Charles H. Spurgeon
1 Peter 3:18
Christ also hath once suffered (1 Peter 3:18).
It is very unpleasant to our poor flesh and blood to suffer. Physical pain is a grievous infliction; mental agony or spiritual sorrow is still worse. Irons around the wrists can be worn till they fit easily; but when the iron enters into the soul, how it rusts the heart, and eats into the spirit! Perhaps, to some minds, that is the hardest of all sufferings which is not deserved at all, but which comes because we do not deserve it; I mean, that suffering which innocent persons are called to endure because of their innocence, when they are slandered and oppressed and persecuted, not for evil-doing, but for well-doing. I admit that there is much about this form of trial which should tend to make it a light affliction, for we ought to take it joyfully when we suffer wrongfully. Yet, as a rule, we are not able to do so; certainly not by nature, for there is a sort of sense of justice within man which makes him feel that it is very hard that he should have to suffer, not for unrighteousness, but for righteousness; not for any wrong-doing, but for having espoused the cause of God and truth.
The apostle Peter would have Christians prepare themselves for this suffering. They had to bear very much of it in his day; they will have to bear some of it as long as ever the Church of Christ remains in this wicked world. He says, in the verse preceding our text: "It is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well-doing, than for evil-doing." Further on, at the beginning of the next chapter, he says: "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind." He warns us that we shall need to be clad in heavenly armor, for we shall have to pass through conflict and suffering for Christ's sake and for righteousness' sake. We must put on a coat of mail, and be enveloped in the whole panoply of God; we must have, a ...
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