1 Peter 3:14-17
But and if you suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are you: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;…
I. THE FACT THAT GOOD MEN OFTEN SUFFER FOR THEIR GOODNESS FROM THEIR FELLOW MEN. Peter uses the phrase "but and if," not because the suffering he describes is infrequent, but because it may not be absolutely universal, and because the reflections on which he is dwelling might seem to have made such suffering impossible For —
(1) It might seem as though the promised guardianship of God would have ensured security to good men. But, no. Or(2) It might seem that an upright, benevolent life would have won the gratitude and kindness of one's fellows. But, no. "If you would follow the Church in her history, it will be by the track of her blood; if you would see her, it is by the light of the fires in which her martyrs have been burned."
II. THE INSPIRED DIRECTION FOR MEN IN SUCH WRONGFUL SUFFERING.
2. Consecration to Christ.
3. Intelligent conviction.
5. True triumph.All may not be able to wield the sharp sword of argument, but all can wear the silver shield of innocent lives.
III. THE LOFTY PRIVILEGE OF THOSE WHO SUFFER FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS' SAKE.
1. They are blessed.
2. Their suffering is better than that of those who suffer for wrong doing.
3. Their suffering brings them into intimate fellowship with the Man of Sorrows.
IV. THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF MEN WHO IN THIS SPIRIT SUFFER WRONGFULLY BEING REALLY INJURED. To all wrongful treatment by the mean, envious, or malicious, the true Christian can say, "You may embarrass my circumstances, undermine my health, filch my reputation, shorten my mortal life, but you cannot 'harm' me."
(U. R. Thomas.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;