Jesus says that those who follow him will suffer, and many of you will suffer for doing good. In this lab, John Piper reminds us of God’s love for us in every trial, and uncovers the promise that one day he will make every wrong right.
Principle for Bible Reading
When you comes across a word or phrase in the Bible that could have several different meanings (e.g. “a gracious thing”), it helps to search for that word elsewhere in the Bible. It’s especially helpful if you can search in the original languages, but often still useful to search and English text for the same or similar words.
- Peter is motivating Christians to suffer for doing good in 1 Peter 2:19–20. Explain how he is motivating them in your own words.
- Peter is speaking to slaves in 1 Peter 2:18–20. Do we have any reason to try and apply what he is saying here to ourselves and our circumstances? How does 1 Peter 3:14–17 effect your answer?
- What specifically does Peter mean by “a gracious thing” in 1 Peter 2:19–20? The same word is translated “benefit” in Luke 6:32–36. How do Jesus’s words help us understand what Peter might mean?
A Gracious Thing Before God (01:29–03:03)
- Twice Peter uses the phrase “a gracious thing” to talk about suffering unjustly for doing good. (1 Peter 2:19–20)
- What you are experiencing as you do not return evil for evil is a beautiful thing in the sight of God.
- When you suffer unjustly for doing good, be mindful of God and his favor toward you.
Can We Identify with Slaves? (03:03–04:50)
- Is it legitimate for us to see ourselves in 1 Peter 2:18–20 when Peter is talking about slaves?
- Yes, because Peter speaks the same way to all people in other places in this letter.
- The same kind of arguments, for instance, are used in 1 Peter 3:14–17 to speak to all Christians. “If you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed” (1 Peter 3:14).
- This means we can read Peter’s words to slaves and look for general Christian principles for our lives and relationships.
A Reward for Every Wrong (04:50–08:31)
- What does it mean that suffering for doing good is “a gracious thing” (1 Peter 2:19–20)? Is it just beautiful? Or does it imply some kind of tangible reward or benefit?
- Jesus uses the same word (“gracious thing”) in Luke 6:32–33, translated “benefit.” He also mentions a “reward” in this passage (Luke 6:35).
- This makes me think Peter has benefit or reward in mind in 1 Peter 2:19–20. Good is coming to those who suffer for doing good.
- He says the same thing in 1 Peter 3:9, “ . . . that you may obtain a blessing.”
- Christian, if you suffer for doing good, you will be lavishly rewarded by God in the end.
- When you are suffering unjustly, keep God’s favor in view.
- And, you should keep in mind that it will all be made up to you someday.