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SPIRITS IN PRISON (6 of 7)
1 Peter 3:18b-20
June 9, 2002
INTRODUCTION: A pastor was teaching a Bible study on
Matt. 16, explaining the MANY INTERPRETATIONS of our
Lord's words to Peter, "Thou art Peter, and upon this
rock I will build My church." (v. 18) Afterward, a
woman said to him, "Pastor, I'll bet if Jesus had
known all the trouble those words would cause, He
would never have said them!"
When Peter wrote this section of his letter, he had no
idea that it would be classified as one of the most
difficult portions of the N.T. Good and godly
interpreters have wrestled with these verses, debated
and disagreed, and have not always left behind a great
deal of spiritual help.
Martin Luther said, "This is a strange text and
certainly a more obscure passage than any other
passage in the N.T. I still do not know for sure what
the Apostle means."
Paige Patterson said, "Dogmatism is not in order here.
Nineteen centuries of exegesis have left scholars and
Bible students thoroughly divided over the text. All
that is in order to share a perspective."
A.T. Robertson said, "The following verses have caused
more controversy than anything in this Epistle."
We may not be able to solve all the problems found in
this section, but we do want to get the practical help
that Peter gave to encourage Christians in difficult
Note the overview of encouragement: The believers
were suffering for their faith.
1. Christ demonstrated His longsuffering toward the
2. He praised the commitment of a good conscience
toward God. 21
3. He reminded them all that He is in charge. 22
I. THE PAYMENT FOR OUR SINS. 18b
A. HIS DEATH.
"put to death in the flesh" - a violent physical
execution that terminated His earthly life. The first
part of v.18 explains why; "the just for the unjust"
Jesus will one day present us to God on the basis of
atoning death f ...
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