1 Peter Chapter 3 Study

1 Peter 3:1: “Likewise” is a reference to what is commanded of servants back in chapter 2 verse 18.

It’s not proper for a wife to be lecturing her husband or even taking it upon herself to preach to him.  That doesn’t mean there isn’t ever a time and place for a Christian wife to share Bible truths with her husband, but she doesn’t have the authority to command him to listen to her.  And especially considering her God-given place of subjection within the marriage, there is a much better way for her to persuade her husband to obey God’s Word.

3:2: It’s rather that.

3:3: Plaiting- Think of perming; wearing of gold- denotes anything that expresses luxury or ostentatiousness (obviously seeking to attract attention to oneself); putting on of apparel= fine apparel

3:4: Peter is saying that women should seek to be beautiful in this way and not resort to the means expressed in verse three to attain beauty.  This is also important for single men in considering whom to marry.  But even more so, they should be sure that they would be compatible with such a woman.

3:5: This is further evidence that feminism is wicked and that anyone with a feminist mentality, as well as anyone who justifies the feminist mentality, is opposed to God.  

Remember here that Sapphira was killed along with her husband Ananias for being in subjection to him in his lying.  Biblical submission is obedience in the Lord or obedience consistent with the Lord.  A wife can’t be complicit in her husband’s sin without great guilt before God.  She should report him to the authorities also if he is committing a (real) crime.  She should get away from him if he is truly being abusive so that it is not safe to live with him.  Divorce becomes a righteous necessity when one cannot live righteously with their spouse without constant opposition and/or inevitable corruption which affects the whole household.  When Jesus rebuked divorce and remarriage in the Gospels, He was rebuking carnal people who sought to abuse the Law of Moses’ provision for divorce and remarriage.  That provision was given for when divorce is a righteous necessity.  The divorce advocates Jesus rebuked were rather looking for an excuse to get out of the marriage and (likely) to marry someone else.

3:6: That is, as long as you do well in God’s eyes, according to the Word of God, and aren’t afraid to live by the principles of His Word even when that involves submitting to the decisions of God-ordained authority in your life which you don’t necessarily agree with.   Many wives support Biblical submission with their lips but in reality they mean that they’ll only obey their husbands as long as they agree with him or his commands don’t cross them.  These are not women of faith like Sara Abraham’s wife.

3:7: Or, with understanding or common sense.  

She is at the very least the weaker vessel in that she is appointed to be in subjection to her husband.

3:8: Peter is now addressing the Christian fellowships as groups as a whole or Christians in general who are striving to be faithful to God’s Word.

3:9: The proper Christian mindset is to seek to do good towards all people and harm none.  And if a Christian’s position calls for them to be an instrument of vengeance, it should not be retaliatory on a personal level (like, he hurt me so I’ll hurt him; or, he insulted me so I will insult him back).  People get confused because Jesus preached against this type of behavior (especially) since people were twisting the Law of God’s verdicts- verdicts which were intended guides for judicial vengeance.  People were rather using these guides, which were for the Judges, to justify personal vengeance.  Now people often think Jesus opposed judicial vengeance when He was obviously preaching against personal vengeance.  Jesus warned He came not to destroy the Law nor the Prophets right in the Sermon on the Mount.  So, no one has any basis to think that what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount or anywhere else was intended to negate the Law’s verdicts about judicial vengeance.

3:10-12: Peter is quoting from Psalm 34, further proving that Christianity is founded on the principles of the Hebrew Scriptures and that the righteous have always been those who exercise a living faith in the true God which works righteousness in His eyes and eschews (or abstains) from evil.  Many think that Christian righteousness is something different, but that is a delusion.  In Romans chapter 4 the Apostle Paul cited Abraham and David in the Old Testament as examples of walking by faith and being justified by faith; and the writer of Hebrews cited nothing but people in the Old Testament for us as examples of living by faith and obtaining a good report of God through faith.  In the context of Psalm 34, David is teaching the fear of the Lord as he is exhorting people to fear the Lord since there is no want to them that fear Him.

3:12: We also see here that the righteous and the wicked are known by their deeds.  

The terror of having God’s face against you is expressed in Revelation 20:11-15: “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

3:13: This verse is a fitting complement to the more popular Romans 8:28.  Psalm 34, which Peter just quoted from, really explains well what Peter means here.  Paul also references the following verse in 2 Timothy chapter four.  

Psalm 34:19: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”

3:14-15: If you are born-again and abiding in Jesus Christ, He is also abiding in you.  He is the hope of glory, as Colossians 1:27 says.  

1 Peter 3:16: Again, the righteous are known by their deeds.  Those who try to have a Christian testimony, especially those who are outspoken about that, who can simultaneously be justly accused as evildoers, their testimony of Jesus Christ is counterproductive to His kingdom and less than worthless.

3:17-18: “That he might bring us to God.”  Our being brought to God is far from guaranteed.  His death won’t avail anyone who does not come into line with His kingdom and His purpose in giving Himself for us.  

Luke 13:23-24: “Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved?  And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”

And like we learn from what Jesus taught about the Pharisee and the Publican going up into the Temple to pray in Luke chapter 18, those who never reckon themselves unjust before God can’t ever really even repent from their wicked way and enter the narrow way to life in Jesus Christ through the narrow gate which that way must be entered by.

We already saw in 1 Peter 2:24: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

In dying to sins that they should live unto righteousness (in God’s eyes, according to His Word) one is healed through His stripes (that is, forgiven and and reconciled to God by His precious blood- we proved in the 1 Peter chapter 2 study that this is not a reference to bodily healing in this life).  

Isaiah 55:6-7 says: “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

A person who stays in line after heeding this call is a just person who does not need repentance- at least not in the sense of the need to repent in terms of the intent and course of their life.

Consider Luke 15:4-7: “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?  And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”

3:19-20: The spirits in prison is most likely a reference to demonic entities who were imprisoned in the time of Noah due to, it seems, going so far out of bounds that God judged this fitting.  The same entities are referenced in 2 Peter chapter 2 and Jude.  Jesus preached victory over the devil and his forces to these, as we’ll see in verse 22.  There is no reference here or anywhere else in the Bible to these being offered salvation nor is there a reference in the Bible to anyone being offered an opportunity for salvation after death.

3:21: Do you believe this?  Peter is clear here that baptism itself does not save, but most evangelicals would never say what Peter said here, and they’d think it suspicious if not heretical were they to hear someone say such a thing.  Peter had referenced the need to have a good conscience just a bit back in verse sixteen.  When the Apostles preached Jesus Christ they preached His Lordship.  They preached the need to be baptized to testify submission to Him (baptism for any other reason is worthless); they preached the need to identify with Him in His death to sin and life unto God.  Baptism, when properly understood, is essentially one ratifying Christ’s covenant and testifying submission to walk in the entire package of Christianity.  Ironically, those who are called Baptists are often among the most opposed to the proper place of baptism within Christianity.  This of course also renders void any concept that infant baptism could ever possibly be a valid Biblical Christian baptism.

Acts 2:38-40: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit).  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward (wayward) generation.”

Baptism in this context demonstrates a proper response to Jesus Christ’s Supreme Authority wherein one may obtain eternal life and escape the guaranteed condemnation of His enemies when He takes His power to Himself and returns as the Judge of all.

3:22: Hebrews 2:7-9: “Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”

Hebrews 10:12-13: “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.”

Aaron’s email is: [email protected]