Christian House Loyalty
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Christian House Loyalty
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Much of the suffering that Peter's first letter envisions was due to the fact that, by adopting Christianity, individuals were disrupting the household loyalty which was one of the glues that held society together. Ralph P. Martin and Peter H. Davids wrote in "Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Development" that "no doubt many non-Christian heads of households felt obligated for the sake of maintaining the household to discourage its members from departing from the accepted religion of the house, and this may at times have led to attempts at physical coercion."

Slaves and Masters

Thus house slaves were probably being beaten for their faith according to 1 Peter 2.20 which read, "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. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps." Both slaves and wives were put in the difficult position of being required to do all they could to maintain the stability of the Christian house loyalty while at the same time holding fast to their religious convictions and commitments to Christ.

Suffering Commendable

Suffering for so doing was considered commendable in 1 Peter 2.18 "Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh." It brought glory to God according to 1 Peter 2.12, "Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us." and 1 Peter 4.16, "However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name."

"Christian House Loyalty"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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