Week 51 – F260 Reading Plan

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In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the word, they may be won over without a word by the way their wives live when they observe your pure, reverent lives. Don’t let your beauty consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes, but rather what is inside the heart[a]—the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also adorned themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do what is good and do not fear any intimidation.

Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker partner, showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

Do No Evil

Finally, all of you be like-minded and sympathetic, love one another, and be compassionate and humble,[b] not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you may inherit a blessing.

10 For the[c] one who wants to love life
and to see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit,
11 and let him turn away from evil
and do what is good.
Let him seek peace and pursue it,
12 because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against
those who do what is evil.

Undeserved Suffering

13 Who then will harm you if you are devoted to what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear[d]or be intimidated,[e] 15 but in your hearts regard[f] Christ[g] the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 16 Yet do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused,[h] those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh[i] but made alive by the Spirit,[j] 19 in which[k] he also went and made proclamation to the spirits in prison 20 who in the past were disobedient, when God patiently waited in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared. In it a few—that is, eight people[l]—were saved through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (not as the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge[m] of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

Following Christ

Therefore, since Christ suffered[n] in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same understanding[o]—because the one who suffers in the flesh is finished with sin[p] in order to live the remaining time in the flesh no longer for human desires, but for God’s will. For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the Gentiles choose to do: carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry. They are surprised that you don’t join them in the same flood of wild living—and they slander[q] you. They will give an account to the one who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was also preached to those who are now dead,[r] so that, although they might be judged in the flesh according to human standards, they might live in the spirit according to God’s standards.

End-Time Ethics

The end of all things is near; therefore, be alert and sober-minded for prayer. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.[s] Be hospitable to one another without complaining. 10 Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let it be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, let it be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

Christian Suffering

12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. 13 Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice with great joy when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God[t] rests on you. 15 Let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler.[u] 16 But if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed but let him glorify God in having that name.[v] 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?

18 And if a righteous person is saved with difficulty,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?[w]

19 So then, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator while doing what is good.