Sabbath: Suffering for Christ

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Suffering for Christ

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Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Peter 1:6, 1 Peter 3:13-22, 2 Tim. 3:12, 1 Pet. 4:12-14, Rev. 12:17, 1 Pet. 4:17-19

Memory Text: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21, NKJV).

The history of persecution in the first few centuries of Christianity is well known. The Bible itself, especially the book of Acts, gives glimpses into what awaited the church. Persecution, with the suffering it brings, is also clearly a present reality in the life of the Christians to whom Peter is writing.

In the first chapter, Peter comments that “now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:6-7, NKJV). Almost the last comment in the letter also deals with the same idea: “And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to [H]is eternal glory in Christ, will [H]imself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Pet. 5:10, NRSV).

Within the short epistle, there are no less than three extended passages that deal with his readers’ suffering for Christ (1 Pet. 2:18-25, 1 Pet. 3:13-21, 1 Pet. 4:12-19). By any reckoning, then, the suffering caused by persecution is a major theme of 1st Peter, and to that we turn.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, May 6.

8 comment(s) for this post:

  1. Anthony [Surname?]:

    28 Apr 2017
    What does it mean to suffer for Christ in these last days ie..the country I live in has religious freedom,we don’t have wars, an we are not really that poor compared to some countries.Thank you.
  2. Janet Jagitsch:

    28 Apr 2017
    To suffer for Christ in any era means to be willing and committed to standing up for one’s belief in Him no matter the consequences. The term “suffering” is broad, therefore its consequences too are broad. They could range from being belittled, being made fun of, being cursed at, being beaten up, or being killed. The suffering is knowing the consequences are coming, and being willing to accept them anyway, in order to be true to God and to one’s belief in God.
  3. obed bosire:

    29 Apr 2017
    In all aspects of live we should always be ready to accommodate Christ &hence Christianity every day,hour&second as the heartbeats and to do the will of God in abroad way love one another in God.
  4. Lebon Tengeneza:

    29 Apr 2017
    This lesson is powerful, and it sounds as if to live for God or for Christ will be a life of suffering!

    Is there a difference between to suffer for Christ and to suffer with Him?

  5. Janet Jagitsch:

    29 Apr 2017
    To suffer with Christ is also to suffer for Christ: To suffer with Him is to suffer in the strength that He gives us in our time of need. To suffer for Him is our willingness to suffer for him as a test of our honor and obedience to him .
  6. Richard Ferguson:

    29 Apr 2017
    In North America and Europe, Christians have religious freedom, but may still face discrimination and hostility in the workplace and society that adversely impacts their lives. In the everyday interactions with people outside the church, a Christian will face situations where he must answer for his hope in Christ. Our day to day life provide opportunities to practice Peter’s advice: make Christ Lord in the heart (1 Peter 3:15). From this follows the attitude for answering challenging situations: being courteous and respectful.

    Being members of the body of Christ, we are called to respond to antagonistic situations with the mind (attitude) of Christ that will redeem those who slander and revile us. Jesus had one objective from the start of ministry to its end on the cross: seek and save the lost, and as part of his body on earth, that objective must be ours. I think especially of the crucified criminal who blasphemed Christ but then rebuked the other criminal and asked Christ to remember him when his kingdom came. That criminal saw God’s love revealed in the crucified Christ–something that few others saw in that scene. So even when a situation appears hopeless to us, we are called to act redemptively with the hope that is set before us (Hebrews 12:2), that is, the one acting against us may be redeemed. Letting God’s spirit act in us to put self to death to accomplish this objective is suffering. It is not natural, but takes the supernatural action of the Spirit in our lives.

  7. Nick Fortuin:

    29 Apr 2017
    And he said to them all, “If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. Matthew 9:23 When we don’t experience persecution, we may be living a life that does not irritate Satan.
  8. Jim Williams:

    30 Apr 2017
    Suffering may well be personal trials. It does not necessarily have to refer to persecution. When bad things happen to good people it can test, refine our faith and there is often no good explanation for it. There is often no answer to “why”. David Asscherick delivers a great sermon on this topic, “The Silence of God”. In the end, like in trials, it comes down to the power the Spirit bestows on us to trust that God is good and He will deliver us.

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