“And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
1 Peter 3:13-14
And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? – This question is meant to imply, that in general, they need not expect evil if they lead an upright and benevolent life.
The idea is, that God would in general protect them, though the next verse shows that the apostle did not mean to teach that there would be absolute security, for it is implied there that they might be called to suffer for righteousness sake.
While it is true that the Saviour was persecuted by wicked people, though his life was wholly spent in doing good; while it is true that the apostles were put to death, though following his example; and while it is true that good people have often suffered persecution, though laboring only to do good, still it is true as a general rule that a life of integrity and benevolence conduces to safety, even in a wicked world.
People who are upright and pure; who live to do good to others who are characteristically benevolent and who are imitators of God – are those who usually pass life in most tranquillity and security, and are often safe when nothing else would give security but confidence in their integrity.
A man of a holy and pure life may, under the protection of God, rely on that character to carry him safely through the world and to bring him at last to an honored grave. Or should he be calumniated when living, and his sun set under a cloud, still his name will be vindicated, and justice will ultimately be done to him when he is dead.
The world ultimately judges right respecting character, and renders “honor to whom honor is due.” Compare Psalm 37:3-6.