Relevant Bible Teaching "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth."
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1 Peter Chapter 3
Chapter 3 
1In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,
 2as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
 
Just as an unjust master is won by the holy behavior of the servant, so too are unbelieving husbands won by the chaste behavior of their wives. A nagging wife or a wife who incessantly preaches at them will not help to convert them. Such behavior will be taken as subversive and unruly and disrespectful. No man is impressed by that. A man is touched when a woman gives him respect and honor, even if it isn’t due him. That is something to marvel at. An unbelieving husband can be won without a word, merely because of the holy and respectful behavior of the wife. 
 
 3Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;
 4but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
 
There is a tendency among women to try to use their bodies and their appearance to influence men and draw attention. Peter is saying that the way for a believing wife to influence her man is to do it through her inner person, through a gentle and quiet spirit. This means that she lives out her femininity, not trying to usurp her husband’s place as the head of the home, even if he is not doing a good job. She rather comes alongside him, submitting to him (and first and foremost God), and giving him the respect he needs. She is not nagging, contentious, or hard to live with. She is not boisterous or clamorous, but ladylike in her demeanor. There is nothing wrong with outward adornments, from earrings and jewelry to styling hair and to donning a beautiful dress. If there was, it would be wrong for a man to dress manly. God makes a provision for women to dress womanly. Ezekiel 16:11-12 is God speaking metaphorically to Israel saying, “I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your hands and a necklace around your neck.  I also put a ring in your nostril, earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head.” If God is not concerned about describing His love for Israel as piercing her ears or nose, it is fair to conclude that God doesn’t have an issue with jewelry in and of itself. God’s issue is when it is used seductively as a prostitute might use it or as that which is more important than the state of the heart. The issue is not jewelry or not jewelry or perms or no perms. The issue is the hidden person of the heart. How the woman is on the inside is far more important than what she wears on the outside (off course all things must be done in modesty). A gentle and quiet spirit is an imperishable quality, something that only God in Christ could bring about inside a woman’s heart. Any woman can put on a necklace, but only a woman of God can have a heart that is beautiful. Such an attitude is precious to God and to a believing husband. 
 
 5For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands;
 6just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.
 
The holy women of old adorned themselves on the inside by being submissive to their husbands. This is the essence of beauty in God’s eyes. It is not outward charm or beauty, but whether or not the woman fears God. As Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” In other words, charm can be feigned and beauty doesn’t last, but a heart which fears God is a quality that endures. There is nothing wrong with outward beauty or a charming personality that is genuine, but they are vain if the fear of God does not rest in the heart. If she does fear God, then she will submit to her husband, just like Sarah did to Abraham, giving him the honor and respect due her head. This is to be the attitude taken, not fearing what others will think or say but trusting God to be the protector of one’s soul. It is always better to honor God even if we feel that it makes us more vulnerable. Abraham was a man of God who loved his wife, which made is relatively easy for Sarah to submit to him. Women should look for such godly men to lovingly lead them, but the call for women to submit is irregardless of the spiritual condition of the husband, though she must never dishonor God. 
 
 7You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
 
Wives are supposed to submit to their husbands’ loving leadership in a way that is similar to Abraham’s wife Sarah. Husbands are to be as Abraham was, doing what is right without fear. It can be difficult to step up and lead, show initiative, carry responsibility, and make decisions, but such is the call of the husband. Just as the wives must trust God in all things, so too must the husbands trust God entirely in order to be able to lead as they ought. Men and women are different, yet sometimes men want to treat women like they might other men. Women need romance more than men, they need emotional connection more than men, and they need affection more than men.  Thus, men must understand how God made women, and then they need to treat them accordingly. The word for “understanding” literally implies possessing intelligence about something. Men must understand what women need. Some men treat women as if they are inferior, not as smart, not as able, or not as strong. They may by physically weaker, generally speaking, but women certainly are just as able as men. When Peter says that men must be understanding of women being weaker, he doesn’t mean that women are inferior. He is pointing out that women are physically weaker as a general rule. The word for “weaker” means “feeble,” and the word for “vessel” is a Greek word that implied the physical body. Thus, Peter’s message is to treat women with a certain delicateness, knowing that they need more gentle words, more affection, and that they don’t need harsh or intimidating words or body language. The way to a woman’s heart is not through intimidation but through gentleness and affection. Furthermore (and I believe this to be the main emphasis of Peter) husbands should make their wives feel safe and secure, as a protector. If the husband is living afraid of everything and everybody, the wife will have to act out of her natural role and be the strong leader and provider. This is not good. The husband needs to be the one who is confident in the Lord and steadfast in his ways and Christian walk. He cares for his wife as if he is the caretaker of his most prized possession. Some men care more for their golf clubs or truck than they do their wives. The wife needs to feel that she is safe and secure because she is always on the mind of her husband who is thinking about her needs, safety, and best interests. When they are in public, he might show his care by putting his arm around her. He might open doors for her. Whatever he does, he makes it clear that she is honored by him and that he is honored to be with her and call her his own. He doesn’t treat her as baggage or as an interference but as a fellow heir of the grace of life. She is not inferior in any way. She is simply made to be cared for by the husband whereas the husband needs more respect than he does affection. As Ephesians 5:33 says, “Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” If the husband is not treating his wife properly, he cannot expect God to answer his prayers. To treat his wife with less honor than what is due her is to sin against God. God takes how men treat their wives seriously. 
 
 8To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;
 
After speaking to men and women in particular, Peter now addresses all believers, challenging them to true oneness and unity. The word for harmonious means “of one mind.” Sympathetic means that we are to feel what others are feeling. As Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Christ Himself is the great sympathizer, understanding what we are feeling and going through. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Christ understands what it is to be on this earth and to deal with temptation and difficulty. Sympathizing doesn’t mean accepting or condoning sin, but it means to be compassionate and gracious, knowing that we are capable of falling also. By brotherly, Peter means that we are to live as family, unconditionally showing love to one another and forgiving one another. There is to be a visible unity that shows the world that we are indeed a family of God. If we succeed at this unity as Jesus and the Father are One, then the world will know that the Father sent the Son (John 17:21). This has great evangelistic impact. We are grafted in as joint heirs with Christ so our community life as a church and in our own earthly families should be evidence that we are also members of Christ’s family as we love Him and submit to the Father’s authority. By kindhearted, Peter is commanding us to be compassionate and tender of heart, bearing with one another in love. We are all imperfect and people who need to mature. Thus, we will make mistakes, and we have weaknesses. A kindhearted person however is able to endure some hurts so as to not give up on encouraging another even after having been wronged. We are not to gloss over wrongs, for repentance and reconciliation should be sought. But we will need some tough skin if we are to be able to handle family life. In a day and age where people readily abandon husbands, wives, and children, we cannot abandon our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are to be humble in spirit which implies that we are not arrogant, ranking ourselves among each other, keeping records of performance, or self-righteous and self-reliant. Humility puts the interests and welfare of others before our own. 
 
 9not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.
 
The people of God are not to be those who seek revenge or like to fight or quarrel. When we are wronged, we are not to attack others, revile them, or insult them. We are to turn the other cheek, let them carry out their sin before a God who will avenge the wrong, and gently go on about our business. We even actively pray for them and hope for the best for them. We don’t walk away so that we can talk about them behind their back and spread rumors about them, whether true or not true. The way to deal with those who sin against us is found in Matthew 18:15-17. We humbly and in a mindset that seeks reconciliation go to them and tell them of their wrong. If they refuse to own up to it and repent, then we need to take one or two others who can confirm our testimony. Sadly, few like to get involved in something like this because too often nobody trusts anybody and therefore doesn’t want to take sides. Thus, we should take others who know both parties well enough to have a meaningful say. If the person or persons still won’t repent, then the issue needs to be brought before the church. If the person still doesn’t repent, then they are to be put out of the fellowship. The goal is always reconciliation and the restoration of the sinner. This last statement by Peter is very interesting. He lets us in on a little secret. The reason that God has called us to be His own in the first place is so that we could inherit a blessing. God’s plan and desire for all people is to bless them through Christ and give them eternal life. They are born as those who are cursed into a cursed world. Yet God wants to bless them. Thus, it makes sense that believers in the family of God should always seek to bless one another, for that it what we are called to. 
 
 10For,
         "THE
ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE ANDSEE
GOOD DAYS,
         MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL
AND
HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT.
    11"HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL
AND
DO GOOD;
         HE MUST SEEK PEACE
AND PURSUE IT.
    12"FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS,
         
AND
HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER,
         BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL."
 
Peter quotes Scripture to emphasize his point that God’s desire is indeed for blessing, life, and joy. If we want to receive this and take part of God’s blessing, then we must do good by faith in Christ, having repented from our evil ways. We are not to be those who like division, strife, and insult but rather peace. We are to do all that we can to be at peace with all men. As Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” God is a good God Who readily takes care of His children and longs to answer our prayers offered according to His will. When Scripture says that God’s face is toward us, it means that we are in a position of blessing. If He turns His face against us or away from us, then we can expect a loss of His blessing. As 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” God sees all, and though injustice may be evident on earth, ultimately the righteous will be blessed for their righteousness in Christ. The wicked will ultimately pay for their wrongs. 
 
 13Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?
 
Generally speaking, people don’t attack and hurt those who have done nothing to them. People, even selfishly, don’t want to harm someone who is doing them no harm. 
 
 14But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED,
 
Yet Peter is not so naïve as to think that this is always the case. The reality is that sometimes innocent and good people get killed, hurt, and insulted by the wicked. In fact, there are times that the righteous are persecuted for the sake of their righteousness. You would think that people would want to get back at evil people, and indeed revenge is common. But the righteous are not exempt from attack because the aroma of Christ to some is an aroma of death (2 Corinthians 2:16). They will hate us because they hated Him, and therefore they will seek to do us harm. Yet we must remember that when we are persecuted for righteousness sake and for Christ’s sake that we are blessed (Matthew 5:10). In fact, persecution goes hand in hand with taking on the name of “Christian.” 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” But how we handle our persecution is to be a witness to those watching us suffer. Rather than revile, since Christ didn’t revile, we are to forgive and bless. Our attitude and hope should be evidence to them of their own destruction. If we fight back and insult, then we show them that we are no better than they. If we suffer without fear or being intimidated, we demonstrate Christ in our lives. If we let our hearts not be troubled because we know that Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33), then we will be a testimony to them that indeed we have the Son of God in our hearts.  
 
 15but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
 
As we bear up under persecution and suffering well, others will see our hope, faith, and purity. If we can remain steadfast and morally pure through our trials, we will succeed at sanctifying the Lord in our hearts. This will open the door to conversations about why we have such hope when all has gone wrong. Many will wonder how and why we will still love God when “God has betrayed us.” When the prosperity gospel fails us, and all we have left is the promise of Christ’s love for us, we must stand firm. Others will likely ask how we do this, and that is our chance to explain to them why we believe what we believe and why we have the hope that we have. We may not be able to explain all things about theology, philosophy, and apologetics, but the account that we must be able to give is the gospel. We must be able to give this account when we are called upon to do it. We can rely upon the Spirit to bring to remembrance that which we have studied, believed, and meditated upon (John 14:26). 
 
 16and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.
 
If someone tries to bring an accusation against us as if to justify their malicious behavior, it should be clear to all that we are innocent. Our good behavior and clear conscience should make it evident that we are being persecuted unjustly. This can only lead to their future shame, and it may or may not result also in a present embarrassment of the accuser.
 
 17For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.
 
Sometimes we bring ourselves harm because we sin. This is not good, but we should expect to suffer when we sin. It is much better to suffer well when we are innocent, for this brings blessing and reward in the life to come. It also opens up opportunities to share our faith. 
 
 18For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
 
Christ modeled what it is to suffer unjustly and to not revile against His persecutors. He, the holy and righteous One, died for the sins of those who were evil, even those who put Him to death. The whole point of His suffering was to reconcile us to God, crucifying our old man with Him on the cross so that we could be raised to new life in the Spirit. Even if we are killed in body, we will still be alive in spirit. We will even get a new body. Christ Himself was killed in the body, but His spirit was still alive. The person, essence, and nature of Christ was never dead.
 
 19in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison,
 20who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.
 
Jude 6, 2 Peter 2:4, and Luke 8:31 are necessary for understanding these two verses. Luke 8:31 records the legion of demons cast out of the man who lived in the tombs. The demons asked not to be sent into the abyss. It seems that they were bothered by the thought because they knew that this bottomless pit would be inescapable. Otherwise, what would be the big deal. They could always come back unless they were bound. Jude 6 also speaks of such a place for demons. It says, “And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.” So there are some demons who are locked up under eternal chains until, of course, they are bound in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). Perhaps the legion of demons were afraid that they would suffer the same fate as the angels that didn’t keep their proper abode that Jude refers to. These were likely the Nephilim in Genesis 6 which lusted after human women and had intercourse with them. They disobeyed God by not staying in their proper domain, and God, according to 2 Peter 2:4 sentenced them to chains in darkness. 2 Peter 2:4 says, “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment.” The word for hell is “tartaroo,” meaning to thrust down into Tartarus, which was a word borrowed from the Greeks to imply the deepest and darkest pit of hell. Their judgment would be sure. These angels who disobeyed were again likely the Nephilim from Genesis 6, though they could also include some of the demons who were thrust out of heaven in Satan’s rebellion. Either way, the point is that the spirit of Christ approaches and preaches to these fallen angels as to the certainty of their future doom. Their penalty is eternal chains, so we know that He is not going there for the purpose of evangelizing them. His purpose is to declare His victory and their sealed doom. Psalm 16:10 says, foretelling Christ’s death, “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.” Christ’s time in this deep pit of hell was purposeful for the sake of declaring victory. Even the deepest, darkest pit of hell never had any power over His spirit. 
 
God was being patient with Noah so that he could finish the ark, preserve his family and the animals, and perhaps win a convert during that time. We know from 2 Peter 3:9 that God wants none to perish and is patient with the righteous to give us time to evangelize. It says, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” God’s patience allowed Noah to be saved, and as soon as the ark was completed, God promptly (after seven days after entering the ark) blotted out man from the face of the earth. People could have even repented during those seven days, but likely they were jeering Noah right to the end. But God saved the righteous and put an end to the wicked. The subplot that was happening was the binding of the fallen angels. 
 
 21Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
 
Peter is not saying here that baptism is necessary for salvation or a means to it. In fact, he makes it abundantly clear what he means by baptism. He says that he is not referring to a mere removal of dirt from the body by water, but by doing what the disobedient spirits didn’t do. The way to get “baptized” into new life is to receive the message of repentance that Jesus preached and Noah preached. It is to become obedient to the God of creation. The person who becomes clean is the person who realizes his sin in light of a holy God. This is why a person should appeal to God for a clean conscience. They may be lonely and need a companion in Christ. They may be tired, and need strength in Christ. Christ does supply these things, but those who are truly saved come to Him first and foremost for cleansing. This is the essential component of the salvation message which gives us a good conscience before God so that we don’t have to struggle with guilt and clinging wickedness. This is only possible because of the fact that Christ was raised from the dead. 
 
 22who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.
 
Christ ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God in heaven. But before He ascended, He first subjected all authorities and powers in the heavenly places. Satan and his demons know that their time is short (Revelation 12:12) because Christ has already guaranteed their full defeat. Hebrews 2:8 confirms that Christ’s reign is established, and nothing can change it. It says, “‘YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.’  For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him.  But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.”  Yet we see that practically we do not yet see all things subjected to Him. 1 Corinthians 15:28 says, “When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.” Thus, we can be sure that one day Jesus Christ will Himself establish the right and power that He already has as He sets up His kingdom on earth. All that are on the earth will one day bow the knee before Christ and confess that He is Lord (Philippians 2:10). Sadly, for some it will be too late.
 
Chapter 3 
1In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,
 2as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
 
Just as an unjust master is won by the holy behavior of the servant, so too are unbelieving husbands won by the chaste behavior of their wives. A nagging wife or a wife who incessantly preaches at them will not help to convert them. Such behavior will be taken as subversive and unruly and disrespectful. No man is impressed by that. A man is touched when a woman gives him respect and honor, even if it isn’t due him. That is something to marvel at. An unbelieving husband can be won without a word, merely because of the holy and respectful behavior of the wife. 
 
 3Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;
 4but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
 
There is a tendency among women to try to use their bodies and their appearance to influence men and draw attention. Peter is saying that the way for a believing wife to influence her man is to do it through her inner person, through a gentle and quiet spirit. This means that she lives out her femininity, not trying to usurp her husband’s place as the head of the home, even if he is not doing a good job. She rather comes alongside him, submitting to him (and first and foremost God), and giving him the respect he needs. She is not nagging, contentious, or hard to live with. She is not boisterous or clamorous, but ladylike in her demeanor. There is nothing wrong with outward adornments, from earrings and jewelry to styling hair and to donning a beautiful dress. If there was, it would be wrong for a man to dress manly. God makes a provision for women to dress womanly. Ezekiel 16:11-12 is God speaking metaphorically to Israel saying, “I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your hands and a necklace around your neck.  I also put a ring in your nostril, earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head.” If God is not concerned about describing His love for Israel as piercing her ears or nose, it is fair to conclude that God doesn’t have an issue with jewelry in and of itself. God’s issue is when it is used seductively as a prostitute might use it or as that which is more important than the state of the heart. The issue is not jewelry or not jewelry or perms or no perms. The issue is the hidden person of the heart. How the woman is on the inside is far more important than what she wears on the outside (off course all things must be done in modesty). A gentle and quiet spirit is an imperishable quality, something that only God in Christ could bring about inside a woman’s heart. Any woman can put on a necklace, but only a woman of God can have a heart that is beautiful. Such an attitude is precious to God and to a believing husband. 
 
 5For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands;
 6just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.
 
The holy women of old adorned themselves on the inside by being submissive to their husbands. This is the essence of beauty in God’s eyes. It is not outward charm or beauty, but whether or not the woman fears God. As Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” In other words, charm can be feigned and beauty doesn’t last, but a heart which fears God is a quality that endures. There is nothing wrong with outward beauty or a charming personality that is genuine, but they are vain if the fear of God does not rest in the heart. If she does fear God, then she will submit to her husband, just like Sarah did to Abraham, giving him the honor and respect due her head. This is to be the attitude taken, not fearing what others will think or say but trusting God to be the protector of one’s soul. It is always better to honor God even if we feel that it makes us more vulnerable. Abraham was a man of God who loved his wife, which made is relatively easy for Sarah to submit to him. Women should look for such godly men to lovingly lead them, but the call for women to submit is irregardless of the spiritual condition of the husband, though she must never dishonor God. 
 
 7You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
 
Wives are supposed to submit to their husbands’ loving leadership in a way that is similar to Abraham’s wife Sarah. Husbands are to be as Abraham was, doing what is right without fear. It can be difficult to step up and lead, show initiative, carry responsibility, and make decisions, but such is the call of the husband. Just as the wives must trust God in all things, so too must the husbands trust God entirely in order to be able to lead as they ought. Men and women are different, yet sometimes men want to treat women like they might other men. Women need romance more than men, they need emotional connection more than men, and they need affection more than men.  Thus, men must understand how God made women, and then they need to treat them accordingly. The word for “understanding” literally implies possessing intelligence about something. Men must understand what women need. Some men treat women as if they are inferior, not as smart, not as able, or not as strong. They may by physically weaker, generally speaking, but women certainly are just as able as men. When Peter says that men must be understanding of women being weaker, he doesn’t mean that women are inferior. He is pointing out that women are physically weaker as a general rule. The word for “weaker” means “feeble,” and the word for “vessel” is a Greek word that implied the physical body. Thus, Peter’s message is to treat women with a certain delicateness, knowing that they need more gentle words, more affection, and that they don’t need harsh or intimidating words or body language. The way to a woman’s heart is not through intimidation but through gentleness and affection. Furthermore (and I believe this to be the main emphasis of Peter) husbands should make their wives feel safe and secure, as a protector. If the husband is living afraid of everything and everybody, the wife will have to act out of her natural role and be the strong leader and provider. This is not good. The husband needs to be the one who is confident in the Lord and steadfast in his ways and Christian walk. He cares for his wife as if he is the caretaker of his most prized possession. Some men care more for their golf clubs or truck than they do their wives. The wife needs to feel that she is safe and secure because she is always on the mind of her husband who is thinking about her needs, safety, and best interests. When they are in public, he might show his care by putting his arm around her. He might open doors for her. Whatever he does, he makes it clear that she is honored by him and that he is honored to be with her and call her his own. He doesn’t treat her as baggage or as an interference but as a fellow heir of the grace of life. She is not inferior in any way. She is simply made to be cared for by the husband whereas the husband needs more respect than he does affection. As Ephesians 5:33 says, “Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” If the husband is not treating his wife properly, he cannot expect God to answer his prayers. To treat his wife with less honor than what is due her is to sin against God. God takes how men treat their wives seriously. 
 
 8To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;
 
After speaking to men and women in particular, Peter now addresses all believers, challenging them to true oneness and unity. The word for harmonious means “of one mind.” Sympathetic means that we are to feel what others are feeling. As Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Christ Himself is the great sympathizer, understanding what we are feeling and going through. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Christ understands what it is to be on this earth and to deal with temptation and difficulty. Sympathizing doesn’t mean accepting or condoning sin, but it means to be compassionate and gracious, knowing that we are capable of falling also. By brotherly, Peter means that we are to live as family, unconditionally showing love to one another and forgiving one another. There is to be a visible unity that shows the world that we are indeed a family of God. If we succeed at this unity as Jesus and the Father are One, then the world will know that the Father sent the Son (John 17:21). This has great evangelistic impact. We are grafted in as joint heirs with Christ so our community life as a church and in our own earthly families should be evidence that we are also members of Christ’s family as we love Him and submit to the Father’s authority. By kindhearted, Peter is commanding us to be compassionate and tender of heart, bearing with one another in love. We are all imperfect and people who need to mature. Thus, we will make mistakes, and we have weaknesses. A kindhearted person however is able to endure some hurts so as to not give up on encouraging another even after having been wronged. We are not to gloss over wrongs, for repentance and reconciliation should be sought. But we will need some tough skin if we are to be able to handle family life. In a day and age where people readily abandon husbands, wives, and children, we cannot abandon our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are to be humble in spirit which implies that we are not arrogant, ranking ourselves among each other, keeping records of performance, or self-righteous and self-reliant. Humility puts the interests and welfare of others before our own. 
 
 9not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.
 
The people of God are not to be those who seek revenge or like to fight or quarrel. When we are wronged, we are not to attack others, revile them, or insult them. We are to turn the other cheek, let them carry out their sin before a God who will avenge the wrong, and gently go on about our business. We even actively pray for them and hope for the best for them. We don’t walk away so that we can talk about them behind their back and spread rumors about them, whether true or not true. The way to deal with those who sin against us is found in Matthew 18:15-17. We humbly and in a mindset that seeks reconciliation go to them and tell them of their wrong. If they refuse to own up to it and repent, then we need to take one or two others who can confirm our testimony. Sadly, few like to get involved in something like this because too often nobody trusts anybody and therefore doesn’t want to take sides. Thus, we should take others who know both parties well enough to have a meaningful say. If the person or persons still won’t repent, then the issue needs to be brought before the church. If the person still doesn’t repent, then they are to be put out of the fellowship. The goal is always reconciliation and the restoration of the sinner. This last statement by Peter is very interesting. He lets us in on a little secret. The reason that God has called us to be His own in the first place is so that we could inherit a blessing. God’s plan and desire for all people is to bless them through Christ and give them eternal life. They are born as those who are cursed into a cursed world. Yet God wants to bless them. Thus, it makes sense that believers in the family of God should always seek to bless one another, for that it what we are called to. 
 
 10For,
         "THE
ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE ANDSEE
GOOD DAYS,
         MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL
AND
HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT.
    11"HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL
AND
DO GOOD;
         HE MUST SEEK PEACE
AND PURSUE IT.
    12"FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS,
         
AND
HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER,
         BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL."
 
Peter quotes Scripture to emphasize his point that God’s desire is indeed for blessing, life, and joy. If we want to receive this and take part of God’s blessing, then we must do good by faith in Christ, having repented from our evil ways. We are not to be those who like division, strife, and insult but rather peace. We are to do all that we can to be at peace with all men. As Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” God is a good God Who readily takes care of His children and longs to answer our prayers offered according to His will. When Scripture says that God’s face is toward us, it means that we are in a position of blessing. If He turns His face against us or away from us, then we can expect a loss of His blessing. As 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” God sees all, and though injustice may be evident on earth, ultimately the righteous will be blessed for their righteousness in Christ. The wicked will ultimately pay for their wrongs. 
 
 13Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?
 
Generally speaking, people don’t attack and hurt those who have done nothing to them. People, even selfishly, don’t want to harm someone who is doing them no harm. 
 
 14But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED,
 
Yet Peter is not so naïve as to think that this is always the case. The reality is that sometimes innocent and good people get killed, hurt, and insulted by the wicked. In fact, there are times that the righteous are persecuted for the sake of their righteousness. You would think that people would want to get back at evil people, and indeed revenge is common. But the righteous are not exempt from attack because the aroma of Christ to some is an aroma of death (2 Corinthians 2:16). They will hate us because they hated Him, and therefore they will seek to do us harm. Yet we must remember that when we are persecuted for righteousness sake and for Christ’s sake that we are blessed (Matthew 5:10). In fact, persecution goes hand in hand with taking on the name of “Christian.” 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” But how we handle our persecution is to be a witness to those watching us suffer. Rather than revile, since Christ didn’t revile, we are to forgive and bless. Our attitude and hope should be evidence to them of their own destruction. If we fight back and insult, then we show them that we are no better than they. If we suffer without fear or being intimidated, we demonstrate Christ in our lives. If we let our hearts not be troubled because we know that Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33), then we will be a testimony to them that indeed we have the Son of God in our hearts.  
 
 15but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
 
As we bear up under persecution and suffering well, others will see our hope, faith, and purity. If we can remain steadfast and morally pure through our trials, we will succeed at sanctifying the Lord in our hearts. This will open the door to conversations about why we have such hope when all has gone wrong. Many will wonder how and why we will still love God when “God has betrayed us.” When the prosperity gospel fails us, and all we have left is the promise of Christ’s love for us, we must stand firm. Others will likely ask how we do this, and that is our chance to explain to them why we believe what we believe and why we have the hope that we have. We may not be able to explain all things about theology, philosophy, and apologetics, but the account that we must be able to give is the gospel. We must be able to give this account when we are called upon to do it. We can rely upon the Spirit to bring to remembrance that which we have studied, believed, and meditated upon (John 14:26). 
 
 16and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.
 
If someone tries to bring an accusation against us as if to justify their malicious behavior, it should be clear to all that we are innocent. Our good behavior and clear conscience should make it evident that we are being persecuted unjustly. This can only lead to their future shame, and it may or may not result also in a present embarrassment of the accuser.
 
 17For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.
 
Sometimes we bring ourselves harm because we sin. This is not good, but we should expect to suffer when we sin. It is much better to suffer well when we are innocent, for this brings blessing and reward in the life to come. It also opens up opportunities to share our faith. 
 
 18For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
 
Christ modeled what it is to suffer unjustly and to not revile against His persecutors. He, the holy and righteous One, died for the sins of those who were evil, even those who put Him to death. The whole point of His suffering was to reconcile us to God, crucifying our old man with Him on the cross so that we could be raised to new life in the Spirit. Even if we are killed in body, we will still be alive in spirit. We will even get a new body. Christ Himself was killed in the body, but His spirit was still alive. The person, essence, and nature of Christ was never dead.
 
 19in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison,
 20who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.
 
Jude 6, 2 Peter 2:4, and Luke 8:31 are necessary for understanding these two verses. Luke 8:31 records the legion of demons cast out of the man who lived in the tombs. The demons asked not to be sent into the abyss. It seems that they were bothered by the thought because they knew that this bottomless pit would be inescapable. Otherwise, what would be the big deal. They could always come back unless they were bound. Jude 6 also speaks of such a place for demons. It says, “And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.” So there are some demons who are locked up under eternal chains until, of course, they are bound in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). Perhaps the legion of demons were afraid that they would suffer the same fate as the angels that didn’t keep their proper abode that Jude refers to. These were likely the Nephilim in Genesis 6 which lusted after human women and had intercourse with them. They disobeyed God by not staying in their proper domain, and God, according to 2 Peter 2:4 sentenced them to chains in darkness. 2 Peter 2:4 says, “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment.” The word for hell is “tartaroo,” meaning to thrust down into Tartarus, which was a word borrowed from the Greeks to imply the deepest and darkest pit of hell. Their judgment would be sure. These angels who disobeyed were again likely the Nephilim from Genesis 6, though they could also include some of the demons who were thrust out of heaven in Satan’s rebellion. Either way, the point is that the spirit of Christ approaches and preaches to these fallen angels as to the certainty of their future doom. Their penalty is eternal chains, so we know that He is not going there for the purpose of evangelizing them. His purpose is to declare His victory and their sealed doom. Psalm 16:10 says, foretelling Christ’s death, “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.” Christ’s time in this deep pit of hell was purposeful for the sake of declaring victory. Even the deepest, darkest pit of hell never had any power over His spirit. 
 
God was being patient with Noah so that he could finish the ark, preserve his family and the animals, and perhaps win a convert during that time. We know from 2 Peter 3:9 that God wants none to perish and is patient with the righteous to give us time to evangelize. It says, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” God’s patience allowed Noah to be saved, and as soon as the ark was completed, God promptly (after seven days after entering the ark) blotted out man from the face of the earth. People could have even repented during those seven days, but likely they were jeering Noah right to the end. But God saved the righteous and put an end to the wicked. The subplot that was happening was the binding of the fallen angels. 
 
 21Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
 
Peter is not saying here that baptism is necessary for salvation or a means to it. In fact, he makes it abundantly clear what he means by baptism. He says that he is not referring to a mere removal of dirt from the body by water, but by doing what the disobedient spirits didn’t do. The way to get “baptized” into new life is to receive the message of repentance that Jesus preached and Noah preached. It is to become obedient to the God of creation. The person who becomes clean is the person who realizes his sin in light of a holy God. This is why a person should appeal to God for a clean conscience. They may be lonely and need a companion in Christ. They may be tired, and need strength in Christ. Christ does supply these things, but those who are truly saved come to Him first and foremost for cleansing. This is the essential component of the salvation message which gives us a good conscience before God so that we don’t have to struggle with guilt and clinging wickedness. This is only possible because of the fact that Christ was raised from the dead. 
 
 22who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.
 
Christ ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God in heaven. But before He ascended, He first subjected all authorities and powers in the heavenly places. Satan and his demons know that their time is short (Revelation 12:12) because Christ has already guaranteed their full defeat. Hebrews 2:8 confirms that Christ’s reign is established, and nothing can change it. It says, “‘YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.’  For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him.  But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.”  Yet we see that practically we do not yet see all things subjected to Him. 1 Corinthians 15:28 says, “When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.” Thus, we can be sure that one day Jesus Christ will Himself establish the right and power that He already has as He sets up His kingdom on earth. All that are on the earth will one day bow the knee before Christ and confess that He is Lord (Philippians 2:10). Sadly, for some it will be too late.