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1 Peter 3:13

ESV Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?
NIV Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?
NASB And who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?
CSB Who then will harm you if you are devoted to what is good?
NLT Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good?
KJV And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
NKJV And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?

What does 1 Peter 3:13 mean?

This verse continues Peter's teaching to Christians about living in harmony with each other (1 Peter 3:8). We should refuse to seek revenge when harmed, but instead to do good to those who hurt or insult us (1 Peter 3:9). The previous verse revealed that God is paying attention to the righteous, even in the midst of their persecution. He notices. He is listening to their prayers. And His face is against those who do evil to them.

Here, Peter asks what seems like an odd question: Who is going to harm you if you are zealous or eager to do good? The question could be read in two ways. First, those who are eager to do good, even to those who hurt them, are much less likely to be mistreated. Certainly in most times and places, that is true. Doing good to others rarely inspires their desire for revenge.

But, as Peter will say in the next verse, Christians may still suffer even when they are eager to do good. Sometimes, we can suffer because we are doing good in the name of Jesus. What this question most likely means is that Christians—God's saved, set-apart people, secured by Him for eternity—cannot truly be harmed by anyone. In other words, Christians may be hurt or even killed for the sake of Jesus in this life, but nobody can take anything from us that truly matters. All of that is secure in the hands of our Father forever.
What is the Gospel?
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