1 Peter: God’s Pilgrim People in a Hostile World – Suffering as a Slave

Peter Barnes | 1 Peter 2:18-20

1 Peter 2:18-20

– many Christians were slaves (e.g. 1 Corinthians 7:17-24; Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:22-25; 1 Tim.6:1-2; Titus 2:9-10; Philemon). Possibly about one-third of the population of the Roman Empire consisted of slaves.

1. The slave was to be subject to his master.

– 2:18; this is not Hebrew slavery – Deut.15:12-18.

– the master might be ‘unjust’ (ESV) or ‘harsh’ (NKJV; NIV) but is translated as ‘crooked’ in Luke 3:5. The opposite danger is in 1 Timothy 6:1-2.

– Luke 6:32-35. Grab your freedom if you can – 1 Cor.7:21 – but overall it is a message of submission to all.

2. Better to suffer injustice than to demand justice.

– 2:19-20. See 1 Cor.6:7; Rom.12:19.

– Acts 16:22-24, 35-40. Why? Paul was not so much demanding justice for himself and Silas, but protecting his fellow Christians at Philippi.

– Spartacus led a revolt of slaves against their masters which was finally suppressed in 71 B.C. with 6,000 crucified slaves.

3. This is grace in the sight of God.

– the ESV has ‘this is a gracious thing’ in verse 19, and ‘a gracious thing in the sight of God’ in verse 20. The NKJV has ‘commendable’. What Peter literally says is ‘This is grace’.