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Showing posts from December, 2023

1 Peter 5:7: Casting All Your Anxieties On Him, Because He Cares For You.

1 Peter 5:7 [7] Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (ESV)   As believers in Jesus Christ, we would all say that we love the Bible. After all, it is God's Word that reveals to us our precious Savior. In it's content we find all of the instruction that we need for our lives. If we are honest, we have certain verses that are our favorites. This verse is one of my favorites. I have leaned upon its truth many times. We are sinful creatures. Without the saving work of Jesus Christ on our behalf, we would be eternally lost. We were not even seeking him. Rather, he sought us, invited us to salvation, giving us the gifts of faith and repentance. We clearly have no right, in our own "goodness," to even approach God. We should be terrified at the thought of coming near to him, without having Christ's righteousness. Knowing all of these things, consider again the words of today's verse. God invites us to take all of our anxieties that weigh us dow

1 Peter 5:6: Humble Yourselves, Therefore, Under The Mighty Hand Of God So That At The Proper Time He May Exalt You

1 Peter 5:6 [6] Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, (ESV) Peter is writing to people who were going through great struggles and persecution. They were prone to wanting to escape from the persecution, not realizing that God's sovereign plan sometimes meant that they would have to suffer. We are not much different today. We know, in theory, that suffering is part of God's plan for perfecting the believer, but we do not like it. Instead of struggling with God, we are instructed to be humble. In fact, it is a command that we humble ourselves. Consider all of the energy that we put in to fighting against God, and his will. God invites us to put that energy into humbling ourselves. Think about it. If we were to get our way, and not yield to God's way, how would that work out for us? In spite of how hard it may be, we find God's way is better. Part of our problem in dealing with God's sovereignty is that w

1 Peter 5:5: Likewise, You Who Are Younger, Be Subject To The Elders.

1 Peter 5:5 [5] Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (ESV)   The older one tends to get, the more likely they are to complain that the younger generation does not respect their elders. In this verse, the Apostle Peter is speaking of elders, being the spiritual leaders of the Church. However, those who are younger should be subject to all kinds of authority. They should respect people who are elders (older than they are), and especially those who are elders (spiritual leaders). One of the challenges that churches have in all generations is raising the next generation with a proper respect for the elders of the church. This challenge starts with the parents. If the parents are not going to take seriously the job of raising their children to be subject to parental authority, there is not a very good chance that the children will learn proper respe

1 Peter 5:4: And When The Chief Shepherd Appears, You Will Receive The Unfading Crown Of Glory.

1 Peter 5:4 [4] And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (ESV) Pastors/elders are those who are given the responsibility of leading God's people in the church where they serve. This task is not for those who are greedy for money or greedy for power. They are to be teachers of the Word of God. They need to be able to feed the sheep, God's people, and they need to be able to protect them from false teachers, who are really wolves in sheep's clothing. The role of elders/pastors is an important one. With this responsibility comes an accountability. Those who preach and teach will be held to higher standard. In James 3:1, we read, "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness." Those who teach will be judged with greater strictness. God does not want his church to be led astray. The Chief Shepherd. Notice that Jesus Christ is referred to as the Chief

1 Peter 5:3: Not Domineering Over Those In Your Charge, But Being Examples To The Flock.

1 Peter 5:3 [3] Not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. (ESV) There are some people who should not be in charge of anything. Think about that for a moment. Have you ever known someone who was given a position of authority, and they immediately turned into an unbearable tyrant? Perhaps you worked with someone like that. It is tragic when that situation occurs in a secular work place. It is far worse when that happens in a church, with a pastor. Peter reminds those who would be elders/pastors that they are not to be domineering. The fact that he mentions the need to not lead in this way, tells us that this is a problem common to mankind, and in particular for those who would be pastors. There are many who can get good grades in a seminary, who are unqualified to lead in a church because they are too focused on the pursuit of power. Instead of being domineering pastors should lead by being examples to the flock. It should be obvious that a domineering l

1 Peter 5:2: Shepherd The Flock Of God That Is Among You, Exercising Oversight, Not Under Compulsion, But Willingly, As God Would Have You

1 Peter 5:2 [2] Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; (ESV)   Peter is describing the role of elder/pastor. This role is a shepherding role. They are to shepherd the flock of God that is among them. Every flock of sheep is different. Two separate churches may have two very different gifts and abilities, but they are all sheep. There are two things that a shepherd must be sure to do: feed the sheep and protect the sheep.  On the duty of feeding the sheep, it is important that we feed the sheep proper food. The pastor must be able to properly handle the Word of God. It is only God's Word which will properly feed sheep. If one is to be an elder he must be able to teach. This qualification is given in 1 Timothy 3:2. One who wants to be an elder, but cannot teach the Word of God is not qualified for the task. Sheep need to be fed. The sheep also need to be protect

1 Peter 5:1: So I Exhort The Elders Among You, As A Fellow Elder And A Witness Of The Sufferings Of Christ,

1 Peter 5:1 [1] So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: (ESV) The Apostle Peter is about to give an exhortation to all of the elders in the church. He speaks to them as one of them. The church began by apostles who walked with Jesus, of whom Peter was one. As the church grew, elders were appointed to lead the churches. Since that time, and until the time that Christ returns the church is to be led by elders. Who are the elders? All pastors are elders. It is their spiritual role to oversee the spiritual health of the church, to lead in preaching and teaching, and to administer church discipline. In some churches that have elders leading, only one of the elders takes on the role of pastor. In other churches who have elders, all the elders are expected to assume the role of pastor. Peter is coming alongside the pastors/elders who would be reading his words. Peter could a

1 Peter 4:19: Therefore Let Those Who Suffer According To God's Will Entrust Their Souls To A Faithful Creator While Doing Good.

1 Peter 4:19 [19] Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. (ESV)   Therefore, in other words, after all that has been said about suffering and the Christian in the previous verses, here is the summation of what we should do in response to suffering. What Peter says in this verse is very helpful. We all face suffering, but we do not always respond properly to the suffering that God wills in our lives. Peter speaks of those who "suffer according to God's will." There are many Christians who simply refuse to accept a theology that allows for God to will suffering for his children. These same Christians likely have no problem with a theology that allowed for the suffering of Jesus Christ himself. However, they are somehow above suffering. This is bad theology. God is a sovereign God. Nothing happens accidentally. He is in charge. He wants to purify his people. One of the ways that God brings purity to h

1 Peter 4:18: And "If The Righteous Is Scarcely Saved, What Will Become Of The Ungodly And The Sinner?"

1 Peter 4:18 [18] And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” (ESV) Any time that you are reading something in the New Testament, and the author quotes a verse from the Old Testament, it is important. It is Scripture's way of underlining or highlighting a point. It is helpful in understanding the doctrine of our salvation to see how the Old Testament and the New Testament describe it. This is what Peter is doing for us here in this verse.  If you were to ask the average person who claimed to be a Christian to define what it means to be saved, you might get an answer that is inconsistent with what Scripture teaches. Many people will say that God loves us so much that Jesus died for us. We say a prayer, and then God showers us with financial gifts, power, and eternal life. We begin living our best life now the minute after we say a prayer. Peter says that the righteous are scarcely saved. First of all, for us to be saved, it required the

1 Peter 4:17: For It Is Time For Judgment To Begin At The Household Of God; And If It Begins With Us, What Will Be The Outcome For Those Who Do Not Obey The Gospel Of God?

1 Peter 4:17 [17] For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (ESV) As humans, who struggle with our sinful nature, we tend to err in two areas; our view of the church and our view of those outside the church. God seems to have a much more extreme view of things than we do. Instead of adjusting our view to God's we tend to diminish the view of both the church and the unsaved world to match our view of things. Peter talks about it being time for judgment to begin at the household of God. He is not referring to condemnation of believers. He is not speaking of eternal judgment in the fires of hell. Those who belong to the household of God are spared from such judgment. He is talking about the purging and purifying of the church, typically by means of suffering, to make her holy and more effective for kingdom work. We like to think we are good enough. We make a grave mistak

1 Peter 4:16: Yet If Anyone Suffers As A Christian, Let Him Not Be Ashamed, But Let Him Glorify God In That Name.

1 Peter 4:16 [16] Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. (ESV) As a society, we tend to be obsessed with our image. We are concerned about what the neighbors will think. We even worry about what other church members might think. After all, there might be somebody in our church who is more than happy to make judgments about our lives and then share with a group of gossips just how horrible we are. It would be nice if this did not happen, but we know better. Sometimes we suffer sickness, loss, or even the death of a loved one. This kind of suffering is not persecution, but the aforementioned gossips in churches love to proclaim that you are experiencing this suffering because there must be some kind of sin in your life. They then assume they know what sin you are committing, and share their "knowledge" with others. This is tragic. If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed. If the suffering is direct persecution

1 Peter 4:15: But Let None Of You Suffer As A Murderer Or A Thief Or An Evildoer Or As A Meddler.

1 Peter 4:15 [15] But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. (ESV) The previous verses have established emphatically that we will suffer as believers in Jesus Christ. That is not up for debate. More specifically, Peter has reminded us that our persecution will come as a direct result of our identify with the Lord Jesus Christ. He was a man of suffering, as well as being the greatest example of unjust persecution and execution this world has ever known.  Where we need to be careful is when our suffering is not the result of living a godly life, but rather when we are claiming the name of Christ, while acting in contrary, ungodly, ways in our culture. Being a murderer, or a thief, or an evildoer, or a meddler would be contrary to the principles that the Bible gives us for conduct in this godless world that we live in. Most of us understand that suffering for as a murderer or a thief would be against God's principles. These are two of the Ten C

1 Peter 4:14: If You Are Insulted For The Name Of Christ, You Are Blessed, Because The Spirit Of Glory And of God Rests Upon You.

1 Peter 4:14 [14] If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. (ESV)   There is a lot of talk about blessing. Every Christian would claim that they want to be blessed by God. Sadly, too many of them define being blessed in a way that is inconsistent with Scripture. There are churches and preachers who claim that if you are walking in God's way you will have financial prosperity, you will fulfill all of your personal dreams, and you will have the approval of others. This verse in 1 Peter is one of many verses in the Word of God that speaks of a very different way to find blessing in the Christian life. How do we find blessing? When we are insulted for the name of Christ. Now, it is important to notice that we are blessed when we are insulted for the name of Christ. There are times that we are insulted because we acted wrongly. That gains us no blessing. Part of our modern day problem with understanding the right

1 Peter 4:13: But Rejoice Insofar As You Share Christ's Sufferings, That You May Also Rejoice And Be Glad When His Glory Is Revealed.

1 Peter 4:13 [13] But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. (ESV) As we begin to look at this verse, let's start with the reality that we will face suffering. There is no getting around it. The Apostle Paul wrote about this in his last epistle, written at the end of his life. "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted"  (2 Timothy 3:12). The issue, as the Apostle Peter will make clear, is how we respond to the persecution. We will want to rejoice and be glad when Christ's glory is revealed. If we had any idea what kind of glory awaits us, when Christ returns, it would affect how we live our lives. We are so near-sighted in our understanding. God has promised great reward for those who have faithfully served and loved him. Our works do not save us. Our works, done for Christ's glory will be rewarded. How we respond to the persecutions that come our way

1 Peter 4:12: Beloved, Do Not Be Surprised At The Fiery Trial When It Comes Upon You To Test You, As Though Something Strange Were Happening To You.

1 Peter 4:12 [12] Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. (ESV) As we read about fiery trials it is interesting to note that some theologians believe Peter was referring to  the fire the burned the city of Rome. History indicates that Nero likely set the fire, while blaming the Christians. This was the beginning of a long period of time of great persecution against the church. Whether or not Peter was describing the burning of Rome, trials were very real experiences for the church. Peter starts this verse with the word, "Beloved." For the ones who would receive this letter it was likely an encouragement to know that the were loved. It is always good to know that when we are going through a trial we have people who love us. Peter walked closely with Jesus himself. He knew what it was like to go through trials. He also knew the love of God. He also loved God's children. For those

1 Peter 4:11: Whoever Speaks, As One Who Speaks Oracles Of God; Whoever Serves, As One Who Serves By The Strength That God Supplies

1 Peter 4:11 [11] Whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (ESV) In the previous verse, the Apostle Peter talked about the fact that everyone has a gift. These gifts are to be used to be a blessing to one another. Now, he is telling us in verse 11 that the gifts that God gives can be categorized in two ways: speaking gifts and serving gifts. As you hear what the Bible says about gifts, be thinking about what gift you have and how you are using it. The first category is speaking gifts. You could consider gifts like preaching, teaching, prophesying, words of encouragement, etc. We, who have these kinds of gifts, should speak as one who speaks oracles of God. There is a word of caution here. There are many with speaking gifts who act as if their words are God's words. They are not. I

1 Peter 4:10: As Each Has Received A Gift, Use It To Serve One Another, As Good Stewards Of God's Varied Grace.

1 Peter 4:10 [10] As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: (ESV) In every church, there is a gathered body of believers where every single person has a gift. Even though every person has a gift, it is a rare occasion to find more than a small minority who are actually exercising that gift for the benefit of the body and the glory of God. It isn't because the rest of the body has no gifts. The Apostle Peter says, "as each has received a gift." Every person in the body of Christ has a gift. Warming a pew occasionally is not a gift. Complaining about the pastor is not a gift. Criticizing others is not a gift. These things are reflective of a church where people are not using their gifts. Gifts that we have received from God are to be used to serve one another. If you find that your actions in a church setting are focused on yourself you can be sure you are not using your gift. Gifts serve others, not ourselves. It is l

1 Peter 4:9: Show Hospitality To One Another Without Grumbling.

1 Peter 4:9 [9] Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. (ESV) How often do you have someone in your home that is not part of your immediate family? In the home I grew up in, my father, a pastor, had many different people in our home to have dinner, fellowship, and conversation. They were mostly from the church where my father pastored. However, if someone was in need, my dad would invite the people in, and show them hospitality. In our culture today, we tend to be a bit resistant to the idea of bringing someone in to our home. We are not likely to have people from our church into our home. There is almost no chance that we would allow a stranger into our home. The Apostle Peter instructs us to show hospitality to one another. This means that we are to have a more open door policy than we likely do, currently. The writer of Hebrews also instructs us to show hospitality. The reason might surprise you. Hebrews 13:2 says, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, fo

1 Peter 4:8: Above All, Keep Loving One Another Earnestly, Since Love Covers A Multitude Of Sins.

1 Peter 4:8 [8] Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (ESV) This verse starts with the words, "Above all." It implies that what follows is of utmost importance. Peter says that we should keep loving one another earnestly. In some churches, people cannot keep loving one another earnestly. They would  have to start loving one another first! Sadly, there are many people who claim to know Jesus Christ as their Savior, who cannot seem to get along with others who make the claim. Church is where we live out this command that Peter gives to us. If you want to know how loving a church is go to a business meeting. Observe how people who have differing opinions treat one another. I have been cussed out in a church meeting. I have heard hateful, raised voices in a church meeting. These are things that should never happen. Why do we love one another earnestly? There can be several reasons. The practical application is that it will cover a mu

1 Peter 4:7: The End Of All Things Is At Hand; Therefore Be Self-Controlled And Sober-Minded For The Sake Of Your Prayers.

1 Peter 4:7 [7] The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. (ESV) There are times where we seem to lose our focus on how we should live our daily lives as Christians. The first thing that Peter mentions here in this verse is the imminent return of Christ. The believer in Jesus should always be living his/her life with the sense that the Lord could return at any moment. We do not live for this world, we live for the next, while we are still in this world. The people in Peter's day needed to be reminded that Christ was returning. In fact, some were questioning why Jesus had not returned yet. In Peter's second letter (2 Peter 3:9) he says this: "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance" (ESV). How should we live in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ? We should be self-con

1 Peter 4:6: For This Is Why The Gospel Was Preached Even To Those Who Are Dead

1 Peter 4:6 [6] For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. (ESV) The church seems to be in need of reforming. This is nothing new. In the sixteenth century, the great Martin Luther was one of the champions of bringing the church back to it's biblical roots. In every generation there is a need to get back to the foundation of who we are and what we are supposed to do. What is that foundation? The gospel of Jesus Christ is our foundation as a church. Peter references this gospel in this verse, claiming that it was necessary for it to be preached. He refers back to those who have already heard the gospel, believed the gospel, and then died. They have been judged in the flesh, but they are now alive in the Spirit. This was true in the first century church. This is true in every century. There are two significant points to be made here. First of all, Peter says th

1 Peter 4:5: But They Will Give Account To Him Who Is Ready To Judge The Living And The Dead.

1 Peter 4:5 [5] But they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. (ESV) In the previous verses Peter describes something that Christians sometimes experience. The people who do not know the Lord do not understand why believers in Jesus do not join them in their debauchery, drunkenness, and immoral behavior. Not only do they not understand it, but they malign the believers for not joining them in their sinful lifestyle. Peter reminds us all that these who want to live a lifestyle of sin will give an account to the righteous judge of all men. There is nothing that we do that is not without consequence. We know that for those who engage in sin as their identity will reap a harvest of judgment. The sinner does not know anything else, but that does not change their culpability for their sin. This stands as a reminder to us as Christians that we should not be engaging in the same sinful actions as our non-believing society. When we engage in sin, we further con

1 Peter 4:4: With Respect To This They Are Surprised When You Do Not Join Them In The Same Flood Of Debauchery, And They Malign You.

1 Peter 4:4 [4] With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; (ESV) Those who are not believers in Jesus Christ live for the pursuit of their own pleasures. They are given to drunkenness. They participate in sexual behaviors that the Word of God condemns. There is no real moral restraint on their lives. Their standard, if they have one at all, is that if it feels good, they are prone to do it. They may say, "As long as I'm not hurting anyone." Of course, sin always hurts someone. Notice how Peter describes unbelievers as being surprised that you, as a believer in Jesus Christ, are not joining them in their godless lifestyle. They likely wonder why you would refuse to engage in things that give pleasure. What they fail to understand is that the very things they think are giving them pleasure are the things that are destroying their lives. The believer in Jesus Christ has been transformed. The Apostle

1 Peter 4:3: For The Time That Is Past Suffices For Doing What The Gentiles Want To Do, Living In Sensuality, Passions, Drunkenness, Orgies, Drinking Parties, and Lawless Idolatry.

1 Peter 4:3 [3] For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. (ESV) There is supposed to be a distinct difference between Christians and non-Christians. Here, Peter refers to those who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Gentiles. We view the word, "Gentile," as simply being non-Jewish. For the sake of the context of this verse we need to understand Peter's description of Gentiles as being those who do not know the Savior. Notice that the change in becoming a believer was supposed to mean a change in lifestyle. Previously, the recipients of Peter's letter would have freely engaged in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. These things brought them temporary pleasure. As a believer in Jesus Christ these lifestyle choices are off limits. The question comes to mind, "Why are we not to engage in sinful

1 Peter 4:2: So As To Live For The Rest Of The Time In The Flesh No Longer For Human Passions But For The Will Of God.

1 Peter 4:2 [2] So as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. (ESV) As you read this verse consider what your plans are for the rest of your life. Perhaps your plans involve following the typical American Dream. Work hard and stockpile as much money as you can for your retirement. Perhaps, you plan on having a few children. You may be involved in community organizations so that you can serve others, while getting some accolades along the way. What does the Apostle Peter suggest that we should be doing for the rest of our lives? He says that we should live the rest of our lives for the will of God, and not for human passions. I wonder how many times preachers have preached this verse. I wonder how many Christians have read this verse and quickly continued reading, while ignoring this message of living only for the will of God. One of the biggest problems in the church today is that we want to live for ourselves, pursuing our hu

1 Peter 4:1: Since Therefore Christ Suffered In The Flesh, Arm Yourselves With The Same Way Of Thinking, For Whoever Has Suffered In The Flesh Has Ceased From Sin

1 Peter 4:1 [1] Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, (ESV) There is a key word for us in this verse. The word is "therefore." What's it there for? Peter is saying, that based on the fact that Jesus Christ has suffered in his body and rose victorious from the grave we should have the same attitude that he had. Our approach to suffering is not to fear it or avoid it, but rather, to know that suffering cannot harm us. Our way of thinking concerning suffering tends to be a desire to avoid suffering at all costs. We may even subscribe to a theology that expects God to deliver us from every type of suffering. This kind of theology cannot be found in Scripture. Does God deliver his people from all suffering? Yes, in death we are delivered from all suffering. In this life we will have trouble. Peter says that whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin. He i

1 Peter 3:22: Who Has Gone Into Heaven And Is At The Right Hand Of God, With Angels, Authorities, And Powers Having Been Subjected To Him.

1 Peter 3:22 [22] Who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. (ESV)   This verse is speaking of Jesus Christ. We need to see this verse in context with all of the preceding verses in this letter from the Apostle Peter. Remember that he has been talking about submission to authority up until this point. We have been instructed to be subject to every authority given in mankind. Slaves to masters. Wives to husbands. Citizens to the emperor.  Even Jesus himself made himself subject to authority while he was on earth. The Apostle Paul is speaking of Jesus when he tells us this in Philippians 2:6-7: "who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men." We now find Peter saying that Jesus Christ is in a very different situation. He modeled subjection to authority. He calls u

1 Peter 3:21: Baptism, Which Corresponds To This, Now Saves You, Not As A Removal of Dirt From The Body But As An Appeal To God For A Good Conscience,

1 Peter 3:21 [21] Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (ESV)   Peter has just spoken of the spirits who were imprisoned for their great evil during the time of Noah. The ark saved only eight people in all, even though Noah faithfully warned mankind for 120 years of the coming judgment. This ark rescued Noah and his family from God's wrath that was poured out on the earth in the form of a great flood. Baptism corresponds to this picture of being rescued from the wrath of God. It is different than you may assume, however. The word, baptism, is not speaking of the same kind of baptism that we celebrate as a washing away of sin, and being raised to new life in Jesus Christ. In fact, Peter says in this verse, "not as a removal of dirt from the body." The baptism that Peter is describing is an immersion into Christ Jesus, as an ark of saf

1 Peter 3:20: Because They Formerly Did Not Obey, When God's Patience Waited Waited In The Days Of Noah, While The Ark Was Being Prepared

1 Peter 3:20 [20] because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. (ESV) Peter here continues talking about the demons held in prison, whom Jesus proclaimed his victory over sin and death. These evil spirits he now mentions have been imprisoned since the time of Noah. They will await sentencing and ultimately will be in eternal torment. Their wickedness was prevalent on the Earth during Noah's time.  Peter mentions the time when the ark was being prepared. Before the flood men lived much longer. Noah lived for 950 years. He took 120 years to build the ark. Noah did not just build the ark, he also preached repentance to mankind. In all those years no one turned from their sin and repented. The only people who survived God's wrath, after 120 years of preaching repentance, was eight people. There are two things that are amazing about this.

1 Peter 3:19: In Which He Went And Proclaimed To The Spirits In Prison

1 Peter 3:19 [19] In which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, (ESV) We do not know much about what happened between Jesus' death and resurrection. Peter gives us a little glimpse into the events that transpired. In verse 18 he speaks of how Jesus was, "put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit." Jesus' physical body was dead. His spiritual body declared his victory over sin and death to those demons who were destined to an eternal punishment in hell. There are false teachers who claim that Jesus went to hell and was even punished. This could not be further from the truth. Jesus went to spirits in prison to declare victory. He had purchased our salvation. He had paid the penalty of our sin on the cross. In fact, his words on the cross are helpful here. He said, "It is finished" (John 19:30). All of the punishment was received and dealt with at the cross. We can also gather from this verse that there are some demons whose actions wer

1 Peter 3:18: For Christ Suffered Once For Sins, The Righteous For The Unrighteous, That He Might Bring Us To God, Being Put To Death In The Flesh But Made Alive In The Spirit

1 Peter 3:18 [18] For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, (ESV) As we approach this verse we would do well to remember that the original recipients of Peter's words were facing tremendous physical persecution for their faith. Peter reminds them here that Christ himself suffered in his body. His body was perfect. The people reading Peter's words were still struggling with sin. While they had received the imputed righteousness of Christ, they still had a sin nature. The one who had a perfect and holy nature was willing to suffer, even unto death, for those who were unrighteous, and therefore, undeserving. It is comforting to know that God does not call us to suffer unjustly, while himself not suffering unjustly. What God calls us to, God has already demonstrated his willingness to do, in an even grander and more sacrificial way. We have an understanding