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Bible Commentaries
1 Peter 3

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-22

1 The duties of the marital relationship are treated by Peter and Paul with characteristic difference. Paul (Ephesians 5:21) enjoins submission and love in the light of the relation between Christ and the church; Peter points back to Sarah and Abraham.

9 Like our Lord in His sermon on the mount, the apostle sets a much higher mark than the law for the conduct of those who are candidates for the kingdom. Compare Matthew 5:39, etc., and Luke 6:27, etc. An eye for an eye, or strict justice, gives place to a forgiving spirit. This is carried even further in connection with the present grace. We are to vanquish evil with good (Romans 12:21), and to heap embers of fire on the heads of our enemies and to bless those who persecute us (Romans 12:14). In a word, we are to be walking in love (Ephesians 5:2).

10 This quotation from Psalms 34:12-16, without any introductory phrase to show its relation to the subject in hand, clearly indicates that the Psalms as a whole are perfectly in accord with the administration to which Peter and the twelve belonged. Our experience should harmonize with them to a certain point, but should rise far above their highest conceptions of conduct. To "love life and see good days" is a much lower motive than is presented to us.

14-15 In view of the coming storm of persecution Peter quotes and varies a word from Isaiah 8:12-13 spoken in similar circumstances, but with the significant substitution of "the Lord Christ" for "Jehovah of Hosts". Remembering Jewish reverence for the letter of Scripture and the intense dread of having any God but one, we see how firmly Peter is convinced that Christ is the Jehovah of the Hebrew Scriptures.

18 A grasp of the apostle's argument here will help us through this difficult passage. The subject is suffering for doing good. The Example is Christ and those sufferings which came to Him as they come to His disciples, because of the sin which surrounded Him. The argument is that He, though put to death, has now been exalted, even over the messengers and authorities and powers of the spirit realm (22), therefore those who suffer for doing good will also be exalted in due time. With this in mind, it is evident that it is not the evangel which is proclaimed to the spirits in prison, for that would be entirely out of line with the argument. It would imply that, as a result of their sufferings, their enemies will be evangelized. Such grace is foreign to Peter's epistles. The word here used is not evangelize, but herald or proclaim. It tells us, not that they were blessed, but that He was exalted. And what is more likely than that, after His ascension, He should be proclaimed the universal Suzerain to all creation, obedient or rebellious?

19 Who are these imprisoned spirits? Are they not the same that Peter mentions in his second epistle (1 Peter 2:4) who were thrust down to the gloomy caverns of Tartarus, and the messengers of Jude's epistle (6) , who kept not their own sovereignty and left their own habitation? The fact that they are called spirits, assures us that they are not human. The proclamation was not made to them during our Lord's death, but after He had been made alive. It was a token of His exaltation. In due time all will be subjected to Him, not only Israel on the earth in the kingdom, and all the rest of humanity in the resurrection, but all sovereignty and authority and power in the spirit realm, so that, at the consummation God may become All in all.

21 Baptism, with repentance, are the two essentials for entrance into the kingdom (Acts 2:38).

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 1 Peter 3". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/1-peter-3.html. 1968.
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