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Victory in Jesus

By David Robinson/ November 2, 2014

Series  1 Peter: Standing Firm in our Hope

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Discipleship

Scripture  1 Peter 3:18-22

We may serve the Lord with confidence despite suffering because Jesus reigns victorious over the created order and all spiritual powers.

Scripture:  1 Peter 3:18-22

Sermon Notes:

  1. These verses are in the form of a creed and are widely recognized as difficult to interpret.
  2. The context indicates that Peter is further proving that we may be confident in the face of suffering while we stand firm for the gospel.
  3. Though we may suffer as Christ did, we know that Christ’s suffering results in our salvation and victory.
  4. In our baptism we make a pledge to God to live a life of faithfulness and obedience to Christ.
  5. As sinners we are like a twisted bow which misses the mark (Ps. 78:56-57). We are separated from God and without hope.
  6. Christ suffered for sin reconciling us to God.
  7. Jesus was made alive bodily by the Holy Spirit, who will also raise our bodies and restore the whole creation.
  8. There are three main interpretations of 1 Pet 3:19:  a) after the crucifixion Jesus preached to human spirits in hades; b) before the flood the Spirit of Jesus was preaching through Noah; and c) Jesus announced His victory and judgment upon fallen angels.  This third interpretation connects with Genesis 6, 1 Pet. 3:22, 2 Pet. 2:4-5; Jude 6.
  9. Jesus reigns victoriously over all things: over the created order and all spiritual powers.
  10. This victory in Jesus is the confidence we have when suffering in the service of the Lord.
  11. Given that Jesus reigns over all we are not to pay back evil for evil, for he will make all things right.
  12. Baptism is not the removal of the uncleanness caused by sin (1 Pet. 3:21).
  13. Baptism is a reminder of God’s judgment, of the death penalty for sin, and of our position as God’s children, raised up from death and having been given new life.
  14. Baptism “saves us” in the sense that it is the pledge of God’s covenant promise of salvation in Christ, bestowed upon us by power of the resurrection.
  15. Baptism is a sign of our covenant promise of faithfulness to Christ. Since we made a promise to Christ, we must remain faithful to Him when the going gets tough.
  16. Baptism is like an engagement, which reminds us that we’re promised to Christ.
  17. The Lord’s Supper or communion meal is likewise a reminder of our covenant with Christ.

Application Questions:

  1. Based on the context, what is Peter’s purpose in this difficult passage?
  2. What are the implications of Jesus’ victory and reign for our lives of service to the Lord, especially when we face suffering?
  3. What are the three main interpretations of 1 Peter 3:19?  Which is preferred and why?
  4. What is the significance of our baptism, and how is it related to having a clear conscience before God?
  5. Why does Peter say baptism “saves you”?

Sermon Notes