1 PETER 3
Some wise words to husbands: “…in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (3:7). What does “in the same way” mean? It refers to the graciousness of Jesus in the previous chapter (2:21-23): He did not sin and did not lie; when he was insulted and ridiculed, he did not retaliate or make threats. Instead, he trusted in God to deal justly with him. Husbands, even when you are right, you must act the right way towards your wives, with consideration, respect, and kindness – even when they are wrong! Physically and emotionally, they are created to be different from you, and you must never take advantage of this fact. If you ignore this command, then don’t expect the Lord to listen to you either! A godly marriage is the best foundation for a powerful prayer life (unless you called to be single!).
What do verses 19-20 mean? “After [Jesus] was made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits – to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it, only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water…”. This is a tricky one: Interpretation One is that at the time of Noah, Christ went and preached through Noah to the wicked generation of that age (a kind of ‘time-travel’ which would not be a problem for our Eternal God). Interpretation Two is that Christ literally went to a kind of ‘angel prison’ where incarcerated spirits were made to listen to his victory speech – perhaps some event related to Ephesians 4:8, which quotes Psalm 68:18. Interpretation Three is that between death and resurrection, Christ went to Hades and preached to the spirits of Noah’s contemporaries – again to give a declaration of victory. Interpretation Four relates to Genesis 6:1-4 where it speaks of the ‘Sons of God’ having children by the ‘Daughters of Men’; these short verses have had whole books and commentaries written about them, and one intriguing interpretation is that some of God’s Heavenly ‘Council’ went ‘rogue’ and had forbidden relationships with human women. These rogue spirits were then punished by God with imprisonment until the Day of Judgement, and these were the ones who were preached to by Jesus at his resurrection. See the books ‘Supernatural’ and ‘The Unseen Realm’ by Michael S. Heiser, for much more detail on this doctrine.
Baptism saves you. That’s what it says in 1 Peter 3:21, if you read it carefully. This is backed up by Romans 6:3-4. Does that therefore mean that anyone who is ‘sprinkled’ or ‘immersed’ is automatically saved? What do we mean by baptism? It is surely a ceremony with power, power that changes you. Just as a wedding ceremony is not just symbolic, but efficacious (you really do become married when it ends), so baptism is not just symbolic, but life changing. Faith is not enough: “Whoever believers AND is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16). Baptism, then is a fusion of faith and water which brings salvation. Refusal to be baptized is the clearest evidence that the person does not have saving faith, since Baptism is the first act of faith. It is also a pledge or declaration of undying love and commitment to the Lord; if you have been baptized, then you have given him Lordship over your life for ever.