1 Peter 3

1 Peter 3

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Wives and Husbands

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Suffering for Righteousness’ Sake

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For

  “Whoever desires to love life
    and see good days,
  let him keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from speaking deceit;
  let him turn away from evil and do good;
    let him seek peace and pursue it.
  For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are open to their prayer.
  But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

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, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 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. 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, 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 Commentary

by Hank Workman

We hate the word – submission. It really goes against everything within our human nature as we want to be independent, don’t want someone telling us what to do and so forth. Consequently, there are passages, much like this and also in writings of Paul where submission in marriage is written. Unfortunately, passages like this are often misused by husbands to their wives as they demand their wives submit to them as they quote these verses. Such behavior and mindset is so off the chart wrong as usually the case, the husband does not love his wife as Christ loved the church. (Ephesians 5:25)

To be in submission is to cooperate with another out of love. It’s to honor God through our relationships and respect to someone. Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:21 we were to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Our greatest example was that of Jesus. He submitted to death so we could be saved. He gave up His rights for us. Consequently, the hard truth is sometimes we must submit to others so we honor Him but also so He is seen in us! As all of us know, submission is no easy task. We can’t do it without the Holy Spirit. It really does mean we lay down our rights in our relationships.

But submission with another brings glory to Jesus. It has many impacts. It’s functional as we distinguish our roles and the work we’re called to do. It’s relational as it acknowledges another’s value as a person. It is reciprocal as it is a humble cooperation with another that promotes unity. And it is universal as it goes across the board from relationships to the church itself, where we are declaring the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

But there’s one last thing to consider here. Peter writes:

“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.” – 1 Peter 3:7

What Peter writes here is a bit unnerving and must be wrestled with. If we are not respecting others in our relationships, our prayers will be hindered. Yes, he’s speaking of the marriage union but this translates to every relationship we have. Living out our relationship with God is demonstrated in our other relationships. The cut and dried aspect to this is if we use our position, and here it is a husband/wife relationship to mistreat and disrespect another – our relationship with God suffers and is hindered. Our behavior can obstruct our prayers.

This should cause all of us to pause. Are we finding our prayers answered? Maybe we should look to our relationships and consider if we are we living in submission to one another? May the Holy Spirit reveal deep truth to us concerning our behavior so we can live in unity and fruitfulness of our prayers and daily relationships.

1 Peter 3 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

It’s in this chapter that Peter makes a strange statement about Jesus going to hell after his death and preaching to the evil spirits there.

“For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring you to God, after being put to death in the fleshly realm but made alive in the spiritual realm.  19  In that state He also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison  20  who in the past were disobedient, when God patiently waited in the days of Noah while an ark was being prepared. In it a few—that is, eight people—were saved through water.”

1 Peter 3:18-20 HCSB 

What does this mean? I don’t think we know for certain. However, if we look back to the time of Noah in Genesis 6, we read of horrific sins.

“When mankind began to multiply on the earth and daughters were born to them,  2  the sons of God saw that the daughters of mankind were beautiful, and they took any they chose as wives for themselves.”

Genesis 6:1-2 HCSB 

At many other points in Scripture, the sons of God refer to angelic beings, or demons. There is much evidence to conclude that there were unnatural unions taking place being supernatural beings and women. It is probable that the master plan of Satan was for his angelic beings (demons) to infect the genetic race with their corrupt nature. This would have been effective in stifling the coming Salvation of Jesus since demon possession would have been rampant and possibly even infected the lineage of Christ.

We know the spirits Peter is speaking of here existed during this corrupt time of Noah. Why would Jesus go down and preach to them? From what we see in Scripture, I believe this was not as much preaching but more what the NASB translates as “proclaiming.” In completing His mission and triumphing over evil, I believe Jesus went down to proclaim his victory to these evil spirits. It could have been a message of final judgment and condemnation based on His authority and power as the Son of God, the slaughtered lamb who atoned for all sin.

“Consequently, Christians can confidently stand up to hostility and bear a courageous witness (1Pe 4:1-6), knowing that they will be vindicated just as Christ was.”

IVP New Testament Commentary
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