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The difference between suffering as a Christian and suffering as an evildoer.
(The following is taken from DAVID GUZIK COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLE, Studylight.org)
(1 Peter 4:14-16)
If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
If you are reproached for the name of Christ: Suffering for the name of Christ is a blessing, because it shows that we really are following Jesus, and that we suffer because we are identified with Him.
Peter, as much as anyone, would recognize that such times rarely are felt as a blessing at the moment, and that such times only feel like agony. Yet God knows how to bring blessing out of suffering and weakness.
On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified: We expect the world to blaspheme Jesus. But He should always be glorified among Christians.
Let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody: Suffering as an evildoer is deserved and brings shame to the name of Jesus. Peter recognizes that not all suffering that Christians experience is suffering in the name of Jesus.
We understand when Peter writes about the suffering that might come to the murderer, the thief, or the evildoer. Yet we shouldn’t be surprised that he also includes the busybody in other people’s matters. Such people do suffer a lot of grief and pain, but not for the sake of Jesus!
If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed: Suffering as a Christian is nothing to be ashamed about, even through the world may despise the suffering Christian. Instead, we should glorify God in these matters.
We don’t glorify God for suffering. But we do glorify Him in suffering, and we glorify Him for what He will accomplish in us and through us with the suffering.
As a Christian: “The word Christian is found in the New Testament only here and at Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28; it means ‘follower of Christ’ - not ‘little Christ’, as some popular explanations claim.” (Grudem)
Christians were first known as “disciples,” “believers,” “the Lord’s disciples,” or “those who belonged to the Way” before they were known as Christians, first at Acts 11:26.