1 Peter: God’s Pilgrim People in a Hostile World – Give a Good Defence

Peter Barnes | 1 Peter 3:15b-17

1 Peter 3:15b-17

– this is part of 1 Peter 3:13-17.

1. Give a defence of your hope with gentleness.

– 3:15b. Has to be read with Luke 12:11-12. They are not to be seen in terms of either/or.

– see 1:3 for the hope. The resurrection of the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament (Isa.53); it was witnessed by over 500 men (1 Cor.15); it fits in with Jesus’ claims as the Son of God who is the resurrection and the life; it makes sense of the whole history, and the history makes no sense without it.

– Acts 26:1-8. ‘Respect’ can mean ‘fear’ (i.e. of God), but it is probably respect of your persecutors

2. A good conscience will put unbelievers to shame.

– 3:16; Acts 24:15-16; Ps.119:69.

– A. J. Ayer: ‘I shall die a happy man if I can make one person disbelieve in God.’ He has since died, and is put to shame.

3. Better to suffer than sin.

– 3:17; happiness flows from being right with God; Robert Leighton: ‘No soul shall enjoy so much in all estates, as that which hath divested and renounced itself and hath no will but God’s.’

– Matt.5:29. Better to deal seriously with sin – and to suffer – than to sin and face the judgment of God who is unutterably holy.