The Book of First Peter Bible Study Chapter 3 Part 5

We begin this week with 1 Peter 3:18-22

v18: Once (and for all): This is a term thatspeaks of sufficiency. Yeshua only had to die once, because it was all sufficient and did not need to be repeated. 

  • For/Concerning sin: Yeshuanever sinned, so it was not for His sin that He died – He suffered and died for our sin. Nothing He did was in His best interest or for His own personal benefit. He did it out of obedience and out of love for His Father. We need to be armed with this same mindset – our calling as believers, while we are here on this earth, is to be of spiritual benefit to others. This involves suffering. 
  • The just: Speaking of Yeshua
  • The unjust: Speaking of us.  
  • Bring us to G-d: If we, who are sinful, are going to be brought before G-d (who is holy) it had to involve the cross. There was no other way.
  • Put to death…but made alive: There is a change. Yeshua came to earth to die. This is G-d’s purpose for all of us – to lay down our lives for others (1 John 3:16). When believers are overcome/martyred by the enemy (Rev 13:7) it is not a problem for them. satan can only physically overcome/kill our bodies, but he cannot touch our resurrection hope – our life beyond the grave. Yeshua’s death on the cross was not final. There is always that resurrection hope. This is what Peter is conveying to us in this passage.

v19: He went and preached: Even in death, Yeshua hada purpose and a calling – He went and identified Himself, proclaiming Himself as the Redeemer, to those who were in Sheol (Hades and Abraham’s bosom). Paul, in Gal 3: 16 tells us that the Redeemer is the Seed of Abraham. Those who were in Hades were there because they, unlike Abraham, had had no faith in Messiah. Those who had died and gone to Abraham’s bosom had had the same faith as Abraham. Like Abraham, they had believed that a Redeemer was coming – that Seed that brought about a Kingdom change (redemptive hope), that fulfilled that Abrahamic covenant. They did not know who Messiah was, but they knew that there was a Messiah. The Scripture also tells us that after Yeshua’ resurrection He took captive those in Abraham’s bosom (Eph 4:8-10). Matthew also tells us that after Yeshua’ death many bodies were resurrected and they bore testimony of what they had experienced (Matt 27:51-53).

  • The spirits in prison: These were those who had died and descended into the place of the dead (This is a place known as ‘Sheol’ in Hebrew). Two different compartments made up Sheol – Hades/Gehenna/Hell and Paradise/Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22-23). This all changed, however, at Yeshua’ resurrection. His resurrection changed everything. 

v20: Disobedient: Peter is not emphasizing those who were in Abraham’s bosom but those who were in prison – in hell – because of their disobedience. 

  • Waited: G-d delayed His judgement in order to give people time to repent. 
  • The days of Noah: Peter is speaking about the flood, which is an image/an example of G-d’s judgement. G-d is again going to judge the world – not with water this next time but with fire. 
  • Eight: The number eight in the Bible is a number that points to new beginnings. Eight is a number of transition or change. Noah’s family brought about a newness to the earth. 
  • Saved through water: G-d was able to bring those who responded to His invitation through His judgement. This is a description of deliverance.

v 21: An antitype (a pattern)… which saves, namely baptism: Water was the source of G-d’s judgment. Peter is not saying that our physical water baptism – as far as the removal of the filth from our bodies is concerned – saves us. What saves us is what our baptism points to – the death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua Messiah. 

  • A good conscience toward G-d: ‘Conscience’ can mean a G-dly or right understanding of what G-d has revealed. A good conscience toward G-d speaks of a response to G-d. 

Note: In 1 Peter 3:18-20 there is an emphasis on burial – burial in the lower parts of the earth. In this verse baptism, or the resurrection, is emphasised. When Yeshua went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John, John was hesitant to baptise Him and instead said that he (John) needed to be baptised by Yeshua (Matt 3:13-17). Yeshua’s baptism was a statement of righteousness. It was a prophetic picture of what He had been called to do – He was going to die, be buried but was going to rise again. 

In Luke 12:49-53 Yeshua speaks about another baptism that He had to endure. In this passage He was not speaking about His baptism that had taken place in the Jordan River. 

What He was referring to was the fact that He had another baptism to go through. He had to go to Jerusalem and endure death on the cross, burial and, ultimately, the resurrection. Even though Yeshua had been distressed about what He would have to endure He still faithfully completed His task and honoured His Father. 

v 22: At the right hand of G-d: Peter does not stop with the resurrection, but continues to the ascension. 

  • The angels, powers and the authorities are subject to Him: The implication of this statement is that if these subject themselves to Yeshua how much more, in light of what He has done for us, should we. Yeshua, at Passover, went through the baptism of His death, burial and resurrection in order to teach us about redemption. Redemption has a very foundational and specific purpose. It is revealed to us through the name ‘Emmanuel’ – G-d with us. Redemption is all about being with G-d. Redemption takes us, sinful people, into a place where we can have intimacy with G-d. 

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