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To suffer for His glory

If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 1 Peter 4:14 CSB

From the text, Peter now writes a sequence of conditional sentences. He uses the particle “If” to indicate that he is describing reality. With the clause “if you are ridiculed,” he is pointing to actual insults to which the Christians have to submit. Why are Christians ridiculed? Simply put, because they are identified with Christ. And when unbelievers hurl insults to Christians, they are doing this act to the Name Christians represents, “Don’t they blaspheme the good name that was invoked over you?” (James 2:7). A common theme in the New Testament is that followers of Christ must endure verbal insults because of Jesus Christ. The concept “name of Christ” includes the ministry of witnessing, teaching, serving, and praying. The apostles spoke in the name of Christ and demonstrated in word and deed that Jesus had delegated His power and authority to them (for example, see Acts 4:7–12). Because Christians confessed the name of Jesus Christ among Jews and Gentiles, they were mercilessly persecuted. In the early church, Christians have “risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 15:26). Then, Peter now says for the second time (first one was in 1 Peter 3:14) that Christians who are ridiculed for the name of Christ “are blessed.” If the harsh reality of verbal insult is the one side of the proverbial coin, the reward of heavenly bliss is the other side. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explains the term blessed in these words: “You are blessed when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven” (Matthew 5:11-12). The last part of verse 14 is a quotation from Isaiah 11:2, “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him.” Both the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God rest upon the individual Christian. The suffering Christian knows that the Spirit of (the glorious) Christ and of God is resting upon him. Not only that Christ ministers to the believers when they are being ridiculed because of their faith, but the Spirit of God is with them. This is why Christians experience the glory of Christ despite their trials. “If necessary, you suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your faith—more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7-8). Our suffering for His Name’s sake provides us the opportunity to glorify Him.


Isaac De Guzman


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