1 Peter Chapter 3 Continued
1 Peter 3:12 “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.”
The following Scriptures says the feeling of God toward His own and the people of the world.
John 9:31 “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.”
James 5:16 “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
This certainly does not mean that God will not hear a prayer of repentance. God will listen to the prayer of anyone when they repent. He does see the actions of all of us everyday. He listens more to His own than He does to those who have refused Him.
There is a Christian song that speaks of the all-seeing eye of God. Not anything escapes His view. God will not force Himself upon anyone. He will wait for us to come to Him.
1 Peter 3:13 “And who [is] he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?”
“Who is he that will harm you”: It is unusual for people to mistreat those who are zealous for good. Even a hostile world is slow to hurt people who are benefactors of society, who are kind and caring (4:12), but it does happen (verse 14).
The devil cannot harm a Christian without first getting permission from the Lord. When persecution comes, it is to make the Christian strong. The blood of Jesus defeated the devil on the cross. Christians are covered in the blood of Jesus. Some translations say “if ye be zealous of that which is good”. Both statements mean we have put our trust in the Lord.
1 Peter 3:14 “But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy [are ye]: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;”
Happy or “blessed” is the idea here for “privileged” or “honored” (Matthew 5:10).
In this life Christians have tribulation, or persecution. Tribulation makes them strong. It is a very strange thing to explain, but the church grows the most during the worst persecution. True Christianity will rise above the problems of life and go on.
1 Peter 3:15 “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:”
“Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts”: The meaning is “set apart in your hearts Christ as Lord.” The heart is the sanctuary in which He prefers to be worshiped. Live in submissive communion with the Lord Jesus, loving and obeying Him, and you have nothing to fear.
“An answer” (Greek apologetics, “a defense of one’s belief’s”). The Christian faith is to be defended by a reasonable apologetic with “meekness and fear.”
Peter is using the word in an informal sense (Phil. 1:16-17), and is insisting that the believer must understand what he believes and why one is a Christian, and then be able to articulate one’s beliefs humbly, thoughtfully, reasonably, and biblically.
This just means to be totally committed to the Lord in your heart. You are what your heart is. The last part of this just means that we must be ready to witness to everyone about what the Lord has done in our lives. The witness of the saved brings others to the Lord.
We should not be arrogant when we are witnessing to others. When we minister to someone, it must be done in love. The following Scriptures tell us exactly what to say to those we minister to.
Matthew 10:18-20 “And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.” “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.” “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”
“The hope that is in you”: Salvation with its anticipation of eternal glory.
Regardless of who we are speaking to, we must put our trust in God that we will say what they need to hear.
1 Peter 3:16 “Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.”
“A good conscience” refers to a clear conscience, that is, one void of offense.
The conscience accuses (Rom. 2:14-15), by notifying the person of sin by producing guilt, shame, doubt, fear, anxiety, or despair. A life free of ongoing and unconfessed sin, lived under the command of the lord, will produce a “blameless conscience” (Acts 24:16). This will cause your false accusers to feel the “shame” of their own consciences (2:12, 15).
This is saying to me that we Christians should be totally honest in all that we do. When we lie down to sleep at night, we should have lived today with no regrets. We should do good all the days of our lives, regardless of what the world around us is doing.
When we continue to speak absolute truth in love, those who have been speaking evil of us will soon feel guilty and repent. We must set a very high standard of Christianity. When the world looks, we must not even give the appearance of evil.
1 Peter 3:17 “For [it is] better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.”
In the “Will of God” we are sometimes called on to “suffer” for well-doing as a testimony to others.
Jesus suffered for doing good, not evil. Christians should be followers of Christ. If He suffered, we will suffer. Paul counted it a privilege to suffer for Christ. We learn from history that Peter was even pleased that He would be crucified like Jesus was.
If we suffer for evil we have done, we have no reward, and we deserve the punishment. If we suffer for Christ, great is our reward in heaven.
Verses 18-22: “That he may bring us to God” means in order that Christ might bring us to, or give us access to, God. Since Christ has opened up the way to God there is no longer the need of a priesthood; rather, each individual believer is himself a priest.
1 Peter 3:18 “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:”
Peter wished to encourage his readers in their suffering by again reminding them that even Christ suffered unjustly because it was God’s will (verse 17). Ultimately, Christ was marvelously triumphant to the point of being exalted to the right hand of God while all of those demon beings who were behind His suffering were made forever subject to Him (verse 22). God also caused Peter’s suffering readers to triumph.
“Hath once suffered for sins”: Under the old Covenant, the Jewish people offered sacrifice after sacrifice and then repeated it all the next year, especially at the Passover. But Christ’s one sacrifice for sins was of such perpetual validity that it was sufficient for all and would never need to be repeated.
Jesus Christ (who knew no sin), took upon his body, the sin of us all. He had no sin of His own. He was the Righteous One. He gave us in return His righteousness, which justified us before the Father. The Spirit of God dwelled within the flesh of man in the form of Jesus Christ.
“The just for the unjust”: This is another statement of the sinlessness of Jesus (Heb. 7:26), and of His substitutionary and vicarious atonement. He, who personally never sinned and had no sin nature, took the place of sinners (2:24; 2 Cor. 5:21). In doing so, Christ satisfied God’s just penalty for sin required by the law and opened the way to God for all who repentantly believe (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
Jesus gave His flesh on the cross in full payment for our sin. His Spirit went to the Father in heaven. He said “Father, into thy hands, I commend my Spirit.” His Spirit, which is eternal, went to the throne of God. Jesus, the Word of God, is alive.
“Quicken by the Spirit”: This is not a reference to the Holy Spirit, but to Jesus’ true inner life, His own spirit. Contrasted with His flesh (humanness), which was dead for 3 days, His spirit (deity), was alive, literally “in spirit” (Luke 23:46).
1 Peter 3:19-20 “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 Spirit of Jesus went into the place of imprisonment of the spirits departed from this earth and preached to those who had not had an opportunity to accept, or reject, Him. Every person has his opportunity to accept, or reject, Jesus as their Savior.
They were disobedient, because they did not know of God. The church had not been established at this time, spoken of as Noah’s day.
Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord, and God saved Noah and his wife, his three sons, and their wives. These 8 people would repopulate the earth. The “number eight” means new beginnings. God does not leave the slightest detail out.
1 Peter 3:21 “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:”
Peter is teaching that the fact that 8 people were in the ark and went through the whole judgment, and yet were unharmed, is analogous to the Christian’s experience in salvation by being in Christ, the ark of one’s salvation.
“Baptism … by the resurrection of Jesus Christ”: Peter is not at all referring to water baptism here, but rather a figurative immersion into union with Christ as an ark of safety from the judgment of God. The resurrection of Christ demonstrates God’s acceptance of Christ’s substitutionary death for the sins of those who believe (Acts 2:30-31; Rom. 1:4).
“Baptism doth also now save us”: does not mean that water baptism is essential to salvation. Since it cannot wash away the “filth of the flesh,” baptism shows the “answer of a good conscience toward God.” In other words, baptism is a conscious testimony to one’s faith in the “resurrection of Jesus Christ” because it symbolizes our resurrection with Him.
“Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh”: To be sure he is not misunderstood; Peter clearly says he is not speaking of water baptism. In Noah’s flood, they were kept out of the water while those who went into the water were destroyed. Being in the ark and thus saved from God’s judgment on the world prefigures being in Christ and thus saved from eternal damnation.
“But the answer of a good conscience toward God” (answer = appeal): The word for “appeal” has the idea of a pledge, agreeing to certain conditions of a covenant (the New Covenant), with God. What saves a person plagued by sin and a guilty conscience is not some external rite, but the agreement with God to get in the ark of safety, the Lord Jesus, by faith in His death and resurrection (Rom. 10:9-10; Heb. 9:14; 10:22).
“Water baptism” is an outward show of the death of the body and rising from that watery grave to new life in Christ. The real baptism, that saves us, is the transformation that takes place in our heart. We must turn our heart over to Jesus. Water baptism is very important. It confirms to the world, what has gone on in our heart.
Jesus defeated sin for the Christian on the cross. He defeated death, when He rose from the tomb.
1 Peter 3:22 “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.”
“Right hand of God”: After Jesus accomplished His cross work and was raised from the dead, He was exalted to the place of prominence, honor, majesty, authority and power (Rom. 8:34; Ephesians 1:20-21; Phil. 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:3-9; 6:20; 8:1; 12:2). The point of application to Peter’s readers is that suffering can be the context for one’s greatest triumph, as seen in the example of the Lord Jesus.
We can see from the following verses the extent to which His authority extends.
Ephesians 1:20-21 “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places],” “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:”
Philippians 2:10 “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;”
Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, because He has completed His work of salvation. The only time the Bible mentions Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father, is when he stood to greet His servant Stephen home.
1 Peter Chapter 3 Continued Questions
- Verse 12 says the eyes of the Lord are over who?
- His ears are open unto their ___________.
- Who is the face of the Lord against?
- The _________ ________ prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
- The prayers of the _______ are always heard.
- Who has the all-seeing eye?
- What must the devil do, before he attacks a Christian?
- Why do Christians suffer persecution?
- What does “if ye be followers of that which is good” mean?
- When is the church in the greatest growth?
- Sanctify the Lord God in your _________.
- Be ready always to give an _________ to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is within you.
- When we minister to someone, it must be done in _______.
- When we continue to speak absolute truth in love, what will those who have been speaking evil of us do?
- What was Paul’s attitude about suffering for Christ?
- Christ was put to death in the ________ , but quickened in the _________.
- What did Jesus give to the believers, when He took their sin on His body on the cross?
- Why were the people in Noah’s day disobedient?
- How many souls were saved from the flood in Noah’s day?
- Who were they?
- What does the “number 8” mean spiritually?
- What is “water baptism”?
- What is the baptism that saves us?
- When did Jesus defeat sin for the Christian?
- When did Jesus defeat death?
- Where is Jesus now?
- What was the only time that Jesus was spoken of as standing at the right hand of God?