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THE FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF PETER - Chapter 4 - Verse 16

Verse 16. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian. Because he is a Christian; if he is persecuted on account of his religion. This was often done, and they had reason to expect that it might occur in their own case. See Barnes "2 Pe 3:17".

On the import of the word Christian, and the reasons why the name was given to the disciples of the Lord Jesus, See Barnes "Ac 11:26".

 

Let him not be ashamed.

(1.) Ashamed of religion so as to refuse to suffer on account of it.

(2.) Ashamed that he is despised and maltreated. He is to regard his religion as every way honourable, and all that fairly results from it in time and eternity as in every respect desire able. He is not to be ashamed to be called a Christian; he is not to be ashamed of the doctrines taught by his religion; he is not to be ashamed of the Saviour whom he professes to love; he is not to be ashamed of the society and fellowship of those who are true Christians, poor and despised though they may be; he is not to be ashamed to perform any of the duties demanded by his religion; he is not to be ashamed to have his name cast out, and himself subjected to reproach and scorn. A man should be ashamed only of that which is wrong. He should glory in that which is right, whatever may be the consequences to himself. Christians now, though not subjected to open persecution, are frequently reproached by the world on account of their religion; and though the rack may not be employed, and the fires of martyrdom are not enkindled, yet it is often true that one who is a believer is called to "suffer as a Christian." He may be reviled and despised. His views may be regarded as bigoted, narrow, severe. Opprobrious epithets, on account of his opinions, may be applied to him. His former friends and companions may leave him because he has become a Christian. A wicked father, or a gay and worldly mother, may oppose a child, or a husband may revile a wife, on account of their religion. In all these cases, the same spirit essentially is required which was enjoined on the early Christian martyrs. We are never to be ashamed of our religion, whatever results may follow from our attachment to it. See Barnes "Ro 1:16".

 

But let him glorify God on this behalf. Let him praise God that he is deemed not unworthy to suffer in such a cause. It is a matter of thankfulness

(1.) that they may have this evidence that they are true Christians;

(2.) that they may desire the advantages which may result from suffering as Christ did, and in his cause. See Barnes "Ac 5:41, where the sentiment here expressed is fully illustrated. Comp. See Barnes "Php 3:10"; See Barnes "Col 1:24".

 

{+} "behalf" "On this account"

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