Remain Solid in the Faith!
Highlights From First Peter
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES face various trials, or tests of their faith. In some lands, their Kingdom-preaching work is done in the face of great persecution. Behind these and other efforts to destroy their relationship with God is Satan the Devil. But he will not succeed, for Jehovah makes his servants firm—yes, solid in the faith.
The apostle Peter was privileged to ‘strengthen his brothers’ who were being “grieved by various trials.” (Luke 22:32; 1 Peter 1:6, 7) He did so in his first letter, written about 62-64 C.E. from Babylon. In it Peter counseled, comforted, and encouraged Jewish and Gentile Christians, helping them to withstand Satan’s assaults and remain “solid in the faith.” (1 Peter 1:1, 2; 5:8, 9) Now that the Devil’s time is short and his attacks so vicious, surely Jehovah’s people can benefit from Peter’s inspired words.
Conduct Based on Godly Principles
Whether our hope is heavenly or earthly, it should help us to endure trials and act in a godly way. (1:1–2:12) The hope of a heavenly inheritance causes anointed ones to rejoice in the face of trials, which actually refine their faith. As a spiritual house built on the foundation of Christ, they offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God and conduct themselves in a fine manner that brings Him glory.
Our dealings with all fellow humans should be governed by godly principles. (2:13–3:12) Peter showed that we should be in subjection to human rulers. House servants were to be subject to their masters, and wives to their husbands. A Christian wife’s godly conduct might win her unbelieving husband over to the true faith. And a believing husband should ‘assign his wife honor as to a weaker vessel.’ All Christians should show fellow feeling, have brotherly affection, do what is good, and pursue peace.
Endurance Brings Blessings
True Christians’ faithful endurance of suffering will result in blessings. (3:13–4:19) If we suffer for righteousness’ sake, we should be happy. Moreover, since Christ suffered in the flesh to lead us to God, we should no longer live according to fleshly desires. If we endure trials faithfully, we will share in great rejoicing at Jesus’ revelation. Bearing reproach for Christ’s name, or as his disciples, should make us happy because it proves that we have Jehovah’s spirit. So as we suffer in accord with God’s will, let us commend ourselves to him and continue to do good.
As Christians, we need to discharge our duties faithfully and humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand. (5:1-14) Elders must shepherd God’s flock willingly, and all of us should throw our anxiety upon Jehovah, realizing that he really cares for us. We also need to take our stand against the Devil and never become disheartened, for our brothers undergo the same sufferings we do. Always remember that Jehovah God will make us firm and will enable us to remain solid in the faith.
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Feminine Adornment: In counsel to Christian women, Peter said: “Do not let your adornment be that of the external braiding of the hair and of the putting on of gold ornaments or the wearing of outer garments, but let it be the secret person of the heart in the incorruptible apparel of the quiet and mild spirit, which is of great value in the eyes of God.” (1 Peter 3:3, 4) During the first century C.E., pagan women often had elaborate coiffures, plaiting their long hair into ostentatious designs and setting gold ornaments in the braids. Likely, many did so as a showy display—something unbecoming to Christians. (1 Timothy 2:9, 10) Yet, not all adornment is wrong, for Peter includes “the wearing of outer garments”—clearly a necessity. Jewelry was also used by God’s servants of ancient times. (Genesis 24:53; Exodus 3:22; 2 Samuel 1:24; Jeremiah 2:32; Luke 15:22) However, a Christian woman wisely avoids gaudy ornaments and sensuous attire and should be careful that any use of cosmetics is tasteful. The point of the apostolic counsel is that she should place emphasis, not on outward, but on inward adornment. To be truly attractive, she must dress modestly and have the disposition of one fearing God.—Proverbs 31:30; Micah 6:8.
Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums; Israel Museum/David Harris