"THE GOOD LIFE"
I. WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE THE GOOD LIFE?
A. This seems to be the desire of most people.
1. Madison Ave. recognizes this and gears so much of it's advertising to appeal to this desire within man.
a. They seek to make you think that you can find the good life by drinking a particular brew.
b. The good life is driving a certain car.
c. The good life is living in a particular neighborhood.
d. The good life will be found when you switch to a special deodorant.
2. We desire to live life to its fullest, thus we try to make the most of it.
3. When questioned as to what a person wants most in life, two of the leading answers are happiness and peace.
4. Innately we seem to know that life is precious and we want to squeeze the most out of it.
a. When God and Satan were discussing the character of Job, Satan gave his assessment of man, "Skin, for skin, yea, all that a man has will he give for his life."
B. Peter said, "For he that will love life, and see good days."
1. Peter no doubt has Psalm 34
in mind where David said, "What man is he that desires life, and loves many days that he might see good?"
2. The idea of good days is a good number of days. It is speaking of longevity.
3. Moses encouraged the people to keep the commandments that the Lord had given them, he said,
It is not a vain thing for you to keep His commandments; it [is] your life: and through keeping these things you shall prolong [your] days in the land.
4. Solomon said,
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
5. Speaking of wisdom Solomon said,
Length of days [is] in her right hand; [and] in her left hand riches and honour.
Her ways [are] ways of pleasantness, and all her paths [are] peace.
She [is] a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy [is every one] that retaineth her.
a. Long life.
b. Riches and honor.
e. Happiness are all that wisdom will bring to you.
f. Notice this is not the fruit of knowledge. Solomon said, "He that increases knowledge increases sorrow."
The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: his praise endureth for ever.
The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy,
II. PETER IS SAYING IF YOU WANT THE GOOD LIFE, HERE ARE THE RULES:
A. Keep your tongue from speaking evil. You must not lie about, or slander another person.
1. Solomon declared that lying lips are an abomination to the Lord.
2. Back in the previous chapter Peter told us,
Wherefore lay aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings.
3. Think of how much trouble you have brought upon yourself by repeating gossip.
4. Think of the strife that gossip brings.
5. Think of all of the shame and pain you can bring on yourself when you choose to lie under oath.
B. The second rule, "Keep your lips from speaking guile."
1. Guile is deceitfulness.
2. It is not telling the whole truth.
3. It is making promises with mental reservations.
4. When one of my little granddaughters was in her twos, her mother heard noises from the other room that sounded like something being stirred in her purse, she called, Kelsey, are you in my purse? Whereupon my granddaughter giggled and said "No mama, I am not in your purse, just my hands are."
5. We are living in a day and age when men's words are filled with guile.
6. Remember the words of Jesus to Nathanael when He first met him? "Behold an Israelite in whom there is no guile." What seemed to be unusual in that day, is still unusual today, to find a man with no guile.
7. Look at what deceitfulness does to the person who practices it.
a. We have a classic example before us today.
b. The greatest problem I see is your loss of credibility.
c. Once you have violated trust, it is so difficult to ever gain it back again.
C. The third rule. "To eschew evil." To shun or avoid evil.
1. Again remember the conversation of God with Satan over Job. God declared of Job that he eschewed evil. That is he departed from or avoided evil.
a. The world today asks, "What is evil?" "What does evil mean?"
2. Here is one of the reasons why the world is in so much confusion today, trying to define the word evil.
a. Evil is a relative term. What is evil to you may not be evil to me. It all depends on the culture in which I was raised. So evil becomes a cultural thing.
b. The world says to the Church, "You have no right to impose your values on me."
c. Because the men who were on the bench of the supreme court of the United States acknowledged their inability to define the word obscene, to thus opened the door to all of the pornography that has polluted the minds of millions of people.
d. When you reject God's definition of a word and seek to eliminate Bible as a standard for absolutes in life, the result always is chaos, and confusion.
3. One of the great problems in the world today is the redefining of words and terms. Each man has created his own glossary.
a. What does the word sex mean? By strict definition it means gender, male or female. So the question "Did you ever have sex with that woman?" is a ridiculous question. But the term having sex with someone by usage has come to mean having physical contact that brings an orgasm. To know that the question was referring to the physical relationship but to answer the question with a denial is absolute deception and tantamount to a outright lie.
b. What is is?
c. This problem has invaded the church so the liberals by putting new definitions on words can sound like they are very sound in the fundamental truths of the faith.
d. Sin is defined as a poor self image.
e. Being born again is defined as a good self image.
f. So when the liberal pastor declares that men are trapped in sin, and need to be born again, it sounds very fundamental, but by their definition of the terms, they are not saying anything close to what we mean when we say those same words.
D. We are not just to avoid evil, but we must do good.
1. Many people have a very negative relationship with the Lord.
a. It is premised entirely on what I don't do.
b. I don't go to shows or dances.
c. I don't drink or smoke.
2. John the Baptist called on the people to bring forth fruit that demonstrated repentance.
3. Paul called on the Ephesians to, EPH 4:22
Put off concerning the former life the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; but it wasn't to stop there, he said, and put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
a. They weren't to just stop lying, they were to start telling the truth.
b. They weren't to just stop stealing, but they were to get a job, so that they could give to those who were in need.
c. They weren't to just stop slandering others, but they were to seek to say things that would build up others and minister grace to the hearers.
4. So Peter says that we are to seek peace, to pursue it.
III. PETER GIVES THE FINAL RATIONAL, "FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE OVER THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ARE OPEN TO THEIR PRAYERS: BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THEM THAT DO EVIL."
A. The bottom line is that the good life is living in fellowship with God.
B. The good life is doing the things approved by God.