The Reason For Our Hope by David Cawston

The Reason For Our Hope
David Cawston
I Peter 3:18-25

Introduction:
In Bible study, one of the best rules to follow, if I'm going to understand a particular section of Scripture, is to look at the whole scene of the context before I try to work my way through each verse.

Following that rule, we first need to ask a primary question.
What's the main subject of this paragraph?
It's found for us in I Peter 3:17.

1 Pet 3:17
17 It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
(NIV)

If unjust suffering is the main subject, what's the point of the whole paragraph then?

Clearly it is this:
Blessings follow suffering for well doing!

That is what prompts Peter to mention the one who best exemplified this truth, for Christ is our example.

The focus of attention here is Jesus Christ, not the recipients of the letter or those who would read it centuries later. It is Jesus himself.

Look at these great statements:
1. Verse 18. For Christ died for sins – The crucifixion.
Verse 19: "... preached to the spirits in prison..." The proclamation.
Verse 21: "...through the resurrection of Jesus Christ..." The Resurrection
Verse 22: "...who is at the right hand of God..." – The Exaltation.

We have here a brief survey of the crucifixion, the proclamation, the resurrection and the exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I. The Crucifixion (verse 18)
1 Pet 3:18
18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, (NIV)
Peter focuses on the statement that "Christ died for sins once and for all."
We don't have to re-live or re-do the death of Christ.
We don't have to anticipate his dying another time or several other times –
He has died once and for all!
It was the death of all deaths.

When Christ came, He was the perfect substitute for sin, and as a Lamb without spot an ...


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