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Christians may suffer as Christ suffered while doing good

Holy-people (Christians) may suffer while doing good during the everyday living of life - just as Christ suffered while he was carrying out God's plan of redemption and salvation.

Peter writes regarding this in his first letter (epistle).

I Peter 3:13-17:
.13And who (is) the (one who) will be treating you badly if-ever you may become zealots of the good-thing?
.14But if also you may suffer because-of righteousness (you are) happy-people, but let you not be caused-to-fear their fear neither be disturbed .15but you must make-holy the Christ (who is) Lord in your hearts. (You must be) prepared-people always towards a defense to every-person asking you a word concerning the hope in you .16but with meekness and fear having good conscience in order that in that-which you are slandered they may be brought-down-to-shame, the (people) maligning your good behavior in Christ –
.17for (it is) a stronger-thing doing-good if the intention of God may intend (you) to suffer than doing-bad –

Peter asks…

  • Who is there who will be treating you badly (inflicting and affecting you with badness at a future time)
    • if it should ever happen that you would cause yourselves to become
      • zealots (people who continue boiling with very-eager and vehement passion)
      • pertaining to the good-thing (that-which issues from God Who is good and sets the standard for what is good, what is perfectly admirable from God's viewpoint, according to His words and intention because He is the source of all true goodness)?

This is a rhetorical question as there does not need to be any answer written here because most certainly it would not be God or our Lord Jesus Christ. Peter has already explained in this writing of I Peter that God has begotten us who are holy-people (Christians).

We are God’s children because we have holy spirit within us and nobody can change this truth. Our spiritual standing right now is that we are in Christ and we partake of the promises, blessing, inheritance, which God gives now and also in the future by means of our Lord Jesus Christ.

However, there are people and things that could cause disruption or suffering in a person's everyday living of life – and…
  • if you would suffer (there is the potential for you to experience, to be affected by things at the present time – and if this would happen)
    • on account of righteousness (justness, justice, the attributes of justification, the quality of being and doing what is just/right from God's point of view)
  • you would be happy-people (you would be pronounced happy, felicitous).

You would be happy people from God's viewpoint, not that you would feel happy at that time necessarily, but because of the reason that Peter explains in these verses.

  • You should not let yourselves be caused to fear (to be afraid of/by)
    • their fear (the fear that they exude towards others expecting to cause you to be fearful, or what they may be frightened of and expect you to also be fearful of the same people/things)
  • neither should you be disturbed (stirred up, agitated – just like a normally calm pool of water is agitated and moves when something else is thrown into it breaking through its surface and causing a rippling effect over the whole pool)

…but…

  • you must make holy the Christ who is Lord in your hearts (cause the Anointed-one, the Messiah, who is your Master, to be sanctified within the center or core of your beings, set him apart from that-which is common, from the state of being common, defiled or unclean against God in the seat of your whole personal selves during the everyday living of your lives).

You must be prepared-people (in the state of readiness, people who are ready) on every occasion…

  • towards a defense (a speech of defense, words spoken to others to get away from a difficult situation before a tribunal, etc)
    • to everyone asking you (as an inferior asks a superior for something to be given to him, requesting)
      • a word concerning the hope in you (a spoken account, an uttered statement about what God has given you to expect to come to pass in the future; refer to I Peter 1:3 and 21)

…but contrary to how other people may treat you badly, you give your defense in company and association with…

  • meekness (tender receptiveness or receptivity towards God and the things of God)
  • and fear (fright, being afraid at the consequences of your performance of any wrong behavior, and therefore exhibiting the awe and respect that is rightfully due and ought to be shown towards God)
    • while having good conscience (a good conscience is one that agrees with what issues from God; God is the standard of what is good)

…for the purpose and result that…

  • in that-which you are slandered (with reference to anything whereby all kinds of statements are uttered forth against you)
    • they may be brought-down-to-shame (they would be made to feel shame before you; caused to have the feeling or emotion of disgrace and guilt bringing reproach having recognized and being sorry for their own performance of an improper, ignominious or dishonorable deed from God's point of view),
    • emphatically and specifically the people who are maligning (being insolent, abusive and accusatory towards/against)
      • your good behavior (your mode of living, way of turning-up, manner of moving-about during everyday living that agrees with what issues from God)
      • within the cause and sphere of action of Christ.

In truth, it is a stronger-thing (that-which takes comparatively more force with exerted-power) for you to be…

  • doing-good (performing that-which issues from God)
    • even if God’s intention could intend you to suffer
      • than doing-bad (performing that-which does not issue from God).
Verse 18:
.18because also Christ once suffered concerning sins, a righteous-person on behalf of unrighteous-people, in order that he may lead you towards God having been put-to-death indeed in flesh but having been made-alive in spirit,

Peter explains that…

  • at one time (on one occasion only)
    • Christ suffered with respect to people’s sins against God (he was affected by things relative to other people’s actions of missing the mark of what God said, of swerving from God’s Word to mankind)
  • a righteous-person (one who is just, in a right/just state, justified, living his life in a right manner, being and doing what is just/right from God’s viewpoint)
    • on behalf of unrighteous-people (people who are not righteous),

…for the purpose and result that…

  • he would bring you to God giving you access to God,
    • having been put-to-death indeed in flesh (this righteous one was caused to die in his physical natural body with its soul/breath life, the flesh category)
    • but having been made-alive in spirit (he was given life in the spiritual body with its holy spirit-life which he received when God raised him up alive from being dead; refer to I Corinthians 15:45).

Jesus Christ was carrying out God’s will during the time that he was suffering and was put to death.

Likewise for a Christian today – God may ask you to perform some task which could mean that you would suffer some unpleasantness while you accomplish the task.

Even though Christians may suffer bad things while doing good - we can remember the verses above, plus the truth written in Paul's letter of Romans that nothing will be able to separate us away from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35-39:
.35Who will separate us away-from the love of Christ, (will) pressure or restraint or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? .36According as it was written that, "By-reason-of You we are put-to-death the whole day, we were calculated as sheep of slaughter" – .37but in all these-things we are super-victorious by means of the (one) having loved us.
.38For I was persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels nor rulerships nor (things) having stood-in nor (things) being about to (stand-in) nor abilities .39nor high-thing nor depth nor different creation will be able to separate us away-from the love of God, the (love) in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul asks...

  • Who will separate us (put us apart, part us, cause to sever us asunder)
    • away from Christ's love (the love belonging-to and proceeding-from Christ, the love that the Anointed-one, the Messiah has and evidences to/for us)
  • will…
  • pressure (compression, stress that afflicts, whatever may be pressing-upon or squeezing, whether it be physical or mental or spiritual) or
  • restraint (as a crowd of people in a narrow place and in need of space, confinement, restriction) or
  • persecution (being pursued with malignity as enemies) or
  • famine (failures, not having food, in want of food) or
  • nakedness (in a state of bareness, ill-clad, being scantily clothed, without wearing clothes because of being in want of physical items such as outer-garments to keep us warm) or
  • danger (risks, the outcome being uncertain) or
  • sword (the type of knife used for slaughter, cutting or slicing its way through obstacles, and usually worn together with a longer sword)?

These are things that could cause major disruption in a person's everyday living of life, but even if we were in the middle of all of them – it would be just as what was previously written in the old covenant writings…

  • "By-reason-of You (it is for Your sake, for the sake of God that)
    • we are put-to-death the whole day (being caused to become dead, to die during the entire day),
  • we were calculated (reckoned, counted, computed)
    • as sheep of slaughter (in comparison to being sheep ready for sacrifice, prepared for killing; refer to Psalm 44:20-23 where David prays to God regarding a bad situation reminding Him that he is doing everything he can for Him and asks for His help quickly)" –

…but contrary to what is manifested in the physical realm…

  • in all these-things (during the times when every one of the things described in verse 35 above are occurring)
    • we are super-victorious (we are conquering superly, we have the victory over and above any person or spirit who would cause these things to happen to us as we live our everyday lives; we are extremely victorious, conquering beyond measure)
      • by means of the one having loved us (through Christ who loved us with God’s kind of love).

Christ is the agency by way of which the initiated progress of our being super-victorious passes through, in order to reach its accomplishment. We would not be super-victorious without Christ; he is interposed between the start and the result of our having the victory.

In truth, I (Paul) was persuaded and I am still persuaded (convinced) that…

  • neither death (physical death)
  • nor life (physical life)
  • nor angels (messengers, whether spirit angels or human messengers)
  • nor rulerships (first-placed, chief or dignified-hierarchical positions, which some spirits and people have been given or have taken for themselves)
  • nor things having stood-in and continuing standing-in (things which are presently in force)
  • nor things being about to stand-in (things which are on the point of coming into existence, into force)
  • nor abilities (able-powers, capability being evidenced, which some spirits and people have been given or have taken for themselves)
  • nor high-thing (occupying a high place or position, elevation)
  • nor depth (occupying a deep-down place or position)
  • nor different creation (any other created-thing that is of a different kind/sort to what is already referred to in the list above)
    • will be able (will have the ability, able-power, capability)
    • to separate us away-from God’s love (the love that God evidences to/for us),
      • emphatically and specifically the Godly-love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (it is within the cause and sphere of action, character and attributes of Christ Jesus our Lord).

Christ Jesus is the Lord (Master) of all holy-people. We are limbs of the one spiritual body of Christ, similar to an eye or arm or leg being in the physical body. We are living to God in Christ Jesus and therefore in the spirit category we live within everything that Christ is now.

Nothing or nobody or no-spirit will be able to separate us away from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

References: Acts 9:16; Romans 5:3-5; Hebrews 5:7-10; I Peter 4:12-19.