Summary: Christians have no need to attempt to vindicate themselves through scrupulous attention to legal system since in Jesus Christ are provided with righteousness and an Advocate.
"Count it all joy to follow in His steps."
I Peter 2:19?25
For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."
Christian friends, you don’t have to be afraid as you go about your daily life.
There is a 500+ year old prayer that says “I will not fear the power of any adversary.” We are instructed to watch out, be aware there are people who will do harm, but we are to keep our wits about us. . .we need not be afraid. Fear paralyzes. My pet Beagle keeps his distance from even small dogs and cats now because he was attacked once by a killer Chow and another dog. During the attack, he fell to the ground and didn’t even try to get away. He was paralyzed by fear.
Tell me, have you ever been hurt? What happened? Did that event mean anything to you? Did you learn from it?
If we are in the wrong place in our lives, acting wrongly and not living in Christ, there is reason to be paralyzed. However, the Apostle Peter, who knew well what it meant to be in the wrong place when His Lord was on trial, and who fled from the Cross fearing for his own life, eventually came to a place of confidence. The Church, his friends in Christ were undergoing persecution when he wrote these lines: “For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. . . .. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” Why would Peter ask his friends in Christ to follow this example of Jesus. How could James write, “ My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into diverse kinds of trials?” (James 1:2)
Count it all joy when you suffer as a Christian; when you follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
That is really a hard saying. Nobody likes a martyr, people who go around advertising how much they suffer. We can’t always be singing “no body knows the trouble I’ve seen.” Nobody is supposed to know but Jesus. Sign a person is a Christian is his or her love, joy, peace, patience, faith, hope and lack of complaint while suffering as a Christian.
James 1:2 My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into diverse kinds of trials; knowing that the trying of your faith produces patience. Let patience have her perfect work that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.