Prepare To Meet A Hostile World - I
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Friday, 15 February 2013
1 Peter 3:13-14a
13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake,
7 When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
The first century believers were living in the midst of a people who looked for every opportunity to find a reason to persecute them. The instructions in 1 Peter 3:13-17 are God’s guidelines for preparation of believers who live in an unfriendly and ungodly culture.
A delightfulness in doing good: Peter asks a rhetorical question in verse 13 - "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?" The idea of that question is that most people hesitate to cause harm to those who do good. Normally, people hate those who defraud others.
The apostle is laying down the general principle that if we live with a passion to be good, kind, loving, courteous, compassionate and pitiful, we will not become an easy prey to the hostile world. Let us also be mindful that God is also with those who are good to help them in their troubles. So the anticipated answer to the apostle’s rhetorical question is that few would harm believers who love to do good.
A willingness to suffer: In verse 14 Peter says, "But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye."
The phrase, "but and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake," indicates that even if believers are committed to doing good in the society, there is still a possibility that they will suffer. However, then, they will not be suffering as evil doers but as doers of righteousness. Peter spoke about such possibility of suffering later in 4:12-16. In a previous passage he also explained how the world persecuted and killed our Lord who was sinless (2:21-23). So when believers suffer persecution even when they live a righteous life, they are identified with Christ and all His suffering saints.
Peter also reminds us that when we suffer for righteousness’ sake, the Lord blesses us with joy unspeakable. We may have many sorrows and troubles, but happiness will fill our hearts at the knowledge that we are counted worthy to suffer for Christ. Peter seems recollecting the words of the Lord in Matthew 5:10-12. "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
Do good at all times, it's a fine life-protector.
May my heart be pure that only good may proceed out of me.