1. The apostle Peter wrote two of the New Testament "epistles" [letters]. 2. Peter wrote his first letter to Christians who were facing severe trials (1:6-7). 3. In this letter Peter addressed a number of responsibilities that the Lord has given to Christians. 4. Christians must fulfill these responsibilities, even when doing so results in persecution from unbelievers (3:13-14, 17). 5. In addressing these matters Peter showed how Christ suffered for doing the Father's will (2:20-24). 6. This lesson is a study of the information presented in 1 Peter 3:18-22. 7. In these verses Peter discussed several important matters in connection with the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. Discussion: I. (vs.18) CHRIST SUFFERED ONCE FOR SINS
A. His suffering involved "being put to death in the flesh" (John 19:30-34). B. In His death,: 1. He was "the just" suffering "for the unjust" (Isaiah 53:5) 2. He suffered so "he might bring us to God" (Colossians 1:21-22). C. Although Christ died "in the flesh" for us, He was "quickened [made alive] by the Spirit." 1. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 2. Romans 1:4; 8:11 II. (vs.19-20) BY THE SPIRIT, CHRIST "PREACHED UNTO THE SPIRITS IN PRISON"
A. To properly understand: 1. how Christ did this, keep in mind that He has preached through God's servants a. His Spirit was in the prophets when they prophesied about His sufferings (1:10-11). b. He preached to Gentiles, although He did not personally do so (Ephesians 2:13-17). 2. when Christ did this, keep in mind that He preached to these spirits while the ark was being prepared (vs.20). a. These spirits had been disobedient while Noah built the ark (Genesis 6:1-13). b. These spirits were in prison when Peter wrote his letter. B. Christ's preaching was through Noah. 1. Noah was "a preacher of righteousness" (2 Peter 2:5). 2. Noah "condemned the world" (Hebrews 11:7). C. Thankfully, "eight souls were saved by water" (Genesis 7:16-23). III. (vs.21-22) IN A SIMILAR WAY, WE ARE SAVED TODAY WHEN WE ARE BAPTIZED
A. Baptism: 1. is "not the putting away of the filth of the flesh" 2. is "the answer of a good conscience toward God." B. The salvation that accompanies baptism was made possible "by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God." C. Additional passages: 1. Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16 2. Acts 2:37-38, 41 3. Romans 6:3-4 4. 1 Corinthians 12:13 5. Galatians 3:27 6. Ephesians 4:5 7. Colossians 2:12