(b) Christ's Example Of Suffering (1 Peter 3:18-4:6)

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In this section we see Peter remembering from His own experience the suffering that Jesus went through on our behalf. In 1 Peter 3:18-22 he shows us what's Christ's death and resurrection have accomplished for mankind and in 1 Peter 4:1-6 he exhorts us by the Spirit to follow Christ's example of suffering .

His suffering is seen to be a model for us (see 1 Peter 2:21) . Of course we cannot suffer to take people's sins away as Jesus did, but as we allow Christ to Suffer in us (fellowship in His sufferings) He will do that for those we witness to in suffering.

(i) Christ's Accomplishment Through Suffering (1 Peter 3:18-22):

Read Matthew Henry's Commentary on 1 Peter 3:18-22.

Look at the following diagram to see an outline of this section in picture form.....

We see five aspects of the suffering of Christ....

(1) He Suffered Once For Sins, The Just For The Unjust ( v18a).

Christ death was conclusive and final in relation to taking away the

sins on mankind. This was accomplished on the Cross.

Click here for related Scriptures.

Click here to view Christ's Example Of Suffering Diagram again.

(2) He suffered That He Might Bring Us To God ( v18b).

The purpose of Christ's death on the Cross is to draw mankind

to Himself and to His purposes. He is the Way.

See also Ephesians 2:16-18.

Click here to view Christ's Example Of Suffering Diagram again.

(3) He Was Put To Death In The Flesh But Made Alive In The Spirit ( v18c).

This is Christ's example. He was quickened in the Spirit by mortifying

the flesh even though His was sinless flesh!

See also Some Related Verses.

Click here to view Christ's Example Of Suffering Diagram again.

(4) He Preached To The Spirits In Prison By The Spirit ( vv19-20).

Who are these Spirits in Prison ?

This seems to be the time when Christ was dead in the tomb, His

Spirit declared victory over the demonic fallen angels in Prison.

The word 'prison' is a figurative state. Demons hold people who

don't know Christ in a spiritual prison. Christ has declared freedom

for these prisoners but this must be claimed.

See also Some Related Verses.

Verse 20 could be referring to the Sons of God (fallen angels) who

came to the daughters of men (See Genesis 6:2-4).

Click here to view Christ's Example Of Suffering Diagram again.

(5) His Resurrection And Ascension To Heaven Give Him Authority

To Forgive Sins And Set The Prisoners Free (vv21-22)

An Antitype is the completion of an earlier truth as revealed

in the Bible. The flood is a type of Baptism. This is not water baptism but the Baptism into the body of Christ (salvation experience)

- not external removal of filth, but the internal answer of a good

concience towards God.

See Romans 6:3-5 and Acts 8:36-38 for further study.

This washing clean in our hearts (being born again) is only possible

because of Christ's resurrection and glorification to the place of

authority at the right hand of God

See Related Scriptures).

We were prisoners to Satan but now through belief in Jesus and

His work for us we are set free to join in His sufferings and see

other prisoners set free.

Jesus setting the prisoners free.

Click here to view Christ's Example Of Suffering Diagram again so you can identify all the steps we have been through.

(ii) Following Christ's Example Of Suffering (1 Peter 4:1-6):

Read Matthew Henry's Commentary on 1 Peter 4:1-6.

In this section Peter outlines four points concerning our joining in Christ's sufferings. He starts with 'therefore' - because of what Chirist has done for us we follow suit and suffer with Him....

(1) Arm OurselvesWith The Same Mind As Christ (v1).

As Christ has suffered in the flesh we are to arm (equip as with weapons) our minds with the same attitude as Christ (that of preparedness to Suffer for God).

See these related verses.

(2) Not Live In The Flesh But For The Will Of God (vv2-3).

This literally says we are not to live for the desires (passions) of men but for the desires (Will ('thelema' - delight,desire,pleasure)) of God.

Verse 3 shows us the various passions/will ('boulema' - purpose) of man we are to flee.

Click here to see the Greek meanings of each of the words used for these passions of men.

(3) We Will Suffer Ridicule From Unbelievers (v4).

We will be like a strange foreigner to them. This will surprise unbelievers because they expect us to think and do as they do. Our actions will cause them to speak evil ('blasphemo') of us as we don't 'run'(literally 'to rush together') with them in their excess of riotous (no self control) living.

(4) Those Who Persecute Us Will Give Account (v5-v6).

Click here to see cross-references for the words used in verse 5.

Click here to see cross-references for the words used in verse 6.

Though man my judge us (the evil may be judged as being worthy of much honour on this earth and the righteous of much ridicule), God is the righteous judge and will ultimately bring true justice.

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