Bible Commentaries
1 Peter 3

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Verse 1


In the same way. “As I have instructed servants to submit to their masters.” You wives. Some think Peter assumes his readers have already seen Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. Compare Ephesians 5:21-24; 1 Corinthians 7:13-15. Since women had been treated as slaves or at least second class citizens, they saw the freedom in Christ as being let out of jail! This is one reason why it was necessary to write certain things to them, and tell them not to ABUSE their freedom! So that. “If your husband is an unbeliever, you may win him by your conduct as you live a sweet, Christian life of peace.” For you to saw a word. “You cannot argue your husband into the Kingdom, but you may live him into it!” Ben Sira said: “A silent woman is the gift of the Lord . . . a loud crying woman and a scold shall be sought out to drive away enemies.”

Verse 2


They will see. “Actions often speak louder than words!”

Verse 3


You should not use. Peter’s meaning is: “No amount of ostentatious display can substitute for a gracious Christian personality!” In the Bible, modesty always has to do with “overdressing to the point of being absurd.” If what Peter says were taken literally, it would forbid wearing any clothes at all! But the woman who spends her time on the outward aids will not secure her husband’s love as much as she will with a pure and reverent life. Compare 1 Timothy 2:9-10; Isaiah 3:17-23.

Verse 4


Your beauty should consist. “Develop a radiant personality! This is the true ageless beauty! It shines out of a gentle and quiet spirit, not one that is loud and quarrelsome! God will not be impressed with your display, but he will value your gentle and quiet spirit!”

Verse 5


For the devout woman. “Those devout women of the past whose names are in the Scripture made themselves beautiful in this way!”

Verse 6


Sarah was like that. “There is no disgrace or shame in submitting to your husband! Jewish women think of Sarah as the example of a good wife. See how she did! Even if you are married to an unbeliever who objects to your new life in Christ, you must still respect him and submit to him in everything (but of course stand firm in the faith).” It seems to be especially easy for a wife to despise her husband. See Ephesians 5:22-23 and notes. Her daughters. As Abraham is the father of the faithful, so Sarah is the mother of all Christian women, who should imitate her example. If you do good. Submit to your husbands. And are not afraid. “Fearlessness is part of the Christian Character. Do not allow your husband or pagan society to frighten you into acting contrary to our Christian religion!”

Verse 7


You husbands, also. “Before becoming a Christian, you may have treated your wife as a slave. Do not do this!” Weaker sex. Peter does not mean weaker in intelligence or moral character, but weaker in physical strength. This fact made her a second class citizen in the eyes of some. But in Christ’s church there is neither class, sex, nor social status! See Galatians 3:28. Because “Your wife is your companion-counterpart (see note on Matthew 19:5). As a Christian, she also shares God’s gift of life!” Interfere. “Family quarrels make it impossible to join in prayer, and often make the prayers of either impossible!”

Verse 8


To conclude. “I have been telling you how to manage your affairs as a religious society.” You must all. “You must have a sense of being ONE in Christ! As brothers. “Treat each other as members of the same family!” Be kind and humble. “Don’t quarrel and fight! Instead work for the good of each other!”

Verse 9


Do not pay back. “Do not take revenge!” Instead. “Pay back evil with good, as Christ taught (Matthew 5:38-42)! In, this way you will help to prevent quarrels and fighting!” Because a blessing. “God promised you a blessing! But he will treat you just as you treat others!”

Verse 10


As the scripture says. Peter paraphrases Psalms 34:12-16 Septuagint. “David also said it was necessary to live this way, to reach that eternal country!” Must. See 1 Peter 2:1 and note.

Verse 11


And do good. “It is not enough to just turn away from evil. You must actively make a habit of doing good!” Compare Matthew 12:43-45 and notes.

Verse 12


For the Lord. “When you actively make a habit of doing good, you keep yourself in God’s fellowship! He watches over you and hears your prayers!” But he turns. “If you do evil, he will turn away from you!”

Verse 13


Who will harm you? “As a general rule, we reap what we sow. If you are eager to do good to those who wrong you and forgive even those who will not thank you for it, others will treat you this way also!”

Verse 14


But even. “You may have to suffer for Christ. The hate of evil men may force this upon you. If so, be happy!” Compare James 1:2-4 and notes. Peter is saying that God will bless you in this. Compare also Hebrews 12:5-13. Do not be afraid. See Luke 12:4-5. Do not worry. See Matthew 6:34.

Verse 15


But have reverence. Peter expects persecution to intensify, and wants Christians to prepare themselves for it. If a Christian is to stand firm, he must have reverence for Christ in his heart and he is to submit to whatever suffering comes his way, recognizing that Christ is Lord! Be ready. “Christians expect an eternal life of happiness in the body, after death. Be ready to tell others who ask about this. But do not be proud or boastful, or threaten them when you do it.”

Verse 16


But do it. “Whether you are asked to explain your hope by some person or a court of law, do it with gentleness and respect! By doing this, those who accuse Christians of evil conduct will be made ashamed of the things they say against you.”

Verse 17


Because it is better. Compare 1 Peter 2:20 and note. God’s will. MacKnight says: “The apostle adds this to show that the wicked can do no evil to believers but by the permission of God.” Compare Job 1:6-12; 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Verse 18


For Christ himself. “Some are saying that our suffering proves that our cause is bad, and that God is displeased with us. This is not true, as you can see from the fact that Christ himself died for us!” Once and for all. Peter emphasized the completeness of God’s work in Christ. A good man for bad men. “He is an example of one who suffered for doing good!” In order. “He did this so that by means of his sin-offering, he might lead you to God.” Physically. “As the Logos in human form, he died physically, just as all men do!” Spiritually. Johnson says: “Having life in himself, as soon as the body failed through weakness, the power of the indestructible life began to show itself.” Christ actually died physically, Christ was actually made alive spiritually (and his body raised from death). He is both the example and the guarantee of our resurrection! In raising Christ from death, God showed his approval of Christ’s act of dying for the sins of the world!!!

Verse 19


And in. “In his spiritual existence he went and preached through Noah (2 Peter 2:5) to those who are now imprisoned spirits,” [Some think Jesus actually went into the world of the dead and preached the Good News to them there. But this and other views cause theological difficulties.]

Verse 20


These were the spirits. “These now imprisoned were the spirits of those who had not obeyed God, when He waited patiently for them to turn from sin during the days (120 years) that Noah was building the ark.” The few people. “Out of all those who lived at the time of Noah, only eight were saved. They were in the ark (according to God’s instructions), and the same water that destroyed the others, was the means of their salvation! This teaches us that we should not be prejudiced against the Good News when we see others rejecting it!”

Verse 21


Which was a figure. “The water of the flood itself, which held them safe in the ark, was a figure pointing to baptism which now saves you!” Alford (Greek Testament) says: “Water saved them, bearing up the ark; it saves us, becoming to us baptism.” See Acts 22:16 and note. Baptism is the climax to the faith event in which a person becomes new in Christ! [On the nature of faith, see note on James 2:19.] It is not. Peter says this to by exclusion, contrast “Christian baptism” with Jewish rituals of purification and pagan washings, and even the Flood itself (which did wash away the sin-contaminated flesh of those in Noah’s day). See chart on Acts 19:3. But the promise. “The one who in good conscience comes to the water of baptism, has believed in Christ, turned away from his sins and turned to God, declared his faith in Christ, and now baptism becomes both the point of contact and the promise or pledge of his or her new life.” It saves you. “Baptism saves you through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, from which it draws its power, and which is acted out in the burial in the liquid grave.” Compare Colossians 2:12 :1 Corinthians 15:13-17.

Verse 22


Who has gone to heaven. Hebrews 9:24. The right side. Hebrews 10:12. Ruling. Hebrews 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:25. The rule of Christ even over angels and heavenly authorities and powers is further proof that he is able to save his people! See Ephesians 1:20-23.

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3". "The Bible Study New Testament". College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.