Analysis: God's Grace In Suffering

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1 Peter 3:13-17 begins the third main section of 1 Peter with the theme being: God’s grace in suffering. In a world that is hostile to Christianity and to Christ Peter is admonishing his readers that the fear of the Lord conquers every other fear. In the course of life these readers faced crises, and could be tempted to give into fears and make wrong decisions but Peter is instructing to “sanctify Christ as Lord” in their hearts and they never need to fear men or circumstances. “The enemies of believers can hurt us, but never harm us. Only we can harm ourselves if we fail to trust God” (Wiersbe. 413). Peter is stating that, in a general sense, people are less likely to be persecuted when they are doing good, however, even if a believer is persecuted…show more content…
MacArthur writes, “When believers sanctify Christ as Lord in their hearts, they affirm their submission to His control, instruction, and guidance. In so doing they also declare and submit to God’s sovereign majesty” (200) Further in verse 15 it says “be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.” The word “answer” is also interpreted “defense” which comes from the word apologia which is where the term apologetics is from. Later on Peter will define that “hope” as the Gospel. Peter admonishes to keep a clean conscience in verse 16. The word “conscience” comes from two Latin words: con, meaning, “with,” and scio, meaning “two know”. The conscience of the believer is the internal device that witnesses to us, and enables us to “know”, and approves our actions or…show more content…
Within the passage verses 14 and 17 are directly correlated, in that, 14 addresses the fact that we are blessed in our persecution and verse 17 is stating why it is a blessing to suffer. In verse 17 when it is written “if God wills it” that is a reference to verse 14 and the Greek construction implies that suffering for doing good was not what God normally willed, even though it could happen and possibly had already happened to some readers (4:4,12-19) The connection between 14-16 and Isaiah 8:12-13 is almost a direct quotation. It is related in the sense of syntax, obviously, but also in the historical context and setting. The hope that Peter refers to in verse 15 relates back to the “living hope” that he introduces in 1:3. Additionally, this section of Peter is related closely to what Christ said in Mathew 5:11 when He said, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” Each verse of this section relates to some statement made by Jesus in Matthew
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