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1st Peter 1:1-9 1st Peter 1:7-19 1st Peter 1:20-25 1st Peter 2:4-15 1st Peter 2:15-25
1st Peter 3:1-6 1st Peter 3:7 1st Peter 3:8-22 1st Peter 4:1-19 1st Peter 5:1-14

 

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1st Peter 3:8-22

 

"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:  not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing:  but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.  For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:  let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.  For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers:  but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.  And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?  But if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye:  and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:  and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:  having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation [lifestyle, conduct] in Christ.  For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:  by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.  The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:  who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him."

 

A Series Of Exhortations

 

'Be Of One Mind, The Mind Of Christ'---What Is That?

 

Verses 8-11, "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:  not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing:  but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.  For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:  let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it."  "1st Peter chapter 3, we have come finally to verse 8.  We took two weeks to get through husbands and wives, so verse 8 begins with "Finally," finally to verse 8. Ah, it's a series of exhortations in relationship to what has been portrayed to us in chapter two in regards to Christ, our lives submitted to every ordinance of man, the government and so forth, servants submitted and subject to their masters, which would be employees to their employers, certainly.  And then it says because that's the way Christ lived, he left an example for us, that we should follow in his footsteps, and then it says 'Likewise you wives, here's your role.'  You know, if Christ had his role, and he came and fulfilled that, trusting in his Father, this is the role of the wife, in verse 7 it's 'Likewise you husbands,' here's the role of the husbands, and all of this.  And then verse 8 he says, "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:" Now to all of us, there's an exhortation that begins.  "Finally, be ye all of one mind," that's tough, isn't it?  Especially we just came through husbands and wives.  Next thing he says is "be ye all of one mind," and you're already arguing over the last two weeks that we covered.  "be ye all of one mind," and by the way, that's not your mind or my mind, that's his mind, that we have the mind of Christ.  Ah, be ye all of one mind, so important.  I have people say sometimes 'I think I'm loosing my mind,' and I say, 'Well you might be.'  I'm not worried, because you have the mind of Christ.  You know, the sooner you lose yours the better.  In one sense, you know what I'm saying.  And usually when we're going through that, we're stressed, we're wrestling with something, whatever's going on in my life, I really do find that if I get alone with him, genuinely, and I experience his presence, and he speaks to me, whether it's in his Word or in prayer, that somehow he lifts my head above all the rest of that stuff where I feel like I'm drowning, and once again God graciously gives to me the mind of Christ and puts things back in perspective.  And, "be ye all of one mind," and certainly that's his.  And this is what it should look like, "having compassion one of another," first of all, compassionate one to another.  "love as brethren," as brothers and sisters.  Now that's not always pretty, I've raised four kids.  Brothers and sisters can get into a tiff, sometimes it lasts for a week.  But you know, family, if you're going to argue, ok, brother, sister, that happens in family, but he's asking us to raise ourselves up above that.  "be pitiful," now you might be thinking, 'my husband does that already, what a pitiful person he is,' no that's not what it's saying.  It's 'filled with tender mercies,' he's asking something of us.  Old King James, "pitiful" is 'full of pity,' or 'full of tenderness,' is what he's asking of us, that we should be that way towards one another, compassionate, have the same mind of Christ, that we should be full of tenderness one towards another.  Let me tell you something, that may not be an important word to you, tenderness, until you need some.  And when you do need a good dose of it, it's wonderful to have a few people around you who are filled with tenderness at that time in your life, whether it's the loss of a loved one, or a tragedy with a child, or a difficulty in the home, or something going on with your own health or your life, it is wonderful to have a few people around that are filled with tenderness at a time like that.  And "be courteous:" is humble-minded is the idea. 

 

We Are Called To Act Differently Than The World Acts

 

If you have yourself in the right perspective, certainly there's courtesy then, extended to others, and the opposite is "not rendering evil for evil,"  Hard, huh?  "or railing for railing:" (verse 9a) Not to lash back and give somebody a dose of their own medicine.  When somebody yells at you, not to yell back at them.  Let me tell you something, I'm telling you this not because I have it conquered, but because it says it in the Bible.  Ok?  I'm still working on Patience 101.  Alright?  But because there's an inclination in me, when somebody does something wrong to me, to give them that, 'why you dirty so and so...' you know, even driving down the road, if somebody cuts you off in traffic, what is your first reaction?  'but in the millennium, Lord, I want my job to be to run these people back off the road, because righteousness should rule on the highway, when you're King, I want a car with a big set of shears on the front so people who pull out of the driveway and put half their car in the street so I have to go around them, so I could just cut the front of their car off, throw it in the dumpster and keep on driving.'  [Each area of the country has their own peculiar set of driving conditions, I guess this is common in Philadelphia.  If someone tried that up in Maine, their car would get plowed into instantly.]  You all understand.  Not rendering, not giving back evil for evil, natural inclination.  Or "railing for railing" yelling at each other.  That's what we call "reacting," if somebody acts one way, and you act the same way back, you just re-acted.  We've been through husbands and wives here, so if your wife goes 'na, na, na, na naaa!' and you go back, 'na, na, na, na, naaa!' then you reacted.  And he's asking us to act, instead of reacting.  Now look, I'll tell you what we do, and this is where we get caught.  If something's really bothering us, we're really getting aggida over somebody, somebody's really getting to us, and we go to bed with them on our mind, you know, like the person you wish you could forget, and for some reason you forget everything else in life you want to remember, but you can't forget the person you want to forget, you remember them.  And what happens then, is you, in your mind, you play this role out, 'Well if they say this, I'm gonna see them on Christmas, and if they give me that again, I'm gonna give this back to them,' and you rehearse the whole thing, so that if it begins to happen, you don't even have to think, you just react.  You just go through the routine you've already worked over in your mind over and over and over again, and we get set up that way.  And what Peter's telling us to do, he's asking us to act, and not to react, and he's asking us to act a certain way.  And it isn't evil for evil, it's not railing for railing, yelling back at someone, "but contrariwise," completely different from that, he says, "blessing;" which is in the present perfect tense, 'continue to be blessing those,' "knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing." (verse 9b)  For you to act that way under pressure, you have to know something, and you have to really know it.  That we in fact are called to act differently than the world acts.  You see, people who dish out evil for good, there are people who do that, people are good to them, people are gracious to them, and they give them evil in return, when you give evil for good, that's Satanic.  That's spiritually dark.  When you give evil for evil, that's just human, that's carnal.  But when you give good for evil, that's divine, that's something else, that's a step up.  And it's what God is calling us to.  Now, snap! you don't get it down just like that.  And Peter knows that.  He went through a lot of years to become the rock that Jesus saw in him, it wasn't right away.  But he's asking, through the Holy Spirit, 'blessing, rather when someone speaks evil to you, to bless them, if they're railing on you, to bless them, knowing this, that you are thereunto called,' that's the very thing God has called us to, and there's a reason, "that ye should inherit a blessing" pushing it off into the eternal, that we're going to be rewarded.  No doubt he remembers Jesus, and we find much of that in Peter's writings, 'Rejoice, be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, this is when men persecute you and they revile you, rejoice,' Jesus said, 'be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you,' and Peter no doubt thinking of that says, "Knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing." 

 

Tongue Control

 

Verse 10, "For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:"  That's a tall order.  He who would see good days, he who loves life.  It doesn't say 'Go to the healthfood store, take more vitamin-B's, get yourself a juicer.'  I'm not against all of that craziness, but "For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil," now if you have to refrain your tongue from that, it means that would be the tendency.  Remember, he comes in his cage [your tongue that is].  If you keep the cage closed, it can't get out.  "let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:"  Now, again, when he talked about Christ, he said in verse 23, chapter 2, "when he was reviled, he reviled not again, when he suffered, he threatened not, he committed himself to the one that judges righteously."  Verse 21, of chapter 2, it says, "For even hereunto were you called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in his steps."  And you know what?  I find myself, when I examine myself in light of some of these exhortations, I find myself on my knees saying 'Lord, please, I am so far from what I should be, Lord.  Because I believe in your grace, Lord, and it would be easier to just slug this guy and then ask for repentance, and you know, forgiveness, and just move on.  Lord, help me.'  But the Bible says if we pray anything according to his will, we can know that we have the petitions that we ask.  And if we go to him, genuinely, saying 'Help me Lord, to be patient, to be kind, to be tenderhearted.  Not to revile when I'm reviled.  To turn the other cheek, Lord Jesus, the way that you did, to say 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'  Lord, let your Spirit dwell within me to the point that it actually controls my tongue and my lips.'  I think he's gracious to hear us.  Again, you rarely regret the things that you don't say.  I don't know about you.  Way more often I'm regretting something I said, once it's out of your mouth and it's gone you can't reel it back in.  And then if it gets around certain Christians, it seems their ministry is repeating.  You know, if it gets to certain Christians, then it just goes! you know.  Rarely am I sitting around saying 'You know, I wish I would have said something.'  Now occasionally that happens.  More often than not I wish that I hadn't let something out. 

 

Learn To Detest Evil And Pursue Peace

 

"For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:  let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it." (verse 11)  King James is "eschew evil and do good...let him seek peace, and ensue it."  "Let him eschew evil", that's to turn away from, but it's a very important word.  It's not just to turn away from evil, it's 'to turn away from it because you detest it.'  You understand?  It's not turn away, 'I wish I could do this, but I can't because I'm a Christian, Pastor Joe taught it tonight.'  It's you turn away from it because it disgusts you, and you realize, 'This is so wrong, this is so far from what you want between brethren, the kind of love you asked us to love one another with.'  He says, 'Turn away from it, hating it,' is the idea, to "eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it."  "and ensue" is pursue it.  Pursue peace.  You have to pursue it.  You know, if you stand still, trouble will find you.  If you want peace, you have to pursue it.  You ever notice that?  Peace doesn't come if you stand still, headaches do, they'll find you.  But pursue peace, he says.  "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers:  but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." (verse 12)  God's unable to approve of that which is wrong, evil behavior.  He says the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, his ears are open to their prayers.  Now Peter, you have to understand, now here's a guy who was beaten and thrown in prison, and the angel of the Lord came and opened the door, and let him loose and let him out.  This is a guy whose had God's grace extended to him in remarkable ways, and can really say at this point in time, 'Hey, the Lord's eyes are upon those who do his bidding, to the righteous.  His ears, in fact, are open to their prayers,' not speaking from empty logic or theory.  Peter says this is the experience in his own lab work. 

 

'Be Not Afraid Of Their Terror, Neither Be Troubled'

 

Verse 13, "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?"  Who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?  Now it doesn't say 'Who is he that will hurt you?' and I guess that can happen, but it says "who is he that will harm you, if ye be follows of that which is good?"  Peter was beaten, and that hurt, I'm sure.  But he wasn't harmed.  In fact the one time they come back and they pray and they say 'Lord, grant boldness to us, that we can go out and we can proclaim your Son, and grant power, that signs and wonders will be done to bear testimony,'  and it says the place where they praying was shaken, the whole place was shaken, and they were filled afresh with the Spirit.  It says at one point they were beaten, and the Sanhedrin forbid them to preach Christ anymore, and it says they went out rejoicing---I'm not there yet, I'm just telling you what happened to him---they went out rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for Christ.  How do you stop guys like that?  You beat them and make them happy.  'Who is that that can harm you,' he says, 'if you're followers of that which is good?'  "But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye:  and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled." (verse 14)  Now he had, so he puts that in there.  "happy are you..." now I'm not.  I'm getting there though.  I'm getting there.  He's going to say in his next chapter [4:14] that when we're persecuted for Christ, the Spirit of glory abides upon us, if you can imagine that.  The Spirit of glory.  He says over in verse 14 of chapter 4, "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you..." interesting.  Here he says, "if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye:  and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;" don't be afraid of their threatening and of the way they would trouble you.  Now look, in America, these are not the verses that are underlined in our Bibles.  In the former Soviet Union, in China, in Afghanistan, and in major parts of this world, these are the kind of verses that are underlined in the Bibles of Christians, because they're persecuted for their faith.  Some of them are drug off and beaten and killed for what they believe in.  I don't know where the whole thing's going to go here in this country before the Lord comes.  I think we have an incredible open door right now.  We have an open door that is unimaginable right now.  We still have the freedom to share Christ.  It still comes up in the news as a fight that happens in the courtrooms, there's actually in our political process, it's still it's an issue.  And we have, you know, nativity scenes out in public.  Can we talk about sin?  Can we talk about lifestyles?  Can we be pro-life, can we, it's actually out there in the open, argued about.  That's still a remarkable thing.  And I'm glad that it is, and I hope it's making everybody think.  But there are places in the world where these verses are so important, "if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye:  and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled."  Well, what's going to happen, what's going to happen if it comes to that here?  We've been so blessed for so long, how are we going to handle that, if it comes?  By his grace, by his grace.  We haven't handled anything on our own, since we got saved, and we won't handle anything on our own in the future.  He'll never leave us or forsake us.  And if it comes to that, he will be there, and he will give us the grace that he's given to his sons and daughters through the ages that have been persecuted and gone through difficult times.  And he'll give it to us in the hour that we need it, he says that.  Peter is writing to many that are being persecuted in the Roman Empire.  "if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye:  and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled." 

 

'Sanctify The Lord In Your Hearts, So You'll Be Ready To Give An Answer To Everyone Who Asks You About Your Hope'

 

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:  and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" (verse 15)  First part of this verse, formula for sharing Christ, 'Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts,' that's something that we can do right now.  I think it's something that we need to do right now, to sanctify the Lord in our hearts.  Sanctify, is to set apart, to give him a place that nothing else has in our lives.  And do we really do that?  Remember Moses, I mean the reason that Moses was not allowed into the Promised Land in Numbers 20 is because God said to Moses, 'Go speak to the rock.'  You know, you had a whole new generation of the Israelites, come out of Egypt, there mothers and fathers were complaining, 'Hey, there was onions and leeks and fish back in Egypt, and you brought us out in the wilderness just to kill us or something, and we're tired of this manna, manicotti, manna this, manna that, every day manna, manna in the morning, manna in the evening, manna at supper time too,' and they were griping and complaining.  And then a whole new generation is born, and the new generation is saying 'We had it better in Egypt,' they were never in Egypt!  They're complaining the same complaints their parents complained, all chips off the old blocks.  The little apples don't fall far from the trees.  And Moses is just, he's had it.  You know, he's 120 years old, he's tired.  And God says, 'Go and talk to that rock,' and Moses goes out, takes the rod of Aaron and he starts bashing that rock, saying, 'You rebels!' and he just, and by then that rod had grown almonds and blossoms, we can see the almonds and flowers flying everywhere, he's beating the rock.  And God said, 'Moses, you're not going to enter into the Promised Land, because you failed to sanctify me in the hearts of the people.'  Because the idea is, 'You're my representative, and they just watched you lose it, and they think that's what I'm like.'  And it says 'Water came forth, and the people drank, and their cattle drank,' God doesn't punish the people because his servant had done things the wrong way.  But what he had done is he had, you think 'That's not fair, he spent 40 years in Egypt, then 40 years wandering, keeping Jethro's flocks, and 40 years leading the children of Israel, and he makes one mistake, and he can't get in!?'  Well, it was a biggie.  Now he got in on the Mount of Transfiguration, he got in.  OK, he got in.  And the Law [represented by Moses] couldn't bring them in.  The first book in the Bible named after a person was the book of Joshua, which is [in Greek] Jesus, and Moses couldn't bring them into the land, only Jesus could bring them.  There was more going on there.  He failed to represent God properly, so that God would be sanctified in their hearts, set aside.  And God was saying to Moses, 'I'm not angry, I wanted to be set aside in their hearts as a God who is not angry.  And Moses, the rock, which is Jesus Christ, had already been smitten.  And Christ doesn't have to be smitten twice.'  And that was the major thing.  Christ has already died for us.  And now we only have to go speak to him, we don't have to strike him again.  If we sin, we confess our sins, he's faithful and just to forgive us, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  And Moses messed with that Rock, that great type of Christ, and represented God the wrong way.  And the hard thing for you and I is that we have to sanctify God in our hearts.  And what we do is we look at human beings.  They looked at Moses and they said 'God must be that way.'  We look at other Christians.  Sometimes that's the loophole, we want an excuse and point the finger at Christians.  Before I was saved I loved to point the finger at Christians, and find everything that was wrong with them.  But there isn't anybody like him, nobody that loves us like him, there's nobody that forgives us like him, there's no one that reaches out to us like him.  There's no standard, there's no chart to put it on, you can't graph it, because it isn't human.  It's either received in faith or it is not received at all.  And to receive it in faith, he's the one who can rebuke the wind and the sea.  He's the one who can call us out of the boat onto the water, he's the one that can multiply the loaves and fish in our lives.  He's the one who can heal our leprosy.  There is nobody else like that anywhere.  And he's the Father that waits for the prodigal to come back, watching every day, and runs and embraces the prodigal, and weeps, and kisses him, and puts a robe of righteousness on him again, and the ring of the heir on his finger again.  There is no love like that, it's too good to be true.  Sanctify him in your hearts, Peter says to us.  "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:  and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" (verse 15)  "an answer", that's apologian, we get apologetics from that word "answer" there.  "be ready always to give" now it's not 'well, I don't know, Jesus just loves me, that's all I know...'  no, no, you give an answer, for the hope that you have, be ready to give an answer to every man [or woman] that asks of you the reason of the hope that is in you, and do that with meekness and fear.  You know, somebody says "What is it with you?  What do you believe?  What do you mean you're not afraid to die?  Things are so desperate, so bleak, why are you whistling, why are you singing that stupid song?  What do you believe?'  And it says we should be ready to give an answer to every man.  All of us in this room are able ministers of the New Testament.  No one here is excused from witnessing to friends and relatives.  Everybody here will be given an open door.  And if the Lord is sanctified in our hearts, if he's held in that place that nothing else can go in there, I have a place in my heart where only Jesus fits, I can't put a million bucks in there, can't put a Ferrari in there.  We try to put all that stuff in there, pleasure, drugs.  No, there's a spot that only Jesus Christ fits in.  And he's sanctified, he's set aside, set apart, there's nothing else like him.  There's no one else like him, there's no love like his love, there's no forgiveness like his forgiveness.  And because of that, we should be ready to give an answer in this hopeless world to anyone who asks us.  'Why?'  He told us in chapter 1, verse 3, "Blessed be the God and  Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."  Why do I have hope?  Because Christ has risen, Christ has risen.  Confucius is in his tomb, Buddha is in his tomb, Grant is in his tomb, there's an empty tomb in Jerusalem.  That's why I'm cheerful, I'm getting outa here.  That's the hope that we have, to give to every man an answer in regards to the hope that we have, and do that with meekness, do it with fear.  You know, you're not trying to argue somebody to death, you're trying to witness to them.  Verse 16, "having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation [lifestyle] in Christ."  Now, a good conscience, that's a great thing to have on your side.  Because if you willfully sin, if you give evil for evil, if you do these things he's saying earlier not to do, then you kind of walk around and Satan's got a chink in your armour, you know, he's going to be there to condemn you.  It's a great thing when you've been walking with the Lord, isn't it?  And isn't it a great thing if you can really say, 'Lord, come today, come today.  Lord Jesus, come this Wednesday night.  Come now.  I'm ready.'  That's much better than saying, 'oh Lord, I hope you don't come till I get it together, I hope you don't come till my wife's black eye goes away.  I hope you don't come till I get through detox, I hope you don't come till I pay off this debt,' you know, "having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good lifestyle in Christ.  For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing." (verses 16-17)  If you're going to suffer, Peter says, and he had, Peter had, he says it's better to suffer for righteousness' sake, for goodness, for Christ, than to suffer because you really did do something wrong.  Who wants to suffer that way?  If you're going to suffer, he says, and God allows it, it's better to suffer, he says, for righteousness, for well-doing than for evil.  And here he goes again in verse 18, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit."  "Christ also" that refers us back, it's better if the will of God be so that we suffer for well-doing. 

 

The Strange 'Christ Descended To Preach To Spirits In Prison' Passage Of Peter

 

Now I'm going to read through these verses, ok.  Peter, he'll say to us in his next epistle, ah, talking about the longsuffering of the Lord in providing salvation, 'even as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given unto him, hath written to you, and also in all of his epistles speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to be understood.' (2nd Peter 3:15-16)  So, Peter says, 'I appreciate Paul's epistles, but some of the stuff that he writes about is hard to understand,' and I think, 'You've got guts, Peter, after writing this, what he writes to us here.'  Ah, let me just read verses 18-22, the rest, and we can all scratch our heads at the same time.  Verses 18-22, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:  by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.  The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:  who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him."  What!?  [he laughs]  Now, you know, we can exegete that.  We can do exposition there, and we can pull the words out and try to get a sense of what he's saying.  And I can do that.  But I scratch my head a little bit with the context.  It seemed like he's been building along in such a practical way, and all of a sudden, when he's making this point, he seems, like Chuck Missler, he veers off to this other thing here. 

 

1. Christ Suffered Once For The Sins Of All

 

He says, in verse 18, now, "For Christ also" now he's telling us to follow that example, that we're going to suffer, it might be God's will, we might suffer for well-doing.  "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins," now this is very interesting, "the just" that's singular, 'the just one, for the unjust ones,' that's all plural.  "that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit."  So, the first thing he said there, it's interesting, "Christ hath once suffered", "once" adjective there, "suffered" arotist, 'once and for all, never to be repeated.'  Now any of you that are ex-Roman Catholic, take note of this, because here's Peter, saying, that Christ suffered once, never to be repeated.  We find that in Hebrews and other places in the New Testament, that Christ suffered one time.  Now that's difficult if we're taught that every Sunday the Mass saves, that Christ is offered again, if there's transubstantiation, that it happens once a week or on a daily basis (depending on how often you take Mass).  Peter, who was with Christ, he was a leader in the Church, and respected across denominational lines, says Christ suffered once, having once suffered, he says.  'The Just One, for the unjust ones,' plural, that his single payment was sufficient for all of the unjust ones, for all of us, to bring us to God.  And that's a legal term in a courtroom.  And it's to make access.  Christ, he says, if you're going to suffer, then let it be that you're suffering for something good, rather than as an evil doer.  Even so, Christ, he says, offered, for the good, one time, made complete payment, the Just One for the unjust ones, plural, that he might give us legal access to bring us to God, that tonight we have legal access, all of us.  We are the "unjust ones," plural.  And yet he, Paul tells us, Jesus is both just and the justifier of the ungodly.  He found a way to solve that problem, to remain just and still be the justifier of the ungodly.  The payment that he made in his own blood, his own life, paid the price of our sins.  So Peter says, look back to our example, remember what he did, he suffered for what is good, and he suffered as an evil doer [even though he had done no evil], but he suffered, as it were, doing that which is good, God's will, the just for the unjust ones, "that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:"  Now "being put to death in the flesh" is simply what it means, he was put to death physically in flesh.  "but quickened by the Spirit" you see there is a capital "S" there.  There is a controversy amongst scholars because in the Koine Greek there are no capital letters, and they assume that this is the Holy Spirit.  And of course, the Holy Spirit was involved in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, so in some ways it's a mute argument.  But it seems that what it's saying here is he was put to death in flesh.  Now we know that he died spiritually too.  When he said 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' he was cast off.  When spiritual death, for those who are not saved, for those who don't know Christ, that doesn't mean they cease to exist, spiritual death is to be cut off from God.  [Comment:  Those who are unsaved, by the way, never had spiritual life, were never born-again,  as it were.  i.e. you can't die if you were never born, which is a logical argument.]  Physical death is just when this dies, this space-suit.  But we live inside of it, who we really are.  And spiritual death is not ceasing to exist, it's to be cut off from God and cast into outer darkness forever, it's eternal suffering. [Comment:  different parts of the Body of Christ have differing views about the "unsaved dead."  To read some other views, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm]  And somehow in those three hours of darkness, he suffered that.  The sin of the world came upon him, the wrath of Almighty God, his Father came down upon him, he began the propitiation, the place where wrath is satisfied, and somewhere in there he cried 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' he was cast off.  Because before he dies physically, he said "It is finished" it was done, before he died physically.  And then he said, "Father" again, not 'My God, my God,' "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit."  So he had paid the price, he had been enlivened by the Spirit.  But this clearly, at least to me, seems to be saying that he was put to death in flesh, but quickened, vivified [to give life to, enliven], the flesh by spirit, spiritually he was brought back to life again [i.e. he's saying the Holy Spirit went back into Jesus Christ just before he died, which would make sense.]  Now of course that was the work of the Holy Spirit, but he spiritually was brought back to life.  When he was brought back to life spiritually, his flesh was then spirit-driven, he was able to pass through walls [after his resurrection back to life, obviously], he was able to appear and disappear.  When he rose on resurrection morning [he actually rose 72 hours after he had died and gone into the grave, that would be Saturday evening about sundown], they didn't roll the stone away so he could get out, they rolled the stone away so we could get in and see he wasn't there, he was already out.  He came out of his wrappings without unwrapping himself, snap! he came to spiritual life, by the power of the Holy Spirit.  But it vivified that body, that he had died in flesh, suffered physically, but all of that was subject to the spirit life, like Adam and Eve were before the fall.  [now that kind of gets into a secondary belief of Calvary Chapel I find kind of weird, maybe just my perception, I don't know.]  One day it says our bodies will be fashioned like unto his glorious body.  So Peter does something interesting here, curious, makes me scratch my head, he says he was then brought to spiritual life, which included the quickening of the flesh, [now this would be just after his resurrection, around sundown that Saturday evening when he left the tomb without having to have the stone rolled away, let's get the timing here, it's important] 

 

2. 'Christ Went And Made A Proclamation To Fallen Angels That Were Disobedient When The Longsuffering Of God Waited In The Days Of Noah'---What Does That Mean?

 

"by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water." (verses 19-20)  Now, what in the world, you said Paul wrote some things hard to understand, huh, Peter?  Now, there's a lot of opinions here.  Augustine said, what it's saying is, that the Holy Spirit, which raised Christ from the dead, preached through Noah to his generation.  But the grammar doesn't allow that, it wouldn't make any sense to just pull out one generation that was preached to.  Some say, what it's saying is that Christ between his death and his resurrection, went in the spirit, and preached the Gospel to those who had died in the Old Testament.  But again, it points out the days of Noah.  Why would it pick out a particular group, and those in the days of Noah, right after that there were only eight souls that were righteous that were saved.  So that doesn't make any sense.  And it's not evangelizo there, "preached", it's charuso, he made "a proclamation."  He didn't preach the Gospel.  And there's some people that have this whole idea that between his death and resurrection he descended and preached the Gospel to those that were in Hades.   That's not what it's saying.  It doesn't say that, it says he preached to spirits, and there's no qualifying language in the Greek, which makes that fallen angels, or demons, all the way through the New Testament.  So a very interesting text here, that Christ went and made a proclamation, he preached, that's to proclaim "to the spirits."  If you get your Vine's Expository Dictionary, basic study help, it says in there, this is talking about demons or fallen angels.  Christ went and made a proclamation to fallen angels that were disobedient when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah.  Now Peter, Peter's got a little thing for this.  In his second epistle in chapter 2, verse 4 he said, "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell" and he uses a specific word there Tartaroo, the only time it's used in the New Testament, it seems to be an imprisonment for fallen angels, "and he delivered them into chains of darkness."  [Strongs # 5020 Tartaroo, taken from the Greek word Tartaros (in Greek mythology the deepest abyss of Hades)] Now these are not physical chains, to be reserved unto judgment.  He spared not the old world.  Ah, Jude picks up on this in his epistle, and it's difficult, but the rule of the Greek grammar only allows for certain things.  He says "and the angels which kept not their first estate," they didn't keep their principality and power, "they left their own habitation," arotist, once and for all, "he hath reserved in everlasting chains" we have it again, "under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."  They seem to be released again during the great tribulation.  And then he says "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them, in like manner," tutois, very important phrase in the Greek, and the grammar has to refer back to the angels, "even as Sodom and Gomorrah, in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, going after strange flesh, are set forth an example of suffering and vengeance of eternal fire."  So these are very strange things to come in here.  It seems to be saying this, to me, don't believe me, study for yourselves.  I think Lindskey, the old German grammarist really nails down the beginning of it, and I think there's Weist and some of the others that picked up beyond there.  He's talking about suffering in light of difficulty, of being persecuted, of all kinds of odds.  And he says, 'Even Christ, the just one, suffered for the unjust ones, us, and he was put to death in flesh, but raised in spiritual life, by which, it said, he went and he made a proclamation, not preached the Gospel, to the fallen angels that were disobedient when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah.'  Now when you go to Genesis chapter 6, you have a very strange text there.  And it says, 'that the sons of God went into the daughters of men, and giants were born to them.'  And everybody wrestles with that.  Let me tell you, there's not an ancient rabbi on record that wrestled with it, Josephus tells us it's speaking of the fallen angels.  The early church fathers agreed that it was talking about that.  But our modern minds don't want to think about that.  [Except with "Rosemary's Baby", which is probably closer to the truth than people want to admit here.]  So scholarship today has pushed a lot of that aside.  But you have the sons of God and the daughters of men.  What's that talking about?  Well some say, what it's talking about is the righteous line of Seth going into the Canaanitish women, and defiling themselves.  Well there's a problem there.  There was no such thing as a righteous line of Seth, it didn't exist.  Adam and Eve fell.  The line of Seth had to offer sacrifices for their sin, there was no righteous line of Seth.  And if the Canaanitish women bred with the line of Seth, why were there giants being born?  If believers and unbelievers, when they were married had giants, our Sunday-school would look funny back there.  We got enough of that here.  And it says nothing about the daughters of God and the sons of men.  It uses some very specific language.  The sons of God, bene Elohim, you have three times in the Book of Genesis, and it always speaks of angels.  You have bar Elohim, which speaks of angels, and the bene Elim twice, which speaks of angels.  It seems to be saying, that there was an awareness on the part of Satan, and the fallen angels, that God promised through the seed of the woman that he would bring the Messiah.  And there began to be a co-mingling, these angels left their first estate, and were given to fornication like Sodom and Gomorrah, with strange flesh, they crossed a line.  And giants were born out of that union.  And it says 'and also after the flood,' so it wasn't the righteous line of Seth and the line of Canaanitish women, they all drowned in the flood, there was no righteous line, all the descendants of Seth drowned, and if the only ones that were saved were righteous, there wouldn't have been an outbreak of giants later, but there was.  What it seems to be saying is, there were these fallen angels.  They had rebelled along with Lucifer.  And they knew there had to be a pure lineage for the Messiah to come, and they began to mess with human genes and chromosomes, and began to somehow mess with the human line, to defile it.  And the earth became so defiled and filled with violence that God had to cleanse the entire world.  If God was just cleansing the world of sinners he'd be doing it today.  Something else was going on.  And that these fallen angels, principalities and powers tried to stop the coming of Christ into the world.  In fact, when Christ was on the cross, it tells us in Psalm 22, that 'great bulls of Bashan have surrounded me, their mouths are gaping like the mouths of lions,' it describes what was going on in the spiritual realm around Christ on the cross, they thought they finally had him.  And what happened, when Christ died, and the Father honored his death, and he rose, he then descended, and he made a proclamation to those principalities and powers that tried to stop the plan of salvation, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah.  Not between his death and resurrection, but after his resurrection.  Calvin has Christ descending into hell and suffering for three days, between his death and resurrection [totally unbiblical and whacked out].  The apostles creed initially said 'Crucified under Pontius Pilate, dead and buried, rose again on the third day.'  In the 3rd century they added Crucified under Pontius Pilate, dead, buried, descended into hell, and rose again on the third day.'  It wasn't in there originally.  It wasn't in there.  So Calvin has Christ suffering in flames for three days, I have a problem with that, because on the cross he said 'Tutelisti, paid in full, it is finished, Father into thy hands I commend my spirit,' not to hell.  He said to the thief on the cross next to him, 'Today [I tell you], you'll be with me in paradise.'  You study the language there, the grammar, 'It is finished, once and for all, never to be added to.'  Christ did not have to go from the cross to hell to suffer for three days, in those three hours of darkness he suffered eternally, unimaginably.  The sin of the world came upon him, and the eternal wrath of the Father was meted out upon him on that cross, in a way that in the ages to come we'll still be learning of.  And when he rose, when he could say 'O death, where is thy sting, O grave where is victory,' that's when I believe that he descended.  Because if his body was still laying in the grave there'd be no proclamation to make to these demon spirits who tried to stop him [during the time of Noah].  It seems to me that when he rose, he said to Mary, 'Don't hold onto me, I haven't ascended to the Father yet,' he had some other things to take care of.  [He probably took care of this long before he saw Mary the next morning, as he rose around sundown Saturday evening, 72 hours from the time he was placed in Joseph of Arimathea's tomb.  That's probably when he descended to those spirits in Tartarus.]  It seems like Peter's saying, 'Look, you may have to suffer, you may get persecuted, you're in a world that's going to be antagonistic, but do it the right way. And if it's the will of God for you to suffer, then suffer for doing well, doing the will of Christ.   Even so, Christ,' he said, 'who is the Just One, died for the unjust ones, for all of us, that he might give us access to God.  He laid down his life, died in the flesh, he was made alive in the Spirit, and in that he had victory, so much so that he even went and he made a proclamation to the fallen angels that tried to stop the whole plan of God, and made charuso, a proclamation of his victory,'

 

3. 'The Eight Souls Saved On The Ark In Water Is A Picture Of Baptism To Salvation

 

"which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water." (verse 20)  Isn't that amazing?  Eight souls were saved by water, and millions [potentially billions] were drowned by the same water.  Eight souls were saved by water.  Interesting phrase.  "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." (verse 21)  Now notice in verse 21, see the parenthesis there, beginning in "(not the putting away of the filth of the flesh...) so when you read verse 21, you have to read, "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us" then jump down to the end of the parenthesis, "by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."  He inserts an idea there, verse 21, "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us" and then he says, "(not the putting away of the filth of the flesh,...)"  Now baptism itself doesn't save, "but the answer of a good conscience towards God)"  But he says "baptism doth also now save us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:" that there's a figure. So, he says there's a figure in the ark, there was something that Noah was faithful to God, and eight souls were saved by water.  They were lifted up above what destroyed everyone else.  He says, baptism, there's a picture in there, because you know, in the early Church there were no altar calls, that began in the 1800s with the Wesley's, Whitfield, and there were no altar calls in the early Church, the altar call was your baptism.  You went and you stood publicly for Christ, and before your friends and relatives, you were willing to enter into his death and resurrection, and your baptism was symbolic of that.  [see, http://www.unityinchrist.com/baptism/What%20is%20Baptism.htm, and to see what the early Church was like, see:  http://www.unityinchrist.com/history2/earlychurch1.htm]  They took you publicly and took you under and brought you back up again, and it was symbolic of the fact that you were entering into the death, and into the resurrection of Christ.  He says here, "The like figure whereunto..." and he tells us.  "The like figure whereunto even doth baptism doth also now save us...by the resurrection of Jesus Christ [from the dead]:  who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him." (verses 21-22)  He's encouraging us, "angels," that's fallen and unfallen, "authorities, powers being made subject unto him."  So he kind of wraps up this chapter with a very strange twist, thanks Peter.  Ah, when you see him, you can say to him 'What in the world was that all about!?'  Well you'll probably know by then.  It says "then we shall know, even as we've been fully known." 

 

In Conclusion

 

But look, this exhortation, we're to love one another, we're to be patient with one another, we're to be tender towards one another.  That's what he's asking of us.  Not reviling, not railing for railing, not evil for evil, but contrary to that, reflecting the very life of Christ, blessing others that treat us the wrong way.  And he says if we entrust ourselves to him, what do we have to be afraid of?  There's nothing for us to be afraid of if we entrust ourselves to Christ.  Because even hereunto were we called, he's our example, to lay down our lives, and to live for him.  Hey, that's Christianity.  Christianity is not Christian bumper-stickers, Christian music, now there's Christian night clubs, Christian dating services.  Oh please, cut me a break!  Christianity is laying down our lives for Christ.  It's sanctifying the Lord in our hearts and having the hope of eternal life and resurrection.  You talk to anyone whose lost someone close to them in the last few months of the last year, and you know what, all of those things fall into line quickly.  I remember my son Joshua, we thought he was dying, we're driving to the hospital, and he was bleeding to death in front of us, and how crystallized the Gospel became, I thought 'This is what's it's all about.  This is not good-bye Joshua, this is see you later.  I'm so thankful for the four-and-a-half years we had, but if you go tonight, I'm going to see you again.'  And there was something in my heart and mind that was set aside from everything the world had to offer, and it was in Christ.  And he's asking us to live that way, and that we'd lay down our lives, and that we'd be ready to give an answer to anybody who asks us in regards to the hope that we have.  An intelligent answer, not just we're nuts, 'No this is what I believe, this is what history says, this is what the Scripture says.  This is the evidence in my life, this is the evidence in the world.'  [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/ProofOfTheBible-FulfilledProphecy.htm  and http://www.unityinchrist.com/dinosaurs/dinosaurs.htm]  'This is why I believe what I believe.  And I believe that Christ died in my place, he went to the electric chair for me, he paid the price, so that now even though my life was messed up and I was a sinner, God the Father now is just to embrace me and call me his son, call me his daughter, and pronounce the very righteousness of Christ upon my life, and receive me into heaven [i.e. the Kingdom of heaven, which will end up on earth, cf. Revelation 21-22].'  And if I'm gonna suffer, hey, I want to suffer for doing what's right, not for doing what's wrong.  Because that was my example.  He'll be with me, his eyes are upon me, his ears are open to me, he himself was the Just One who died for the unjust ones, and was put to death, but is now alive spiritually, so much so that he even proclaimed his victory to fallen angels, in the physical world, in the spiritual world, he made proclamation of his victory, and we're entering into that.'  And it's a type of Noah being lifted up above what destroyed everybody else with the very thing that lifted him up, you and I entering into Christ, it's like we have a figure of it in baptism, going into his death and coming up to resurrection life, that's how we're to live, because our Christ, our Jesus is right now at the right hand of all principality and power.  Our Jesus, who loves us, my Jesus, your Jesus is at the right hand of all authority in heaven.  He's alive forever more, and he is supreme over principalities and powers and angels and life and death.  And what shall separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus?  [applause]  I'm going to ask the musicians to come, we'll sing a last song, we'll stand and pray in a minute, and look, if you don't know Christ tonight, make your way up here after the service, we'd love to pray with you, we'd love to give you a Bible, we'd love to give you some literature to read.  What is your hope in this world?  What is your hope?  What is it?  That you're going to be a millionaire?  That you're going to be an apprentice with Donald Trump?  That you're going to be an American Idol?  I'm the next American Idol?  What's your hope?  Is it that they will never smuggle a nuclear weapon into this country?  I trust the U.N.?  [laughter]  What is your hope?  Look around, it's kind of a hopeless world.  You know, how remarkable it is to believe that this is only a stepping stone, like Peter says, we have an inheritance that's incorruptible, undefiled, that fades not away, that is reserved in heaven for us, that's what we're waiting for, and we're pilgrims, we're passing through, that we have something else.  And if we can communicate that to our children and they're saved, and we know when we close our eyes in this world, we're going to see them again.  We can see it go to our grandchildren, we can see it go to our friends and our relatives.  What other reason is there to be here, except for people?  Everything else is going to fade away.  Everything else is going to fade away.  What's your hope?  Certainly we don't ever want your hope to be playing church, or playing some phony spiritual game, or 'I go to Calvary Chapel.'  So what.  Do you know Jesus?  Do you know Jesus?  And when death comes to your door, and you close your eyes, will you close your eyes in peace, saying, 'Lord, I'm closing my eyes in this world, and I'm opening them up in the next.'  Will you say like Jesus, 'Father, into thy hands do I commend my spirit' ?  Can you say that?  If you can't, you only have religion, or you have nothing at all, we'd love to pray with you, give you a Bible, some literature to read.  What the Scripture asks of you is that you say 'OK, Lord, I need forgiveness,  I'm willing to turn away' that's repent, 'from my old life, it's empty, it's stupid, it's vain, I fool everybody else, but it's plastic, and when I go to bed at night, I haven't fooled my own heart my own mind.  I'm tired of the emptiness, I'm tired of playing games, I don't want religion, I don't want to play church, but if you're there, and you love me, Lord I'm ready to give my life to you.  I want to know when I die, that I'm forgiven.  I am a sinner, but if you're the Saviour, Lord tonight, I'm gong to come tonight.'  And if that's you, get up here after the service, let us pray with you, we'll give you some literature to read.  Let's stand...[transcript of a connective expository sermon on 1st Peter 3:8-22, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related links:

 

Peter said Noah and the Ark pictured baptism to salvation.  Pastor Joe pointed out that baptism was the early Church's form of alter call, of asking Jesus into our lives.  See,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/baptism/What%20is%20Baptism.htm

 

What was this early Church like?  See,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/history2/earlychurch1.htm

 

Peter says we're are to be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks us about the hope that lies within us.  Pastor Joe says our answers to their queries are to be intelligent.  What information out of the Bible and science could we use?  See,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/ProofOfTheBible-FulfilledProphecy.htm

http://www.unityinchrist.com/dinosaurs/dinosaurs.htm

Jesus in prophecy, see,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/1stcoming.htm

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm

Our hope for immortality, see,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/corinthians/cor15-16.htm

The coming Millennial Kingdom of God, see,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/mkg1.htm  

 

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