Wednesday, July 10, 2013


"Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?  But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed.  Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 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, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame."   1Peter 3:13-16 ESV

Explanation for for verses from 1Peter 3:13-16 from the MacArthur Study Bible, ESV, page 1894:

"1Peter 3:13, who is there to harm you.  It is unusual for people to mistreat those who are zealous for good.  Even a hostile world is slow to hurt people who are benefactors of society, who are kind and caring (cf. 4:12), but it does happen (3:14).
3:14 blessed.  Here the idea is "privileged" or "honored" (cf. Matt. 5:10). Have no fear.  The idea here is borrowed from Isa.8:12-13
3:15 in your hearts honor Christ the Lord.  The meaning is "set apart in your hearts Christ as Lord." The heart is the sanctuary in which he prefers to be worshiped.  Live in submissive communion with the Lord Jesus, loving and obeying him--and you have nothing to fear.  always being prepared to make a defense. The English word "apologetics" comes from the Greek word here translated "defense".  Peter is using the word in an informal sense (cf Phil. 1:16-17) and is insisting that the believer must understand what he believes and why one is a Christian, and then be able to articulate one's beliefs humbly, thoughtfully, reasonably, and biblically.  the hope that is in you.  Salvation with its anticipation of eternal glory.
3:16 a good conscience.  The conscience accuses (cf. Rom. 2:14-15) by notifying the person of sin by producing guilt, shame, doubt, fear, anxiety, or despair.  A life free of ongoing and unconfessed sin, lived under the command of the Lord, will produce a "clear conscience" (Acts 24:16; see notes on 2 Cor. 1:12; 4:2). This will cause your false accusers to feel the "shame" of their own consciences (cf. 1 Pet. 2:12, 15)"

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  I lift up to You those who are reading these verses today.  I pray for those who are  being slandered--I ask You Lord to protect them.  I pray for those people who do the slandering--that the truth would be known and that they would be put to shame. I pray for their salvation. I pray they would seek the truth that is only found in Christ Jesus.  I pray the chains of bondage will be unlocked and that the truth will set them free. I say these things is Jesus' name. Amen.

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