1 Peter 3:13-17 – Peter asks a rhetorical question here, and the implied answer is “No one.” The whole letter from Peter kind of expects persecution, he is writing to people who are in the middle of suffering. Peter is saying that there is a sense in which no one can harm God’s children.
We know that no one can separate us from God’s love. No one can snatch us from God’s hand. We won’t be tempted beyond what we can endure. We are kept by the power of God through faith.
From an eternal perspective, a child of God is safe and secure, no one can harm us and our soul.
Matthew 5:10-11 – those who suffer for Christ can expect great rewards in heaven. When we give something to God He gives us back something more, often it isn’t something tangible, but when we give up things to God, He gives back more.
What does it mean to “be ready to offer a defense of the hope that is in you?” Apologetics is important and has its place, but not everyone has the time, the opportunity, the education, or even the head for remembering a bunch of scholarly arguments. Peter is talking about something that every Christian should be able to do.
This verse is about us pointing people to Jesus, this is important at all times, but especially when we are in the midst of suffering. There is definitely a place for intellectual answers to difficult questions, but pointing to Jesus is something that we all can do.
Part of being ready to give an answer is having a good conscience and good conduct. If we don’t have these we really aren’t ready to give an answer. If that is the case we will be ashamed instead of the other way around. Non-Christians should be impressed when they get up close to us, there should be something different about us.
- You will be blessed for doing the right thing.
- My choices must come from a heart that hallows the Father
Christ Also Suffered – 1 Peter 3:18-22
Christ suffered once for our sins. Peter knows what he is talking about, he saw it up close. He was a witness to the suffering of Christ. He knows that Jesus was a good and innocent man.
He knew that he had denied Jesus 3 times. He knew that Jesus had risen and was victorious, vindicated, and glorified. Peter is calling Christians to travel this same road.
Verse 19 is a bit of a curious verse. There are a number of things that people think this means. There is a lot going on in the spiritual realm that we don’t 100% understand.
Baptism isn’t Peter’s main point here. He is saying that Christ suffered for us and should be glorified above all else. What he is saying about baptism is that it correlates to the ark and the flood. Peter says that baptism saves us, it isn’t the water itself that does this, it isn’t the ritual itself. He is talking about the spiritual truth that it represents in Christ. It is the answer of a good conscience towards God.
Jesus has shown us that we can trust all outcomes to the Father. Jesus committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. He left the outcome to God.
Therefore Arm Yourselves – 1 Peter 4:1-6
We are able to do something about how spiritually minded we are. It isn’t something we can do on our own, but it isn’t something that God does entirely on His own without anything on our part.
Choosing the mindset of Christ is the key to spiritual victory.