ENDURANCE THROUGH suffering. That’s the overarching message of the epistle of 1 Peter. But there’s a lot more in there that we had forgotten.
In his letter to the “exiles” — which probably meant the Jewish converts outside Israel, but could also mean we Christians living in a world surrounded by the Enemy and their agents — Peter exhorts women to subject themselves to their husbands, and for husbands to honor our wives so that our “prayers may not be hindered.”
Whoa. Failing to honor our wives hinders our prayers? Yep.
Peter also calls Christians to “put aside all malice,” reminding us that “if you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed”. Jesus didn’t even curse those who nailed him to the cross, so where do we get off blasting others on Facebook because they called us a name?
In a section that is especially timely, on a weekend that saw hundreds of thousands of people march in Chicago and Washington, D.C. to protest the inauguration of President Trump, Peter called on Christians to “be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him” (1 Peter 3:13-14a).
Please note that the emperor in power when Peter wrote that line was Nero, who is infamous for burning Christians alive. You may not like the president, or your governor, or your mayor, but subject yourself to their authority anyway. “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”
The apostle also makes a reference to the episode of Genesis 6:4 in his letter, where the sons of God took women and produced through those unions the monstrous Nephilim. Jesus preached “to the spirits in prison” — the Watchers who were thrust down into Tartarus (2 Peter 2:4).
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