PHBC  April 19, 1998

Series: First Peter, Ser. #48


TEXT: I Pet. 3:8

 INTRO: There is a Greek word that has been a part of more than one of the words in this verse. It is philos, phileo, and is found in our word, Philadelphia. It means friend, to be friendly to one, wish him well, a friend, an associate, he who associates familiarly with one, a companion.

The word was also used of       one of a bridegroom’s friends who on his behalf asked the hand of the bride and rendered him various services in closing the marriage and celebrating the nuptials.

It was used in this manner by John the Baptist in speaking of his relationship with Jesus Christ. John 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

James uses the word when he warns of friendship with the world system. James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.  

The second word used to compose the Greek word filofrone"  { fil-of’-rones} from which courteous comes from another word which refers to the midriff, the bowels or heart.

To be courteous then means to be friendly from the heart. It is not a sham friendliness; it is a deep seated, heart-seated friendliness. John associated rejoicing greatly when he heard the bridegroom's voice. He used it to describe his own relation to Jesus Christ and how he felt about that. John 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. It is a joyous courteous friendship that we are to have toward others, especially in the church and home. To be courteous is to be friendly from the heart. It puts meaning into our words when we say, "Sure glad to see you."

The word also has the idea of "modest, humble, kind, and meek. Several after whom I read in searching for the meaning of this word as used by Peter agree that the idea is more of being humbleminded in our relationships with others. Again, this agrees with the way John the Baptist used the word in Jn. 3:29.

Such friendliness or courtesy will certainly enhance the unity of the church and the home.



A.       The centurion Julius was courteous to Paul even though Paul was his prisoner. Acts 27:1-3 And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus’ band. 2 And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us. 3 And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself.

B.       After their shipwreck, Paul and those from the ship were treated very courteously by Publius, chief man on the Island of Melita. Acts 28:7 In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously.

C.       Paul admonished the Ephesians to exhibit this spirit of courtesy. Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.

1.        The two expression in the passage that convey this idea are humbleness of mind and meekness.

2.        We will look at these two things later but we just need to remember that true courtesy requires our putting others before self.

D.       And, of course, there is the admonition found in our text. 1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.

1.        It seems it would almost be unnecessary to mention this after the other things Peter mentions in the verse.

2.        Yet, Peter calls on these Christians to deal courteously with one another.


A.       It carefully considers the weaknesses of others and causes us to conduct ourselves properly toward weaker brethren.

1.        This is the idea found in the fourteenth chapter of Romans. Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

2.        E. J. Waggoner has written, "There are many things that are allowable, which some people with faith that is weak, because it is uninstructed, think to be wrong. Christian courtesy, as laid down in the fourteenth chapter of Romans, requires that the better-instructed person should regard the scruples of his weaker brother. To roughly ignore those scruples, although they may be destitute of reason, is not the way to help that brother into a wider liberty. On the contrary, it is the way to discourage him.

B.       Christian courtesy caused Paul to send Onesimus back to Philemon.

1.        When Onesimus, a slave of Philemon, came to Rome and found Paul and was converted to Christ, he became very useful to Paul. Philemon 11-13 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: 12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels.

2.        Paul would have retained him with him because of his usefulness. 13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel.

3.        Paul had come to trust and love Onesimus to the point that he entrusted to him the epistle written to the Colossians as well as the epistle to Philemon. Colossians 4:7-9 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: 8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; 9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.

4.        Out of Christian courtesy Paul sends him back to his master, Philemon, who was a member of the church in Colosse.

C.       Christian courtesy causes one to be disposed to put others before self, as in the case of Paul's sending Onesimus back to Philemon rather than keeping him there to help him in his bondage.

D.       Christian courtesy begets courtesy from others as Solomon teaches us. Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly.

E.       Christian courtesy cause us to put the honor of others before our own honor, or it will cause us to be humble minded. Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.

1.        It was this kind of courtesy that caused Abraham to defer to Lot and allow him to choose the land he would take. Genesis 13:9-12 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. 10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.

2.        It is the kind of courtesy admonished by Jesus. Matthew 20:26-27 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.

F.        Christian courtesy will cause us to esteem others better than ourselves. Philippians 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

G.       Christian courtesy will cause us to submit to one another as we should as we have seen in some of our studies in First Peter. 1 Peter 5:5-6 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.

H.       Christian courtesy is also a reflection of wisdom. James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 

CONC: It is noteworthy that a meek spirit which is a characteristic of this courtesy that is admonished by Peter requires no laws to regulate our conduct toward others. Galatians 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

            Again, let us pray that God may grant us the grace to grow in  Christian courtesy, friendliness, meekness, and humility of mind.

 Click to return to Central Baptist Church HomePage

Click to go to Table of Contents of This Site

email(active).gif (14954 bytes) Send E-mail to

Click here to see a complete listing of all messages on this site

This page last updated Friday, March 04, 2011