Today’s bible study is 1 Peter 3:9: Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
When someone criticizes us, calls us names, puts us down, yells at us in anger or flings a sarcastic comment at us, how often do we want to return it in like manner? Too often, we have to struggle to hold our tongues. When we are hurt or angry, it seems nearly impossible to repay evil with blessing. Let’s look at this instructions in the scriptures and try to learn a bit more about them. In verses 8-12 of the third chapter of 1 Peter, the letter is explicitly addressing all Christians and teaching, once again, that Jesus taught non-retaliation. This same instruction is found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Typically, to support his point, Peter does not quote Jesus, but the Old Testament words in Psalms 34:13-17.
This is a complex letter, although it is not long. It offers many teaching of Jesus, including suffering unjustly, maintaining a gentle and quiet spirit, instructions for Christian husbands and wives, dealing with responsible suffering in the face of hostility, and lessons from the early Christian hymns. 1 Peter is considered by biblical scholars to be one of general instruction to all. It was written at a time when religious rituals were interwoven into every aspect of pagan life. All social, community, political and educational occasions involved rights that Christians could only regard as lawless idolatry.
When Christians did not participate in the life of society around them, they were suspect and maligned as evildoers, considered to be atheists, haters of the human race, and unpatriotic traitors. But Christians were taught to understand themselves as the holy people of God. Their conduct was to be consistent with honorable deeds that outsiders could see, with a view to their being converted, so that they will glorify God when he comes to judge. The general principle of this whole section is that Christian conduct within the given structures of society is to be seen as part of the church’s evangelistic mission. Can we learn to respond to evil with blessing in our personal missions? Perhaps, by the grace of God, we can. You might also like to read:
- Broad Brook Bible Study Examiner, Grace Dooley
- Daily Bible Guide
- Growing in Christ
- Bible Study Tools Online
- The Jesus Walk Bible Study Series