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Christ, our example

For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:19-21

Christians as servants will experience suffering. Peter, from the text, even broadened his scope to include Christians who had experienced the pain of unjust suffering. The key in these verses is Peter’s emphasis on “unjust” suffering in verse 19 and still willing to “doing good” in verse 20. These expressions are in stark contrast with “doing wrong” in verse 20. Peter was not extolling suffering that we have to endure because we sin or did something wrong. Christians are expected to live godly lives on behalf of the Lord. Peter told believers that though they do everything by the book, they have to be prepared to suffer negative consequences and reactions. This calls to mind the teachings of Jesus regarding “turning the other cheek” and “returning good for evil,” as well as the Old Testament injunction, ‘ “Vengeance is mine, ’says the Lord.” Christ is set forth as the example of the one who suffered unjustly as a servant and thus accomplished a greater good. First, He did not sin, nor did He revile or complain, nor did He threaten His persecutors. Christ trusted himself to the Father, who will judge “justly.” He “bore our sins,” suffering for the wrongdoing of others. All of this was done for the greater good, so He could provide forgiveness for the lost world. Jesus Christ, the suffering servant, suffered for our sins, so we have been “healed” (1 Peter 2:24). We have found our way and are no longer “going astray” (1 Peter 2:25). As Christians, we have returned to Christ, the “Shepherd” who leads and loves, the “Guardian” who protects our souls. We are secured because of our relationship with Christ. We will endure because Christ’s presence is with us and we are mindful of it.


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