Followers of Christ Suffer, 1 Pet 3:13-22

Our Sunday school lesson is over 1 Pet 3:13-22.  When you get saved and begin to follow Christ, you start following that which is good. 

In 1 Pet 3:13. Peter asks, “who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?”  The answer is, “People who don’t like Jesus.”  In Acts 5:38-40, the apostles were beaten and commanded not to speak in name of Jesus.  In Jn 15:18-19 Jesus warned us that if we would love him, the world would hate us.

If you follow Christ you’ll suffer for it. 1 Pet 3:14 if ye suffer for righteousness happy are ye.  In Acts 5:41, the apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for Jesus’ name.  In Matt 5:11-12, this is the way they were trained to react to persecution.

Don’t be afraid or troubled – 1 Pet 3:14.  In Acts 5:39, Gamaliel said that if the miraculous works of the apostles was of God, the council couldn’t overthrow it.  In Acts 4:29-31, the apostles prayed that the Lord would grant them boldness against the threatenings.  Read Ps 56:11.  David said, in Ps 3:6, that he would not be afraid of ten thousands set against him.

Sanctify the Lord in your heart – 1 Pet 3:15.  “Sanctify” here is defined “to secure from violation.”  See Ezek 36:21-23.  The heathen profane the name of the Lord.  They cause you to suffer for his name because we uphold and exalt his name [Acts 4:12].

Be ready to answer -1 Pet 3:15.  We need to be ready to give a reason of the hope that is in us.  Some good reasons are Jesus saved us, Jesus rose from the dead, he’s coming back, and he’ll destroy the sinners who reject Jesus.  We are to answer with meekness and fear.  See Col 4:6.

Have a good conscience -1 Pet 3:16.  Paul lived in all good conscience [Acts 23:1, Heb 13:18].  Those who try to harm you speak of you as evildoers.  They said Jesus blasphemed.  Festus said that Paul was mad [Acts 26:24].  Yet, they will be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 

Why will we suffer? We will suffer because:

It’s God’s will – 1 Pet 3:17 says that it is better to suffer for well doing rather than evil doing.  When you come out of a strict religion, your family will persecute you over the simplicity of your salvation in Jesus Christ [Gal 5:11].  In Acts 9:16, Ananias was told how great things Paul must suffer.  In Jn 21:18-19, Jesus told Peter of the death he would suffer to glorify God.  In Rom 8:17-18 Paul told us that we would have to suffer if we want to reign with Christ.  In 2 Tim 3:12, Paul said that all that live godly in Christ suffer persecution.

Christ once suffered1 Pet 3:18 Christ suffered for our sins [Heb 9:26, 28].  He was the just who suffered for the unjust [1 Pet 2:24].  It is his responsibility to bring us to God.  He suffered death in the flesh, and he was quickened by the Spirit.  In Rom 8:10-11 we see how his death and resurrection affect us at salvation.  Your body is dead, the Spirit is life, and his Spirit shall also quicken your mortal bodies.  But we suffer like he did.

Those without Christ will suffer in hell – 1 Pet 3:19.  By the Spirit, Jesus went and preached to the spirits in prison.  These are not lost people, because the spirit of man goeth upward to God [Ecc 3:21; 12:7].  These spirits in prison are fallen angels [Heb 1:7, he maketh his angels spirits].  In 2 Pet 2:4-5 these angels are in hell.  See Jude 6.  1 Pet 3:20 they were disobedient.  The long-suffering of God waited for Noah to complete the ark.  Eight souls were saved by water.  This is not saved, as in made righteous. Noah was already righteous.  He was a “preacher of righteousness,” [2 Pet 2:5].  He found grace in the eyes of the Lord.  God spared not the old world, but saved Noah.  That is, he spared Noah and his family [Heb 11:7], like he delivered Lot from the destruction of Sodom [2 Pet 2:7].  And he delivers us from wrath.

They disdain the testimony of our baptism – 1 Pet 3:21 the like figure.  So Noah is a picture for us.  “Baptism doth also now save us” has nothing to do with getting saved by water baptism.  Baptism for us is like Noah building the ark.  Our baptism preaches righteousness and condemns the world.  Just as Noah was in the ark, our baptism pictures that we are in Christ and that we will escape the destruction of sinners.  Baptism doesn’t put away the filth of the flesh, whereas Noah’s flood did.  But baptism is the answer of a good conscience toward God, 1 Pet 3:15-16.  In many countries, when you are baptized you can no longer be a “secret” Christian.  You have clearly made a break with the old religion.  We have been saved from the wrath to come by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  As Noah was lifted off the earth in his ark, so we are lifted off the earth by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Conclusion: In 1 Pet 3:22 Jesus has gone into heaven, where we are headed, and is on the right hand of God.  Since we are in him we are seated there with him [Eph 5:30, 2:6].   Angels, authorities, and powers are subject to him [Eph 1:19-23; Phil 2:9-11].  Jesus’ name is maligned in the earth, but not with God or us.  So follow Jesus even though it means that you will suffer with him.