1 Peter Chapter 3

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Introduction

THIS chapter embraces the following subjects: --

I. The duty of wives, 1 Pet 3:1ff. Particularly

(a.) that their conduct should be such as would be adapted to lead their unbelieving husbands to embrace a religion whose happy influence was seen in the pure conduct of their wives, 1 Pet 3:1, 1 Pet 3:2.

(b.) In reference to dress and ornaments, that they should not seek that which was external, but rather that which was of the heart, 1 Pet 3:3, 1 Pet 3:4.

(c.) For an illustration of the manner in which these duties should be performed, the apostle refers them to the holy example of the wife of Abraham, as one which Christian females should imitate, 1 Pet 3:5, 1 Pet 3:6.

II. The duty of husbands, 1 Pet 3:7. It was their duty to render all proper honour to their wives, and to live with them as fellow-heirs of salvation, that their prayers might not be hindered; implying,

(1.) that in the most important respects they were on an equality;

(2.) that they would pray together, or that there would be family prayer; and,

(3.) that it was the duty of husband and wife so to live together that their prayers might ascend from united hearts and that it would be consistent for God to answer them.

III. The general duty of unity and of kindness, 1 Pet 3:8ff. They were

(a.) to be of one mind; to have compassion; to love as brethren, 1 Pet 3:8.

(b.) They were never to render evil for evil, or railing for railing, 1 Pet 3:9.

(c.) They were to remember the promises of length of days, and of honour, made to those who were pure in their conversation, and who were the friends of peace, 1 Pet 3:9, 1 Pet 3:10.

(d.) They were to remember that the eyes of the Lord were always on the righteous; that they who were good were under his protection, 1 Pet 3:12; and that if, while they maintained this character, they were called to suffer, they should count it rather an honour than a hardship, 1 Pet 3:13, 1 Pet 3:14.

IV. The duty of being ready always to give to every man a reason for the hope they entertained; and, if they were called to suffer persecution and trial in the service of God, of being able still to show good reasons why they professed to be Christians, and of so living that those who wronged them should see that their religion was more than a name, and was founded in such truth as to command the assent even of their persecutors, 1 Pet 3:15ff.

V. In their persecutions and trials they were to remember the example of Christ, his trials, his patience, and his triumphs, 1 Pet 3:18ff. Particularly

(a.) the apostle refers them to the fact that he had suffered, though he was innocent, and that he was put to death though he had done no wrong, 1 Pet 3:18.

(b.) He refers them to the patience and forbearance of Christ in a former age, an age of great and abounding wickedness, when in the person of his representative and ambassador Noah, he suffered much and long from the opposition of the guilty and perverse men who were finally destroyed, and who are now held in prison, showing us how patient we ought to be when offended by others in our attempts to do them good, 1 Pet 3:19, 1 Pet 3:20.

(c.) He refers to the fact that notwithstanding all the opposition which Noah met with in bearing a message, as an ambassador of the Lord, to a wicked generation, he and his family were saved, 1 Pet 3:21. The design of this allusion evidently is to show us, that if we are patient and forbearing in the trials which we meet with in the world, we shall be saved also. Noah, says the apostle, was saved by water. We, too, says he, are saved in a similar manner by water. In his salvation, and in ours, water is employed as the means of salvation: in his case by bearing up the ark, in ours by becoming the emblem of the washing away of sins.

(d.) The apostle refers to the fact that Christ has ascended to heaven, and has been exalted over angels, and principalities, and powers; thus showing that having borne all his trials with patience he ultimately triumphed, and that in like manner we, if we are patient, shall triumph also, 1 Pet 3:22. He came off a conqueror, and was exalted to the highest honours of heaven; and so, if faithful, we may hope to come off conquerors also, and be exalted to the honours of heaven as he was. The whole argument here is drawn from the example of Christ, first, in his patience and forbearance with the whole world, and then when he was personally on the earth; from the fact, that in the case of that messenger whom he sent to the ungodly race before the flood, and in his own case when personally on earth, there was ultimate triumph after all that they met with from ungodly men; and thus, if we endure opposition and trials in the same way, we may hope also to triumph in heaven with our exalted Saviour.

Text

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; edit

2: While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. edit

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; edit

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. edit

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: edit

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. edit

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. edit

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

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. edit

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: edit

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

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. edit

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

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

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: edit

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. edit

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

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: edit

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

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. edit

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: edit

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

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