First Peter: The Gospel of Hope

Chapter 3




Chapter 3

1-6 Specific exhortation for wives to submit to their husbands.

7 Specific exhortation for husbands to honor their wives.

8-9 Specific exhortation for all believers to get along together.

10-13 God’s promised blessing and happiness follow godliness.

14-17 Godly suffering requires holy living and preparedness.

18-20 Jesus also suffered but rose; Noah was saved from wrath.

21-22 Baptism is only a symbolic event of Jesus’ resurrection.

1 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;


  1. As in all spheres of authority that impact us personally, these are the words of the living God.
    1. We do not rationalize truth by incessant “what if’s,” we submit to revelation from God.
    2. God does not care what you think about the full application of His rules for authority.
    3. Godly souls get excited like Cornelius to have Peter to give commandments (Acts 10:33).
    4. We do not care what anyone thinks (Ps 119:128); we do not care about results (Pr 1:32).
  2. God in infinite wisdom designed and ordained five spheres of authority for human success.
    1. These authorities are husbands, parents, civil rulers, employment masters, and pastors.
    2. The Bible in both testaments exalts all five with detailed rules and severe punishments.
    3. If they deserved extensive apostolic writing, what of these perilous times (II Tim 3:1-5)?
    4. The truth casts down your imaginations and high thoughts against authority (II Cor 10:5).
    5. Embrace God’s wisdom on this subject, love His words, hate compromise (Ps 119:128).
    6. For much more detail about authority.
  3. Humble yourself before Peter’s extended exhortations for submission to three authorities.
    1. In this context, obeying authority is first for a general exhortation to godliness (2:11-12).
    2. In the epistle’s overall context, it sets the standard for Christians living among pagans.
  4. Peter’s lesson for wives proceeds rather simply from commandment to priority to example.
    1. He first gave the rule to submit, even for wives married to unconverted husbands (3:1-2).
    2. He then corrected the female priority to exalt appearance over submissive spirit (3:3-4).
    3. He then illustrated the doctrine by examples of great women, especially Sarah (3:5-6).
  5. The use of likewise here compares three spheres of authority as having features in common.
    1. Likewise. 2. In the like or same manner, similarly. 3. Also, as well, moreover, too.
    2. Due to subjection and submission (2:13,18; 3:1,5), we emphasize the primary definition.
  6. Similarities between wives submitting and citizens and servants doing so should be noted.
    1. Every ordinance of civil rulers (2:13) compares to every thing of husbands (Eph 5:24).
    2. For the Lord’s sake (2:13) compares to as unto the Lord obeying husbands (Eph 5:22).
    3. For so is the will of God (2:15) compares to in the sight of God of great price (3:4).
    4. Obeying rulers is well doing (2:15) compares to obeying husbands as ye do well (3:6).
  7. There are differences between wives submitting and citizens and servants under authority.
    1. A servant can quit (I Cor 7:20-24) or a citizen move, but a wife cannot (I Cor 7:10-16).
    2. Hope for conversion is not held out for rulers or bosses like husbands (3:1-2; I Cor 7:16).
  8. A wife may divorce for several violations of the marriage that render it painful and worthless.
    1. God took care even of servant wives under Moses’ Law (Ex 21:10-11; Deut 21:10-14).
    2. Divorce is only allowed for unrepentant fornication (Matt 5:31-32; 19:3-9), desertion (I Cor 7:12-16), or other material violation of the marriage without hope for reconciliation, on the grounds of mercy and intent of the institution (Matt 12:1-7; Mark 2:23-27).

Ye wives.

  1. When the Bible addresses persons that you fit, you should be excited to learn personal truth.
  2. Consider wisely that God has already dealt with men under rulers and under froward bosses.
    1. By this time a wife should be easily ready to hear what God expects of her in marriage.
    2. By this time a wife should know her husband was just taught submission in his roles.
  3. There is no wife without a marriage, and marriage is God’s institution and under His laws.
    1. Marriage was not a trial and error effort of Neanderthal parents; God wisely designed it.
    2. Though much learning and publishing exists today, man is yet farther from marital truth.
    3. The book and counsel most needed is plain preaching and full obedience to God’s word.
    4. God has the right to dictate use of His institution; every other opinion should be hated.
    5. As with any authority, humble yourself to flush all thoughts but easily-grasped scripture.
    6. There are no cute rules to maximize it; hard work applying God’s word is the only way.
    7. The basic problem is always and only sinful living patterns and rebellion, so we preach.
    8. Rationalization is rebellion disguised under questions; revelation is all that is needed.
  4. Peter will address husbands next (3:7), but he always starts with wives for they must submit.
    1. Consider how the apostolic method was to address children and servants first (Eph 6:1-8).
    2. All five authority spheres are voluntary in nature, and it is submission that engages them.
  5. Satan went after Adam’s wife; it is a danger (II Cor 2:11; 11:3; I Tim 2:13-14; II Tim 3:6-7).
  6. While we should not engage in a full marriage study, much has been taught concerning it.
    1. Perfect Marriages.
    2. Marriage Essentials.
    3. Role of the Woman.
    4. Importance of Your Marriage.
    5. Maximizing Your Marriage.
    6. A Marriage Covenant.
    7. Marriage in the Lord.
    8. Love the One You’re With.
    9. Proverbs Marriage Commentaries.
    10. More articles, documents, sermons, couples’ retreats, and other information are available.

Be in subjection.

  1. Peter states the command by the Holy Ghost, and we believe it no matter what others think.
    1. Subjection of wives to husbands is not popular, but so what (II Tim 4:1-4; Titus 2:15)!
    2. Our goal is to learn God’s will in this matter and conform our minds entirely to His.
  2. The Bible is God’s revealed will, the absolute and final truth about subjection (Ps 119:128).
    1. This list of verses is the first source to know God’s will in this doctrine (Gen 2:18; 3:16; I Cor 11:3-10; 14:34-35; Eph 5:22-24,33; Col 3:18; I Tim 2:9-14; Titus 2:3-5; I Pet 3:1-6).
    2. Then God has different results, standards, and laws for husbands and wives implying her subjection e.g. different monetary values (Lev 27:1-7), his right to disallow her vows to God (Num 30:1-16), her virginity known by a hymen (Deut 22:13-21), her intercourse known by pregnancy (Gen 38:24), his right to test her out of jealousy (Num 5:11-31), polygamy allowed for him but not polyandry or anything close for her (Ex 21:10-11; Deut 24:1-4; II Sam 12:7-8), severe punishment for touching another man’s privates for good cause (Deut 25:11-12), children are always counted as the man’s (Gen 30:20), etc.
    3. God ridicules odious wives (Pr 11:22; 12:4; 19:13; 21:9,19; 25:24; 27:15-16; 30:21-23).
    4. The virtuous woman is described as a very submissive and dependent person serving her husband loyally and waiting on him for even a portion of her own earnings (Pr 31:10-31).
    5. He identifies her as the weaker vessel and vulnerable to deception (I Pet 3:7; II Ti 3:6-7).
  3. Submission is a key and serious subject throughout scripture that should be well understood.
    1. Subject. To render submissive or dependent; to bring into a state of subordination or submission. To be or become subject, submit to.Submit. To place oneself under the control of a person in authority or power; to become subject, surrender oneself, or yield to a person or his rule, etc.
    2. Subject or subjection are used for civil rulers (Rom 13:1,5; Tit 1:1), servants to masters (I Pet 2:18), wives to husbands (I Pet 3:1,5; Eph 5:22-24; Col 3:18), for women in public assemblies (I Tim 2:11), for parental rule (Luke 2:51; I Tim 3:4), for Christ’s rule over the universe (Heb 2:8; I Pet 3:22), for Christ under God (I Cor 15:28), for ruling your body (I Cor 9:27), and for the relationship of all one to another (Eph 5:21; I Pet 5:5).
    3. God told Hagar to return to Sarah and submit even after her harsh treatment (Gen 16:6,9).
    4. David joined obedience with submission when describing defeat of enemies (Ps 18:44).
    5. Wives must submit to husbands like the church is subject to Christ (Ep 5:22-24; Co 3:18).
    6. Churches and saints must submit themselves to Christ’s ministers (I Co 16:16; He 13:17).
    7. Christians are to submit themselves to God in humility to obtain His grace (James 4:6-7).
    8. The younger members in a church should submit to the older church members (I Pet 5:5).
    9. If you must be forced to do something (belligerent or resisting), then it is not submission.
    10. If you do it against your will and resenting the one in authority, then it is not submission.
    11. If it is something you want to do anyway, then it is not submission; it is a sweet vacation.
  4. Women by nature do not want to submit, so they hate it and rebel against it in their old man.
    1. Any claim to the contrary proves self-deceit or lack of understanding of true submission.
    2. Prove yourself. Confess all faults to your husband tonight and verbally reverence him.
    3. As Satan envied the Most High, women also want the glory and the freedom of the man.
    4. They forget God’s creation ordinance, failure in Eden, and authority’s condemnation.
    5. Women control or heavily influence preaching today either from the pulpit or the pew.
    6. Inferiority creates a defensive reaction, suspicion, and a resentment of reminders to some.
    7. Cholerics have most difficulty to submit; phlegmatics lack communication and initiative.
    8. The world is at war against submission via woman’s choice in marriage, lack of strict fathers, few examples of “holy women,” women’s suffrage, the education and entertainment combines, and crumbling authority in all spheres.
    9. Most pulpits and churches are only a step behind with little to no hard preaching about it.
    10. God warned His judgment would include oppressive women like today (Is 3:1-4,12,16).
  5. Foolish women complain that men love marital submission because they do not have to do it.
    1. A wise woman will realize that her husband submits to more authorities than she does.
    2. The men have already been dealt a severe blow about submission to rulers and masters.
    3. Consider how athletes submit to coaches, employees to bosses, citizens to rulers, Secret Service men to presidents, Mafia bodyguards to Dons, pilots to air traffic controllers, children to parents, members to pastors, sailors to Captains, soldiers to sergeants, etc.
  6. Women that resist the man’s authority and rule resist the ordinance of God (Rom 13:1-5).
  7. God starts with wives (Eph 5; Col 3; I Pet 3), for submission is far more essential than love.
  8. For much more about submission.

To your own husbands.

  1. The male-female differences of Eden do not create submission itself, but rather marriage.
    1. A woman is bound to submit only to the man she married by her covenant before God.
    2. Yet, in assemblies, even unmarried women do not speak (I Tim 2:11-12; I Cor 14:34-35).
  2. They did not care about the husbands of other wives, for God expects you to submit to yours.
    1. You think it would be easier to submit to another husband, but God chose yours for you.
    2. If you read romance novels inventing perfect men, you are a foolish pornographic whore.
  3. Since all the marriages we know are voluntarily contracted, then her choice is remembered.
    1. God required full submission, reverence, and love for husbands in arranged marriages.
    2. If a woman has the great privilege of picking her man, she should find it all quite easy.

That, if any obey not the word.

  1. The first inspired context for submission is to pagan husbands that do not believe the gospel.
    1. If pagan unbelieving husbands should be so feared and obeyed, much more of believers.
    2. Many would be Jewish husbands unconverted from Old Testament religion, which would have all the differences of Romans 14 and many more, including mockery of Christ.
    3. Consider a Jewish woman and pagan husband in dietary habits, family relations, religious superstitions, sexual practices, personal decorum, hygiene, child training, etc.
    4. There are various motives, but regardless of the case, her submission is key (I Tim 6:1-2).
  2. Authority is not derived from ability, character, or conduct; it is by the ordinance of God.
    1. This is an error of ignorance and rebellion to escape or condemn rulers that are disliked.
    2. Jesus exalted the Pharisees in spite of their terrible character and conduct (Matt 23:1-3).
    3. Peter had taught plainly that froward bosses deserved full employment service (2:18-20).
    4. Many wives are smarter than their husbands but it does not alter their submission at all.
  3. The idea of mixed marriages of believers and pagans was quite new to the apostolic church.
    1. When Jesus taught about marriage and divorce, His audience had no mixed marriages.
    2. But Paul had to take up the mixed marriages his evangelism encountered (I Cor 7:10-16).
    3. For more about marriage and divorce there.
  4. Mixed marriages are covered in scripture, but voluntarily doing so is sin (I Cor 7:39; 11:11).
  5. A woman should fulfill her submissive role to a pagan husband and possibly convert him.
    1. The first fact of importance is that unbelief does not alter the position or role of husband.
    2. Therefore, far lesser things like personal habits, character, or conduct do not matter at all.
    3. In light of God’s providence and stated possibility, a wife should not condemn her man.
  6. For much more about marriage in the Lord.
  7. All wives are addressed in these verses, for Sarah will be raised as the preeminent example.

They also may without the word be won.

  1. As unbelievers, they did not hold the word of God in regard or obey it for gospel conversion.
  2. Peter used also here to argue off that fact for the influence and conversion by the wife’s life.
  3. This is an exciting and profound passage of scripture about the conversion of souls we meet.
    1. All believers should know that God’s sovereign rule of all things includes your spouse, which means He is able to get you married to an elect, unconverted husband very easily.
    2. In His infinitely wise arrangement of the universe’s chessboard, He knows your spouse and His plans for him as much as any other “coincidence” that has occurred in your life.
    3. Peter had already appealed to the power of a righteous life visible before men, which had the potential of affecting them when God visited them, regeneration included (2:11-12).
    4. Many wives in such a predicament get confused thinking they must preach to their men.
    5. But the subordinate role of the wife precludes such action without his clear permission.
    6. Furthermore it is unnecessary, holy conduct preaches louder than words (Matt 5:14-16).
    7. This is soul-winning (be won), but it does not require witnessing, tracts, gift Bibles, etc.
    8. All evangelism and child training assumes the same operations from God – He must have elected in eternity, justified at the cross, and regenerated prior to your gospel efforts.
  4. There is not a guarantee of conversion here, or I Corinthians 7:12-16 would not be needed.

By the conversation of the wives.

  1. Conversation. Manner of conducting oneself in the world or in society; behaviour, mode or course of life. Compare the Bible usage (Phil 1:27; I Pet 1:15,18; 2:12; 3:16; II Pet 3:11,14).
  2. A wife’s attitude and actions are what God requires, not her words or His word, in marriage.
    1. It is possible to convert an unbelieving husband by a wife’s manner of life and conduct.
    2. Rather than preach at him or leave him tracts, she should be the perfect Christian wife.
  3. Peter had already established the importance of visible conduct before the world (2:12; 3:16).
  4. The next verse elaborates further on aspects of her lifestyle that will positively affect men.
  5. For more about actions louder than words.

2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

While they behold.

  1. As in I Peter 2:12, the emphasis is on public conduct and demeanor visible to the husband.
    1. This is not eyeservice or being a manpleaser (Eph 6:6; Col 3:22), because done to God.
    2. Neither is this private devotions and pray for him, though very right in its own place.
  2. It is a simple fact that unbelievers closely watch believers to see how consistent their lives.
    1. A true Christian wife will be known by her husband to be a Christian without any doubt.
    2. He will scrutinize her attitude and actions, especially under duress or facing temptations.
  3. A Christian wife can do much to distinguish herself that her husband can easily witness.
    1. God hates the eyes and face as evidences of saucy rebellion (Prov 30:17; Isaiah 3:16).
    2. God hates the words or silence of saucy rebellion (Tit 2:9; Prov 19:13; 29:19; Ro 10:21).
    3. God hates the brawling or moping of rebellion (Proverbs 21:9,19; 25:24; I Kings 21:4).
    4. A gracious woman is always esteemed, for she is gracious even under duress (Pr 11:16).
    5. A virtuous woman outworks other women and does it all for her husband (Pr 31:10-31).
    6. She will leave father and mother and cleave to her husband as her main love (Gen 2:24).
    7. She can learn his priorities for her time and energy and apply herself strictly to them.
    8. A Christian wife would never defraud her husband sexually in any way (I Cor 7:1-5).

Your chaste conversation.

  1. Chaste. Pure from unlawful sexual intercourse; continent, virtuous. (Of persons, their lives, conduct, etc.). Morally pure, free from guilt, innocent. Decent; free from indecency or offensiveness.
  2. Compare Bible usage (II Co 11:2; Tit 2:5). Compare Peter (I Pe 1:15; 2:12; 3:16; II Pet 3:11).
  3. This is a sexually-loyal, one-man woman, holy and pure in all matters of decency and virtue.
  4. This is a committed and adoring wife without interest or time for other men or distractions.
  5. Men, even unconverted men, crave and demand a wife to be perfectly loyal to him sexually.
    1. God and men knew adultery by a woman deserved death (Gen 38:24; Ezek 16:38; 23:45).
    2. For this cause, God gave a test of jealousy for only husbands in marriage (Num 5:11-31).
    3. King Lemuel’s mother demanded a wife for him that he could fully trust (Prov 31:10-12).
    4. Consider a woman’s hymen (Deut 22:13-22) or touching another man (Deut 25:11-12).
    5. God allowed polygamy but not polyandry (Ex 21:10-11; II Sam 12:7-8; Deut 24:1-4).
    6. God shows a woman’s adultery by pregnancy, though a man got her that way (Ge 38:24).

Coupled with fear.

  1. By direction of the context, we understand this primarily of a woman’s fear of her husband.
    1. It is either ignorance of Bible fear or rebellion against it that causes discomfort with fear.
    2. Fear is a wonderful thing when it means reverential desire to obey and please authority.
    3. Though the relationship of parents to children is tender, they are to fear both (Lev 19:3).
    4. Peter ordered servants to be subject to their masters with all fear in this context (2:18).
    5. Of course, the king is to be feared, with power of life and death (Pr 24:21; Ro 13:3-4,7).
  2. But we also consider the fear of God that ultimately and always directs her fear of her man.
    1. The fear of God is the same – reverential desire to obey and please God in all things.
    2. The fear of God is closely connected to our fear of authority (2:17; Pr 24:21; Col 3:22).
    3. When the highest motive is fear of God, there is little to no inconsistency and much zeal.
    4. The faults of a husband will have little effect on a wife obeying his office by fear of God.

3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

Whose adorning.

  1. Peter’s lesson for wives proceeds rather simply from commandment to priority to example.
    1. He first gave the rule to submit, even for wives married to unconverted husbands (3:1-2).
    2. He then corrected the female priority to exalt appearance over submissive spirit (3:3-4).
    3. He then illustrated the doctrine by examples of great women, especially Sarah (3:5-6).
  2. Women have been busy since creation adorning themselves in order to enhance appearance.
    1. It did not take long for men and women to know that men are turned on by appearance.
    2. Women are the glory of the man in their subjection and reflection of his rule (I Cor 11:7).
    3. Modern women have little over on their sisters of the old time in adornment (Is 3:16-24).
  3. Holy women, even Sarah, were very beautiful to look upon (Genesis 12:11,14; 24:16; 26:7).
    1. Keep in mind Sarah is the holy example here; she did not wear a Muslim hijab or niqab.
    2. The lesson of the verses (3:3-4) is to change a wife’s priorities from looks to submission.
    3. Covering up can be for seduction as Tamar in the Bible, so keep that in mind (Ge 38:14)!
    4. Any review of Middle East or Eastern Indian female attire can be seductive fully clothed.

Let it not be that outward adorning.

  1. This cannot condemn all outward adorning like Muslims, Mennonites, Amish, due to Sarah.
  2. This cannot condemn all outward adorning, due to no putting on of apparel, or nudity results!
  3. The lesson here is not modesty in our usual sense of clothing that does not attract sexually.
  4. The lesson here is emphasizing a woman’s meek and quiet spirit over her physical looks.
  5. The lesson to learn is that fear of God is far better than even real physical beauty (Pr 31:30).
  6. How can a woman reverence her husband by looking dowdy, drab, dull in public beside him?

Of plaiting the hair.

  1. Plait. To braid or intertwine (hair, straw, rushes, narrow ribbons, etc.) so as to form a plait, band, or rope. To fold, bend, double up; to wrinkle, knit (the brows).
  2. Broid. To plait, intertwine, interweave.
  3. In I Timothy 2:9-10, the descriptive phrase for hair is broided hair. Any hairdo is the intent.
  4. The women of old time knew how to curl their hair and fix it all up like today (Isaiah 3:22).

And of wearing of gold.

  1. They had real gold rather than costume jewelry, as indicated by using it for God’s tabernacle.
  2. If you think you know how to be a looker more than them, you are wrong (Isaiah 3:18-23).
  3. Holy women, the very ones as examples here, did wear jewelry (Genesis 24:22,30,47,53).
  4. Other women and men wore jewelry as well (Ex 32:2-3; Num 31:50; Song 1:10-11; Is 61:10; Jer 2:32; Eze 16:11-12).

Or of putting on of apparel.

  1. Of course, all Christian women are to wear apparel rather than be physically naked in public.
  2. This refers to the variety of garments in your closet to always be different and interesting.
  3. The sin is not the desire or effort to look good, but a foolish priority on looks over obedience.
  4. The virtuous woman, the best of the best, took care for home and her to look good (Pr 31:22).
  5. Ruth is the only Bible woman called virtuous, and she washed up and dressed up (Ruth 3:3).
  6. Gifts of nice clothing, changes of apparel, were given to holy women in context (Gen 24:53).

4 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.


  1. The inspired disjunctive, like Solomon’s proverbs of contrasting clauses, gives us the sense.
  2. The desired adorning of women is not bags or lampshades but rather a meek and quiet spirit.

Let it be the hidden man.

  1. This hidden man is not her masculinity, but rather her meek and quiet spirit identified soon.
  2. This hidden man is not her new man, but rather a submissive heart directed by the new man.
  3. This hidden man is the real beauty of a woman, for it is the heart of love, loyalty, and service.
  4. For more about the hidden woman … see the outline not in e-format yet from the 1990’s.

Of the heart.

  1. It is the heart of a woman that is most everything – her body is of very little importance.
  2. It is the heart of a wife that a husband should direct, encourage, train, praise, and reward.
  3. All of society is aimed at turning this priority upside down; we must help our girls/women.
  4. The heart of a woman is easily known, for her actions reveal it (Proverbs 20:11; 24:30-32).
    1. You can listen for quantity, questioning, opinions, contention, criticism, correction, sauciness, self-will, affection, adoration, self-oriented, etc.
    2. You can observe body language, doting, service, gifts, time management, distractions, affection (PDA), bodyweight, hair length, etc.

In that which is not corruptible.

  1. The inner woman, her spirit, is a beautiful thing that does not corrupt with age as appearance.
    1. She can have super sartorial skills, but wrapping paper on old prunes does not do much.
    2. She can run or workout to be fit as a fiddle, but she will decline in deathly decay soon.
  2. In contrast, a woman’s spirit can actually improve with age by God’s word and Spirit. Do it!
  3. What is this spirit? Is it loving Jesus? Not here! It is obeying and reverencing from her heart.

Even the ornament of.

  1. A woman’s spirit shines brightly like a jewel in the dullness of selfish, self-willed wives.
  2. A woman’s spirit shines through her eyes, from her lips, and directs her hands and feet.
  3. This is the cheapest, simplest, and easiest way for a woman to instantly become beautiful.
  4. Women like accessories; you like jewelry; then get the real thing that really beautifies you.

A meek.

  1. Meek. Free from haughtiness and self-will; piously humble and submissive; patient and unresentful under injury and reproach.
  2. Compare Bible use (Num 12:3; Ps 147:6; Isaiah 11:4; Zep 2:3; Matt 11:29; 21:5; I Cor 4:21; II Cor 10:1; Gal 6:1; Eph 4:2; Col 3:12; II Tim 2:25; Tit 3:2; Jas 1:21; 3:13-15; I Pet 3:15).
  3. Wise men and spiritual men can smell the haughty spirit of an odious woman rather easily.
  4. A meek woman is not about herself, not even to protect herself; she is all about her husband.

And quiet spirit.

  1. Quiet. Making no stir, commotion, or noise; causing no trouble or disturbance; remaining at rest; not moving or acting.
  2. Compare Bible use (I Chr 4:40; Ps 107:30; Eccl 9:17; Jer 51:59; Acts 19:36; I Thess 4:11).
  3. The first thing a talkative woman should do is cut her quantity of words in half (Prov 10:19).
  4. Wise men and spiritual men can hear the opinionated noise of an odious woman rather easily.
  5. This meek and quiet spirit may be summarized as a submissive wife under subjection (3:5).

Which is in the sight of God.

  1. God highly esteems and ranks submissive wives that embrace their subjection from the heart.
  2. When the Bible tells how women can be highly valued by God, you should get very excited.
  3. This rule about marital submission is God’s will, not man’s, so flush all human resentment.
  4. God created the woman and ordained marriage; He obviously knows best to maximize value.


Of great price.

  1. These are diamonds of God – souls He created as women valued above rubies (Prov 31:10).
  2. The price of anything is determined by its supply or demand. These are rare … and craved.
  3. God seeks great women and wives like He has had before to fulfill His will, so they are rare.
  4. Most women are worse than what Persia feared, so only a few are special (Esther 1:13-22).
  5. A woman should seek this epitaph: A daughter of Sarah – a princess and diamond with God.

5 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:

For after this manner.

  1. The manner considered here is the spirit and conduct of wives submitting to their husbands.
    1. The demonstrative adjective this indicates it is the most recent description of adornment.
    2. The emphasis just made was the greater importance of a woman’s spirit than appearance.
  2. Peter’s lesson for wives proceeds rather simply from commandment to priority to example.
    1. He first gave the rule to submit, even for wives married to unconverted husbands (3:1-2).
    2. He then corrected the female priority to exalt appearance over submissive spirit (3:3-4).
    3. He then illustrated the doctrine by examples of great women, especially Sarah (3:5-6).

In the old time.

  1. The old time is the Old Testament and in particular great wives of the patriarchs in Genesis.
  2. Remember Peter’s audience, scattered Jews, who would have known these examples well.
  3. The things that were written before are for our learning, for God’s word is always relevant.
    1. Things recorded of God’s people in the O.T. are profitable for us (Ro 15:4; I Cor 10:11).
    2. If you slow down your reading, you may construct these wives’ lives from the narrative.

The holy women also.

  1. Great wives of the Old Testament are called holy women, and they knew how to be wives.
  2. Holiness is more than Bible reading and prayer: it is sanctified living, including marriage.
  3. The adverb also is used here along with this in the first clause to show the same adornment.
  4. Your great Father in heaven knew real life examples could help encourage wives to submit.

Who trusted in God.

  1. A trait inserted here about these holy women was that they trusted in God for their marriages.
  2. Performance as a wife begins with her trust in God to obey His word and rely on His reward.
  3. The great women of faith, like Sarah, had trust in God to do exploits that weak faith forfeits.
  4. Do you trust God? Will you walk on water by trusting His command for your own marriage?
  5. Do you trust God? Will you leave results for your husband, your life, and children to Him?

Adorned themselves.

  1. This adornment is the meek and quiet spirit of 3:3-4 indicated by this and also preceding.
  2. How did they adorn themselves? The good works of a widow (I Tim 5:5-10)? Not here!
  3. How did they adorn themselves? Bible reading, prayers, and voluntary service of nuns? No!
  4. They adorned themselves by emphasizing a submissive and obedient spirit to obey and reverence their husbands over their outward appearance – though these were beautiful girls!

Being in subjection.

  1. The great names from Genesis … Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel … submitted to their husbands.
  2. Think of what Sarah did leaving Ur of the Chaldees based on her husband’s faith in God.
  3. Think of what Rebekah did leaving her family sooner than they wanted to go meet Isaac.
  4. Think of what Rachel did marrying Jacob after her older sister had already had him in bed.
  5. What more could we write concerning Mrs. Noah, Hannah, Abigail, Bathsheba, etc., etc.

Unto their own husbands.

  1. They did not care about the husbands of other wives, for God expects you to submit to yours.
  2. They had men assigned to them by the providence of God that they submissively obeyed.
  3. These husbands were not perfect, and a reading of scripture will discover their several faults.
  4. A husband’s faults do not affect or alter a wife’s responsibilities to her marriage duties at all.
  5. Arranged marriages work as well as you choosing, because marriage is a decision to submit.
  6. God did not care if your marriage was arranged or he was polygamous, divorce was wrong.

6 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.

Even as.

  1. We appreciate this compound adverbial phrase that Sarah exactly illustrated the rule of 3:3-5.
  2. Even. Exactly, precisely, ‘just’. As. In that very way, in such wise.
  3. Compare Bible usage (Gen 9:3; 13:10; 44:18; Ep 5:29; I Thes 2:7,14; 3:12; 4:5,13; Jude 1:7).
  4. To know what women were in 3:5 and what they did that was holy and special, here is both.

Sara obeyed Abraham.

  1. Sarah is a very special woman of the old time that today’s wives can copy in their marriages.
    1. Abraham was father of the faithful; Sarah as wife was mother of the faithful (Heb 11:11).
    2. This is the mother of the chosen race that made up God’s church of the Old Testament.
    3. God named her Sarah (princess) for motherhood of nations and their kings (Ge 17:15-16).
    4. This great woman, who had her womb opened for a patriarch late in life, obeyed her man.
  2. Sarah obeyed Abraham, separate and distinct from calling him lord, for subjection is the key.
    1. Notice the comma that separates Sarah obeying Abraham from her also calling him lord.
    2. When Sarah called Abraham lord, it was in her thoughts; it was not an act of obedience.
    3. When Sarah obeyed Abraham, it does not record she called him lord, thus the distinction.
    4. Genesis 18:1-15 has three lessons about Sarah … obedience, lord, and fear causing a lie.
  3. The key to the whole passage is obedience, which a submissive woman in subjection will do.
    1. Obeying a husband is a rule of the gospel older women should teach younger (Tit 2:3-5).
    2. Recall how Princess Diana refused this obedience phrase in her vows to Prince Charles.
    3. You expect your children to obey you; your husband has every right for you to obey him.
    4. He obeys on the job each day to make a living; he should come home to an obedient wife.
    5. Real obedience is cheerfully and sincerely saying, “How high?” if he asks you to jump.
  4. Can you think of recorded events in Sarah’s life where she obeyed her husband Abraham?
    1. She followed him out of Ur of the Chaldees on a long trip to some unknown destination.
    2. She followed him down to Egypt and among the Philistines saying whatever he told her.
    3. She made one of the fastest meals ever when God and angels visited her (Genesis 18:6).
    4. She allowed him to get up one morning and take Isaac to sacrifice him unto the LORD.
  5. Obedience is doing what your husband wants regardless of his ability, character, or conduct.
    1. If you only cooperate in things that are acceptable to you, then it is only called a vacation.
    2. When you do for him what you do not want to do, for whatever reason, it is subjection.
    3. Your husband has rule from God to ask you to do anything he desires regarding food, living location, sex, your hair style, child discipline, visiting your family, your time, your clothes, your friends, restaurant choice, child schooling, sex, work outside the home or not, number of children, your daily priorities, your bodyweight, your accessories, cutting the grass, visiting his mother, vacation details, amount or content of your speech, etc.

Calling him lord.

  1. Sarah obeyed Abraham, separate and distinct from calling him lord, for subjection is the key.
    1. Notice the comma that separates Sarah obeying Abraham from her also calling him lord.
    2. When Sarah called Abraham lord, it was in her thoughts; it was not an act of obedience.
    3. When Sarah obeyed Abraham, it does not record she called him lord, thus the distinction.
    4. Genesis 18:1-15 has three lessons about Sarah … obedience, lord, and fear causing a lie.
  2. Sarah called Abraham lord when thinking about the two of them having a son (Gen 18:12).
    1. This term was most definitely not a mere form of address like your honor for a judge.
    2. This is how her inner man, her womanly inner spirit, thought upon her own husband.
    3. Instead of the bitter, critical, rebellious thoughts of the old man and flesh of most women, you should cultivate and repeat honoring thoughts and titles about serving your husband.
  3. The issue here is not a command to call your husband lord but to reverence him similarly.
    1. It is a command of Paul for wives to reverence their husbands elsewhere (Eph 5:33).
    2. You could shock your husband by saying “Yes, sir” or “No, sir” once in a while.
    3. Today’s television sitcoms inanely mock husbands and the reverence they deserve.
    4. 4Today’s pulpits are not far behind, coming far short of the Biblical standard of honor.
    5. If you do not call your husband lord or sir, then how do you show him godly reverence?
    6. If you think staying with him and doing what he wants is reverence, you are odious.
    7. You should know already that child honor and obedience are different things (Eph 6:1-3).
    8. Even Christian women expect men to get down on a knee to propose, which is inversion of position, but they revolt at getting down on their knees to reverence him in marriage!
    9. Your job is to pretend he is the high school quarterback and you his adoring girlfriend.
  4. Odious women, like civil and job rebels, create excuses to mitigate reverence and obedience.
    1. They say, “I can’t reverence him since I don’t respect him.” Not respecting him is a sin!
    2. They say, “I will obey him if he starts loving me right.” His conduct is fully irrelevant.
    3. They say, “If I don’t protect myself, no one will.” God will! and He demands you submit!
    4. Such excuses and more like them are childish and wicked of odious and rebellious wives.

Whose daughters ye are.

  1. You can show yourself related to Sarah in virtue by treating your man the way she did hers.
  2. Compare this relational usage with being God’s sons by treatment of enemies (Matt 5:45).
  3. Any God-fearing woman should leap in her soul that there is a way to be like this great wife.
  4. It does not matter if you know faults in Sarah, for there are likely far more in you. Be careful.
  5. God in mercy forgives forsaken faults of both, but do you have her internal virtue in thought!
  6. A woman should have this epitaph: A daughter of Sarah – a princess and diamond with God.

As long as ye do well.

  1. Context here limits your doing well, as nothing new is introduced past obedient subjection.
  2. Therefore, doing well is having a meek and quiet spirit that reverently obeys submissively.
  3. This is not reading your Bible, praying every day, and reaching out to the poor and needy.
  4. We must always let context provide the sense for truth and maximum power in the lesson.
  5. If effort or time is spent introducing other ways for women to do well, it only dilutes truth.

And are not afraid with any amazement.

  1. This clause modifies or limits doing well as the daughters of Sarah by subjection to husbands.
    1. The only way for a wife to be like Sarah in marriage is to fear and obey her man as lord.
    2. But while doing well in such submission and subjection, they do not lose responsibility.
    3. We have preached long and loud against any authority being more important than God’s.
    4. We have loved Abigail for her disobedience to save David, and some are named after her.
    5. This writer was exposed to the dilemma of obeying God or husband while a pastor’s son.
  2. The wives have already been exhorted to fear in the context, for it is part of her submission.
    1. Fear consistent with honor and reverence directs proper marital conduct (3:2 cp 2:17-18).
    2. Just as with fearing God, it is reverential humility and obedience, not paranoia or terror.
    3. No matter how unlikeable the word fear may be today, it is the inspired word for wives.
    4. To help yourself or others with the word fear, sons should fear their mothers (Lev 19:3).
    5. To help yourself with the word afraid, it is connected to obeying civil rulers (Ro 13:3-4).
  3. Her fear should not degenerate to intimidation where she is confused about right or wrong.
    1. Amazement. The condition of being mentally paralyzed, mental stupefaction, frenzy. Loss of presence of mind; bewilderment, perplexity, distraction (due to doubt as to what to do). Overwhelming fear or apprehension, consternation, alarm. [OED].
    2. Amazed. Driven stupid; stunned or stupefied, as by a blow, out of one’s wits. Bewildered, confounded, confused, perplexed. Struck with sudden terror; terror-stricken, terrified, alarmed. Lost in wonder or astonishment. [OED].
    3. Compare Bible usage of amaze (Ex 15:15; Is 13:8; Ezek 32:10; Matt 19:25; Mark 14:33).
    4. The fear here (afraid) is good, for it is in the context and right (3:2 cp 2:17-18; Ro 13:3).
    5. Fear turning into terror and leading to moral bewilderment and compromise is sinful fear.
    6. This amazement is consternation due to terror causing her confusion as to right or wrong.
    7. A woman’s fear of her husband should not compete with her fear of and her trust in God.
    8. Remember the unbelieving husband in context, which could certainly complicate her life.
    9. While not the main point, a wife’s faith in God should overcome terror from her husband.
    10. A wife’s proper fear of God will support her submitting to her husband in difficult times.
  4. Sarah was afraid of God to amazement, so she lied to God about her laughter (Gen 18:9-15).
    1. Should we be surprised the Bible’s Author used another matter from the context of lord?
    2. Sarah obeyed Abraham (Gen 12:5,10-15; 18:6; etc.) and did not (Gen 16:1-3; 21:9-12).
    3. The living God sees every act good and bad, no matter how private or secret (Prov 15:3).
  5. There are Bible examples of fear causing compromise or courageous faith overcoming fear.
    1. The appearance of Goliath caused great amazement to Israel … except for zealous David.
    2. Three men under Nebuchadnezzar were not careful (fearful) answering him (Da 3:16-18).
    3. Peter was fearful to amazement during Jesus’ trial to deny Him thrice (Matt 26:69-75).
    4. Under influence of the Spirit, he became a bold preacher to the same Jews (Acts 4:8-13).
    5. Compare also sinners fearing others to disobedience and not fearing God (Isaiah 57:11).
  6. A similar warning to Peter’s whole audience warned about terror from persecution (3:14-17).
  7. Some have proposed that wives are not responsible for anything done obeying her husband.
    1. This is insane; any sphere of authority is disobeyed in any direct conflict with God’s law.
    2. John R. Rice’s daughter, Elizabeth Rice Handford, wrote such a book, Me, Obey Him?
    3. This writer has met the victims of her heresy that would not tolerate any other doctrine.
    4. We love Bible doctrine for patriarchy, but women ought to obey God rather than men.
    5. Abigail has a Bible chapter recording her disobedience to her husband Nabal (I Sam 25).
  8. For a wife married to a fool.
  9. For a wife married to a fool.

7 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.


  1. The use of likewise here simply adds another human relation to three Peter already covered.
    1. Likewise. 2. In the like or same manner, similarly. 3. Also, as well, moreover, too.
    2. Due to the three lessons being under subjection, we emphasize the secondary definition.
    3. There is no direct comparison between submission and husbands leading wives wisely.
    4. Whether a person is in authority or under authority, God has ordered his or her conduct.
    5. The basic problem is always and only sinful living patterns and rebellion, so we preach.
  2. Husbands are not the result of an ancient sexual competition or the survival of the strongest.
    1. Man did not win the first hunting Olympics and earn the physical right to marital rule.
    2. God created the man first and then created Eve to be his helper, so God sets the rules.
    3. Men must not rationalize or reason or react as mere men but as appointed rulers by God.
    4. For much more detail about authority.
  3. Wise men will do a little reasoning that should result in greater appreciation and obedience.
    1. The Bible and preceding context prove the woman was made for the man (I Cor 11:9).
    2. That this beautiful, helpful, gratifying creature was made for him should secure attention.
    3. However, the greatest pleasure from the woman must obviously be by the Creator’s rules.
    4. If God made the woman for the man, then the man benefits best treating her by His rules.
    5. This profound logic should be obvious, but it is also stated and illustrated (Eph 5:25-30).
    6. Why did God create Eve with greater sexual capacity? For man’s pleasure by loving her.
    7. Admire every feature of a perfect wife … God made her … for you … so obey His rules!
    8. The inventor is trusted in all other things for the best care of a thing, so trust the Creator.
    9. The woman is a responder, and you will get from your wife according to your love of her.
    10. Your wife is like a flower: you benefit when the bud blooms through your heat and rain.
    11. Men admire God’s wisdom in many things, but His wisdom here should grab attention.

Ye husbands.

  1. When the Bible addresses persons that you fit, you should be excited to learn personal truth.
    1. The Bible is not a dry, stuffy, irrelevant theological manuscript for a religious library.
    2. You came into the world knowing nothing; the Bible can fill you with marital wisdom.
    3. For a husband’s duty, sermons 3-5.
    4. A husband gave in to green olives: Knock, knock. Who’s there? Olive? Olive, who? Olive, you!
  2. The things that follow here should not be new, but the issue is whether you do them or not.
    1. When much knowledge and many reminders are given, you will be accountable for them.
    2. Naïve pastors assume that presenting will perfect, but many hearers are lazy and insolent.
    3. Reminders are necessary; Peter repeated himself even in established truth (II Pe 1:12-15).
    4. The flesh lusts against the Spirit, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would (Gal 5:17).
  3. Those in authority also have responsibilities, which reveal God’s great wisdom in authority.
    1. Though the wife was just put under the man for six verses, the husband is under God.
    2. So much so does God hold him accountable, He will not hear prayers of neglectful men.
    3. God ordained authority in five spheres for the benefit of those under it, not those with it.
    4. Authority is to benefit those submitting (Rom 13:3-4; II Cor 10:8; 13:10; I Pet 2:13-14).
    5. Fathers can provoke children to wrath or discourage them and wives (Eph 6:4; Col 3:21).
    6. For more about this purpose of authority.
  4. One of the great features of the Christian religion is its protection and honor of the woman.
    1. Many girls have been born into societies where they were treated like cattle without love.
    2. Where Christianity has gone, women have been emancipated and enjoyed the best lives.
    3. Many religions, philosophies, traditions give the husband full rule without responsibility.
    4. If a woman fully grasped this truth, she would love God, the Bible, plain and strong Bible preaching, and marry a man that fears the Lord in a church with regular such preaching.
    5. Wise women will be thankful for men’s meetings and pray for their man attending them.
  5. Men can adorn the gospel and exalt the truth by loving their wives better than the world does.
    1. Maximizing opposite-sex marriages contends against same-sex marriages (Prov 28:4).
    2. Why would daughters obey the truth if they see their mother unhappy in a cold marriage.
  6. A marriage (or any authority) first needs submissive obedience by the one under authority.
    1. All five authority spheres are voluntary in nature, and it is submission that initiates them.
    2. The Bible always starts with those under authority, for it is the foundational prerequisite.
    3. Consider how the apostolic method was to address children and servants first (Eph 6:1-8).
    4. For any authority sphere to work, the one under authority must agree and actually submit.
    5. A marriage must have her submission to even exist, and it can even be good without love.
    6. But for a marriage to be great, the husband must love the wife who has submitted to him.
    7. Submission is a woman’s voluntary responsibility; her husband cannot truly create it.
    8. A wedding hardly makes a marriage; a marriage is made by a woman choosing to submit.
    9. God made David king of Israel by Samuel, but Israel also made him king (II Sam 5:1-3).
    10. Submission and ruling are like the two opposite sides of a self-pumping merry-go-round.
  7. While we cannot engage in a full marriage study here, much has been taught concerning it.
    1. Perfect Marriages.
    2. Marriage Essentials.
    3. Role of the Man.
    4. Importance of Your Marriage.
    5. Maximizing Your Marriage.
    6. A Marriage Covenant.
    7. Marriage in the Lord.
    8. Love the One You’re With.
    9. Proverbs Marriage Commentaries.
    10. Commentary on Proverbs 5:19.
    11. How to Seduce Your Wife.
    12. More articles, documents, sermons, couples’ retreats, and other information are available.

Dwell with them.

  1. Dwell. To abide or continue for a time, in a place, state, or condition. To remain (in a house, country, etc.) as in a permanent residence; to have one’s abode; to reside, ‘live’.
  2. The Bible uses dwell similarly to refer to living in a certain condition (Gen 4:20; Acts 2:5).
  3. We know that dwell in this context means more than merely having the same postal address.
    1. Compare how think upon a maid and know mean much more than thinking or awareness.
    2. Dwell in this context must mean marital cohabitation and all the aspects of married life.
    3. When the world uses the expression, we are living together, it is more than sharing rent.
    4. It is a great privilege to have your own woman dwelling with you … and a responsibility.
  4. God sees everything, including all activities, words, and thoughts, even in your bedroom.
    1. God’s eyes see the evil and the good, and He fills heaven and earth (Pr 15:3; Jer 23:24).
    2. Many details of Israel’s haughty girls and women were listed by God (Isaiah 3:16-24).
    3. Cursing the king in thought or the rich in a bedroom would be discovered (Eccl 10:20).
    4. Time may pass, but God remembers individual women and marital plights (I Sam 1:19).
  5. A husband must first be a ruler and leader; he must then love and provide for her as here.
    1. Love is the modifying aspect of godly husbands, but authority is the basic, needed aspect.
    2. Ruling is far more needful for most men today than is love, patience, comfort, honor, etc.
    3. The greatest frustration for women today is often the lack of strong male leadership.
    4. Men crave and love strong leaders, but women need and desire them even more.
    5. Maximizing a marriage requires the husband to first establish his leadership and rule.
    6. Asserting proper leadership will bless the marriage and all spheres of authority.
    7. Men should fulfill their role and follow examples (Gen 2:18; 3:16; 18:19; Josh 24:15).
    8. For more about the role of the man.

According to knowledge.

  1. Men enter marriage for all kinds of reasons, but Christian men treat wives for good reasons.
    1. Some men marry a wife out of lust, but such brutes should room with others in prison.
    2. Some men marry a wife out of necessity, or for money, or for politics, or other reasons.
    3. We treat wives based on knowledge, knowing the word of God and realizing the duty.
    4. Other factors like lust contribute to the choice to marry, but the conduct is by knowledge.
  2. The Bible teaches many things about women, but we emphasize the two stated in the context.
    1. We have no strong basis to assume Peter meant everything about women by knowledge.
    2. The next three clauses identify and explain what Peter intended by marital knowledge.
    3. Men should know, and not forget, women are weaker and should be protected due to it.
    4. Men should know, and not forget, women are equal in Jesus and are not wives in heaven.
    5. Both elevate the status of the woman and prompt attentive care from every wise husband.
  3. There are other things that you should know about women to please God dwelling with them.
    1. Comparing your wife to another woman, like two sisters, is stupid and costly (Le 18:18).
    2. Marriage should be a restful state, as Naomi said to Ruth, so make it so (Ruth 1:9; 3:1).
    3. Women have greater sexual capacity and should have equal or greater desire (I Co 7:1-5).
    4. Women are body-insecure and it is your wisdom to praise and not criticize (Song 8:8-10).
    5. Do you know the value of verbal reassurance for your wife to realize happy fulfillment?
    6. Do you know the need of emotional comfort for her to feel loved and secure in marriage?
    7. Do you know the value of verbal intimacy for her to be truly and fully satisfied sexually?
    8. Do you know her temperamental makeup and show her personal mercy accordingly?
    9. Do you know her daily responsibilities, tribulations, troubles, problems, and worries?
    10. Do you remember she is vulnerable to deception so needs help and protection to truth?
  4. It is not good for the soul to be without knowledge, but knowledge is freely offered (Pr 19:2).
    1. An inspired, wise, and experienced man detailed a loving marriage (Solomon’s Song).
    2. An apostle carefully built the definition of love in such a way to win a wife (I Co 13:4-7).

Giving honour unto the wife.

  1. Honor. High respect, esteem, or reverence, accorded to exalted worth or rank; deferential admiration or approbation.
    1. The honor here cannot be submissive, deferential honor due to parents, masters, or kings.
    2. It must surely be respect, esteem, admiration, approbation to match the things in context.
    3. Let honor required of one in authority toward one under authority get your attention.
  2. There are many ways in which you show respect, esteem, admiration, and approval of a wife.
    1. From very simple acts like opening doors for her, a husband can show honor to his wife.
    2. Wise men note due benevolence is first men giving their wives sexual love (I Cor 7:1-5), which is lovemaking her way, not yours, recalling her anatomy and greater sex capacity, in spite of the fact she was made for you and you think you have the stronger sex drive.
    3. It is cruel and rude not to talk to your wife – silent treatment is what devils do to women.
    4. It is cruel and rude to get in a moody funk – you would not with most others in your life.
    5. Rule your spirit to check attitude, words, actions, as you would with a boss, parents, etc.
    6. Honor has no room for name-calling, sarcasm, teasing; your wife is your princess lover.
    7. You can help manage her duties to provide sufficient distractions, relief, rest, and recovery, for it has been said, A father works from sun to sun, a mother’s work is never done.
    8. For more about managing a wife’s duties.
    9. Because of body insecurity and desire to honor you, let her do her nails, tanning bed, etc.
    10. There are times you may compromise with your wife, and there are times you should.
    11. If you work so much you are seldom home, you are working too much, and she knows you value the challenge, the money, or the praise more than her … but you work for her!
    12. If you are not romantic or selfless to please or entertain her alone, you don’t deserve her.
    13. If you are consumed with your children, you are distorted worse than a child-doting wife.
    14. You choose to do from time to time those things she likes that you may not like at all.
    15. You avoid those things that embarrass, shame, intimidate, or irritate her when you can.
    16. If you do not forgive your wife, with or without her apology, you are a foolish, weak leader; such a situation is your responsibility, for you are the conflict resolution manager.
    17. How quick and eager are you to confess your faults to your wife? It shows her honor.
    18. Have clear plans for your life and for your family that you have carefully determined.
    19. Take the lead to train children and plan their education, employment, marriages, etc.
    20. Be a good financial leader and manager to reduce stress of money matters from her.
    21. Be the family spiritual leader, so the wife and children know they have a real man.
    22. Maintain household peace with wife and children and with external family members.
    23. Learn to listen, since your talking is only half or less of communication with a wife.
    24. Pursue and probe her to show that her feelings and thoughts are very important to you.
    25. Discuss the future with her so she has some direction, and reminisce about the past.
    26. If confrontation is necessary, then do it gently and carefully until it is fully resolved.
    27. Promote her friendship with other good women; frequently commend her good points.
    28. Overlook small mistakes; don’t expect too much of her; praise her in public; be your best.
    29. Win her family’s affection; praise her to your children; share your experiences with her.
    30. Avoid comparing other women; give liberty for outside pursuits; be kind when she’s sick.
    31. Keep house repaired and attractive – it is her home; be a man and work more than play.
    32. Spend time with her over your buds; boy toys like video games or sports are demeaning.
    33. Excessive frugality is cruelty; it deprives her needs and pleasure; it causes fear and stress.
    34. Defend her at all times from any challenges or attacks by children, family, or anyone else.
    35. For more about honoring a wife.
  3. Wise men know a little compromise and lots of love and tenderness get the most from a wife.
    1. Foolish men can only think of authority and position, expecting their wives to love them.
    2. If you use your wife as a slave and drive her by authority and scripture, you sin and lose.
    3. Misunderstanding authority causes oppression, like Rehoboam, who could have had the permanent loyalty of the people with a little relief (I Kings 12:1-20; Pr 28:16; Eccl 4:1).
    4. The greatest marital benefits cannot be forced from her; they are won by love and honor.
    5. Honoring a wife will not usually spoil her, as a boss honoring you will not corrupt you.
    6. You know good treatment by a boss does not dull your zeal but rather enhances it; he could jumpstart your day and week on Monday with an award, promotion, praise, or increase; would a big raise spoil you? then you should never think kindness will spoil her.
    7. It is a common proverb, You can attract more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.
    8. How do you think Shechem won Dinah? He spoke kindly to her (Genesis 34:1-3). Try it!
    9. Paul and the Spirit assumed married men will take pains to please their wives (I Co 7:33).
    10. Absalom abused the principle of compromise and kindness, but it worked (II Sa 15:3-6).
    11. Delicate treatment of even a servant can produce an adopted son in the end (Prov 29:21).
    12. Consulting with your wife, like this king, need not compromise authority (I Chr 13:1-4).
    13. Consulting with your wife, like Jacob did, need not compromise authority (Gen 31:1-16).
    14. Every man knows how to win a woman, and he would quickly put the knowledge to work if his wife died … but will he do it to his wife … in spite of years together … bitterness … habits … familiarity … her mistrust … his presumption it is not needed, etc., etc.
    15. About Love the One You’re With.
  4. Notice giving here – it is giving honor unto the wife – it is not getting honor from the wife.
    1. The submission, obedience, and reverence (honor) of a wife was already covered (3:1-6)!
    2. A fool that expects his wife to honor him without honoring her will not get hers or others.
    3. The fastest way to increase your love and pleasure in a wife is to do something for her!
    4. Jesus and Paul taught it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Believe it!
    5. Resurrecting love for a spouse is as with Christ (Rev 2:5): remember, repent, and do.
    6. Giving, even sexually, with the right spirit will bring greater pleasure than receiving.
  5. You honor your wife by loving her the way the Bible describes and for the reasons it gives.
    1. Love your wife as your own body, with nourishing (Eph 5:29), where nourishing is supplying whatever is necessary to promote or maintain growth (Ruth 4:15; II Sam 12:3).
    2. Does your wife have adequate time, money, rest, recreation, tools, diversion, clothing, stimulation, assistance, and education to be all that God intended her to be?
    3. Love your wife as your own body, with cherishing (Eph 5:29), where cherishing is to hold dear, treat with tenderness and affection; to make much of (Deut 24:5; I Kgs 1:1-4).
    4. Do you glory in your wife? Esteem her highly? Treat her tenderly? Show her much affection? Make a big deal over her? Give her the verbal love she needs?
    5. God commands you to love your wife and perfect her for you to have a much better wife and the corresponding pleasure, as Christ the church (Eph 5:25-29)! Grasp the motive!

As unto the weaker vessel.

  1. The woman is the weaker of men and women, but wise men should get a perspective for it.
    1. What is the greatest differences? Physical strength and power; mental courage and drive.
    2. We can add common sense, fearfulness, emotion or sentiment, vulnerability to deception, need for sleep, pressure, and so forth, though such may vary more than physical strength.
    3. Intelligence is not as obvious, and many men should not take an IQ test with their wives.
    4. Women were not educated as much as men, and their minds may be more academic only.
    5. Whatever aspect of life she may be weak in, you should protect her and allow for faults.
    6. In a nation where God has removed mighty men and put women over them (Is 3:1-15), with laws to enforce it, the difference between the sexes is less visible (Eccl 10:5-7).
  2. The most beautiful clay vessels are weak, easily broken, protected, and usually displayed.
    1. Since God chose the word vessel, consider clay vessels created by a master craftsman.
    2. Clay vessels may range from toilets to very delicate tea cups or other ornamental objects.
    3. We do not treat all clay vessels alike, and women should be noted for their weaker frame.
    4. Elegant and refined vessels are protected and displayed, for a slight bump may break it.
  3. The wife is compared to a loving hind and pleasant roe, two animals receiving tender care.
    1. A hind is a female deer, usually of the red deer. A roe is a small species of deer of Asia.
    2. Together the words describe a modest, delicate, graceful, and tender female deer of kings.
    3. These deer were caught, tamed, enjoyed as pets by kings and others in Solomon’s time.
    4. Their refined, gentle natures were the delight of both men and women. A perfect simile!
    5. The gentleness and refined elegance of the animal precludes harsh or severe treatment.
    6. The words present a delightful and prized woman worthy of tender love and protection.
    7. A husband should carefully treat his wife with gentle affection and patient tenderness.
    8. Paul confirmed this rule when he taught men to cherish wives – treat with special care.
    9. Proverbs 5:19 is not in the indicative mood, but rather the imperative, a command to do.
    10. For more Proverbs 5:19 commentary.
  4. God remembers your frame and kindly pities you for it, so you do likewise (Ps 103:13-14).
    1. This passage is important as an example from how God treats you, and necessarily so.
    2. This passage is important as an example of good fathers, who pity their tender children.
  5. God knows your tendencies, so He has already warned about being bitter (Colossians 3:19).
  6. If your wife works a full-time job outside the home, you must be very considerate of her.
    1. She cannot do everything, so be wise.
    2. You can easily jump in and help with household chores to show honor for her stress.
  7. The best body (or church) is where lesser members get the greater honor (I Cor 12:22-24), for the strong are to bear the infirmities of the weak (Rom 15:1; Gal 6:1), and thus the wife.

And as being heirs together.

  1. If you are heirs together, then you are siblings in God’s family. Grasp this very simple point.
    1. This means that your wife is equal to you in the sight of God as far as being His children.
    2. This means she will inherit as much as her husband, and both are joint-heirs with Christ.
    3. This means your wife is God’s daughter; you should fear Him more than a father-in-law.
    4. A detailed examination by a father-in-law could be painful, but think of Christ’s coming.
    5. For God reasoning a family way about marriage.
  2. Marriage in the Bible is called leading about a sister, confirming the point here (I Cor 9:5).
    1. The Bible was written by one Author, so agreement should not surprise (II Pet 1:20-21).
    2. This language identifies her relationship in the Lord and the reasonableness of honor.
    3. The man’s leadership is obvious in this description, but his love in leadership is assumed.
  3. There is neither male nor female in Jesus, if considering their standing in Christ (Gal 3:28).
    1. They both were saved identically by Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for all their sins once for all.
    2. They both shall have the same blessings and standing in heaven without marital roles.
    3. As Jesus rebuked the Sadducees, there is no marriage in heaven (Matthew 22:23-33).
    4. God does not see any soul difference between men and women qualitatively apart from marital roles, which He confirmed by also comparing Jew and Greek and bond and free.

Of the grace of life.

  1. The greatest gift by far a man can have is eternal life, but his wife has a full equal share in it.
    1. We are not Muslims thinking men will have 72 virgins in heaven with wives distracted.
    2. God’s view of wives and their nature are both exalted by the gift of eternal life in Christ.
  2. If a foolish man puts his wife down for Eden, he should recall God’s grace to her (I Ti 2:15).
    1. Though she was a unique participant and cause of the fall, her curse is also her salvation.
    2. By character and conduct of godliness, she can know the Seed of the woman saved her.
  3. Sharing eternal life and all its participatory aspects with a wife is one of life’s great blessings.
    1. With church assemblies the priority they should be (Ps 27:4), doing it together is great.
    2. Sharing the worship of God, giving thanks to Him, and singing His praise are fabulous.
    3. Reading the Bible, discussing the Bible, or listening to the Bible is something to share.
    4. Serving together in the kingdom of God is the highest use of a wife and pleasure with her.
    5. When the Lord shows you a doctrine or verse or word, share it with joy with your spouse.

That your prayers be not hindered.

  1. We do not understand this as hindering praying, though true, but rather of hindered answers!
    1. It is true that the family or marriage that prays together stays together, but that is not here.
    2. A husband not treating his wife right may lose the desire or unity for praying altogether.
    3. The issue here is God’s warning He will not hear or answer prayers of harsh husbands.
    4. The Christian man that continues being a prayer warrior but insensitive husband will lose.
    5. God only hears the prayers of the righteous, and part of righteousness is honoring a wife.
  2. A wise man that trembles at the word of God will consider implications of this little phrase.
    1. This is a big consequence, and it is not Peter, a husband, or this writer intimidating men.
    2. If you think it does not matter how you treat your submissive wife, then think again.
    3. As with John’s ministry, relationships must be right for God to visit (Mal 4:5-6; Lu 1:17).
    4. For more about righteous relationships.
  3. God has all tears in his bottle and in his book, and women cry more than men (Psalm 56:8).
    1. Being under authority, they can easily be oppressed by a selfish tyrant that abuses them.
    2. From their very weak power base in a marriage, they can suffer without much recourse.
    3. God allowed even servant wives and war wives protection (Ex 21:10-11; Deut 21:10-14).
  4. God saw wives of Israel covering the altar with tears, weeping, and crying out (Mal 2:13).
    1. This does not require women to cry in church, for most or all of their tears are in private.
    2. This does not even require women to cry outwardly, for God sees their grief of spirit.
    3. A word repeated in Malachi 2 is treachery; men must examine if they are treacherous.
    4. For more about marriage in Malachi 2:10-16:.
  5. It is the prayer of a righteous man that avails much, and righteousness includes marriage.
    1. The Bible is clear that covering or regarding sin will not work (Psalm 66:18; Prov 28:13).
    2. Every honest man knows that Job 33:27-28 applies well to not fulfilling husband duties.
    3. It is easy to confess marital sins to God (I John 1:9), but maximum benefit includes her.
    4. She knows you have erred, so confessing your faults you can likely regain some integrity.
  6. Husbands and wives should pray together daily or when larger-than-normal needs face them.
    1. Jesus promised disciples that agreement in prayer would receive answers (Matt 18:19).
    2. But of course, this only works if the two praying are perfectly at peace with each other.
  7. Jesus taught the rule to correct all offences, as offender, before offering gifts (Matt 5:21-26).
    1. Observe and remember that the context includes anger without a cause. Ever done that?
    2. There is wisdom here – God will not accept your gift, no matter how costly, with offence.
    3. If you have been angry or called her names without a great cause, then you are in trouble.
  8. Paul taught the rule to never let the sun go down on your wrath to avoid Satan (Eph 4:26-27).
    1. Since a wife is usually or always with you at sunset or bedtime, there is no excuse here.
    2. A night spent angry in bed with a woman is one of life’s stupidest and cruelest events.
  9. For much more about effectual prayer.

8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:


  1. Peter here concluded his exhortations about relationships after covering four authority ones.
    1. This is not the end of his epistle, as he is only half way through what he would write.
    2. Having covered three relationships, the third from two directions, he now added another.
  2. Church members should get along with each other as well as in those three authority spheres.
    1. A government with obedient citizens can work efficiently, even though it is not righteous, for in this case it was Jewish Christians obeying and paying Gentile pagan rulers.
    2. A business with conscientious servants can be efficient, even with froward managers, and this case it could even include bond servitude (slavery) to pagan, oppressive masters.
    3. A marriage can be a great relationship if wives and husbands follow the gospel order, but it can still work well enough even for those married to unbelievers.
  3. A church is made up of all different kinds of members and yet it should get along splendidly.
    1. Church members definitely differ in age, sex, race, nationality, economic status, employment status, spiritual gifts, spiritual offices, intelligence, education, etc., etc.
    2. These many different persons, far greater than Israel had, for they were all cousins by the simple virtue of coming from twelve brothers, must agree to mutual respect and affection.
    3. Paul described various members and how they function together well in a body (I Co 12).
  4. For any not yet convinced that love is by far the greatest grace of the N.T., consider Peter.
    1. Peter by the Spirit mentions it in every chapter (1:22; 2:1,17; 3:8-9; 4:8-9; 5:5,13-14)!
    2. Why such repetition and redundancy unless the matter is of great importance to God.
    3. If you want to examine your life in light of the gospel, brotherly love counts the most.
    4. For brotherly love as the greatest virtue.
  5. Peter listed five positive rules for church members, and all must start in the heart (Pr 4:23).

Be ye all of one mind.

  1. Be careful how you understand and apply this first imperative order for all church members.
  2. It is certainly true that church members should believe and practice the single apostolic faith.
    1. There is one faith once delivered to the saints, and it only is held by churches (Jude 1:3).
    2. Any other gospel or practice is to be rejected (Rom 16:17-18; Gal 1:6-9; Eph 4:4-6; Col 1:23; II Thes 2:15; 3:6,14-15; I Tim 6:3-5; II Tim 3:1-5; 4:3-4; Titus 1:9-11; 3:9-11; etc.).
    3. We cannot and must not tolerate variances from the truth that God has revealed to us, for variance is a sin to be excluded from a church when it becomes public knowledge.
    4. The communion – or common union – of a church is based strictly on apostolic tradition.
    5. A pastor or church should never change doctrine or practice without a tsunami of Bible evidence that fully repudiates the old position and answers all objections against the new.
  3. Peter’s apostolic order is to be of one mind in the mutual attention and affection of members.
    1. We make this application due to the grammar and context, not necessarily in that order.
    2. The context from 2:13 to 3:13 is relational, not doctrinal, so we preserve that theme here.
    3. The form of the following clause, having compassion one of another, explains this clause.
    4. This verse has five clauses, four clearly imperative, but the next one mainly descriptive.
    5. One mind of this clause is relational, not doctrinal, by its description in the next clause.
  4. Church members are of all types from all backgrounds by the choice of God (I Cor 12:18).
    1. In his analogy, Paul compared church members to both uncomely and comely body parts.
    2. Church members definitely differ in age, sex, race, nationality, economic status, employment status, spiritual gifts, spiritual offices, intelligence, education, etc., etc.
    3. These many different persons, far greater than Israel had, for they were all cousins by the simple virtue of coming from twelve brothers, must agree to mutual respect and affection.
    4. Though there will be differences in Christianity liberty, they must agree about the liberty.
  5. Church members should ignore differences and join together for the cause of Christ’s body.
    1. Before teaching wives to submit, Paul taught all to submit to one another (Eph 5:21).
    2. Physical bodies and churches have many members, but only one body (I Cor 12:12-27).
    3. Unity in all matters is important (I Cor 1:10), but this is church unity in mutual affection.
    4. The rule is not – be of the same mind in the gospel, or be of the same mind in judgment.
    5. We fulfill it if we treat others as we desire to be treated or how others desire treatment.
    6. We fulfill it when we see others equal and affectionately care for others one at a time.
    7. The church is called to perfect unity in love by each member loving each other member.
    8. This rule of God exclude cliques or any divisions (Rom 12:16; 15:5-7; Philippians 2:2).
    9. The church should be a happy family with camaraderie and affection from and to all.
    10. David wrote a short but sweet Psalm about brethren loving one another like this (Ps 133).
    11. Your mind should be compatible and concerned for others, especially the lowly, not lofty.
    12. You should not have loftier ideas of you or your things than the lives and things of others.
    13. You should constantly work for peace, affection, compassion, excitement by each for all.
    14. Paul raised this rule when teaching Christian liberty and duty to others (Rom 14:19-21).
  6. The opposite of this rule is sowing discord, which is much more than just doctrinal variance.
    1. God hates those that by any means destroy the harmony of a church’s unity (Pr 6:16-19).
    2. Instead, peacemakers, the true Christians, will endeavor to maintain harmony (Eph 4:3).

Having compassion one of another.

  1. Compassion. The feeling or emotion, when a person is moved by the suffering or distress of another, and by the desire to relieve it; pity that inclines one to spare or to succour.
  2. Bible usage includes God’s compassion (Ps 86:15; 145:8; Is 49:15; Matt 18:27,33; Luke 10:33; Heb 5:2; 10:34; I John 3:17; Jude 1:22).
  3. You should have empathy and sympathy for those less favored than you or hurting (He 13:3).
  4. But by nature you are selfish, proud, hating, resenting others, despising others (Titus 3:1-3).
  5. This is one of those one another duties.

Love as brethren.

  1. Brotherly love is the greatest interpersonal mandate of the N.T. (John 13:34-35; I Cor 13:13).
  2. It includes being a keeper of your brother (Genesis 4:9; I Thes 4:6; Jas 5:19-20; I John 5:16).
  3. This is the bond of the family of God, which will be interrupted by sin (I Pet 4:8; Heb 13:1).
  4. For brotherly love as the greatest virtue.
  5. For more about brotherly love.

Be pitiful.

  1. Pitiful. Full of or characterized by pity; compassionate, merciful, tender.
  2. Bible usage, even of God, helps (Deut 13:8; Pr 19:17; 28:8; Lam 4:10; Matt 18:33; Jas 5:11).
  3. God’s comparison to a father helps with this word to know and to remember (Ps 103:13-14).
  4. Pity includes comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, patience toward all (I Thess 5:14).
  5. We have the highest motive to pity others, for God took pity on us debtors (Matt 18:21-35).

Be courteous.

  1. Courteous. Having such manners as befit the court of a prince; having the bearing of a courtly gentleman in intercourse with others; graciously polite and respectful of the position and feelings of others; kind and complaisant in conduct to others.
  2. A form of this word occurs only twice in the Bible, where it is by “princes” (Acts 27:3; 28:7).
  3. We often use gracious to include this trait (Ps 112:4; Pr 11:16; 22:11; Ecc 10:12; Luke 4:22).
  4. Love does not behave itself unseemly, which means it is appropriate at all times (I Cor 13:5).

9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

Not rendering evil for evil.

  1. The previous verse had five initiatives of brotherly love, and this verse a couple of responses.
  2. Due to how Peter opened 3:8 addressing his Christian audience, we direct this rule for them.
    1. While true we should not render evil for evil to any (Matt 5:38-48), context says brothers.
    2. While we could assume Christians do not fight, scripture and experience say otherwise.
    3. Recall a few N.T. examples of fighting among church members or friends, remembering the O.T. is filled with such, even family members (Acts 6:1; 15:39; I Cor 1:10-13; 3:1-4; 6:1-8; 11:16; 12:20; Gal 5:15,26; Phil 1:16; 4:2; Jas 2:1-9; 3:14-18; 4:1-3,5,11; 5:9).
  3. The apostolic injunction here is to not repay evil to those that show you evil, for it will occur.
    1. The glorious man defers anger and passes over transgressions by others (Proverbs 19:11).
    2. The gracious man knows that God has freely forgiven him far more (Matthew 18:21-35).
  4. You must not repay evil for evil, or evil for good, but good for evil (Pr 17:31; Ro 12:17-21).
  5. The truth about contention is that it is only caused by pride, which is a great sin (Pr 13:10).
    1. If each church member esteemed others more important than himself, most conflicts end.
    2. For only pride causing contention.

Or railing for railing.

  1. Rail. To utter abusive language.
  2. Bible use indicates ridicule and/or name-calling (II Chronicles 32:17; II Pet 2:11; Jude 1:9).
  3. Jesus strictly applied the sixth commandment against unjustified name-calling (Mat 5:21-26).
  4. Someone railing at you does not give you leave to rail at them; bless them instead as here.

But contrariwise blessing.

  1. There is very good contrarianism – it is to bless those that use ridicule or names against you.
  2. You cannot fulfill this instruction until someone mistreats or despises you – it will occur.
  3. You must not repay evil for evil, or evil for good, but good for evil (Pr 17:31; Ro 12:17-21).
  4. Pure religion turns a cheek, resists not evil, suffers defrauding, suffers long, and such actions.
  5. It is such soft answers that turn away wrath and end conflicts (Pr 15:1; 25:15; Judges 8:1-3).
  6. This must start in the heart, or the heat of conflict will call forth a curse (Pr 4:23; Luke 6:45).

Knowing that ye are thereunto called.

  1. Our relationship as the children of God are His chosen and favored ones in the universe.
  2. God in mercy appointed us, his former enemies, to obtain blessings, so we can do the same.
  3. Another foundation for our mindset and resulting conduct is what God has in store for us.
  4. Our future is so good and so certain that nothing mere men can say or do should affect us.

That ye should inherit a blessing.

  1. We have unspeakable blessings now and in eternity, so we can reflect God’s mercy to others.
  2. The kindness of God to His enemies should provoke us to show the same (Matthew 5:43-48).
  3. Our future is covered with fabulous blessings, so we should be able to show a little to others.

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:

For he that will love life.

  1. Peter here quoted Psalm 34:12-16 to form three verses – David and Peter by the Holy Ghost!
  2. David wrote, What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
  3. It cannot get any better than this – the love of life to enjoy it to the fullest pleasure and profit.
    1. Here is the ultimate in enjoying life passionately with perfect fulfillment and satisfaction.
    2. Most men are miserable in comparison as indicated by their addictions and dysfunctions.
  4. The abundant life that Jesus promised His sheep is by way of the obedience described next.

And see good days.

  1. It is one thing to love life no matter what your days are like, but another to have good days.
    1. The Creator God knows the difference between good and evil human days (Eccl 12:1-2).
    2. The reign of Solomon was characterized by great peace and prosperity (I Kings 4:25).
  2. The Lord knows full well when He promises a reward for righteousness in an area of life.
    1. In the Fifth Commandment He promised long days and good days (Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16).
    2. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to identify the promise and repeat it in the N.T. (Ep 6:2-3).
    3. These rules of life are surer than gravity, if conditions are met, other things being equal.

Let him refrain his tongue from evil.

  1. It starts with your mouth – your speech. You must rule your words to avoid any evil in them.
  2. Righteousness proceeds from the heart to the mouth and then to actions (Pr 4:23; Luke 6:45).
  3. If you cannot say something gracious, helpful, and kind, then please stop talking altogether.
  4. Let your speech be always with grace, as wise men do (Psalm 45:2; Eccl 10:12; Prov 22:11).
  5. If you think this formula is easy, think again; God knows ruling your tongue is hard (Jas 3:2).
  6. Cut your words in half; slow down; use them to heal others (Pr 10:19; 29:20; 12:18; 15:4).
  7. Proverb commentaries for more about speech.

And his lips that they speak no guile.

  1. It starts with your mouth – your speech. You must rule your words to avoid any evil in them.
  2. Guile. Insidious cunning, deceit, treachery. See scriptures (Ex 21:14; Ps 55:11; II Co 12:16).
  3. Guile related to brotherly love is any deception, fraud, or circumventing others for advantage.
    1. Defrauding a brother in any matter, including sex, is sinful despite of God (I Thes 4:3-8).
    2. Flattery or design to hide treachery or mislead is this sin (Prov 3:29; 20:19; 26:28; 29:5).
    3. What have you ever hid from a brother that is not Christian liberty for his godly benefit?
    4. Sinners deceive or mislead to take advantage of others financially, sexually, socially, etc.
    5. This sin can be as easy as misleading or exaggerating health issues, money issues, dating interest or activities, social or other influence, delaying giving for needs to avoid it, only reporting favorable information, referrals that are not in the other’s best interest, etc., etc.
    6. Godly men are entirely transparent with nothing harmful ever hid and no evil intentions.
    7. They never hide treachery, plan treachery, or introduce treachery into their relationships.
    8. It is better to be naïve, gullible, innocent, honest to a fault, defrauded, than to risk guile.
    9. Choose to be on the short end of the stick in any conversation or transaction (I Cor 6:7-8).

11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

Let him eschew evil.

  1. Because of context preceding and following, we emphasize relational qualities of brothers.
  2. Peter here quoted Psalm 34:12-16 to form three verses – David and Peter by the Holy Ghost!
  3. This verse provides further conditions for loving life and seeing good days as stated (3:10).
  4. This verse has two unusual words that give it character and a simple formula to remember.
    1. If you want a good life, eschew evil (depart from sin) and ensue peace (be a peacemaker).
    2. If you eschew evil, you will replace it with good; if you seek peace, you will pursue it.
  5. Eschew. To avoid, shun. To abstain carefully from, avoid, shun (an action, a course of conduct, an indulgence, an article of food or drink, etc.).
  6. Job eschewed evil (Job 1:1), and he had the best of lives before and after his trial (Jas 5:11).
  7. Get sin out of your life (Jas 4:8), and get the opportunities for sin out of your life (Ro 13:14).

And do good.

  1. Because of context preceding and following, we emphasize relational qualities of brothers.
  2. Godliness has two sides – hate evil and love righteousness (Ps 45:7; 97:10; Pr 8:13; Heb 1:9).
  3. If you know you should do a good thing, and you do not do it, it is sin (Jas 4:17; Luke 12:47).
  4. What good can you do a brother? What brother should you help? Be wise (Luke 14:12-14).

Let him seek peace, and ensue it.

  1. Ensue. To follow with the intention of overtaking; to pursue.
  2. Jesus prescribed how to seek peace with offended and offenders (Matt 5:21-26; 18:15-17).
  3. James taught one of the most important measures of your life is peacemaking (Jas 3:14-18).
  4. Peacemakers are great ones in God’s kingdom. Are you at peace? Do you do so for others?
  5. Peacemakers are blessed, and they shall be called the children of God for reason (Matt 5:9).
  6. For more about peace and making peace with brothers.

12 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.

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous.

  1. Peter here quoted Psalm 34:12-16 to form three verses – David and Peter by the Holy Ghost!
  2. This verse provides further conditions for loving life and seeing good days as stated (3:10).
    1. It is also explains the greater source of the blessed life – the blessing and favor of God.
    2. Examples of power of righteousness.
  3. The eyes of the Lord are a wonderful thing for those with perfect hearts (II Chronicles 16:9).
    1. God’s eyes are more than organs of sight; they are rather overseeing providence for good.
    2. No man’s heart is perfect absolutely, but God sees men differently (Job 1:1; Luke 1:5-6).
    3. David was clearly a sinner, but God was with him in powerful ways throughout his life.

And his ears are open unto their prayers.

  1. God heard David’s cries for help and delivered him with powerful interventions (Ps 18:6-7).
  2. But God’s ears are heavy and He will not hear those that live in sin (Isaiah 59:1-2; Ps 66:18).
  3. If His ears are open to your prayers, and He will hear you, it is a great and powerful blessing.
  4. When the Lord hears, men stop the sun, raise the dead, kill Goliath, stop lions’ mouths, etc.
  5. When God is on your side with eyes and ears, you have a protected, prosperous, peaceful life.

But the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

  1. The way of transgressors is hard – natural consequences and God’s judgment (Prov 13:15).
    1. Do you compromise with the world? Lot’s life was torn to shreds by his family and God.
    2. Do you compromise with family? Eli’s life and his family tree were annihilated by God.
    3. Do you compromise with women? Samson ended life as a blind grinder with nothing.
    4. Do you compromise relational fairness? Nabal had ten days to think of his life and wife.
    5. Do you compromise most anything? Saul ended up nailed to a wall with his foe ruling.
    6. Do you compromise with women? Solomon ended under God’s judgment and lost Israel.
    7. Do you compromise with priorities? Regathered Jews did not get ahead no matter what.
    8. Do you compromise with passion? Israel suffered a marvelous work of God for cheating.
    9. Do you compromise with passion? Ephesus and Laodicea heard hard words from Jesus.
  2. For more about Proverbs 13:15.
  3. For more about consequences of sin.
  4. For more about consequences of sin.

13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

And who is he that will harm you.

  1. A good and noble life, obeying pagan rulers and masters, will cause men to leave you alone.
  2. A kind and helpful life, serving men humbly and liberally, will cause men to leave you alone.
  3. David could remind Saul and obtain mercy due to his goodness (I Sam 24:16-17; 26:21-22).
  4. This is a general rule for those that live righteously and grow in favor with God and men.
    1. Growing in favor with both is a doctrine of scripture (I Sam 2:26; Prov 3:3-4; Luke 2:52).
    2. Consider the lack of harm and the presence of harm for Joseph, Daniel, Esther, etc.

If ye be followers of that which is good.

  1. There are two issues here that protect men and women that are committed to righteous living.
    1. First, there is the natural consequence of living without offence as specified (2:11-12).
    2. Second, there is God’s supernatural blessing and protection on those that live such a way.
  2. But the Bible warns all who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (II Tim 3:12).
    1. Consider that goodness here to persons is not directly the same as godliness in life there.
    2. Jesus grew in favor with God and men, though eventually religious tyrants killed Him.
    3. Jesus was heard gladly by common people, though religious tyrants were jealous of Him.
    4. Martyrs were in high esteem until God chose them for the highest honor by few enemies.

14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

But and if.

  1. This verse transitions from mainly relations in the church to persecution outside the church.
    1. In spite of good conduct removing or reducing persecution, there may be some (3:13,17).
    2. But and if allows God’s will could call for persecution in spite of efforts to good (3:17).
    3. Recall that this type of comfort identifying the will of God had been used earlier (1:6)
  2. Keep in mind the epistle’s audience, Christian Jews hated by both Jews and pagan Gentiles.

Ye suffer for righteousness’ sake.

  1. The previous verse called for following that which is good to avoid harm from most persons.
  2. However, if suffering for living a godly life occurs, it is exceptional allowed by God’s will.
  3. The only reason we ever want to suffer, and enduring it is a good thing, is for righteousness.

Happy are ye.

  1. If you do what is right, and get in trouble for it or pay a price for it, you should be thankful.
  2. Jesus said that it was cause to be exceeding glad, for two outstanding reasons (Matt 5:10-12).
    1. Your reward in heaven is great, for you were saved for inherited blessings by God (3:9).
    2. You are in good company, for that is how the world treated prophets and apostles as well.
  3. The Bible teaches that suffering is one of the evidence of eternal life (Rom 8:17; II Tim 2:12)

And be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.

  1. The Jewish Christians were subject to persecution by pagan governments and Jewish hatred.
  2. When you are on trial for your life or imprisonment, faith and hope in God can relieve fear.
    1. Recall how the Hebrew three responded to Nebuchadnezzar and his fire (Dan 3:16-18).
    2. Reflection on the martyrs shows a great group of believers that put this rule into practice.
  3. If you put the things of this context into practice, you could have the courage for martyrdom.

15 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:

But sanctify.

  1. The inspired disjunctive but, as we like to call it, contrasts this choice against fear in a heart.
    1. The fear of man brings a snare (Pr 29:25), but fear of God brings wisdom (Pr 1:7; 9:10).
    2. Hearts quickly run in various directions, but we can set our affection on Him (Col 3:1-4).
    3. You should not be subject to your feelings, but rather make your feelings subject to truth.
  2. Sanctify. To set apart religiously for an office or function; to consecrate (a king, etc.). To honor as holy; to ascribe holiness to. To manifest (God, his might, etc.) as holy. To consecrate (a thing); to set apart as holy or sacred.
  3. It is interesting that the Holy Spirit chose two salvation terms for what we do toward God.
    1. The people and publicans justified God by being baptized by John Baptist (Luke 7:29).
    2. Sanctification is usually God’s consecration of us in holiness for religious acceptance.
    3. You sanctify God, not in reality, for He is fully holy, but in thoughts, affections, words.
    4. On trial for religious crimes or offence, the help is to exalt God religiously in your heart.

The Lord God in your hearts.

  1. How do we sanctify God, since the term is usually used for God consecrating us in holiness?
    1. We fulfill the definition by consecrating and honoring God as infinitely holy and sacred.
    2. We exalt Him with all honor for His glorious perfections and trust Him for any outcome.
    3. We honor Him as the transcendent God of our religion to negate fear of a religious trial.
    4. We do like David and delight in Him with great glory and boasting (Ps 37:4; Je 9:23-24).
    5. Moses and Aaron did not sanctify God by obeying Him perfectly (Num 20:12; 27:14).
    6. Three Hebrews sanctified God by telling Nebuchadnezzar they did not care (Da 3:16-18).
    7. Do you know enough about God to sanctify Him, as in the Knowing God sermon series?
  2. How do we do it in our hearts, which must occur before any outward manifestation of it?
    1. We consider and conceive of God as the Bible describes Him in all His glorious splendor.
    2. More than mere assent by lips or even minds, we embrace Him reverently and lovingly.
    3. You choose to love Him only and always with all heart, mind, soul, strength (Deut 6:4).
    4. You choose to fear Him only and always with reverent desire above all others (De 10:12).
    5. In that place where fear or shame arises, we exalt Him as Lord God worthy of all honor.
    6. Though these poor Christians might be before a Roman tribunal, they were to exalt God!
    7. After God Himself, then you esteem His inspired words as absolute truth (Ps 119:128).
  3. The combination of Lord and God is unusual and should get our attention for sanctification.
    1. This combination only occurs 13 times in the N.T., 9 in Revelation, 2 in Luke, 1 in Jude.
    2. Lord = Greek kurios = supremacy. God = Greek theos = God or supreme Divinity.
    3. When Jehovah of the Bible is considered, there is no reason not to sanctify Him highest.
    4. When Jesus Christ of the N.T. is in view, there is no reason not to sanctify Him highly.
    5. For the living and true God.
  4. The foundation of all good from any man begins with total humility, love, and fear of God.
    1. The first commandment is simple – exclusive and full love/fear of God (De 6:4-5; 10:12).
    2. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom – it is the basis of a good life (Pr 1:7; 9:10).
    3. Great men rise far past this to delight and glory in Him (Ps 37:4; I Chr 22:5; Jer 9:23-24).

And be ready always to give an answer.

  1. Do not overlook the context indicating these are questions on trial for religious crimes (3:14).
    1. Verses both before and following indicate these Christian Jews on trial (3:13-14,16-17).
    2. The situation is much more than a coworker or family member asking you about religion.
    3. Peter, Stephen, Paul did this earlier in church history (Acts 4:5-12; 7:1-2; 22:1; 26:1-2).
  2. You can only be ready by frequent and regular time in the word of God and careful listening.
    1. Paul explained to slothful Hebrews that wisdom comes by reason of use (Heb 5:12-14).
    2. Are you a teacher – an effective one? Or are you still asking questions about the basics?
    3. Ministers will shame themselves and disappoint God without much labor (II Tim 2:15).
    4. Solomon clearly taught how to be ready with the certain words of truth (Prov 22:17-21).
    5. Solomon also taught that the heart of the righteous studies to answer questions (Pr 15:28).
  3. Do you delight in God’s word and desire to speak it before kings without shame (Ps 119:46)?
    1. If you sincerely love the truth, then you will prepare, and you will also be eager to testify.
    2. For us who are not on trial, we should look for discrete opportunities to testify of Christ.
    3. You should love individual souls enough to be like Andrew and Philip (John 1:37-47).
    4. For more about evangelistic love of souls.
    5. For more evangelistic love of souls.

To every man that asketh you.

  1. These Christian Jews were often being asked in court, but the rule applies to all questions.
  2. No man will ask a reason of the hope that is in you unless you have that hope and visibly so!
  3. This is how we trust the sovereignty of God in the conversion of His elect to lead them to us.
  4. Do you live in such a way, and do you have the answers, that others have been converted?

A reason of the hope that is in you.

  1. We will be asked about our hope by our cheerfulness under difficulties, confident outlook, positive worldview, future expectations, answers for life dilemmas, wisdom for success, etc.
  2. Our hope is based on faith and our reasoning more solid than their nonsense (II Thess 3:1-2).
    1. We do not appeal to emotions, feelings, personal opinions, testimonies. We give reasons.
    2. Paul gave great illustrations of reasoning with monotheistic Jews (Acts 13:14-41; 17:1-3).
    3. Paul gave a great illustration at Athens of reasoning with pagan Greeks (Acts 17:16-34).
    4. Since we live in a so-called Christian nation, most discussions will be Bible variations.
  3. For more about the logic of faith.
  4. For more about the proof of Christianity.

With meekness and fear.

  1. Meek. Free from haughtiness and self-will; piously humble and submissive; patient and unresentful under injury and reproach.
  2. Compare Bible use (Num 12:3; Ps 147:6; Isaiah 11:4; Zep 2:3; Matt 11:29; 21:5; I Cor 4:21; II Cor 10:1; Gal 6:1; Eph 4:2; Col 3:12; II Tim 2:25; Tit 3:2; Jas 1:21; 3:13-15; I Pet 3:15).
  3. Though we have the glorious truth and our God is Jehovah, we answer meekly and humbly.
    1. There is no reason for arrogant, overbearing, pompous answers of truth (II Tim 2:24-26).
    2. Fear here may include the fear of God and also fear of error or sin ourselves, as Gal 6:1.

16 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.

Having a good conscience.

  1. A good conscience, knowing you have not sinned against men, is by sanctifying God (3:15).
    1. When you set God apart as the high and holy one of eternity demanding and deserving obedience and reverence, you lay a foundation for thought, word, and deed like no other.
    2. Mrs. Potiphar had her way falsely accusing Joseph, but he and honest men knew better.
  2. A good conscience is a very valuable asset that you acquire now when you do not need it.
    1. When on trial for your life, you will be vetted to their full ability, and you will want it.
    2. Paul had such a conscience even before his conversion to the truth (Acts 23:1; 24:16).
    3. It is the candle of the Lord and gives reassurance of what is right and wrong (Pr 20:27).
    4. It is the difference between wicked fleeing nothing and your lion-like boldness (Pr 28:1).
  3. You will likely not be on trial in this life; but you will give an account of your life to God.

That, whereas they speak evil of you, as evildoers.

  1. Let God’s enemies be those that do evil, not the people of God that they hate and persecute.
  2. It is not unusual for the world to falsely accuse Christians, but God’s will fully rules it (3:17).

They may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

  1. Not all false accusers will be ashamed by your virtue, but like Pilate, some will know better.
  2. Godly living for this reason alone should be sufficient motive to live zealously against sin.

17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

For it is better.

  1. The comparison to be seen here is suffering persecution for well doing rather than evil doing.
  2. The comparison is like 2:20, where servants suffering should be for doing well, not for faults.
  3. Reputation and performance in the world should remove as much fault as possible (3:16).

If the will of God be so.

  1. God’s will rules the universe and all its details, including any suffering His plan has for you.
    1. There is no suffering for a man God has hedged with protection (Job 1:9-11; Ps 105:15).
    2. There is nothing but suffering for a man God removes protection from (Job 1:12; 2:5-6).
    3. If you respond well, you may limit suffering or be rewarded (Job 36:16-18; 42:10-17).
  2. No matter what comes your way in life, or for whatever reason, it is only by the will of God.
    1. This is helpful information, for you can trust Him and beg Him for good and mercy in it.
    2. This is fearful information, for you are dealing with a God that easily alters your life.
    3. This is helpful information, enemies are merely His pawns, like Joseph and Sennacherib.
    4. This is helpful information, God restrains enemies’ wrath to that praising Him (Ps 76:10).
  3. No matter what pains you may take to be void of offence, God may choose suffering for you.
  4. Yet, you can make the effort to be void of offence, so God’s will for suffering is unjustified.
  5. James warned to submit even your life and then your business plan to His will (Jas 4:13-15).

That ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

  1. Persecution itself proves nothing; you may deserve it for faults; let us live faultless for Christ.
  2. By living before the world as taught by this epistle so far, any suffering will be for goodness.
  3. In order to maximize our Christian testimony before the world, we must be free from faults.

18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins.

  1. Though Jesus most certainly died as a penal substitute for us, He also gives a great example.
    1. Peter used this example when assuaging grief of submitting to froward masters (2:18-25).
    2. In this context he is mitigating the grief caused by suffering for righteousness (3:14-17).
    3. Note the also connecting the suffering of Christ to men wrongly suffering before (3:17).
  2. Jesus the Son of God suffered for sins, but the sins were not His own, but rather your sins.
    1. Christians suffer for righteousness sake, if the will of God chooses that outcome (3:17).
    2. It was the will of God for Jesus to suffer, though not His own will (Lu 22:42; He 5:7-10).
  3. The work of Jesus Christ was done only once on the cross of Calvary, never to be repeated.
    1. The legal payment was made once, thus His victorious cry, “It is finished” (John 19:30).
    2. O.T. sacrifices were exposed to be insufficient, RCC sacrifices rendered blasphemous.
    3. Once you have suffered for sins, and the will of God is fulfilled, the blessings will follow.

The just for the unjust.

  1. Just. That does what is morally right, righteous: Righteous in the sight of God; justified.
  2. Just in case you find it unfair to suffer for well doing (3:17), Jesus suffered for the wicked.
  3. The Just dying for the unjust is the only way God could be just and a justifier (Rom 3:26).
  4. This transaction is not fair or right – it is pure grace and mercy – free, fully demerited favor!
  5. This is figure of speech litotes or meiosis, the intentional understatement of the actual case.
  6. If God and Christ have done this for us, with our condemnation grasped, what do we owe?

That he might bring us to God.

  1. The purpose for which He suffered and died was to bring us to God – to justify the unjust!
    1. Facets such as justification, satisfaction, redemption, and acceptance had to take place.
    2. Reconciliation, propitiation, and atonement had to take place to remove all animosity.
    3. Looking to the highest level of bringing us to God, we were adopted in Christ as sons!
    4. The final phase of salvation, including glorification, will ultimately bring us to God.
  2. This blessing of being reconciled to God is the wonderment of angels and torment of devils.
  3. But we will not be brought merely as acquitted criminal wretches, but as sons (Heb 2:13).
  4. For more facets of salvation.

Being put to death in the flesh.

  1. Jews and Romans, the former demanding, the latter executing, put the body of Jesus to death.
  2. God had prepared a body for the incarnation of Jesus, and it was His flesh body that died.
  3. His soul or spirit did not suffer beyond the death of His flesh, for death releases the spirit.
  4. It is important to remember that Jesus had a human body and a human spirit, the full nature.
  5. He was made of the seed of David according to the flesh (John 7:42; Rom 1:3; II Tim 2:8).

But quickened by the Spirit.

  1. The body of Jesus Christ was made alive and resurrected from the grave by the Holy Spirit.
    1. The spirit of holiness, or the Holy Spirit, resurrected Jesus from the dead, thus declaring Him to be the Son of God with power (Rom 1:4).
    2. The great mystery of godliness includes justified in the Spirit, which we understand to primarily intend the resurrection of His body from the dead (I Tim 3:16).
  2. Jesus told the Jews He had power to lay His life down and to take it up again; it is ascribed here and elsewhere as the work of the Holy Spirit, or divine nature of Christ (John 10:17-18).
    1. The Spirit moved on the face of the waters, but Jesus made all things (Eph 3:9; Heb 1:2).
    2. The Godhead is so tight that the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Christ (Ga 4:6; Ro 8:9).
    3. The Spirit of God and Christ is very involved in the work of the Lord Jesus (Heb 9:14).
    4. Notice the important contrast of the flesh (1:3) and Spirit (1:4) here and in Romans 1 and elsewhere (I Tim 3:16), and remember also that Jesus Christ is that Spirit (II Cor 3:17).
    5. The full Godhead was involved in bearing witness of Jesus the Son of God (I John 5:6-9).
    6. The resurrection is incredibly important in prophecy and in fulfillment, for it proved Jesus of Nazareth to be the Son of God and led to His coronation at God’s right hand.
    7. Many dead saints were raised by the residual power of His resurrection (Matt 27:52-53)!
    8. Jesus has a divine nature called the Word of God, the Everlasting Father, or the Spirit.

19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

By which also he went and preached.

  1. Peter transitioned from Jesus’ suffering to Noah and baptism and back to Jesus’ ascension.
    1. Peter’s epistles refer to the flood more than the others (I Pet 3:19-20; II Pet 2:5; 3:5-7).
    2. There is a clear connection between 3:18 and 3:22, the summarized record of Jesus.
    3. The interruption describes gospel preaching with some saved and the rest destroyed.
    4. The interruption describes a N.T. figurative ordinance comparable to that of the ark.
    5. Jesus endured His suffering (for you the reader) and is exalted at God’s right hand.
    6. Noah endured rejection for preaching and was saved with his family and enemies killed.
    7. The practice of baptism is based on a figure of Christ’s salvation and His resurrection.
  2. Jesus went and preached by the ministry and power of the Holy Spirit to the Antediluvians.
    1. He did this through Noah during the 120 years it took to build the ark (Ge 6:3; II Pe 2:5).
    2. He did this when the Antediluvians were alive with bodies, not disembodied spirits now.
    3. He did this when the Antediluvians were living in the vicinity of Noah, or Mesopotamia.
  3. Sometimes persons, names, and titles are used in combination that must be rightly divided.
    1. If we say, President Lincoln was born in Kentucky, we know he was not president then.
    2. If I say, My wife attended Bates Elementary School, you know she was not my wife then.
    3. Jesus in His divine nature as the Word of God did things only as God (Eph 3:9; Heb 1:2).
    4. We use this grammatical combination rather commonly without questions or problems.
  4. The Holy Spirit through Noah the preacher of righteousness addressed the Antediluvians.
    1. The Holy Spirit is sometimes the Spirit of Christ by close connections (Gal 4:5; Ro 8:9).
    2. Peter by the Holy Spirit had already taught this before we get to this passage (I Pet 1:11).
    3. In fact, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of Israel, did not actually exist until the incarnation.

Unto the spirits.

  1. They were not spirits when they heard Noah preaching by the Spirit before the Flood came, for they were living souls with body and spirit as part of the world of the ungodly (II Pet 2:5).
  2. They were spirits in prison when Peter wrote this epistle, and they are still in prison today.
  3. Sometimes persons, names, and titles are used in combination that must be rightly divided.
    1. If we say, President Lincoln was born in Kentucky, we know he was not president then.
    2. If I say, My wife attended Bates Elementary School, you know she was not my wife then.
    3. Neither Noah, Christ, or the Spirit preached in prison to spirits, but they rather preached to the Antediluvians when they were living souls with bodies and spirits before the Flood.
    4. We use this grammatical combination rather commonly without questions or problems.
  4. Man has a body and a spirit, and the distinction must be preserved and parts rightly defined.
    1. A man’s spirit is the animating life, energy, and force giving life to the body (Gen 2:7).
    2. A body without the spirit is dead (Jas 2:26); the spirit without a body is naked (II Co 5:3).
    3. Death is the spirit’s departure to meet God for heaven or hell (II Co 5:6-8; Luk 16:22-23).
    4. Heaven has many spirits of just men made perfect, delivered from sin (Heb 12:22-24).
  5. Where do the spirits of men go after they die? Where are they kept for the Day of Judgment?
    1. To leave the body is to be present with the Lord (II Cor 5:6-8; Phil 1:23; II Tim 4:6)!
    2. Jesus promised the thief that he would be in Paradise with Christ that day (Luke 23:43)!
    3. Stephen committed his spirit into the hands of Jesus at time of death (Acts 7:59-60).
    4. Old Testament saints died and were gathered to their people … in heaven (Gen 25:8).
    5. Where did all these disembodied spirits assemble? In Sion with Christ (Heb 12:22-24).
    6. David was confident he would go to see his infant son again after death (II Sam 12:23).
    7. More about death and its ruin.
  6. Soul sleep is heresy imagined by the ignorant that cannot divide the body from the spirit.
    1. They take verses referring to the body after death and apply those verses to the spirit.
    2. There are many such verses (Ps 6:5; 88:12; 115:17; 146:4; Eccl 9:5-6; Is 38:18; etc.).
    3. The followers of Ellen White (SDA’s) and Charles Russell (JW’s) believe this heresy, since they could not go quite as far as RCC purgatory, so they invented soul sleep.
    4. Sleeping in Jesus is the body sleeping in the grave waiting for His return, for the spirit is immediately with the Lord, fully awake and experiencing heaven, until that event.
    5. They ignorantly assume the soul that sinneth shall die means his spirit dies (Ezek 18:4)!

In prison.

  1. They were not in prison when they heard Noah preaching by the Spirit before the Flood.
    1. They were very much alive on earth as part of the world of the ungodly (II Pe 2:5; 3:5-6).
    2. They were spirits in prison when Peter wrote this epistle, and they are still there today.
    3. They await the formal sentencing of the Day of Judgment and eternity in the lake of fire.
  2. Where are the spirits of the damned, while they wait for the final day of God’s judgment?
    1. There is no Bible evidence for holding tanks for the righteous or the damned after death.
    2. Playing with Hebrew and Greek, men invented Sheol, Gehenna, Hades, Tartarus, etc.
    3. Heretics also lie like this with love (agape and phileo) and wine (yayin and oinos), etc.
    4. The damned, like the righteous, are spirits without bodies; their bodies are in the ground.
    5. There is no reason why spirits of the damned are not in a hell of fire now, where they will spend eternity, just as the righteous are in heaven now, where they will spend eternity.
    6. The rich man found himself in torment in fire immediately after he died (Luke 16:22-24).
    7. If you wonder how they can be cast in the lake of fire again, they then have their bodies!
    8. Our system is very similar – criminals are held in detention centers, jails, or prisons while they await trial and sentencing, after which they are returned to the same or similar place for their incarceration and punishment under the law according to their sentencing.
    9. The change occurring at the Day of Judgment is primarily the formal sentencing and inclusion of the body, exactly as it is for the righteous, though they will give an account.
    10. Do you ask about “time served”? When eternity is involved with an infinite criminal offence, it matters little. Cain’s 6000 years in hell has not mitigated his guilt at all.
  3. The spirits of just men made perfect, spirits of God’s elect, are in heaven (Heb 12:22-24).
    1. The thief went to Paradise, third heaven, where Jesus went (Lu 23:43,46; II Cor 12:1-4).
    2. Stephen’s spirit went to the same place after Pentecost to be with Christ (Acts 7:59-60).
    3. Heaven is also Paradise, for it has the tree of life in the presence of God (Revelation 2:7).
    4. Heaven is also Abraham’s bosom (Lu 16:22), for it is what Abraham sought (Heb 11:16), and he was gathered there with his people, and so were his sons (Gen 25:8; 35:29; 49:33).
    5. Paul knew that to be absent from his body was to be present with Christ in heaven, which was far better than life on earth walking with God and Christ (II Cor 5:6-8; Phil 1:23).
    6. The spirits/souls of martyrs are in the presence of God engaging with Him (Rev 6:9-11).
    7. The spirits/souls of others that came out of great tribulation are there (Rev 7:13-17).
  4. The Apostles’ Creed is a fraud, hoax, and abomination of the mother RC church (Rev 17:5).
    1. Here is the text in twelve parts for each apostle.
    2. Most or all Protestant daughter churches use it, and some Baptists have also fallen for it.
    3. It has nothing to do with the apostles; it was written and/or discovered long after them.
    4. If they had truly penned the thing, we would still reject it for lack of Bible confirmation.
    5. Furthermore, it has two phrases that are both heresy, which further proves it devilish.
    6. It is so vague that Arians (JW’s) and Unitarians should have no problem with its doctrine.
    7. The earliest direct mention of it was around 390 A.D., though it was not then as it is now.
    8. An earlier and shorter version was called the Old Roman Symbol or Old Roman Creed.
    9. The superstitious assumed the Holy Spirit gave one section of the creed to each apostle.
  5. It contains the unscriptural and blasphemous assertion that Jesus Christ descended into hell.
    1. The Creed distinguishes burial in the grave (a Bible hell) from going to hell after that.
    2. This short clause has been questioned and explained in all sorts of ways by various men e.g. death, the grave, release O.T. saints, condemn the wicked, Hades, Limbo, hell itself, finish redemption, wrestle with the devil, take on a sin nature for full atonement, etc., etc.
    3. One horror of exalting creeds of men is getting stuck with a heretical clause like this one.
    4. Once you accept this RCC creed, you are bound to defend it all or be heretical yourself.
    5. If church creeds and tradition are crucial for orthodoxy, then only heretics would deny it!
    6. James Trapp (1601-1669), an Anglican commentator, wrote regarding this text, “He went and preached righteousness, i.e. repentance (II Pet 2:5) and the faith of the gospel (I Pet 4:6), whereby some of those many that perished in the waters arrived at heaven. Christ went to them as an ambassador sent by his Father, and spake to their hearts.
    7. Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, and Joyce Meyer go deep into heresy as they hallucinate about Jesus in hell, with a sin nature, made like Satan, actually accomplishing redemption there, and being born again. For evidence.
    8. John Calvin, obliged to defend the Creed’s every word, developed his case for Jesus’ spiritual war with sin and eternal punishment while on the cross (Institutes; 2:16:8-12).
  6. Where did Jesus go between His death on the cross and His resurrection three days later?
    1. Did Jesus go to hell, the place of the damned, for any purpose at all, those three days?
    2. Why is there any question or confusion about this simplest of facts clearly revealed to us?
    3. At the moment of death, when His human spirit left His body, it went straight to heaven.
    4. He commended His human spirit into God’s hands as He gave up the ghost (Luke 23:46).
    5. Commend. To give in trust or charge, deliver to one’s care or keeping; to commit, entrust. To present as worthy of favourable acceptance, regard, consideration, attention, or notice; to direct attention to, as worthy of notice or regard.
    6. He had promised the thief that he would be with Jesus in Paradise that day (Luke 23:43).
    7. A while thereafter Stephen saw Jesus in heaven and commended his spirit (Acts 7:59-60).
    8. Paradise is the third heaven and presence of God and of Jesus Christ, for that is where the human spirit of Jesus went after He gave up the ghost (II Cor 12:1-4; Rev 2:7).
    9. The soul of Jesus was not left in hell (Ps 16:10; Acts 2:27; 13:35); comparing scripture shows His body not left to corrupt in the grave (Pr 23:14; 15:24; Ps 18:5; 116:3; 139:8).
    10. Ephesians 4:8-10 describes His incarnational descent to earth by Mary (Ps 139:15; Phil 2:7; Gal 4:4) and His life on earth and burial in the earth before His ascension; there is no descent into hell here; He descended from heaven to earth to later ascend (John 3:13).
    11. His words to Mary about not being yet ascended refer to His entire person including His body, which had not yet ascended to God, which it would do in 40 days (John 20:17).
    12. His words to John about having the keys of hell (grave) and of death in Revelation 1:18 were not obtained from the devil by a wrestling match in hell (lake of fire) but rather by His victorious death on the cross and resurrection (John 12:31-33; 19:30; Is 53:12; Heb 2:14; 9:15; Col 2:15; Acts 2:23-24; Rom 14:9; I Cor 15:54-57).
    13. To be absent from the body for a human spirit is to be present with Christ (II Cor 5:6-8; Phil 1:23), and there is no reason to think otherwise of Jesus without conclusive scripture.

20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

Which sometime were disobedient.

  1. The spirits in prison (3:19) when Peter penned his epistle had disobeyed in an earlier time.
  2. The Antediluvians were disobedient by rejecting Noah’s warnings before the Flood came.
    1. Sometime is defined by what follows as the period of 120 years while Noah built the ark.
    2. How were they disobedient? They were obviously wicked in general (Genesis 6:5,11-12).
    3. But they were particularly disobedient for rejecting the warning of the flood (Heb 11:7).
    4. Noah was a preacher of righteousness, but they would not hear his preaching (II Pet 2:5).


When once the longsuffering of God.

  1. Once. At one time in the past; on some past occasion; formerly. Also once upon a time.
  2. Due to the use of sometime in the previous clause, the once here has the sense of at that time.
  3. The flood was a horrific event and terrible punishment on men, but they were well warned.
  4. Consider the longsuffering of God and the preaching of righteousness by God’s chosen men.
    1. God could easily have given Noah an ark or other quick escape to bring the flood sooner.
    2. God sends preachers to warn, and God remembers it, and He holds men accountable for such a privilege and opportunity (II Kgs 17:13-23; Chr 24:18-21; 33:10-11; 36:15-16; Jer 7:25-34; 25:1-9; 29:15-23; 35:13-17; 44:1-6; Luke 8:18; 12:47-48; I Tim 1:12-13).
    3. The Jews neglect of Christ’s kingdom was their ruin (Mat 21:31-46; 22:1-7; Luke 19:44).
    4. God is longsuffering, and it should be accounted a mercy, as Peter wrote (II Pet 3:9,15).
    5. God is longsuffering right now, and what are you doing with His mercy and patience?

Waited in the days of Noah.

  1. God’s longsuffering waited for 120 years while Noah and his sons built the ark for the flood.
  2. God announced the period of 120 years in advance regarding His efforts with man (Gen 6:3).
  3. He will not strive with you forever, so prepare to meet thy God (Proverbs 29:1; Rev 2:20-23).
  4. Though His wrath was burning hot against that generation, He gave them further opportunity.
  5. What a merciful Creator to allow days and weeks and months and years to prove your guilt!

While the ark was a preparing.

  1. Noah was not a caveman as evolutionists think of ancients, but this ark was a major project.
    1. Tools were not as advanced in those days, and they might not have had any laborers.
    2. Noah also had the job of preaching, so he was not exclusively engaged in building it.
  2. For more about the details of Noah’s ark in the Bible.
  3. This was not small task, and some of the things God expects of you may take effort and time.

Wherein few, that is eight souls.

  1. There were eight souls in that ark by God’s mercy toward Noah, the patriarch of the family.
  2. Noah is listed as one of the five great men, for his intercessory work for his family, for that is the context and intent of the five special men listed in Jeremiah 15:1 and Ezekiel 14:14.
  3. Consider Noah’s fulfillment of the promise of Pr 20:7 by his faithful obedience (Heb 11:7).
  4. Do not despise the day of small things: the true followers of God are always few (Zec 4:10).

Were saved by water.

  1. This is a creative use of words, for they were saved from water, for the water killed all others.
    1. Noah’s ark saved from water literally – there is no figure that eight souls did not drown.
    2. A transition is taking place from Noah’s ark and salvation in it to salvation in Christ.
  2. By the water lifting the ark and its occupants up from the drowning wicked, there is a figure.
    1. We know the ark is a figure of salvation in some sense, for like figure next requires it.
    2. God planned and prepared the ark for the saving of Noah’s household from flood waters.
    3. God told Noah to get in the ark, and God shut the door to keep any others from getting in.
    4. They were saved by water in that water lifted up the ark with Noah and family safe in it.
    5. God’s elect were chosen in Christ Jesus, and God’s wrath against Him saved all of them.
    6. God can use means like Cyrus to destroy Babylon and to rescue His people all at once!

21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

The like figure.

  1. There are two figures or pictures here – the ark in the previous verse, baptism in this verse.
    1. A figure is a symbolic picture representing something in reality (Romans 5:14; Heb 9:9).
    2. The adjective like indicates the figure of baptism is similar to another figure in context.
    3. The adverb also in this first clause further confirms at least two things being considered.
    4. Noah’s ark and water baptism are two figures: both are a picture of salvation in Christ.
    5. Most translations and commentators have only one figure – the ark is a figure of baptism!
    6. They have a vested interest in baptism not being a figure – for most are baby sprinklers.
  2. There are five requirements for a scriptural baptism, and this one verse teaches three of them.
    1. The three requirements taught here are the proper subject, mode, and design of baptism.
    2. It is amazing to see what modern translations have done to corrupt all three requirements.
    3. Around 90-95% of all so-called Christians cannot learn baptism’s three requirements.
    4. For five properties of a proper baptism.
  3. This verse about baptism is the most definitive verse in the entire Bible about this ordinance.
    1. It is amazing to read works on baptism that do not mention this verse or quite neglect it.
    2. It is amazing to see what modern translations have done to corrupt all three requirements.
    3. Why cannot 90-95% see this simple truth? Tradition above scripture; they will not be fools for Jesus; the truth is for few, like 8 in context; God sends delusion (II Thes 2:9-12).
    4. For the Baptism Babel of modern translations.
    5. Another view of corruption here.
    6. Another view of corruption here.
    7. Related corruption of Acts 8:37.
  4. Baptism is a figure of resurrection, as the verse’s grammar requires, and as the Bible teaches.
    1. The grammar, by ignoring the parenthetical element, connects the figure to resurrection.
    2. Bible baptism, which is immersion or submersion, is a picture of burial and resurrection.
    3. Paul thoroughly identified the burial and resurrection figure of water baptism (Ro 6:3-5).
    4. Without this understanding of baptism = resurrection, you have no hope with I Cor 15:29.
    5. For more about baptism for the dead.

Whereunto even baptism.

  1. Having introduced Noah and the ark for several reasons, Peter applied its figure to baptism.
  2. To this point in I Peter 3:18-22, no reader could know where he was going until these words.

Doth also now save us.

  1. The adverb also in this first clause further confirms at least two figures are being considered.
    1. The ark literally saved from water; Jesus literally saved His elect from the second death.
    2. The ark figuratively saved by figuring Jesus; baptism figuratively saves by figuring Jesus.
  2. How does baptism save? It saves figuratively, because baptism has been defined as a figure.
    1. There is real salvation in Jesus Christ’s resurrection mentioned in this verse (Rom 4:25).
    2. Baptism pictures that resurrection in a figure by its burial and rising again from water.
    3. There is no real saving efficacy, power, value in baptism, for the next clause confirms it.
    4. When the Bible says baptism washes away sins (Acts 22:16), it only does so figuratively.
    5. A good conscience answering God in baptism is evidence of eternal life (Mark 16:16).
  3. The will and works of man are entirely rejected as having any role in eternal life whatsoever.
  4. Unconditional salvation.

Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh.

  1. A very damning and destructive heresy in church history is the premise that baptism saves.
    1. Once you accept this premise for your reasoning, then you will corrupt much more truth.
    2. Since water may not be available for an immersion, you will invent sprinkling or pouring.
    3. Since many died in infancy, heretics comforted mothers by baptizing their babies, and the consistent Presbyterians doing this will also stuff the Lord’s Supper in their little mouths.
    4. Since infants miscarry, and they hold to original sin, they also use intrauterine baptism.
    5. Since Campbellites baptize believers, they deny original sin for the age of accountability.
    6. Since Mormons require a Mormon baptism, they invented baptism for dead relatives.
    7. Baptismal regeneration or salvation is a terrible lie that has corrupted “Christianity.”
  2. Modern translations and commentators show a profane perversity by corrupting this point.
    1. They must at all costs maintain the RCC heresy and premise that baptism saves the soul.
    2. Therefore, when they find God denying their profanity, they alter His words like in Eden.
    3. They change the words filth of the flesh … to … dirt of the body in words or meaning.
  3. The terms here define, demand, and prove design of water baptism – no means of salvation.
    1. Water baptism does not remove or take away sins or sin nature in any literal or real way.
    2. This jewel of a text should be memorized by every Baptist child to protect against heresy.
    3. Remember, this definitive baptism text began by declaring it was a figurative ordinance!
    4. A figurative ordinance does not have saving efficacy in any literal or real way. Grasp it!
  4. What is the filth of the flesh not? It is not a dirty body as Campbellites and others hallucinate.
    1. It is not the dirt of the body, because no convert in human history has ever thought such.
    2. It is not the dirt of the body, because the good conscience here is about sin and salvation.
    3. It is not the dirt of the body, because baptism is for repentance of sins, not a dirty body.
    4. Filth of the flesh is not bodily dirt, or we would have to hold bathtub holiness (II Co 7:1)!
  5. What is the filth of the flesh here? It is the sins and or the sin nature of man’s fleshly nature.
    1. It is the sins and sinfulness of man resulting from the lusts of his flesh in context (2:11).
    2. It is the sins and sinfulness of man that will sink his soul into eternal torment (Re 22:11).
    3. The Greek filth here, rhupos (#4510) or rhupoo (#4909), is only used these three times.
    4. Peter further defined and explained in his second epistle about the flesh (II Pet 2:10,18).
    5. Paul defined and explained about the flesh as sins to be forgiven by Christ (Col 2:11,13).
    6. Jude used filthy, italicized preserved interpolation, for sinful, wicked dreams (Jude 1:8).
  6. Baptism does not put away sin, sins, or sin nature, and any thought to the contrary is heresy.
    1. Baptism only saves figuratively, which is the premise on which this entire verse is built.
    2. Baptism is by those with good consciences, which can only come after regeneration!
    3. Putting away sins was by the finished work of Christ (John 19:30; Heb 1:3; 10:10-14).
    4. Man’s will or works, even righteous works, are rejected (Tit 3:5; Jn 1:13; Rom 9:15-16).
    5. Born of water and washing of regeneration intend Spirit action (Jn 3:5; 7:37-39; Tit 3:5).

But the answer of a good conscience toward God.

  1. Because of their false premise that baptism saves, 90-95% of “Christians” baptize infants.
    1. They have absolutely no Bible basis for any infant ever being baptized by the apostles.
    2. Infants do not have an active conscience, nor can they express themselves toward God.
    3. Their consciences cannot, do not, and will not ever come close to believing or answering.
    4. So the RCC and others invent godparents to answer for the infants … defying John 1:13!
    5. So the RCC and others invent confirmation to get an answer later … defying Acts 8:37!
  2. The terms here define, demand, and prove the subject of baptism – a regenerated believer.
    1. Water baptism requires a conscience – consciousness of right and wrong; infants flunk.
    2. The issue at stake in salvation is a conscience understanding guilt and forgiveness of sin.
    3. This conscience can declare repudiation of past sins and commit to a life of discipleship.
    4. An infant can never do these things, and others cannot do them for an infant (John 1:13).
    5. Thus, Baptists have traditionally referred to water baptism as believer’s baptism. Amen!
  3. The condition for baptism is a good conscience, which requires maturity and regeneration!
    1. A bad conscience is under condemnation and guilt of sin without remedy (Heb 10:1-3).
    2. A good conscience must hear and believe the true gospel of forgiveness and justification.
    3. It must make a conscious choice itself, which some did and some did not (Luke 7:29-30).
    4. A man not born again is dead in sins with a wicked conscience (Rom 8:7-8; Eph 2:1-3).
  4. Water baptism is the answer of that good conscience to God for sending Jesus Christ for it.
    1. Baptism is not a bad conscience asking for God to save it by water for it to become good.
    2. Baptism is the individual ordinance of a person thanking God for saving by Jesus’ death.
    3. When one hears and believes the gospel, it purges the conscience for baptism (Heb 9:14).
    4. The fabulous news of Jesus Christ’s finished work clears the conscience (Heb 10:19-22).
  5. Modern translations and commentators show a profane perversity by corrupting this point.
    1. They must at all costs maintain the RCC heretical practice that infants are to be baptized.
    2. Therefore, when they find God denying their profanity, they alter His words like in Eden.
    3. They alter answer of a good conscience … to … appeal or request in words or meaning.
    4. Because Philip required the Ethiopian to believe first, they delete Acts 8:37 altogether!
  6. Discipleship is required in baptism, which precludes or warns about baptizing little children.
    1. More is required than faith in Jesus, for commitment to a new life is included (Ro 6:3-5).
    2. John required works meet for repentance when Pharisees came to his baptism (Matt 3:8).
    3. More about baptism of younger children (see also).
  7. For more about the conscience of baptism.

By the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  1. Proper baptism, burial and resurrection in water, is a figurative picture of Jesus’ resurrection.
  2. The connection here defines, demands, and proves the mode of water baptism – immersion.
    1. Baptism must be a figure of salvation in Jesus Christ, for that is what is written thus far.
    2. Baptism must be a figure of Jesus Christ’s resurrection by connection to this last phrase.
    3. Only baptism by immersion has a figure or picture of any kind at all of body resurrection.
    4. The Bible’s one Author, the Holy Spirit, confirms this in Romans 6:3-5 and I Cor 15:29.
    5. If you do not see baptism must show resurrection, you cannot handle I Corinthians 15:29!
    6. For more about this passage of scripture.
  3. By denying baptism is a figure (they say the ark prefigured baptism), they justify sprinkling.
  4. Peter has now returned full circle from his interruption to the quickening of Christ (3:18).

22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

Who is gone into heaven.

  1. Jesus did not just rise from the dead, but He ascended into heaven to sit at God’s right hand.
    1. Far too many and far too often Christians slow or stop at the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    2. Jesus in spirit went to heaven at the time of death; He took His body there 40 days later.
    3. After 40 days of proving Himself to apostles and others that He was fully alive in the flesh, He rose up to the third heaven (Acts 1:11; 3:21; Eph 1:20; Heb 6:19-20; 9:24).
    4. The resurrection is 2000 years past, so it is good to remember His present place and role!
  2. He suffered on earth, even unto death, but He has been in heaven since then, and so shall we.
    1. Any believer that has suffered for the gospel’s sake needed to lay hold of this grand truth.
    2. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (II Co 5:6-8)! Where? Heaven!
    3. Jesus promised the thief that he would be in Paradise with Christ that day (Luke 23:43)!
    4. Old Testament saints died and were gathered to their people … in heaven (Gen 25:8).
    5. Where did all these disembodied spirits assemble? In Sion with Christ (Heb 12:22-24).
  3. The doctrine of Jesus Christ’s ascension and coronation is crucial to the gospel (I Tim 3:16).
    1. For Christ’s ascension in I Timothy 3:16.
    2. For more about Christ’s ascension.
    3. For more about Christ’s arrival in heaven.
    4. More about His coronation.
  4. We should not get too involved in this world, for our lives are above with Him (Col 3:1-4).

And is on the right hand of God.

  1. This is a foundational truth of the gospel (Ps 110:1; Matt 22:44; Mark 16:19; Acts 2:34-35; Rom 8:34; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1; Heb 1:3,13; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2).
  2. What is He doing there? Making intercession for believers (Rom 5:10; 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).
  3. What is He doing there? Ruling the universe with a rod of iron (Rev 2:26-28; 12:5; Ps 2:8-9).
  4. What is He doing there? Ready and waiting to receive each one of His children (Ac 7:55-56).

Angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

  1. Angels are spirit beings created by God for His glory, to execute His will, to serve His saints.
    1. The elect and holy angels serve God and Christ for the benefit of the children of God.
    2. For much more about the elect angels of God.
  2. Authorities and powers may apply to either or both angelic spirits or political rulers on earth.
    1. Are the angels distinct from these two other categories, or do they further define angels?
    2. Principalities and powers may refer to the good angels in heaven, as Paul did (Eph 3:10).
    3. Principalities and powers may be evil angels, for they are not flesh and blood (Eph 6:12).
    4. There is no reason in the text or scriptural usage to exclude any (Eph 1:21; I Cor 15:24).
    5. For more about the power of darkness.
  3. There is nothing to fear in this world, because Jesus the Son of God rules over the universe.
    1. All things were created by him and for him, both in heaven or earth (Col 1:14-16; 2:10).
    2. All created beings, including angels and principalities and powers, are under His rule (Ps 8:6; Eph 1:20-22; Phil 2:9-10; Col 2:15; Heb 1:4-13; 2:5-9; I Cor 15:24-28; Ep 1:22).
    3. Nothing can separate from God’s love, including earthly or heavenly powers (Ro 8:38).
    4. The gospel message, with Jesus crowned in heaven, is Thy God reigneth! (Isaiah 52:7).