What does it mean to suffer as a Christian in 1 Peter 4:16?


1 Peter 4:16

ESV - 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

Clarify Share Report Asked March 23 2016 Final avatar Deangelo Willis

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
In this verse, Peter is contrasting suffering punishment because of wrongdoing (such as the types he mentions in verse 15 -- murder, theft, or any other kind of sinful crime) with suffering punishment (whether imposed by the legal system of a nation, or in the form of personal abuse and persecution from private individuals) solely because of being a Christian.

Christ warned His followers (Matthew 10:21-22) that they would undergo opposition and persecution because of being His disciples, just as He Himself was unjustly condemned to death and executed by the religious and civil authorities of both Israel and Rome on the alleged charge of having set Himself up as an earthly king in opposition to the Roman emperor, although He had committed no crime of any kind. He had only acknowledged Himself as the Messiah (which He was, but which the Jewish religious authorities regarded as false blasphemy that was punishable (according to the Mosaic Law) by death).

As Christians, although we should obey the civil authorities (which Peter himself (1 Peter 2:13-17), as well as Paul (Romans 13:1-7) commanded Christians to do), if those authorities seek to compel us (by law or other means) either to renounce our faith, or to punish us for practicing it, our first obligation is to obey and serve God, rather than man (Acts 5:29).

If we are justly and deservedly punished for committing sinful violations of the civil law, we receive no reward from God for that punishment. But if we are punished for exercising our faith while having committed no sinful crime (even if the law has categorized our exercise of faith as a crime), then any legal penalty or personal hardship that we undergo as a consequence brings glory to God and makes us sharers in the same kind of unjust suffering that Christ underwent, for which God will reward us in eternity, just as Jesus was rewarded by His resurrection from the dead.

March 24 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image Tjohn Ritchie
Based on a few insights and studies, I have gotten to understand that the word "Christian" is rarely mentioned in the bible solely because it wasn't a name ordained by Jesus Christ himself.
According to Mathew 28 Jesus Christ stated, "Go ye therefore out into all the nation and make "Disciples"not Christians.
With that being said we now get a clearer scope upon the origin and existence of this word "Christian"from the book of Acts 11:26 which states that "they were first called "Christians" in Antioch". Which means the origin of this word was birthed from out of Antioch by the rulers and the kings who made fun of the disciples and persecuted them. With that being said the name "Christian" given to them in those days was rather an insulting word for the disciples who sternly believed in the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is also confirmed in Acts 26:28 king Agrippa stated "thou almost persuaded me to be a Christian" when Paul confronted him. Now in 1 Peter 4:16, Peter now creates a metaphorical platform of comparing "Suffering" and "Christian" using the key word "AS" solely because of the history and insulting reputation attached to the name first given in Antioch.

July 01 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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