Exegetical Studies in 1 Peter Part 15 -- By: John H. Bennetch
BSac 101:402 (Apr 44) p. 193
Exegetical Studies in 1 Peter
(Continued from the January-March Number, 1944)
1 Peter 3:17–22 give a third reason for bearing unjust wrong. Such an experience may lie in the will of God for His child. In proof thereof, the writer has referred to the Cross where God’s beloved Son died. What follows in the remainder of the chapter, after verse 18, is not understood easily. Ten orderly steps, however, may be traced through verses 19 to 22. (1) The Spirit of Christ offered some the gift of salvation (“By which also he went and preached”); (2) It was proffered to spirits now in prison (“unto the spirits in prison”); (3) But they refused the effort of common grace (“Which sometime were disobedient”); (4) They despised the riches of divine goodness and forbearance and longsuffering (“when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah”); (5) But in contrast to their unbelief was the faith of Noah as he prepared for the threatened destruction (“while the ark was a preparing”); (6) Only eight souls chose to enter the ark and escape the predicted judgment (“wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water”); (7) Baptism is the antitype of Noah’s deliverance, consequently baptism has nothing to do with human reformation (“The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh)”); (8) Salvation depends today upon the work of a good conscience, i.e. faith (“but the answer of a good conscience toward God”); (9) Saving faith is directed toward Jesus Christ and Him raised from the dead (“by the resurrection of Jesus Christ”); (10) Faith will embrace both the resurrection and glorification of Christ (“Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right
BSac 101:402 (Apr 44) p. 194
hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him”).
The transition from verse 18 to verse 19 looks abrupt at first. After mention of Calvary in the former verse, the writer has gone back in the latter to Noah’s day. Why would he do that? His reason may simply be this: the antediluvian generation was singled out by Christ in the presence of the author as very heedless (Matt 24:37–39), as indifferent toward spiritual things as the generation prior to the return of Christ will be-hence a world perhaps as hostile ...
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