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I Peter Chapter 3

Memory verses for this week:  Gal 3:11  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

Introduction:  In Chapter 2, we studied about how the Christian becomes the temple of God when they accept Christ as Lord and Savior.  Being a Spiritual House of the Lord, we are to live for God and follow the example of Christ.   He lived and suffered and died that we might live eternally.  This week we find instructions on how to live for both Christian women and men. 

I.  Instructions for Christian Women

1 Pet 3:1  Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

1 Pet 3:2  While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

A woman who is a Christian and walking close to the Lord is going to show love and respect for her husband.   God gives us advice how to reach the lost mate, and he tells us here in verse 1 that the woman can reach her husband by setting an example before her husband.   It says the unsaved husband will be moved by the actions of their wife when that woman lives in subjection to her husband and shows respect to God by having chaste conversation.

1 Cor 7:10  And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

1 Cor 7:11  But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

1 Cor 7:12  But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

1 Cor 7:13  And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

1 Cor 7:14  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

1 Cor 7:15  But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

1 Cor 7:16  For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

1 Pet 3:3  Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

1 Pet 3:4  But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Peter teaches that the Christian woman should let her adorning be that of the hidden man of the heart… not outward adorning.  I don’t believe this is saying a woman can not adorn herself outwardly, but is pointing to the fact that the hidden heart dedicated to God will have great impact on others.  God wants us to not only appear humble, but to be clean in the heart and live for the Lord.  It says a quiet and meek spirit is of great price in the sight of God.

The Believers Study Bible said this about how a woman should dress and where God places the great value.

The two verses declare that the Christian woman is not to depend upon clothing, jewelry, or a coiffure to accentuate her beauty. The “hidden person of the heart” is a reference to attitudes of integrity, kindness, gentleness, etc., which are the ornaments that genuinely reflect and accentuate beauty. Particularly does God affix great value to the womanly attitude of “a gentle and quiet spirit.” [1]

1 Pet 3:5  For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

1 Pet 3:6  Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

The example set by Sarah was one that exemplified humility and obedience to Abraham.   She even respected Abraham so much that she called him lord.

Eph 5:21  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Eph 5:22  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Eph 5:23  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Eph 5:24  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

II.  Instructions for the Christian Man

1 Pet 3:7  Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

The husband is to show respect to the wife.  He is to dwell with her according to knowledge.  The man is to give honour to the wife, as unto the weaker vessel.  If we do this, it says our prayers will not be hindered. 

Gen 3:23  Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

Gen 3:24  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Men should love their wives as their own bodies.

Eph 5:28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

Eph 5:29  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Eph 5:31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

III.  Advice for All

1 Pet 3:8  Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

1 Pet 3:9  Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

God desires that both husband and wife be of the same mind… and this goes even further to include our relationships with fellow church members.  God wants us to be of the same mind, and that is to have the mind of Christ.  When the church was so effective in Jerusalem, it was when they were of one heart.

Acts 4:32  And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

1 Cor 1:10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

In the verse there in Corinthians, Paul charged the church to be joined together in one mind.  His desire is that we have compassion and love the brethren.  We are to be pitiful and courteous.  We are not to render evil for evil,  but we should show love for our enemies.

Mat 5:43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

Mat 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

IV.  The Way to a Happy Life

1 Pet 3:10  For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

1 Pet 3:11  Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

1 Pet 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.

1 Pet 3:13  And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

He have three directions given here in these verses about having a happy life. 

We should:

1.  Keep our tongue from evil

2.  Turn away from doing evil

3.  Live in peace.

When we follow these directions, we find find happiness.  God is against evil and is always for good and righteousness.   Verse 12 says that the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.  Few will harm you if we follow after good.

J. Vernon McGee spoke this about verse 10.

All of us want to live, but unfortunately there are a lot of believers today who are not enjoying life. They are not living life to its fullest, not getting all they should out of life. When I was a pastor in Nashville, Tennessee, many years ago, a young medical student—who was the president of the young people’s group in the church and not much younger than I was—said one day, “Vernon, I want life to be like an orange to me, an orange out of which I can squeeze every drop. I want to live for God!” “For he that will love life”—if you want to really live, here is a good formula, and here is the key to it. Peter says that we are to refrain from constantly speaking evil of others. And we are to refrain from speaking “guile,” from being deceptive and not telling the truth.  [2]


V.  Suffering for Well Doing

1 Pet 3:14  But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

1 Pet 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:

1 Pet 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.

1 Pet 3:17  For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

Many have suffered for their stand for the Lord.  When we stand up for the things of God and suffer for it, we are happy.  If we do wrong, we expect evil to befall us.  The bible teaches us that if we live righteously, we will suffer persecution.

2 Tim 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

2 Tim 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

We are to rejoice if we suffer for Christ.  The Apostles that suffered for Christ counted it joy to suffer for God.

Mat 5:10  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:11  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Mat 5:12  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.


Acts 5:40  And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

Acts 5:41  And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Acts 5:42  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

VI.  Christ Suffered for Sin

1 Pet 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:

1 Pet 3:19  By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

Some misunderstand these verses to believe Jesus suffered for our sins in hell itself… Christ suffered on the cross for our sins.   Christ was put to death in the flesh, and that flesh was made alive by the Spirit.

Rev 1:18  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

1 Pet 3:20  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.

When it speaks of Christ preaching unto the spirits in prison, we believe this to be those called the anti-diluvians.  Thes are those who were disobedient in the time of Noah.  God used Noah to preach unto these via the Holy Spirit, but they would not believe.  Only Noah and his family were saved in the ark.  It would not make sense for Jesus to have gone somewhere to preach while in the grave.  It would mean that some dead were on probation with an opportunity for a second chance.  No such chance is taught in God’s Word.  We live once, and we need to come to Christ in this life.   Some verses about Christ’s work during this time are in these verses.

Luke 23:46  And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Luke 23:47  Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.


Heb 9:24  For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Heb 9:25  Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

Heb 9:26  For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Heb 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Heb 9:28  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Albert Barnes appears to agree with me on verse 19.

He went—To wit, in the days of Noah. No particular stress should be laid here on the phrase “he went.” The literal sense is, “he, having gone, preached,” etc.
ðïñåõèårò  poreutheis. It is well known that such expressions are often redundant in Greek writers, as in others. So Herodotus, “to these things they spake, saying”—for they said. “And he, speaking, said;” that is, he said. So Eph. 2:17, “And came and preached peace,” etc. Matt. 9:13, “but go and learn what that meaneth,” etc. So God is often represented as coming, as descending, etc.,
when he brings a message to mankind. Thus, Gen. 11:5, “The Lord came down to see the city and the tower.” Exo. 19:20, “the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai.” Num. 11:25, “the Lord came down in a cloud.” 2 Sam. 22:10, “he bowed the heavens and came down.” The idea, however, would be conveyed by this language that he did this personally, or by himself, and not merely by employing
the agency of another. It would then be implied here, that though the instrumentality of Noah was employed, yet that it was done not by the Holy Spirit, but by him who afterward became incarnate. On the supposition,
therefore, that this whole passage refers to his preaching to the antediluvians in the time of Noah, and not to the “spirits” after they were confined in prison, this
is language which the apostle would have properly and probably used. If that supposition meets the full force of the language, then no argument can be based on it in proof that he went to preach to them after their death, and while his body was lying in the grave.

1 Pet 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:

1 Pet 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.

Thank the Lord that Jesus rose from the grave and went into heaven to be our intecessor with God.  Verse 21 speaks of how baptism is a figure (or picture)  of that which saves a soul.  It took it all in God’s plan to save us.  The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

1 Cor 15:1  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

1 Cor 15:2  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

1 Cor 15:3  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

1 Cor 15:4  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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