Monday, April 25, 2011

Suffering and the Kingdom (4) - Peter

The first letter of Peter has been called an epistle on suffering. Peter reiterates Jesus message about responding to evil by doing good.

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult,
but with blessing, because to this you were called
so that you may inherit a blessing (1 Pet 3:12).
Those who follow Jesus must respond to evil with blessing. This is the way that we inherit blessing. When we respond to evil with insults and violence, we lose God’s blessing and block the Holy Spirit.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil (1 Pet 3:12).
The Lord looks out for those who respond to evil by doing good, bit his face is set against those who do evil. We must not resist people who inflict evil upon us, even if it means suffering. God will deal with them.

Suffering defeats the power of the enemy.
Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast (1 Peter 5:8-10).
Suffering by Christians will lead to God’s victory.

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