What does 1 Peter 3:14 mean?
ESV: But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,
NIV: But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. 'Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.'
NASB: But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE IN DREAD,
CSB: But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear them or be intimidated,
NLT: But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.
KJV: But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
NKJV: But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
Verse Commentary:
Peter follows the question of the previous verse—who will harm you if you are eager to do good—with the acknowledgement that Christians may very well suffer for the sake of righteousness. Christians performing good deeds in the name of Jesus may, in fact, be harmed for that very reason. Peter is writing to a group of Christians who probably experienced intense suffering for Christ. Others, reading Peter's words today, certainly have suffered for the faith. Peter himself was persecuted and killed for Christ's sake.

Thus far in his letter, Peter has made several things abundantly clear. Christians have a secure and abundant future with the Father in eternity. Christians are called to live differently from the world. We are to lead good lives, now, for the sake of Jesus. Jesus, our example, suffered for our benefit, so we should not be surprised to suffer for His sake. In fact, in this verse, Peter writes that to suffer in that way is to be blessed. It is a privilege.

Peter then references Isaiah 8:12, a passage about fearing God rather than men. As Christians, we are called to refuse our natural instinct to be afraid of those who might hurt us for our faith in Christ. We are told to reject our anxiety. The next verse reveals what we should do, instead of falling into fear.
Verse Context:
1 Peter 3:8–22 addresses all believers, commanding Christians to be unified and to refuse to seek revenge when wronged. Peter quotes from both David and Isaiah to show that God’s people have always been called to reject evil and to do good. This is true even when we are suffering. In fact, it may be God’s will for His people to suffer, in part, to demonstrate His power. Our good example can convict others into repentance. Christ, too, suffered, died, was resurrected, and ascended to power and authority in heaven.
Chapter Summary:
Peter continues teaching about Christian submission to human authorities, now addressing Christian wives. Believing wives must be subject to their own husbands, even if the husband is not a follower of Christ. By doing so, they might win them to Christ through the example of their own changed lives and hearts. Christian husbands must honor their wives. All believers must live in unity together and refuse to seek revenge. In part, God means to use our hopeful response to suffering to provoke the world to see His power in us. Christ, too, suffered and then died, was resurrected, and ascended to heaven.
Chapter Context:
Peter’s letter to persecuted Christians is about how to endure suffering for faith in Christ. Thus far, he has assured Christians that their future is secure in eternity with God. We are His holy people, set apart for His specific purposes. Because of this, it matters that we live out that truth, even when we suffer. Christians are called to live in submission to every human authority, including kings, governors, and slave masters.
Book Summary:
Some 30 years after the resurrection of Jesus, Christians are facing greater persecution for their faith. How should they respond? How should we respond to suffering today? The apostle Peter writes this letter both to comfort believers and to encourage them to stay strong. He urges them to put all their hope in their perfect future with Christ, and to obey and trust Him in the present, even in their suffering. Christ suffered greatly; now the Christ-followers have the opportunity to follow Him even in this, showing His grace and power in their hopefulness, obedience, and faith.
Accessed 5/20/2024 8:15:31 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.