3:13 Now who is he who will harm you, if you
become imitators of that
which is good?
3:14 But even if you should suffer for
you are blessed. "Don't fear what they fear, neither be
3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your
and always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason
concerning the hope that is in you, with humility and fear:
3:16 having a good conscience; that, while you
are spoken against as
they may be disappointed who curse your good manner of life in Christ.
3:17 For it is better, if the will of God should
that you suffer for doing well than for doing evil.
3:18 Because Christ also suffered for sins once,
the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God;
being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
3:19 in which he also went and preached to the
spirits in prison,
3:20 who before were disobedient,
when God waited patiently in the days of Noah,
while the ark was being built.
In it, few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
3:21 This is a symbol of baptism, which now
saves you -
not the putting away of the filth of the flesh,
but the answer of a good conscience toward God,
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
3:22 who is at the right hand of
God, having gone into heaven,
angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.
vs 13-14 How does fear interfere with our responding properly to
What fears dominate non-Christians who suffer unjustly?
vs 15 What does it mean for Christ to be Lord to you?
Why would people ask you for a reason for the hope you have?
How should you not answer?
Why would people slander your good behavior?
vs 17 Is it ever God's will for you to suffer for doing good?
vs 19-21 Concerning the flood of Noah what aspects may be likened to
various aspects of Christianity?
Fear not for doing Good
1Peter 3:13,14 Who
is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you
should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what
they fear; do not be frightened."
Obviously there are people who would harm you for doing good. Just look
at what happened to Christ. But there is nothing to fear from such
people. For Jesus said, "I tell you, my friends, do
not be afraid of those
who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you
whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has
power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him." Luke
Don't be afraid to live the Christian life and carry out the ministry
to which you were called. Don't let earthly fears influence your
decisions. Fear God, not men. "Fear of man will
prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe."
Pr 29:25 It's a fact that "everyone
who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." 2Tim
3:12 And there's a blessing in experiencing persecution. Jesus
said, "Blessed are those who are persecuted
because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed
are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds
of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because
great is your reward in heaven." Mt 5:10-12 Yes there
is compensation for all the injustices you have suffered here on earth.
So take courage.
Winning a Hearing
1Peter 3:15,16 But in your hearts set
apart Christ as Lord. Always be
prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason
for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
To set apart Christ "as Lord" in your heart means that you have made
yourself subordinate to his commands and to his authority. "And he died for all, that those who live should no
longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised
again." 2Cor 5:15 We can have confidence in the midst of
opposition and through the trials of life because we are acting under
God's authority and there are eternal consequences at stake.
Consequently we should not become exasperated by the trivial things
that weigh down the world with worries. Such confidence and
perseverance is itself a witness. It communicates conviction and may
open a door for the gospel. The
good works you do are being done under the authority of Christ, and as
such those who oppose you do not have authority to do so. By persisting
in good works, despite the difficulties and opposition, demonstrates
how important they are and that you are acting with conviction.
Be prepared to give an answer. "The heart of the
righteous studies how to answer" Pr 15:28a Consider what
on other peoples minds that are relevant to our faith? Or perhaps what
questions should we put on their minds. As Peter says in the next
chapter, our lives should invoke curiosity as to why we don't live like
the worldly. "We have spent enough of our past
lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles——when we walked in lewdness,
lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable
idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not
run with them in the same flood of dissipation" 1Peter 4:3,4
In this sense it is healthy for Christians to be thought of as
"strange" by the worldly. When
suffer as Christ did and bear it even with joy, this is certainly a
phenomenon. When we are mistreated, but in response show love and
this is strange. When we are content with what the world is not content
with, this can be attractive to those who seek contentment. Just
in a Christlike manner despite the circumstances, that can win a
However, many Christians have simply resorted to "flag waving"
to generate questions. Rather than behaving in a Christlike manner,
will just behave weird in order to generate questions or interest. And
then there are some among the healthy and wealthy Christians boasting
their riches who give false testimony proposing that if you become a
you'll be healthy and wealthy. But if its worldly health and wealth
one seeks, the world has a better offer. Christ died poor at the age of
33. And many of his devout followers suffered similar fates. Rather,
the rich be generous. And then perhaps they can win a hearing
Furthermore our answers should not be pompous, arrogant and
but rather as a fellow sinner who has received undeserved grace - as
beggar showing another where to get a drink of water. Humility is the
essential of character qualities. Without it we cannot help the lost to
develop saving faith. In fact without it, Christian love is nullified.
Keep a Clear Conscience
1Peter 3:16 keeping
a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your
good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
A good conscience is a healthy conscience. A healthy conscience is one
that feels good when we do good and bad when we do bad. Developing a
healthy conscience is a process, as is the development of an unhealthy
conscience. It's a matter of compliance to God's will. "The goal of this command is love, which comes from a
pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." 1Tim
1:5 As sinners our conscience is corrupt
to a degree. But having been born of God, the Word of God and the Holy
Spirit help to heal our conscience that we can discern better between
and wrong. But we must exercise it. "Solid food
is for the mature,
by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."
5:14 And Paul says, "I strive always
to keep my
clear before God and man."Acts 24:16 Don't
If you feel guilty for doing something or for not doing something,
your conscience. Your maturity depends on it.
Keep a clear conscience with regards to how you react to hostility.
Innocent victims always end up winning in the long term. While evil men
are put to shame. (Works as well both inside and outside the Christian
Suffering for Good - God's Will?
1Peter 3:17 It
is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing
Many are of the opinion that if one is doing the will of God they will
be free from suffering. But this is not the case. Doing the will of God
involves suffering - even suffering persecution, as it is written, "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in
Christ Jesus will be persecuted" 2Tim 3:12
Many ask, "Why does God allow good people to
Isn't it unjust for those who do good to suffer for it? Isn't it better
for people to suffer for the bad things they do rather than the good?
while it is acknowledged that God is just, Peter is speaking from the
of grace rather than the perspective of justice. Both are valid
But if we take God's plan and purposes in mind, now especially is a
for grace to reign. Justice will come, but let us walk in grace. In
others to Christ we need to graciously tolerate a degree of abuse and
our rights if we are to walk in the same Spirit that Jesus walked in on
the road to the cross.
Christ died for Sins
1Peter 3:18 For Christ died for sins
once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit
It was God's will for Christ to suffer. "It
was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though
the LORD makes his life a guilt offering" Is 53:10 Jesus
said, "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I
say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very
I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" John
12:27-28a Christ dying for sins is central to the gospel message. "For what I received I passed on to you as of first
importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to
the Scriptures" 1Cor 15:3,4 And "He
is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also
for the sins of the whole world." 1John 2:2
The resurrection of Christ from the dead provides us with forensic
evidence validating his testimony as the Son of God, and giving us hope
of our resurrection. For "if the Spirit of Him
who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from
the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit
who dwells in you." Rom 8:11
1Peter 3:19,20 through whom also he
went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed 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
Where did Christ go when he died? In Acts chapter 2 Peter speaks of
Christ death saying, "You will not leave my soul
in Hades" Acts 2:27 Jesus went to Hades. What is Hades?
Jesus describes Hades in Luke 16:19-31 where he speaks of two men dying
and ending up there. In Hades there is paradise, as Jesus said to the
thief on the cross next to him, "today you will
be with me in paradise." Luke 23:43b And there is hell
fire. In Luke 16 he describes a rich man who "being
in torments in Hades" Luke 16:23b says, "I am tormented in this flame." Luke
16:24b This side is also known as "hell" or "Gehenna", like
Jesus said, "And if your eye causes you to sin,
pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one
eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire" Mr
9:47 So there are two sides to Hades. One is paradise and the
other is hell, a place of torment. These are separated by an impassible
gap. However both sides could talk to each other.When Jesus died he
went to paradise and preached across the gap to those in hell.
Among those he would have preached to were those who died in
disobedience during Noah's time. Perhaps the reason why Peter brings
this up is to draw an analogy to his readers concerning the present
time. For the gospel is the ark of salvation, though few believe it. In
Noah's time only 8 people were saved. Upon being asked, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?"
Jesus said to them, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow
door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able
to." Luke 13:23,24
1Peter 3:21,22 There is also an antitype
which now saves us——baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh,
but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the
resurrection of Jesus Christwho
has gone into heaven and
is at God’s right hand— with angels, authorities and powers in
submission to him.
Peter is referring to the flood of Noah. He is not referring to a
particular element of the flood. The NIV incorrectly inserts the word
"water", which is not found in this verse in the Greek, and thus I'm
quoting here from a more precise version. The water of Noah did not
represent salvation but wrath. The ark represents Christ, our
salvation. The ark saves us from the flood of God's wrath.
But there is an analogy with regards to water baptism. But he is not
speaking of the ritual of water baptism having some kind of sacramental
nature, which is why he says, "not the removal of
the filth of the flesh". Nothing done to the flesh can save
a person. An early Christian cult throught circumcision saves.
Later a heresy was introduced in historic Christianity that water
baptism saves, simply replacing circumcision with baptism - one ritual
with another. Such heresies are of the same spirit. Rather what Peter
is talking about is having a pledge of a good conscience towards God.
Noah was saved because he had pledged a good conscience towards God.
Water baptism is supposed to correspond to one's repentance from sin,
having pledged a good conscience to God. In contrast, baptism heretics
will baptize infants, which has nothing to do with repentance or making
such a pledge.
Water baptism is an analogous to salvation. But what really matters is
the baptism of the Holy Spirit in which one is included in
Christ. John the Baptist contrasts to two saying, "I baptize you with water for repentance. But
after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am
not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and
with fire." Mt 3:11 Baptism
of the Spirit may occur before or after one is water baptized. For
example concerning the conversion of the household of Cornelius they
said, "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized
with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we
have." Acts10:47 When one receives the Holy Spirit they
are included in Christ. "You also
were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of
your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal,
the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our
inheritance" Eph 1:13,14 And "if
anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to
Christ." Rom 8:9 When one receives the Holy Spirit they
enter the Ark, God closes the door, and they are eternally secure.
Having ascended to heaven Jesus has such authority as to secure a place
"I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor
depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom
3:13 And who will bring the harm to you if you do the
So you should in everything do the good you should 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right
How blessed you are and unlike them don't have fear nor fright 15 But in your hearts make Christ the Lord, ready to
To everyone who asks you of the hope you have beyond 16 With gentleness and respect keep your conscience
So to shame the ones who speak against your good works here. 17 It is better if it really be the will of God
To suffer for the right you do, though it may be hard 18 For Christ did also suffer once the just one in our
Being put to death in flesh, then risen from the dead 19 By that Spirit also preached to those who
misbehaved 20 Who disobeyed in Noah's time, when only 8 were
saved. 21 The flood of Noah is a type of washing that saves
Not from dirt but to pledge your conscience to be true 22 Unto God who saves you by the one he gave the
The Christ who reigns at God's right hand and all to him bow down