New American Standard Bible
and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.
King James Bible
Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
Darby Bible Translation
having a good conscience, that as to that in which they speak against you as evildoers, they may be ashamed who calumniate your good conversation in Christ.
World English Bible
having a good conscience; that, while you are spoken against as evildoers, they may be disappointed who curse your good way of life in Christ.
Young's Literal Translation
having a good conscience, that in that in which they speak against you as evil-doers, they may be ashamed who are traducing your good behaviour in Christ;
1 Peter 3:16 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Having a good conscience - That is, a conscience that does not accuse you of having done wrong. Whatever may be the accusations of your enemies, so live that you may be at all times conscious of uprightness. Whatever you suffer, see that you do not suffer the pangs inflicted by a guilty conscience, the anguish of remorse. On the meaning of the word "conscience," see the notes at Romans 2:15. The word properly means the judgment of the mind respecting right and wrong; or the judgment which the mind passes on the immorality of its own actions, when it instantly approves or condemns them. There is always a feeling of obligation connected with operations of conscience, which precedes, attends, and follows our actions. "Conscience is first occupied in ascertaining our duty, before we proceed to action; then in judging of our actions when performed." A "good conscience" implies two things:
(1) That it be properly enlightened to know what is right and wrong, or that it be not under the dominion of ignorance, superstition, or fanaticism, prompting us to do what would be a violation of the divine law; and,
(2) that its dictates must always be obeyed. Without the first of these - clear views of that which is right and wrong - conscience becomes an unsafe guide; for it merely prompts us to do what we esteem to be right, and if our views of what is right and wrong are erroneous, we may be prompted to do what may be a direct violation of the law of God. Paul thought he "ought" to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth Acts 26:9; the Saviour said, respecting his disciples, that the time would come when whosoever should kill them would think that they were doing God service, John 16:2; and Solomon says, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death," Proverbs 14:12; Proverbs 16:25 Under an unenlightened and misguided conscience, with the plea and pretext of religion, the most atrocious crimes have been committed; and no man should infer that he is certainly doing right, because he follows the promptings of conscience.
No man, indeed, should act against the dictates of his conscience; but there may have been a previous wrong in not using proper means to ascertain what is right. Conscience is not revelation, nor does it answer the purpose of a revelation. It communicates no new truth to the soul, and is a safe guide only so far as the mind has been properly enlightened to see what is truth and duty. Its office is "to prompt us to the performance of duty," not "to determine what is right." The other thing requisite that we may have a good conscience is, that its decisions should be obeyed. Conscience is appointed to be the "vicegerent" of God in inflicting punishment, if his commands are not obeyed. It pronounces a sentence on our own conduct. Its penalty is remorse; and that penalty will be demanded if its promptings be not regarded. It is an admirable device, as a part of the moral government of God, urging man to the performance of duty, and, in case of disobedience, making the mind its own executioner.
There is no penalty that will more certainly be inflicted, sooner or later, than that incurred by a guilty conscience. It needs no witnesses; no process for arresting the offender; no array of judges and executioners; no stripes, imprisonment, or bonds. Its inflictions will follow the offender into the most secluded retreat; overtake him in his most rapid flight; find him out in northern snows, or on the sands of the equator; go into the most splendid palaces, and seek out the victim when he is safe from all the vengeance that man can inflict; pursue him into the dark valley of the shadow of death, or arrest him as a fugitive in distant worlds. No one, therefore, can over-estimate the importance of having a good conscience. A true Christian should aim, by incessant study and prayer, to know what is right, and then always do it, no matter what may be the consequences.
As of evildoers - See the notes at 1 Peter 2:12.
They may be ashamed - They may see that they have misunderstood your conduct, and regret that they have treated you as they have. We should expect, if we are faithful and true, that even our enemies will yet appreciate our motives, and do us justice. Compare Psalm 37:5-6.
That falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ - Your good conduct as Christians. They may accuse you of insincerity, hypocrisy, dishonesty; of being enemies of the state, or of monstrous crimes; but the time will come when they will see their error, and do you justice. See the notes at 1 Peter 2:12.
'Be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.'--1 Peter iii. 14, 15. These words are a quotation from the prophet Isaiah, with some very significant variations. As originally spoken, they come from a period of the prophet's life when he was surrounded by conspirators against him, eager to destroy, and when he had been giving utterance to threatening prophecies as to the coming up of the King of Assyria, and the voice of God encouraged him and his …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John
Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him.
"But we desire to hear from you what your views are; for concerning this sect, it is known to us that it is spoken against everywhere."
1 Timothy 1:5
But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things.
1 Peter 2:12
Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
1 Peter 2:15
For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
1 Peter 2:19
For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.
Jump to PreviousAccuse Argue Ashamed Behaviour Christ Christian Christians Conscience Consciences Conscious Conversation Curse Deportment Disappointed Evil Evildoers Evil-Doers Falsely Free Good Guilt Keeping Life Manner Modestly Shame Slander Speak Way Whereas Wherein Wrong
Jump to NextAccuse Argue Ashamed Behaviour Christ Christian Christians Conscience Consciences Conscious Conversation Curse Deportment Disappointed Evil Evildoers Evil-Doers Falsely Free Good Guilt Keeping Life Manner Modestly Shame Slander Speak Way Whereas Wherein Wrong
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