“Commit To What Is Good” (1 Peter 3: 15, HCSB) by Carley Evans

Peter calls us to “honor the Messiah as Lord in [our] hearts.” As we do so, we will “be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks [us] for a reason for the hope that is in [us.]” This defense of our hope, however, is to be done “with gentleness and respect” so that our consciences are kept clear.

We are not to suffer for doing evil, but only for doing good. (1 Peter 3: 17) Peter challenges us: “who harms you if you are deeply committed to what is good?” (1 Peter 3: 13) implying that it is unusual to suffer for behaving toward others in a good manner. Christians who suffer at the hands of others often provoke this menace through their own arrogance, anger, frustration, and holier-than-you attitude. Peter calls us to defend our hope gently, respectfully, kindly.

“Therefore, since Christ suffers in the flesh, equip yourself also with the same resolve — because the one who suffers in the flesh is finished with sin — in order to live the remaining time in the flesh, no longer for human desires, but for God’s will.” (1 Peter 4: 1 – 2)

And, if you live for God’s will — that is, for the good of others — then it is unlikely you will suffer as Christ suffers. If you do, make certain your suffering is not for “doing what the pagans choose to do.” (1 Peter 4: 3) Make it your aim to be gentle and respectful as you give the reasons for your faith in the Messiah, Jesus.

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