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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #17
Posted: January 19, 2007

I PETER 3:18-22

In our study of I Peter we have been looking at the theme of ‘The God Of All Suffering’.  Let us come with an open Bible to I Peter 3:18-22.  I will not have to use our study space to quote the text if you have a Bible and note taking material in hand.

It is in this text that we see the wrongful sufferings of Christ.  Oh, let us run to the cross; ponder its happenings long and hard in our times of trouble.

In verse 18 we see ‘The Actual Death’.  We are told that our Lord suffered only once for sins.  The word ‘once’ speaks of a past action with continual present results.  The Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. (Rev. 13:8)   The sins mentioned here are the sins of the elect in Chapter 1, verse 2.  The whole purpose of Him being put to death in the flesh and raised in the Spirit is that He might bring us to God.  It is in our nearness to God that we find comfort in our suffering.  “Near the cross, O Lamb of God, Bring its scenes before me, Help me walk from day to day with its shadows o’er me’

In verses 19-21 we see ‘The Actual Descension’.  The word ‘went’ speaks of one traveling on a journey.  The phrase, ‘By the which’ refers back to the last noun, mentioned which was the ‘Spirit’ in verse 18.  The word ‘prison’ speaks of a place called Sheol, which is the place of the dead.

Our Lord while there ‘preached’ to them.  The word indicates to make an official announcement or proclamation.  The ‘Baptism’ of verse 21 is a figure or picture and not actual water baptism.  He is telling those in the land of the dead that because they were not immersed in Him as Noah was in the Ark that their eternal destiny in the prison of Hell was sure.  The immersion into water does not wash away sin but it is a picture of the washing of His blood.  The blood washing takes not only sins away but also takes away guilt and gives a clear conscience.

We find in verse 22 ‘The Actual Dominion’.  We find here the place our Lord went after His suffering.  The text tells us that He went into heaven.  The word ‘into’ means to be at one with. For the child of God all of our suffering will end when we enter into heaven.

We notice that our Lord is at the ‘right hand of God’.  This is a place of exaltation, ruling, and reigning.  Our Lord said that if we will suffer with Him we would reign with Him.  In this place of ‘Dominion’ all things are made subject to our Lord.  All angels, authorities, powers, and created beings will bow to confess, ‘He Is Lord’.

Let us in our times of trouble and suffering join the apostle Paul in the confession of Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.”  Our Lord suffered that He might infuse through our suffering His likeness and we will be able to say that all things are working together to the good of conforming us to His image.