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Read Matthew Henry's Commentary on 1 Peter 3:13-17.
There are four areas revealed in 1 Peter 3:13-17 that show how our conduct should be in suffering for Jesus outside the Church:
(1) Do Not Fear The Threats of the World ( 1 Peter 3:13-14) (Not acting in fear).
If we are zealous (literal meaning of 'follower') for what is good (beneficial in its effect) we will not be harmed (literally 'made evil or exasperated').
We become zealous (passionate) for Jesus by realizing that even if we suffer ( 'pascho') for righteousness' sake we are blessed (literally 'happy') .
Then, if the above is true, we will not be afraid ('phobeo' - frightened, alarmed) or troubled (literally 'stirred or agitated like water') because of the world's threats (literally 'terror' - 'phobos'). (The last part is a quote from Isaiah 8:12-13 ).
(2) Sanctify. The Lord In Your Hearts ( 1 Peter 3:15a) (Practically setting your lives apart for God).
We are to set our lives apart for God in times of suffering that no tempatation to compromise or give in would overcome us. Our hearts signifies our mind, will and emotions. Think about how this can be practically achieved. (See also Numbers 20:12;27:14 and Isaiah 5:16;29:23).)
(3) Be Ready To Give A Defence ( 1 Peter 3:15b) (Preparedness to share your faith in all situations).
We must be practically prepare to give a defence (literally 'an apology' - 'apologia' from 'apo' = 'to give away' and 'logos' = 'word').
This account is to be given:
(i) To everyone who asks the reason for the hope (confident expectation) in us. (Note that it is people asking and not us forcing or beliefs on them)
(ii) In Meekness* and the Fear of God.
*Same as that used in 1 Peter 3:4 - 'gentle and soothing disposition'.
(4) Having a good Moral Concience ( 1 Peter 3:16) (Pure concience due to pure actions).
When unbelievers speak against us and slander us ('katalaleo') and falsely accuse us, they will be ashamed (dishonoured or disgraced) because of our proper behaviour in suffering.
1 Peter 3:17 - The conclusion is that it is better to suffer ( 'pascho') for doing Good (if it's in the will of God) than suffering for doing evil (punishment).
Why do you think this is so ?
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