Monday, July 21, 2008

Reading Scripture with John Calvin: 1 Peter 3.10-15

1 Peter 3.10-15

[10] For, “Whoever among you would love life and see good days must keep your tongue from evil and your lips from deceitful speech. [11] Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. [12] For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”* [13] Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? [14] But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”* [15] But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.

* Psalm 34.12-16 and Isaiah 8.12, respectively.

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COMMENTARY:

Calvin gave me much more to work with in this section with reference to sheer volume of words, but for some reason I’ve come up a bit dry. One interesting point is that Calvin quotes from Plato’s Republic in the course of his exposition, something you don’t see too much of anymore. Below are short quotations from Calvin’s reflections on peace and violence, and suffering for the sake of righteousness.

Peace

Seek peace and pursue it. - “It is not enough to embrace it when offered to us, but it ought to be followed when it seems to flee from us. It also often happens, that when we seek it as much as we can, others will not grant it to us. On account of these difficulties and hindrances, he bids us to seek and pursue it.”

Violence

But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. – “The meaning is, that the faithful will do more towards obtaining a quiet life by kindness, than by violence…”

Suffering for what is right

“…but that when they neglect nothing to secure peace, were they to suffer, they are still blessed because they suffer for the sake of righteousness…To suffer for righteousness, means not only to submit to some loss or disadvantage in defending a good cause, but also to suffer unjustly, when any one is innocently in fear among men on account of the fear of God.”

3 comments:

David W. Congdon said...

Nice to see you returning to this series!

WTM said...

*bows

Thank you, sir. I was sorry to have to discontinue it for a bit, but it simply takes too much time to do. But, hopefully I can stick with it and finish up 1 Peter.

Luke said...

Excellent stuff, Travis.