In his first epistle, the Apostle Peter provides us with advice that should be considered when trying to win our family, friends, and co-workers to the Lord. Prior to chapter 3 and verse 15, Peter has been telling us how wonderful it is to be a Christian. He infers that we should be eager to lead others to Christ so they can become the children of God.
Of course, the world around us is an evil place. Many will not want to hear about God, because the truth of God exposes them as evil doers. Many didn't want to hear Jesus' message from Him 2,000 years ago. When Stephen testified to them, they were cut to the heart and they responded by stopping their ears and stoning him. Many will not want to hear the Gospel today, and though they may not stone you, they may cause you trouble in your work place or other circles of influence.
First, Peter tells us we should do good. The NASB says we should be zealous for good. In other words, be completely committed to doing good. Why? So they don't have anything bad with which to accuse you. If you want to be a witness in your work place, but you're consistently late, take extra time on breaks, do sloppy work, don't meet deadlines, do personal business or watch sports on company time, gossip, don't help with clean-up, or take pens, pencils, paper, toilet paper, etc. home with you from the office, those who oppose you will have things to complain about you before management and potentially get you fired, demoted, transferred, or passed over for promotion. If, on the other hand, you do your work diligently and with a positive attitude, if your work ethic demonstrates that you are an exemplary performer, the boss won't give a lot of credibility to their complaints.
Secondly, Peter warns us that we might still suffer persecution, but if so, we should consider ourselves blessed. After all, Jesus suffered for doing good. Paul suffered. Peter was crucified. John was exiled. And, as we have already noted, Stephen was stoned. So, we should count ourselves blessed should it occur to us. Now, blessed means something more than happy. It would better be understood as privileged or honored. In other words, we should feel honored that God has selected us to suffer for Him and for His cause.
Third, Peter tells us that we shouldn't be afraid of their threats. Even if you're fired from your job, God promises He will feed you and clothe you. So, we should keep God number one in our thoughts and hearts, being confident that no matter how they may try to intimidate us, God will supply all of our need.
Next, Peter tells us that we should always be ready to tell people why we believe what we believe. When you persevere through the storms of life, people will want to know how you can maintain a good attitude. When that occurs, you have a chance to tell them about the grace of God.
Peter also encourages us by assuring his readers that if you follow his advice, then those who make fun of you or accuse you wrongly will be ashamed.