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                      "THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER"

                             Chapter Three

OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER

1) To examine the duties of wives and husbands to each other

2) To consider the duties that we have to one another as brethren in
   Christ

3) To see how one should prepare for persecution, motivated by the
   example of Christ

4) To note how and in what way baptism now saves us

SUMMARY

Peter continues to describe the duties of Christians living as
sojourners and pilgrims in this world.  He  counsels wives to be
submissive to their husbands and to focus their adornment on the
development of a meek and quiet spirit, like the holy women in the past
who trusted in God (such as Sarah).  For those whose husbands are not
believers, their chaste and respectful conduct may influence them to
respond to the gospel.  Husbands are then instructed to live with their
wives in an understanding way, honoring them as the weaker vessel and as
fellow heirs of the grace of life.  Such treatment would ensure that
their prayers were not hindered (1-7).

Duties toward brethren are then summarized, stressing unity, compassion,
love, kindness, and simple courtesy.  When mistreated by brethren, the
proper response is to extend a blessing, for to such conduct we were
called, that we might inherit a blessing.  As motivation for such
conduct, Peter quotes Psalms 34:12-16 which offers advice to loving life
and seeing good days. The key is to turn from evil and do good, to seek
peace and pursue it.  Those who do so have the assurance that the Lord
watches over them and hears their prayers (8-12).

Peter then turns to the theme of suffering for righteousness' sake.  In
most circumstances, no one will harm you for doing good.  If one suffers
for doing good, they are blessed (cf. 2:19-20; 4:14).  To prepare for
persecution, one should sanctify the Lord God in their heart and be
ready to meekly provide the reason for their hope.  With clear
conscience and good conduct, those who defame and revile them will
likely be ashamed.  If it is God's will that they suffer, let it be for
doing good and not evil (13-17).

To appreciate how suffering for righteousness' sake can be for good,
Peter relates how Jesus suffered for our sins.  Though put to death in
the flesh, Jesus was made alive by the Spirit (cf. Ro 1:4), in which He
preached to spirits in prison who were disobedient in the days of Noah,
and ultimately exalted at the right hand of God with angels, authorities
and powers made subject to Him.  Alluding to the example of Noah's
salvation, Peter says baptism now saves us as an appeal for a good
conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (18-22).


OUTLINE

I. OUR DUTIES AS WIVES AND HUSBANDS (1-7)

   A. THE DUTIES OF WIVES (1-6)
      1. Be submissive to your husbands
         a. That you might win those who are not believers
         b. As they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear
      2. Adorn yourselves properly
         a. Not merely outward - arranging the hair, wearing gold,
            putting on of fine apparel
         b. With the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
            precious in God's sight
         c. As holy women in the past who trusted God
            1) Adorned themselves
            2) Submitted to their husbands
         d. As Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord
            1) Whose daughters you are
            2) If you do good, not afraid with any terror

   B. THE DUTIES OF HUSBANDS (7)
      1. Dwell with your wives with understanding
      2. Give honor to your wives
         a. As to the weaker vessel
         b. As being heirs together of the grace of life
         c. So your prayers may not be hindered

II. OUR DUTIES AS BRETHREN (8-12)

   A. OUR DUTIES TO EACH OTHER (8-9)
      1. Be of one mind
      2. Have compassion for one another
      3. Love one another as brethren
      4. Tenderhearted, courteous
      5. Not returning evil for evil, or reviling for reviling
         a. On the contrary, respond with a blessing
         b. Knowing that you were called to this, that you might inherit
            a blessing

   B. MOTIVATION TO FULFILL SUCH DUTIES (10-12)
      1. If you would love life and see good days
         a. Refrain your tongue from evil and lips from speaking deceit
         b. Turn from evil and do good
         c. Seek peace and pursue it
      2. If you would desire the Lord's favor
         a. For His eyes are on the righteous
         b. For His ears are open to their prayers
         c. But His face is against those who do evil

III. OUR DUTIES AS SUFFERERS FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS' SAKE (13-22)

   A. THINGS TO REMEMBER (13-17)
      1. Who will harm you if you do what is good?
         a. Even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are
            blessed
         b. So don't be afraid of threats, nor be troubled
      2. Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts
      3. Always be ready to give a defense
         a. To everyone who asks
         b. For a reason for the hope that is in your
         c. With meekness and fear
      4. Maintain a good conscience
         a. That when others may defame you as evildoers
         b. Those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed
      5. It is better, if it is the will of God...
         a. To suffer for doing good
         b. Than to suffer for doing evil

   B. REASONS TO REMEMBER (18-22)
      1. Christ also suffered once for sins
         a. The just for the unjust
         b. That He might bring us to God
      2. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit
         a. By whom He went and preached to the spirits in prison who
            were formerly disobedient
            1) During the longsuffering of God
            2) In the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared
               a) In which eight souls were saved through water
               b) Which was a type of baptism which now saves us
                  1] Not the removal of the filth of the flesh
                  2] But the answer of a good conscience toward God
                  3] Through the resurrection of Christ
         b. Who has gone in to heaven
            1) And is at the right hand of God
            2) Where angels, authorities, and powers have been made
               subject to Him

REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER

1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Our duties as wives and husbands (1-7)
   - Our duties as brethren (8-12)
   - Our duties as sufferers for righteousness' sake (13-22)

2) What are wives told to be in regards to their husbands?  Why? (1)
   - Submissive; to convert those husbands who are not yet Christians

3) What does Peter hope the unbelieving husbands will observe in their
   wives? (2)
   - Their chaste conduct accompanied by fear

4) What should not be the focus of their adornment? (3)
   - That which is outward:  arranging the hair, wearing gold, their
     apparel

5) What should be the focus of their adornment (4)
   - The hidden person of the heart:  the incorruptible beauty of a
     gentle and quiet spirit

6) What other women so adorned themselves and were submissive to their
   husbands? (5-6)
   - Holy women of God in the past who trusted in God; specifically,
     Sarah

7) How are husbands to treat their wives? (7)
   - With understanding and honor
   - As to the weaker vessel
   - As heirs together of the grace of life

8) Why should husbands treat their wives so kindly? (7)
   - That their prayers not be hindered

9) What duties do we as brethren have to one another? (8)
   - To be of one mind
   - To have compassion for one another and love as brethren
   - To be tenderhearted, courteous

10) How are we to respond when mistreated by brethren?  Why? (9)
   - With blessing; we were called to so respond, that we may inherit a
     blessing

11) What proscription is offered for those who would love life and see
    good days? (10-11)
   - Refrain the tongue from evil, the lips from speaking deceit
   - Turn away from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it

12) What is said of the righteous?  Of those who do evil? (12)
   - The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open
     to their prayers
   - The face of the Lord is against those who do evil

13) What is the general principle regarding persecution? (13)
   - If you do good, you will not be harmed

14) What is said of those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake?
    (14)
   - They are blessed

15) How should one prepare themselves for possible persecution? (15-16)
   - Sanctify the Lord God in your heart
   - Be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for
     your hope
   - Have a good conscience

16) If we maintain good conduct, what will happen to those who defame
    and revile us? (16)
   - They will be ashamed

17) If we suffer according to God's will, what is better? (17)
   - To suffer for doing good than for doing evil

18) Who also suffered for righteousness' sake?  For what reason? (18)
   - Christ, the just for the unjust
   - For sins, that He might bring us to God

19) Though put to death in the flesh, what was He able to do by the
    Spirit? (18-19)
   - Preach to the spirits in prison

20) When were such "spirits" disobedient? (20)
   - In the days of Noah, during the longsuffering of God
   - While the ark was preparing

21) Of what is the salvation of eight souls through water a "type"? (21)
   - Baptism which now saves us

22) How does baptism not save us?  How does it save us? (21)
   - Not by the removal of the filth of the flesh
   - As the answer (or plea) of a good conscience toward God, through
     the resurrection of Jesus

23) What was the final outcome of Jesus who suffered for righteousness'
    sake? (22)
   - He has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God
   - Angels, authorities, and powers have been made subject to Him
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