problem because it never occurred while your car was here. I said I am a preacher, and I want to sell the car. I don't want somebody accusing me of selling a car with a problem. The service manager said have them call me I will tell them about the car.

Then he said I am a Christian also, and I understand your concern. I told him you know I am not surprised to find out you are a Christian. You act like one.


Kindness will demonstrate Growth.

5.    If I Am Growing It Shows In My . . Attitude of Humbleness. v 8 a 

A Growing Attitude of Humbleness. (KJV Be courteous)

Strongs Dictionary #
5756 tapeinophron (tap-i-no'-frohn);
related to 5013; found only in 1 Pet. 3:8; the Textus Receptus has philophrones (See 5391): humble, humble-minded.

***. This Greek word was not included in the original Strong's Dictionary but is found in other Greek lexicons. Alphabetically it belongs between Strong's number 5012 and 5013.

    1.    This quality is one the Lord requires for revival to take place. 2 Chr 7:14
14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.(NAS)

    2.    But how do you know if you are humble?
    3.    My experience has been that the Lord brought the attitude of humbleness, or the desire for it.
            a. I have been humbled through recent hospital stays
            b.    My voice problem has humbled me.
                    (1) I thank the Lord for these experiences, and perhaps that is being humble.

Illustration AMG
Moses spent forty years in the king's palace thinking that he was somebody. Then he lived forty years in the wilderness finding out that without God he was a nobody. Finally he spent forty more years discovering how a nobody with God can be a somebody.

I heard about a man who was awarded a humility button from his church and then they took it away from him because he wore it.

Illustration AMG A Good Reason for Politeness
"My boy," said a father to his son, "treat everybody with politeness, even those who are rude to you; remember, you show courtesy to others, not because they are gentlemen, but because you are one."

                                        J     Jesus first,

                                        O    others second,

                                        Y     yourself third.


Humbleness will demonstrate Growth.

1.     If I Am Growing It Shows In My . . Attitude of Harmony.
2.    If I Am Growing It Shows In My . . Attitude of Sympathy.
3.    If I Am Growing It Shows In My . . Attitude of Brotherly Love.
4.    If I Am Growing It Shows In My . . Attitude of Kindness.
5.    If I Am Growing It Shows In My . . Attitude of Humbleness.