Strangers & Aliens (1 Peter)
Learn to Say No to Fear
Peter is writing to Christians who were forced to flee Rome because of heavy persecution. They were starting to feel the pressure of living in a culture that was hostile toward them. Thus, the apostle sought to comfort them. He wanted them to thrive and be a light for Christ.
He assured them that their trials were for the purpose of growing their faith and that a great inheritance awaited them in heaven. He called them to be holy and to love each other, while proclaiming the glory of Christ, and submitting to earthly authorities.
But it can be frightening to live in a hostile world. Peter desired to encourage these precious believers that when they held fast to Christ, lived holy lives, and were willing to suffer, they could live in peace. This text hits close to home. You can live without fear.
1 Peter 3:13-4:6
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.
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. 3 For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.
Learning how we can stand firm, endure trials, say no to fear, love others well, and Impact the world for Christ in a hostile and changing culture.