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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible

1 Peter 3

Verses 1-17

1 Peter 3:1-2. 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; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

Could any men be won to Christ without the Word? Yes, it was even so in the apostle’s day. When they refused to attend the little Christian meetings that were being held, and so could not hear what was there said, yet, at home, they saw the change that the gospel of Christ had wrought in their wives, and they said, “She is quite different from what she used to be. Certainly, she is a far better wife than any heathen woman is; there must be something in the religion which can make such a change as that.” In this way, without the Word, many of them were won to Christ by the godly conversation of their wives.

1 Peter 3:3-4. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 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.

There is no ornament like that. No taste can ever conceive anything so lovely as a holy character. No expensive materials, and no ingenious fashioning of them, can ever produce such true beauty as “a meek and quiet spirit.” You must have known some godly matrons, venerable Christian women, whose gentle piety has blessed the whole household of which they formed a part. They attained supreme authority over all simply by yielding; they gained a queenly position in the house by gentleness and quietness. Nobody dared to offend them; — not because they would have been in a passion, but because they were themselves so inoffensive, so kind, so gentle.

1 Peter 3:5-7. 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: 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. 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.

It has been one of the most beautiful results of the spread of the Christian religion that it has uplifted womanhood; so that now, instead of women being, as they were, and still are where the gospel is not received, the slaves of their husbands, Christianity has taught that honour should be given to the wife. If there are any husbands who do not so, they err from the gospel way.

1 Peter 3:8. Finally, be ye all of one mind, —

Be unanimous; do not hold church-meetings to talk about nothing, and so quarrel for the want of something to do. Be united with the resolve that you will glorify God, and that there shall be no dissension, no division among you: “Be ye all of one mind,” —

1 Peter 3:8. Having compassion one of another, —

Have true fellow-feeling towards each other.

1 Peter 3:8. Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

The Christian should be the highest type of gentleman, in every respect the most gentle man, kind, self-forgetful, seeking the comfort and well-being of others to the utmost of his power.

1 Peter 3:9. Not rendering evil for evil, —

That, is beastlike; it is certainly not the rule for a Christian. Good for evil is Godlike; and ye, who are the children of God, should seek to act as he does: “not rendering evil for evil,” — .

1 Peter 3:9. Or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

Every man should give away according to what he has. He who gives curses probably gives them because he has so much cursing in him. You can always tell what a man is like by noticing what comes from him. If he curses, it is because curses abound in him. But you are to give blessing to others because you have inherited so much blessing from Christ; your whole tone, temper, spirit, language, action should be the means of blessing to others.

1 Peter 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:

Not only no lies, but no guile, no deceit, no shuffling. Say to a man’s face all that you say behind his back. You will soon be in trouble if you have two tales to tell, one in his presence, and the other in his absence; but if you are free from “policy” — from “knowing how to play your cards,” as the world says, then shall it be seen that you have one of the attributes of a true Christian. If you refrain your lips, that they speak no guile, people will know where to find you, and they will want to find you, for such men are always in demand.

1 Peter 3:11-12, Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 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.

He “sets his face against them,” as we say that we set our face against certain company which we do not approve. But “the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous,” — that is, those who seek to do good to others, for Christ’s sake, are under the special protection of God; and they have the high privilege of being permitted to pray with the certainty that “his ears are open unto their prayers.”

1 Peter 3:13-15. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 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:

Have your doctrinal views, and all your knowledge of Christ, packed away in a handy form, so that, when people want to know what you believe, you can tell them. If they wish to know why you believe that you are saved, have your answer all ready in a few plain, simple sentences; and in the gentlest and most modest spirit make your confession of faith to the praise and glory of God. Who knows but what such good seed will bring forth an abundant harvest?

1 Peter 3:16-17. 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. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer, for well doing, than for evil doing.

Who can doubt the truth of that clear declaration?

This exposition consisted of readings from 1 Peter 2:18-25; and 1 Peter 3:1-17.

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Bibliographical Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". 2011.