13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
1 Peter 3:13-16
Verse 14 asks Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? Well, as all or most of us know, there are plenty of people who will seek to harm us even as we do good. Thus we have verse 15 acknowledging that fact stating But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” The second half of that verse comes from Isaiah 8:12b where the Lord is speaking to Isaiah
11 This is what the Lord says to me with His strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people: 12 “Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.
13 The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, He is the one you are to fear, He is the one you are to dread
Then we have verse 15 which continues into 16, But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. Let’s look at the very first part of verse 15 and compare it with a few other versions
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. NIV
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy
but treat the Messiah as holy, as Lord in your hearts
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts
So we have revere Christ as Lord, honor Christ the Lord as Holy, treat the Messiah as Holy as Lord, and sanctify the Lord God. All common in meaning until we get to the KJV where there is no direct reference to Christ or the Messiah. What is going on here? Ellicott’s Commentary, written in 1878, says we find that, without a shadow of doubt, the right reading here is, But sanctify the Lord the Christ in your hearts. Again why is this so? Matthew Henry suggests it is because The example of Christ is an argument for patience under sufferings. However, it is the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary that provides the best reason why, it is because The oldest manuscripts read “Christ.” Translate, “Sanctify Christ as Lord.” Question asked and answered.
Now let us return to revering or honoring or sanctifying Christ as Lord in our hearts. Turns out this is pretty straightforward as we are to honor as holy, enshrining Him in your hearts. … . God’s holiness is thus glorified in our hearts as the dwelling-place of His Spirit. I really like the idea of enshrining Jesus in my heart as some of the synonyms for enshrine are cherish, treasure, revere, and exalt among many others. My favorite is exalt. After all when we see Him as He really is, the idea – the fact – that this person of God became a man to show us how He would suffer for us is something we cannot truly understand except it was through His love for us. So what is Jesus really like? Well, let’s look at Matthew 17:2 to find out.
There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.
So of course we should without question in our hearts, yes in our hearts, honor Him, revere Him, cherish Him, treasure Him, and exalt Him … always.