Preaching & Teaching

Don’t Be Afraid

“Do not fear what they fear.” 1 Peter 3:14 (NIV)

In Peter’s time many people were afraid of the power of the state. They lived in the Roman Empire, and within a few years of Peter writing, the state introduced emperor worship—people were forced to say, “Caesar is Lord.”

This kind of oppression is a fearful thing in any generation. But Peter says to Christians who are living under a totalitarian regime, “Even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not be frightened” (3:14).

Most of us are not afraid of the growing power of a totalitarian regime. God has given us the wonderful blessing of freedom and we are deeply thankful for it. What are people afraid of today? Terrorism. Cancer. The economy.

Peter says, “Do not fear what they fear.” This is critical for our witness to the gospel in America today. The distinguishing mark of the Christian is that we know we have everlasting life through the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ came to “free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Heb. 2:15). Christ has set us free to live.

When the unbelieving world sees a group of people living with confidence, they’ll ask: “Where do you get your confidence in the face of cancer? How did you make it through the family difficulties you faced? How did you find peace in the middle of so much trouble?”

Peter says, “Don’t fear what they fear.” Then your life will raise questions. Highly resistant people will want to know why. Be ready to give them an answer. Tell them about Jesus, and when you do, Jesus will speak to them through you.

Who modeled Christian confidence for you? What did you see in his or her life?

Colin Smith is senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church, a multi-campus church located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and president of Unlocking the...

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