Ready to Give an Answer

1 Peter 3:13-17

Part eight in an expositional series on 1 Peter. Click HERE to read the previous article.

Throughout Peter's first epistle, the threat of persecution for his original readers in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire runs as an undercurrent, giving additional significance to each of his exhortations. He says in 1:6 that they "have been distressed by various trials," references "the thing in which they slander you" in 2:12, and encourages them to "patiently endure" it when they "do what is right and suffer for it" for "this finds favor with God" in 2:20. Beginning in the second part of chapter 3 and continuing through chapter 4, this theme of suffering for the sake of righteousness leaps from the background to take center stage in Peter's words. 

After a stirring exhortation to husbands and wives to live in fearless submission to God and each other for the sake of holiness and witness before a watching world in 3:1-7, Peter enjoins all believers to live in love toward one another, returning blessings when we are given evil (3:9). He emphasizes his words with those of David from Psalm 34:12-16, reminding us that the Lord turns His "eyestoward the righteous" and "His ears attend to their prayer"-He watches over those who walk in His ways.

 

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