Suffer for Righteousness’ Sake

1Peter 3:14-18 But and if you suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are you: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that you suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit 

‘Suffer for righteousness’ sake,’ all sufferings for doing right will work to your good (Rom. 8:28), providing you take the right attitude (Matt. 5:10; Luke 6:22-23). ‘Be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled’ quoted from Isaiah 8:12-13.

‘Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts’ another proof that sanctification means to separate from a profane to a sacred purpose. We are to give God His rightful place; hold Him in reverence.

‘Good conscience’ one can always have a good conscience if he maintains good behaviour. ‘Conscience’ [Greek: suneidesis] joint knowledge of God and man; knowledge of our acts, state, or character as to right and wrong; the faculty, power, or principle which decides the lawfulness of our actions and affections, and approves or condemns them; the moral faculty or sense; consciousness of actions; the eye, judge, and guide of the inner man. Twelve kinds of conscience are described in the Word: Awakened (John 8:9); seared (1Tim. 4:2); purged (Heb. 9:9, 14; 10:2); pure (Acts 24:16; 1Tim. 3:9; 2Tim. 1:3); weak (1Cor. 8:7, 12, 13); defiled (Tit. 1:15); witnessing (Rom. 2:12-15; 9:1; 2Cor. 1:12); good (Acts 23:1; 1Tim. 1:5, 19; 1Pet. 2:19;  3:16, 21; Heb. 13:18); convicting or healthy (Matt. 27:3); satisfied (1Cor. 10:25-29); evil (Heb. 10:22); perfect (Heb. 9:9).

‘Conversation’ [Greek: anastrophe] behaviour or manner of life; the whole conduct of life in domestic and public relations. Always translated “conversation” (1:15, 18; 2:12; 3:1, 2, 16; Gal. 1:13; Eph. 4:22; 1Tim. 4:12; Heb. 13:7; Jas. 3:13; 2Pet. 2:7; 3:11).

‘That you suffer for well doing, than for evil doing’ six things to do in view of suffering: Be happy in suffering (3:14; Matt. 5:10). Be not afraid of man (3:14; Matt. 10:28). Be not troubled by trouble (3:14). Take suffering as unto God and hold Him sacred in your heart (3:15). Be ready to give an account of your life, conduct, and hope (3:15). Maintain a good conscience by good behaviour (3:16).

‘Christ also has once suffered for sins …’ eight facts about Christ (3:18-22): He suffered (3:18); He was put to death (3:18); He was resurrected by the Spirit (3:18); He went to Sheol/Hades (Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:27); He preached to fallen angels while in Sheol/Hades (3:19; 2Pet 2:4; Jude 1:6-7); He ascended to heaven (3:22); He sits on God’s right hand (3:22; Eph. 1:20; Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 12:2); He exalted above all others (3:22; Eph. 1:20-23; Php. 2:9-11; Col. 1:15-18).

‘Once suffered for sins’ three purposes of Christ’s sufferings: He suffered for sins (2:24; Gal. 1:4; Matt. 26:28; Eph. 1:14; 1Cor. 15:3). He suffered for the unjust (Rom. 5:6-8). He suffered to bring us to God (Col. 1:20-22; 2:14-17; 2Cor. 5:14-21).

‘Death in the flesh’ He died in the flesh but did not die in the spirit, proving immortality of the spirit (3:4). Only the body dies at the time of physical death. This is caused by the soul and spirit leaving the body (Jas. 2:26). The body returns to dust and the soul and spirit of the righteous go to heaven to await the resurrection (2Cor. 5:8; Php. 1:21-24; Heb. 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11). The soul and spirit of the wicked go to hell to await the resurrection (Luke 16:19-31; Isa. 14:9; Rev. 20:11-15). The soul and spirit are spiritual and immortal. They cannot go back to dust.

‘Quickened by the Spirit’ His dead body was resurrected by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:11).

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