Peter, in his 2 letters, is explaining to us what we, as born-again, Christian believers, need to do to follow in Jesus’ footsteps — to strive to be Christ-like. Jesus has the power to change lives. Because of His blood, all of the bad stuff in our past is washed away. Peter ended the last chapter describing Jesus…
21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
22 He never sinned,1 Peter 2:21-25 NLT
nor ever deceived anyone.
23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted,
nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.
24 He personally carried our sins
in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By his wounds
you are healed.
25 Once you were like sheep
who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
the Guardian of your souls.
1 Peter 3
Then Peter continues in chapter 3…
In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 2 by observing your pure and reverent lives.
3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 5 This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God and accepted the authority of their husbands. 6 For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.
7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
In this passage, Peter addresses the subject of marriage. The institution of marriage and the relationship of the husband and wife is to be a model of the union between Jesus and the Church. The union between Jesus and the Church is one established and rooted in love and submission. God does not have to command Christian wives in His Word to love their husbands, but God does have to command Christian women to submit to their husbands.
Submission is necessary for order and structure in the household. Peter speaks in this situation about a Christian woman married to an unbelieving husband who might face persecution by him because of her Christian beliefs. In this case, Peter states that the woman’s Christian lifestyle, conduct, and inward beauty may win her husband to Christ.
After addressing wives, Peter now addresses husbands and states that they are commanded to treat their wives with respect and honor. The wife is described as the weaker or more fragile vessel. This is not an insult. Man was created by God to be the protector, defender, and provider for the woman in marriage. The purpose for God’s design for marriage is to glorify Him through love, respect, and submission in the home…the same godly, self-sacrificing love with which Christ loved the church. Husbands are warned by Peter that if they do not treat their wives properly, their prayers will be hindered. This demonstrates God’s seriousness when it comes to the husband’s responsibility as head of the household.LoveGodGreatly.com
So, guys, you may wonder why God doesn’t answer your prayers. Check how you live.
Another point here is that Peter isn’t saying that women not should try to look their best, but to not focus on outward beauty, but inner beauty. In Ancient Roman days, women of nobility (basically anyone who wasn’t a servant or slave) were expected to have elaborate hairstyles, wear jewelry and dress according to their social status. That leads to pride and vanity — 2 of the 7 Deadly Sins.
In today’s world of social media selfies, people get upset when their posts stop getting likes. They wonder why their friends no longer like them. Likes on the social networks are a vanity metric. Could you imagine someone committing suicide because they stopped getting likes on social media? It’s happening.
Every human being was created in God’s image — imago Dei.
Do you spend more time in front of the mirror than in the Word of God?
The more you read the Word of God — the Bible, the more you will understand that God loves you for who you are, not what you look like. Onward…
8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. 9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. 10 For the Scriptures say,
“If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies.
11 Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
against those who do evil.”
Suffering for Doing Good
13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. 17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!
18 Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.
19 So he went and preached to the spirits in prison— 20 those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood. 21 And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
22 Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept his authority.1 Peter 3 NLT (bold emphasis mine)
There are a few important points here…
- Don’t repay evil for evil. If someone insults you, pay them back with a Bible verse.
- Turn away from evil and do good. There’s enough evil in this world. Christians should be a blessing.
- Worship Jesus as Lord your life. That means DO NOT EVER worship or pray to anyone else but God in Jesus’ name. Jesus is the only mediator.
- Christ suffered and died taking our sins away once and for all! If you believe this, you don’t have to be a slave to religion! Jesus didn’t die on the cross so we could have religion! He died to have a personal relationships with you!
- Noah’s flood was a picture of baptism — which is “as a response to God from a clean conscience”. Baby baptisms are useless since babies don’t have consciences to clean!
Just like in Noah’s Day…
Jesus told us that the last days will be just like in Noah’s day…
26 “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. 27 In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all.
28 “And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business—eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building— 29 until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day a person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return home. 32 Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! 33 If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. 34 That night two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding flour together at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.”
37 “Where will this happen, Lord?” the disciples asked.
Jesus replied, “Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.”Luke 17:26-37 NLT
That, my friends, is the rapture that could happen at any minute. Are you ready?
Who do you follow? Do you follow Jesus?
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven and that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!