GOSPEL MEDITATION # 240
1 Peter 3:8-17
Suffering for Righteousness’ Sake
- Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
- Of first importance Christians are to have unity of mind that is evidenced in empathy, compassion, and humbleness — this in the face of persecution.
- Christians are not to be vengeful or retaliatory, which would only provoke like behavior, but rather we are to bless those who persecute us. (see Matthew 5:10)
- Peter finds support in Psalm 34:12-16 for his counsel to the followers of Jesus as seen in verses 10 to 12.
- Peter, experiencing persecution under Rome’s Nero, knows that making Rome the enemy is not an acceptable Christian response.
- There will be persecution, it is probable not just possible, thus should be expected. Christians are right then in defending themselves, being ready to give an answer for their trusting in Jesus. And this “apologetic” must be prepared in advance.
- The Christian defense must be made with gentleness and respect. How few of us are able to do this? is a question that comes to mind. Here is the test of genuine Christ likeness and empowering by the Holy Spirit.
- Christians will be slandered, and who of us have not done this to Christians in our pre-Christian lives?
- Good, Christ-like living, will be reviled, made fun of, and the way we receive this may be a witness for Christ.
- Being slandered and persecuted for standing by our confession may be God’s will for us then after all.