Tuesday, May 30th, 2023
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
Whedon's Commentary on the Bible Whedon's Commentary
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ whe/ 1-peter-3.html. 1874-1909.
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
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5. Duties of wives, 1 Peter 3:1-6, and husbands, 1 Peter 3:7.
1. Likewise On the principle laid down in 1 Peter 2:18.
Ye wives The same precept is found in Ephesians 5:22; Ephesians 5:24, and Colossians 2:28, yet not with the reason here assigned. That the husband does not obey… the word of the gospel, constitutes no exception to the rule of subjection, but is rather a special ground of its obligation, in order that he may be won to Christ by the powerful argument of the wife’s holy and obedient conduct.
Without the word Not, as Alford, the wives’ word, in preaching to or exhorting them, but, as before in the verse, the word of the gospel, the preached word, which had not yet won them to faith in Christ.
2. Readiness for a suitable defence of their faith, 15, 16.
Be ready For an account to men, while thus having supreme regard for Christ.
Always No exception as to time.
An answer An apology, in the old sense of a defence of what is true, with a refutation of objections. St.
Paul’s speech before Agrippa (Acts 26:0) is a masterly specimen.
Every… asketh Honest inquirers should receive instruction; cavillers and revilers are entitled only to silence. Matthew 7:6; Matthew 27:12. But probably magistrates are especially meant.
A reason An intelligent, rational account. The Romish response of “I believe because the Church believes,” is thus repudiated beforehand.
Of the hope That is, of eternal glory, involving the basis of truth in fact and doctrine, upon which it rests. The answer thus became a defence of Christianity itself, seldom, indeed, with the learning and power of a St. Paul, a Justin Martyr, or a Tertullian, but always with intelligence and reason.
Meekness With clearness and firmness, but (so the oldest MSS. read) with modesty in speech and bearing, and not with insolence or arrogance.
Fear Due respect to the interrogator.
3. Whose adorning The same principle is now extended to the ornamentation of the person; and though wives are directly addressed, the precept has a general application. Three specifications of the outward are mentioned, in which the real adorning should not be sought, and that not in forbidding, except as instruments of vanity, and as things in which they prided themselves. It is not said that gold should not be worn; but that the true adornment does not consist in that, but in something higher and better.
Plaiting the hair Braiding and wearing it in knots, and variously intertwining it. Ancient medals and sculptures exhibit excesses of this kind, and other ancient writers than Christian describe them.
Wearing of gold Golden ornaments, particularly such as are put round the head, neck, arm, leg, or finger.
Putting on of apparel For the gratification of pride and vanity.
4. The hidden man of the heart This is the true adorning, which should be most eagerly sought and highly prized, and to which all other should be subordinate. It is further described as consisting in the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is not corruptible, as gold, apparel, and even the body itself are. Such an ornament is not possible for her who lives only for the world and display. In God’s sight, who looks upon the inward, not the outward, it is very precious.
5, 6. The holy women Particularly the wives of the patriarchs.
Trusted in God Better, hoped in God: believing and serving him, and looking for the fulfilment of his promises. They are adduced as illustrations of the adorning with gentleness and calmness of spirit, which was especially manifested in the matter of subjection to their husbands. Notably, Sarah, the Princess and Mother of nations, (Genesis 17:15-16,) showed it in her obedience to Abraham, indicated in her calling him lord.
Genesis 18:12. So considerate Greek and Roman wives used the equivalent κυριος and dominus.
Whose daughters ye are Literally, whose children ye become, in possessing her spirit.
As long as Setting forth two points of resemblance of the daughters to the mother.
Do well Like her, hoping in God, as one of the holy women.
Not… amazement Literally, fearing no fear. Commentators, ancient and modern, have been sorely perplexed by this difficult clause. The word πτοησιν signifies fear, terror, trepidation, and may refer to either the emotion or its external cause. The meaning is to be found in the spirit of Sarah’s obedience, the second point of the daughters’ resemblance to her, which the apostle is inculcating as the true ornament. It is the calm, undisturbed, tranquil spirit, and not a slavish one; loving and trustful, and not afraid of the husband as an object of terror or apprehension.
7. Ye husbands A correspondent command is now laid upon the husband, requiring for the wife considerate and Christian treatment as his spiritual equal, although physically weaker than he.
Dwell with The word means, primarily, a living together in the same house, and here in the marriage relation.
According to knowledge Wisely, reasonably, and not arbitrarily, as lording it over them.
Giving honour Reverent regard and respectful treatment.
Weaker vessel More delicate and fragile in structure, and therefore demanding the greater consideration. The bottom idea in the word vessel is, a work; it then comes to include the human body as a piece of God’s workmanship. Man is a weak vessel, and easily damaged; woman is a weaker one. Her mental or moral strength is not referred to.
Heirs together An additional and higher reason for honour to the wife. We prefer the pointing of Tischendorf and Alford, which gives the rendering: Dwell according to knowledge with the wife as with the weaker vessel, giving honour as to those who are (not only your wives, but) also fellow heirs (with you) of the grace of life. Thus reading, the apostle enjoins (1.) Considerateness for the wife, because of her comparative physical weakness; and, (2.) Honour for her because she is an heir with her husband to the gift of life.
Not hindered Only on the ground thus laid down can there be union in the prayers of husband and wife. Disagreements, disrespect, and the ill feelings thence resulting, are destructive to united prayer, and, indeed, to all prayer.
6. General Counsels, 1 Peter 3:8-12.
8. Finally Not as if closing the epistle, but presenting a few things summarily.
One mind Of the same sentiment and affection.
Having compassion Sympathizing with, whether in sorrow or joy.
Love as brethren Literally, brotherly-loving.
Pitiful Tender-hearted, compassionate.
Courteous Benignant, kind. But the best ancient MSS. and Versions read humble-minded.
9. With such habits of soul, acts contrary to them, as those next named, are easily avoided. Neither the evil deed nor the railing word must be retaliated. See 1 Peter 2:23, in the example of Christ.
Blessing This word is not a noun. The apostle means blessing them who injure and revile us. So taught our Lord. Luke 6:28.
Thereunto The blessing of enemies.
Inherit In the day of judgment. See our notes on Matthew 25:34.
10, 11. The counsels just given are fortified by a citation from Psalms 34:15-17, nearly verbatim, from the Septuagint. He…
love life He that loves to live, and resolves to make his life happy and prosperous, must heed these rules: (1.) Refrain from insolent, slanderous, false, and deceitful speech; (2.) Abstain from action that is wicked or injurious to others; (3.) Do the good and right thing; (4.) Seek peaceful relations with all men, and strenuously endeavour to secure them.
12. For Besides the natural tendency of this course, God watches over such persons with open, observant eyes, and his ears are turned toward their prayers, as though he were careful to lose no word or sigh. On the other hand, his face, much more than his eyes, is upon ( επι in both cases) evil doers, so that while he will surely bless and defend the righteous, it is his fixed, unalterable purpose to punish the wicked. This, which is fully expressed in the Psalm, is here left to be inferred from the difference in God’s treatment of different characters.
III. THE BEARING PROPER FOR CHRISTIANS UNDER PERSECUTION, 1 Peter 3:13 to 1 Peter 5:14.
1. The blessedness of sufferers for righteousness, 1 Peter 3:13-14.
13. Who… harm you The general experience of the world is, that good and benevolent men need anticipate no injury from the malice and violence of the wicked. “Justice,” says Plato, “causes concord and friendship.” Yet there are exceptions, as the next verse allows and experience proves. The word μιμηται , imitators, is used in six other places in the New Testament, and in every instance is connected with a person who is to be followed, or imitated. It should be so here; and we would then read, if ye be imitators of him that is good, namely, of the Lord Jesus Christ. The authority, however, is strong for ζηλωται , zealots, which Tregelles, Alford, and Wordsworth adopt.
14. Suffer for righteousness’ sake St. Peter drops the harm for the milder suffer, which, in the case supposed, is a blessing rather than an injury. The probable reference is to anticipated persecutions by authority of the magistrates. These were part of the inheritance on earth. Mark 10:30.
Happy The Greek is the blessed of our Lord’s beatitudes, the eighth of which is clearly alluded to. Matthew 5:10. In the dungeon and in the flame they would be happy, or, which is more and higher, blessed, in their innocence, in their Lord’s approval, and in the reward of eternal joy.
Terror Used objectively, and pointing to attempts by threats to frighten them into apostasy.
Neither be troubled Be agitated by no fears or apprehensions.
15. The Lord God The proper object of fear, as opposed to terror. The passage is from Isaiah 8:12-13. Tregelles, Tischendorf, Alford, and Wordsworth read Christ for God, the last two translating “sanctify Christ as the Lord.” But it is rather Christ who is the Lord, the Lord Christ, whom they are instructed to sanctify. Enthrone him in your hearts for life and for death; and in alarm and danger he shall keep you in quietness and rest. The passage is proof of the Godhead of Christ.
16. A good conscience A consciousness of rectitude. The correct life agreeing with the spoken defence would powerfully tend to make all calumniators ashamed.
In Christ St. Peter’s idea of good conduct is far higher than a mere worldly, dead morality. It centres in Christ; and in personal union by faith with him the believer lives, walks, and acts.
3. The excellence of suffering innocently stated, and illustrated in the suffering and triumph of Christ, 1 Peter 3:17-22.
Better It is infinitely preferable that, if suffering befalls, as it most likely will, it be on account of a godly life rather than for crime. This is an axiom in Christian ethics. If the will Literally, if the will of God should will, (the former being the will itself, the latter the will acting,) that is, for high reasons, for the sake of either themselves or his cause, to place them where suffering would ensue.
18. Christ also As well as yourselves.
Once Once for all; perhaps also intimating that their suffering might be in like manner, once, or at least that soon they would look back upon it in that light.
Suffered On the cross, freely, voluntarily, doing the will of God, and for no fault of his own.
For sins On account of, or in relation to, sins, that is, in expiation of them. The preposition περι , for, radically signifies around, in the relation of circumference to centre, the action being from above. (See Curtius, 466, 5.) It represents Christ throwing himself down upon and around sins in such a manner that the falling curse of the broken law would surely strike him. In the Septuagint, περι αμαρτιων is used more than sixty times to represent sin-offerings. Its use here shows that Christ made atonement for sins, by suffering in the stead of those for whom he offered himself a sacrifice.
The just Rather, A just person for unjust persons; one righteous man for a world of the unrighteous. The terms just and unjust express a relation to law, and are exact opposites. Christ, the innocent and guiltless, died as a condemned criminal in the stead of the wicked and guilty. The preposition υπερ , here rendered for, is used to represent a bending over one to protect, defend, and avert injury. (Winer, 47, 5, 50.) Christ did this by letting the injury fall upon himself, interposing between the stroke of justice and the sinner, and receiving in his own person, in the stead of the guilty, a suffering on account of sin. This, surely, was most blessed suffering in well doing; and his followers may well take courage to suffer patiently in his cause. But a still more glorious view is presented, showing the intent of this suffering.
That he might bring us to God Does this mean that he might bring us, after the final judgment, together with himself into heaven? Or, that he might bring us into a state of reconciliation and communion with God in this world? Dean Alford, quoting Bengel, adopts the former view, as though it were the only possible one; and it evidently accords with his interpretation of what follows. It is true that Christ will bring all saved souls to heaven; but it does not seem to be taught here. We prefer the second view, as bringing the death of Christ into close connexion with its results, as in 1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 1:21; 1 Peter 2:24; Colossians 1:21, and elsewhere. It also precisely accords with the use of the noun προσαγωγη , access, in Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12; and, further, sustains the parallel in 1 Peter 2:21. Indeed, it is what our Lord said, (John 12:32,) that if he were lifted up he would draw all unto himself.
Being put to death Aorist: Having been put to death. The participles θανατωθεις and ζωοποιηθεις are connected with bring us to God, as explanatory of the means whereby we, unjust, alienated, and afar off, are brought into peace with him. Besides the antithesis between them, there is another between σαρκι and πνευματι . The clause literally reads, put to death indeed in flesh, but quickened in, or by, spirit. As to put to death, there is no difficulty.
Flesh If this word means Christ’s body, then spirit must mean his human spirit, which, as we shall see, the word quickened will not allow; yet the assumption that as only the body died, σαρξ must perforce signify body, has led to the wildest vagaries in both interpretation and theology. The word is a common one to designate our Lord’s entire humanity, embracing both body and soul. “The Word was made flesh.” John 1:14. “Of his loins according to the flesh.” Acts 2:30. “Of the seed of David according to the flesh.” Romans 1:3. “In the likeness of sinful flesh.”
Romans 8:3. “God was manifest in the flesh.” 1 Timothy 3:16. “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” 2 John 1:7. Compare John 17:2; Acts 2:17; Romans 3:20; Ephesians 2:15; 1Pe 1:24 ; 1 John 4:2, for a similar use of the word. Christ was put to death as a man. Death dealt with him as with any other man, separating, in the usual way, the soul from the body, and subjecting him to all the conditions of dying. No reason appears, therefore, for a specific statement that he died in his body, leaving as true in his special case the universal fact that the spirit did not die. The meaning, then, is, he was put to death in his human nature.
Quickened The word so translated is used in eleven other places in the New Testament. In seven, John 5:21, (twice;) Romans 4:17; Rom 8:11 ; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 1 Corinthians 15:36; 1 Corinthians 15:45, it refers to the resurrection of the dead; in three, Joh 6:63 ; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Galatians 3:21, to giving spiritual life; and once, 1 Timothy 6:13, to God as the life-giver. In every case it means to make alive, to give life where it before had ceased to be, or had not been, which, indeed, is the exact signification of the word. Those expositors who understand by πνευμα the human spirit, are compelled here to invent new definitions for this word. Some, like Steiger and Bloomfield, understand preserved alive, which the word never means; and which would only make St. Peter record a fact common to all who die, as a singular phenomenon in the case of Christ. Wordsworth says, “His human spirit, being liberated by death from the burden of the flesh, acquired new life by death; it gained new powers of motion,” etc. This is undoubtedly true, and no less universally true of all souls on their escape from the body; but the word never means an increase of life where life already exists. Alford correctly insists that the word means “brought to life;” but he explains, Christ “ceased to live a fleshly mortal life, began to live a spiritual resurrection life,” which, true enough as to the first half, has no foundation in fact for the second half until the morning of the third day. The plain and necessary meaning of quickened is, that something pertaining to our Lord, which had once lived, was restored to life, or that something that had never lived was brought into being and connected with him. Of the latter we have no intimation, and the former was realized in his resurrection from the dead. Any other meaning destroys the antithesis.
The Spirit This refers (1) to our Lord’s human spirit, (2) to the Holy Spirit, or (3) to his divine nature. As to the first, the human spirit of Christ had not died; it, therefore, was, not made alive. Doubtless on its emancipation from the body by death it became more free and untrammelled; but neither this nor any supposed change in the mode or sphere of its existence fulfils the condition required in made alive. It follows that spirit is not the object of the participle quickened. Nor had Christ’s human spirit any power to raise him from the dead, which, as we have seen, quickened signifies. (2.)
It would not be dogmatically erroneous to understand the word of the Holy Spirit, although no express passage ascribes the resurrection of Christ to him. For, though God raised him from the dead, it is a well-known truth that God’s works are wrought by the Holy Ghost; and we are taught that Christ “cast out devils by the Spirit of God,” (Matthew 12:28;) gave “commandments unto the apostles through the Holy Ghost,” (Acts 1:2;) and by his Spirit inspired the prophets, chap. 1 Peter 1:11. But, (3.) we prefer to understand Christ’s divine nature, partly because it fills out the contrast, and partly because whatever is done by the Holy Spirit is in reality his work. Thus he will raise believers at the last day, (John 6:40; John 6:44; John 6:54;) but St. Paul teaches that it will be done by the indwelling Holy Spirit in them. Romans 8:11. This rounds out the double antithesis: put to death indeed as to his human nature, but made alive by his divine nature. It is urged, (as in Lange,) as a grammatical objection to this view, that the two datives are evidently parallel, and must have the same sense. The reply is, that this is a begging of the whole question that compels quickened to take a meaning which it never has; and that the true rule is, that the force of the datives is fixed by the meaning of the two participles. The resurrection is referred to again in 1 Peter 3:21, but in another connexion and for another purpose, namely, to show how baptism saves; and, besides, it is too remote for the present inquiry as to how the suffering of Christ brings us to God. Our Lord was put to death, and thus made atonement, but his dying simply expiated sin. As God-man he was dead; and, though his human soul still lived in union with his divine nature, while held in the bonds of death he was powerless to apply the benefits of his dying. By his resurrection he became “Lord both of the dead and living,” (Romans 14:9,) and won that power. An exact parallel is, “Was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Romans 4:25. Thus St. Peter and St. Paul agree.
19. By which Better, In which, namely, his pre-existent divine nature.
He went Literally, having gone. Alford supposes local transference and personal preaching; but the case is parallelled in Ephesians 2:17, “And came [by the Holy Spirit] and preached [through the apostles] peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.” So Christ went by the Holy Spirit, and preached, through Noah, to the antediluvians. He is the Jehovah who sent his Spirit to do his office of awaking to repentance the ungodly of that generation, (Genesis 6:3,) and to speak through Noah.
Preached This is not ευαγγελιζω , the ordinary word for preaching the gospel, but κηρυσσω , to proclaim as a herald, to publish, to announce, to preach. It is used sixty times in the New Testament, and in every instance what is preached or published must be sought in the context. It never, in itself, means to preach the gospel.
The spirits in prison The disembodied spirits of men who had been disobedient… in the days of Noah, and were in prison at the time when St. Peter wrote. The object is to identify the men to whom Christ preached; and they are spoken of as they were at the time, not of the preaching, but of this identification. The word prison is always used in a bad sense, and denotes the department of hades in which the wicked are shut up, 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6; Revelation 20:7. To these persons, when on the earth, Noah, “a preacher of righteousness,” (2 Peter 2:5,) under the inspiration of the Spirit of Christ, preached the law of repentance and godly living for a hundred and twenty years, and preached in vain. That the apostle never dreamed of them as enjoying in their prison a second day of grace, is plain from his mention of them as, like the fallen angels, a specimen of those who are reserved (guarded in prison) unto the day of judgment, and a proof as well of the certain perdition of the ungodly, 2 Peter 2:4-9. The purpose of this digression was to show that the Christ who suffered and rose again, strove, in the earlier ages of the world, to bring men to God, as well as in the days of his passion; and, perhaps, also, as Wordsworth suggests, to confute the notion of certain heretics that the God of the Old Testament was less merciful than the God of the New.
This passage has received very various interpretations, from Augustine downward; but the weight of interpretation seems to accord with that above given. The descent into hell, with its object, some have thought they found here; and the theories thence resulting very widely differ. Some hold that Christ entered paradise and triumphantly announced his completed redemption; others add to this, the release of the Old Testament saints; some hold that he went to Tartarus as conqueror and judge, denouncing condemnation upon the ungodly there confined; others, that, as redeemer and judge, he preached to both the good and the bad; and others still, as Alford, Fronmuller in Lange, and Wordsworth, that he preached the gospel of salvation to the ungodly antediluvians; the last insisting that it was a unique case, and not repeated or continued, and the first, that it is continued to others who die impenitent. Upon this we remark:
1 . That Christ “descended into hell,” (hades,) though not directly asserted in this passage, nor other scripture, appears plainly from the use of Psalms 16:10 by St. Peter in Acts 2:27-31. That his human soul, released from its connexion with the body by death, entered the world of departed spirits, as do the souls of all men, and was subject to all the laws and conditions of that world until the third morning, is a true doctrine. But let it not be made to carry what does not belong to it. The one important point in it is, that the soul of Christ did not remain in that world, but on the third day came forth for the resurrection. Yet, be it remembered, our Lord was in paradise, the blessed side of hades, whither the penitent thief accompanied him, as was promised on the cross.
2 . Of Christ’s employment in that world we have no intimation, unless in the present passage, which our interpretation, necessitated by the force of the word quickened, forbids. He entered that world as do other men, with the humble, prayerful cry upon his lips, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,” (Luke 23:46,) and with the limitations of a man, as he had passed his whole earthly life. That saints and angels welcomed him as personally, though not yet officially, victorious, and that he partook of a higher bliss than when on earth, we can well believe. But not even his human soul could bridge over the awful, impassable gulf between paradise and the prison-house of hades, of which Father Abraham said to the rich man, “They which would pass from hence to you, cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.” Luke 16:26. This is one of the inexorable laws of the realm of the dead, which some of the above-mentioned theories forget when they imagine Christ’s human spirit crossing to preach to the lost, or the lost accepting salvation and passing the “great gulf” into paradise, which our Lord himself, in the words cited, declares impossible.
3 . If Christ, in person, preached in hades to the antediluvians there imprisoned, by the well-known law, exceptio probat regulam the exception proves the rule the specification of the persons to whom he preached, namely, the disobedient of Noah’s time, excludes all others from the message. This view suggests at once most serious difficulties. Why preach to the antediluvians of Noah’s time, whom St. Peter classes with fallen angels and Sodomites, reserved unto judgment, (2 Peter 2:4-9,) and not to all antediluvians? and, indeed, why to antediluvians alone, and not to all who have died disobedient? How should the selection be so effected as to exclude others from the hearing? What was the nature of the proclamation? Was it a message of wrath or of mercy? If salvation was offered, why to those particular sinners who had so persistently sinned against light and long-suffering, to the exclusion of all other sinners? And what would be the judgment of those excluded upon the partial goodness which made so limited an offer? These are pertinent questions that should be answered before the theory is accepted.
4 . These representations of Christ entering the world of spirits as a triumphant conqueror, and there doing the work of judge and saviour, overlook the important fact that he was still in his state of humiliation. “Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:8. He had voluntarily gone down to the lowest depths of self-humiliation in his death on the cross, and there he remained until the moment of his resurrection, the beginning of his exaltation. Death was conqueror, and still held him in its grasp. The shame of the cross was upon him. The curse which he took upon himself had crushed him in the sight of the universe; and he still lay under it where he fell. The atonement, in itself, was complete in his dying; but, however exultingly the wonderful story, soon to be made glorious, might be told in paradise, its application, and the proclamation of it as an accomplished and valid fact, required the precedent deliverance from the curse by the resurrection. Only so, as it seems to us, was the “all power” (Matthew 28:18) won to authoritatively condemn as judge, or to offer mercy as redeemer. Then, indeed, was he Conqueror and Lord; and with an authority to be gainsaid by none, his salvation could thenceforth be preached. Some, indeed, hold that his preaching in hades was after his resurrection; but not even that view can remove the difficulties, nor can it be gathered from this passage.
5 . The doctrine here dissented from is contrary to the whole tenor of Scripture, which confines its offers of salvation to the present life, and connects the decisions of the final judgment with the characters and acts of men as they are in this world, and not as they may be formed after death. See Matthew 7:21-23; Matthew 10:32-33; Matthew 25:31-46; Mark 8:38; Luke 16:25-26; Romans 2:6; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 2:10. An interpretation which is at war with the analogy of faith cannot be safe or true.
20. Disobedient They disbelieved the preaching of Noah, and disobeyed his calls to repentance.
Waited Literally, was waiting; and it continued to wait for their repenting through a hundred and twenty years, when the end came.
Few Only eight; very few compared with the vast number that might have escaped.
Were saved From destruction by the flood, by means of the water which bore up the ark.
21. The like figure whereunto Better, Which, in its antitype. The water of the flood is the type, the thing prefiguring; the water which becomes baptism is the antitype, the thing prefigured. Noah, believing and obeying, (Hebrews 11:7,) was saved by the type; us, believing and obeying, baptism, the antitype, is now saving. But the apostle is careful to assure us that baptism saves, not by a mere external application of water in cleansing the body, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but symbolically, representing the cleansing of the soul. “Baptismal regeneration,” therefore, can be only a symbolical regeneration.
The answer The response of the soul consecrating itself to God, and earnestly seeking toward him for salvation. The word means both inquiry and answer, and is used for the examination of candidates for baptism. The following is a very early formula: “Dost thou separate thyself from Satan?” “I separate myself.” “Dost thou devote thyself to Christ?” “I devote myself.” The answer then would be (see Bloomfield) the promise to live righteously and holily, so as to have a conscience void of offence toward God. This is the literal “regeneration.”
By the resurrection The risen Christ, with the Holy Spirit, baptizes and saves spiritually and really, and gives efficiency to baptism with water to save symbolically.
22. Gone into heaven At his ascension, to take his place as crowned King, to send the Holy Spirit, and to exercise kingly power in bringing men to God.
The right hand The place of highest honour, to which God exalted him. See notes on Acts 12:55, and Romans 8:34.
Made subject To him, the glorified God-man, as supreme Lord. Whether, as Steiger considers, the authorities be reigning authorities, and the powers acting powers, we know not. But see notes on Romans 8:38; Ephesians 1:21; and Colossians 2:15.