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Better to Suffer Doing Good

Bauer Evans, on June 23, 2019. Part of the Confident Hope in Troubled Times series

Main Point:

We can endure unjust suffering because we stand on an unshakeable foundation.

Structure:

The influence of godliness in the home (vs. 1-8)
The groundwork of hope in this life (vs;. 9-12)
The promise of a future inheritance (vs. 13-17)

Application points:

Fearless Humility: We are to be fearless in our subjection to God’s word (vs. 1-8),

Future Hope: We are to live expectantantly for our inheritance from God is secure (vv. 9-12)

Fortified Faith: We are to honor Christ as Lord knowing He will vindicate our obedience to him (vs. 13-17)

Application Questions for Reflection & Response:

1. What do you think it will take for you to embrace Peter’s view of suffering for the sake of the gospel?

2. How would our life, our conduct, our words be different if we really did not fear anything because you knew that the worst that can happen cannot happen—that you cannot lose God’s love and promised inheritance for you?

3. What stops you effectively sharing the hope that you have when you are asked to give your reasons for it—and what can you do to better prepare yourself? Or are you never asked?

4. In which case, what does that suggest to you about how you are living, and what will you do about that?


1 Peter 3:1-17

3:1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For

“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
11 let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil. (ESV)


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