13 “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear their threat; do not be frightened.’ But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.” 1 Peter 3:13-18
- Suffering due to persecution is a part of early Church history and remains a reality for many Christians in today’s world. How would you define persecution? Have you ever felt persecuted because of your faith?
- As followers of Jesus, we are called to do what is right and good. Have you ever suffered as a result of or in spite of your goodness? Can you think of examples on when and how that might happen?
- In the context of suffering, Peter said we can still find joy and not be afraid. Is that possible? If so, are you prepared to explain the reason for your joy, courage and hope you have in hard times? In communicating the reason, how important do you think gentleness and respect is? Why?
- When it comes to suffering for doing good, Jesus set the precedent. What are the implications of Jesus being “put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit” for all of us?