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The Answer of a Good Conscience (1 Peter 3,4,5)

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1 Peter 3

Husbands and wives
In like manner, you wives be in subjection to your husbands. That, even if any do not obey the word, they may without the word be gained by the behaviour of their wives, 2 seeing your chaste behaviour coupled with fear. 3 Whose adorning, let it not be the outward adorning of braiding the hair and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on apparel; 4 but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great value. 5 For after this manner, in the past, the holy women who trusted in God also made themselves beautiful by submitting to their husbands. 6 As Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. Whose children you now are, if you do well and are not put in fear by any terror.
   7 You husbands, in like manner live with your wife with understanding, giving honour to the woman as to the weaker vessel, as being also joint-heirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers are not impeded.

A gracious life
8 Finally, all of you, be likeminded, compassionate, loving as brothers, sensitive, humble. 9 Not rendering evil for evil, or reviling for reviling, but instead give blessing. For this were you called, that you should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that would love life and see good days, let him restrain his tongue from evil and restrain his lips so they speak no lies. 11 And let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

Coping with persecution
13 And who is he that will harm you, if you be zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled, 15 but sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord, always ready to give answer to every man that asks you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear. 16 Having a good conscience, that, when you are spoken against, they may be put to shame who revile your good manner of life in Christ. 17 For it is better, if the will of God should so will, that you suffer for well-doing than for evil-doing. 18 Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.
   19 In which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 that previously were disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was prepared. Wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 Which is also a true likeness of how baptism does now save you: not the washing away of the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 22 Who is the one at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, Angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.


3:1 Peter writes here speaking about Christian marriage, in which both parties are heirs and therefore hope for eternal life (v. 7). He tacitly recognizes that no marriage will be perfect and that the man will at times fail the huge challenge of loving his wife as Christ loved and died for the church (Eph. 5:25).

3:6 Sarah is only recorded as calling Abraham her “Lord” when we are told that she thought this about him in her heart (Gen. 18:12). In fact she said this in disbelief in the promises of God- in her heart she initially thought God’s promises of her and Abraham having a child couldn’t come true because “my Lord” was so old and impotent (Rom. 4:19). However we see how both spirituality and unspirituality can exist within the heart of believers at the same time; and God here chose to focus upon the positive. His positivity about His children is an example to us, as well as a comfort.

3:7 Peter here assumes that believing husbands and wives will be regularly praying together; although those prayers will lose power if there is marital strife.

3:21 Baptism is therefore related to salvation; by being in Christ we have a clear conscience before God because all our sins really are forgiven and we are counted by Him as being His own Son, the perfect Lord Jesus.