When Doing Right Gets You in Trouble

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When Doing Right Gets You in Trouble
1 Peter 2:18-20

Charles Library on Romans binders

“Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God” (I Peter 2:18-20).

I call your attention to one particular phrase in this letter: “I have no doubt whatsoever that I am exactly where God wants me to be right now.” It is a tremendous advance spiritually to be able to say that. All of us would say that jail is not a good place to be. Yet this man can say three things:

  1. It is good for me to be here.
  2. I am here by God’s design.
  3. I am here so that I can grow spiritually.
  4. Can you say that about your current situation?
  5. No Fear of Death

Word Study of First Peter 2:18

Verse 18
Servants (οι οικεται — hoi oiketai). Note article with the class as with ανδρες — andres (1 Peter 3:7), though not with γυναικες — gunaikes (1 Peter 3:1). Οικετης — Oiketēs old word from οικος — oikos (house), means one in the same house with another (Latin domesticus), particularly house servants (slaves) in distinction from the general term δουλος — doulos (slave). “Ye domestics.” See similar directions to Christian servants (slaves) in Colossians 3:22-25; Ephesians 6:5-7; 1 Timothy 6:1.; Titus 2:9. Οικετης — Oiketēs in N.T. occurs only here, Luke 16:13; Acts 10:7; Romans 14:4.

Be in subjection (υποτασσομενοι — hupotassomenoi). Present middle participle of υποτασσω — hupotassō common late compound to subject oneself to one (Luke 2:51). Either the participle is here used as an imperative (so in 1 Peter 3:1, 1 Peter 3:7) as in Romans 12:16., or the imperative εστε — este has to be supplied (Robertson, Grammar, p. 945).

To your masters (τοις δεσποταις — tois despotais). Dative case of δεσποτης — despotēs old word for absolute owner in contrast with δουλος — doulos It is used also of God (Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24, Acts 4:29) and of Christ (2 Peter 2:1; Judges 1:4). Κυριος — Kurios has a wider meaning and not necessarily suggesting absolute power.

To the good and gentle (τοις αγατοις και επιεικεσιν — tois agathois kai epieikesin). Dative case also with the article with class. For επιεικης — epieikēs see note on James 3:17. There were slave-owners (masters) like this as there are housekeepers and employers of workmen today. This is no argument for slavery, but only a sidelight on a condition bad enough at its best.

To the froward (τοις σκολιοις — tois skoliois). “To the crooked.” Old word, also in Luke 3:5; Acts 2:40; Philemon 2:15. Unfortunately there were slave-holders as there are employers today, like this group. The test of obedience comes precisely toward this group.

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