As we move into the next passage of Peter’s letter, we must remember that Peter was not only writing to the people of his time, but he also had us in mind. The world today tries to portray the Bible as antiquated and not relevant today. But God’s word is adequate today just as it was in Peter’s time.
So we have seen up to this point, we see Peter talking about how God works through us in spite of the circumstances. Here Peter reminds us of the sacrifice of Christ with an ultimate goal. So when things go wrong or we go through hard times, we have to keep in perspective Christ’s sacrifice. That Jesus undeservingly received punishment and death in the body to save us in spirit. The righteous for the unrighteous. We can see this described again in and in .
This has called us to be ambassadors of the truth of Jesus’ sacrifice and gift. But it must also be the only path of salvation acceptable by God. We cannot buy into the world’s notion that there might be other ways to salvation. The Bible does not accept anything other than that provision of God through Jesus. God put all the sin of us and placed it on Jesus on the cross. He then took the righteousness of Jesus and placed it on us.
It is in the risen Lord that we have absolute hope and confidence in God’s plan. Jesus is the victor. So it is for the imprisoned spirits, the lost around us, that we then proclaim this plan for salvation. That the example of baptism isn’t about some special, magical water. But it is the action that symbolizes a choice to accept God’s plan and accept Jesus as Lord.
There is nothing that is not in absolute submission to Jesus. He is absolute in his towering authority. All the questions of submission we have been reading points to this passage. That we are to submit to the Lord Jesus, and then we relate to the world in the submission. So when we are treated badly or things are not going as we expect them, we then point everything back to our submission to Jesus. To realize that God might be using you to redeem that hard moment or to redeem someone who is lost for Himself. That it might be our response (and not reaction) that shows God’s love and purpose to others.
Will you trust Him? Will you walk together? Will you remind each other of those truths? Practically, it is really tough to go through the things that Peter is talking about. When the rubber meets the road, we will be stressed. So it takes determination, knowledge, and being connected to other Christians to live out that tough life God has for you.
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, (ESV)
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (ESV)
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (ESV)
19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (ESV)
22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. (ESV)