The Testimony of Suffering (1 Peter 3:13-17)

Living at peace with God by humbly obeying Him will often lead us to be at peace with other people. Our good behavior and kindness to others will usually lead them to treat us better. But even if we suffer for our faithfulness to Christ, we are still blessed because our lives can become a platform for the gospel. When we keep our peace even as others make fun of us or exclude us for doing what’s right and refusing to join them in doing wrong, we draw curious looks. “How can they be so joyful in the midst of such persecution?” the lost observer asks. Eventually these confused onlookers may ask us about our faith, and then we get a chance to tell them about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Text (1 Peter 3:13-17)

13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

Background and Observations

• The challenge in today’s verses is to both show Jesus to others in how we live and to remain always ready to share Jesus with our words. Both types of witness are important tools that God uses to persuade people to come to a saving faith in Him. Daily study of God’s Word can help you with living a godly life by keeping Christ first in your mind. It can also help you with explaining your faith to others as you learn what the Bible teaches and how it applies to our world today.

• A key theme in 1 Peter is that we should joyfully endure suffering for doing good while seeking to avoid causing suffering by our sin. We saw this concept in a similar passage in chapter 2 and Peter will return to it again in later passages. Clearly, suffering for our obedience to Christ is something that we should expect as Christians. The issue is not if we will suffer persecution, but how we will respond when the persecution comes.

Questions to Think About

1. With whom are you trying to share your faith right now? How could your life be a stronger witness to the these people?

2. Do you know how to share your faith with others? One great way is the “Share Jesus Without Fear” method. A link is provided below or you can get Mr. Reel to show you the method during lunch on Tuesdays or Wednesdays (he has been already teaching it to small groups of friends.  If you have learned another way, that’s awesome. There are many evangelism methods out there; the most important thing is to pick one that is biblical and then learn it and start using it.

Share Jesus Without Fear
3. The best place to begin sharing your faith is with people with whom you already have relationships – friends, family, teammates, and neighbors. Can you think of some people that God has placed in your life with whom you might be able to share your faith soon? Start praying for opportunities to witness to them and for God to prepare their hearts, and then be ready to obey God when He opens doors for the gospel.

In Christ,

Mr. Reel

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