1Pet. 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
“Likewise” – This seems to direct the wife to the example of Christ that was just talked about in the previous verses. The wife is to be in subjection to her husband. How? Avoid sin; don’t be deceitful; don’t return evil for evil; don’t threaten. Commit yourself to righteous decisions and judgments; live a righteous/holy/just/innocent life before the Lord (and your husband). Why? So that the husband who is not following God’s words will be convicted by the example being lived out before him in the life of his wife. This gives great credence to the old adage, “You are the only Bible some people will read.”
1Pet. 3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
While they (the husband) behold (observe, inspect, watch) your (the wife) chaste (clean, innocent, modest, pure) conversation (behavior, conduct, way of life) coupled (not in the original Greek, but clarifies the intent—actions plus attitude) with fear (includes respect).
1Pet. 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
I thought the entry for the word adorning was interesting.
kosmos, kosę-mos; probably from the base of 2865; orderly arrangement, i.e. decoration; by implication, the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively (morally)):—adorning, world.
Boy, have we gotten away from that implication in today’s culture. The “adornment” most popular today seems to be that which introduces lack of order and cohesiveness. In the light of the audience to whom this letter was written, adornment or pleasing decoration of the outward appearance (plaiting the hair, wearing gold and beautiful clothes) was the reference point. This type of adornment was not to be given a high priority.
1Pet. 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
Priority was to be given to the “adornment” of the spirit—the hidden man of the heart—adornments that can’t be seen or touched in the physical sense. This kind of adornment is not corruptible, won’t decay. Physical adornments decay; they don’t last. What is the type of adornment that God considers valuable? A meek (humble and gentle) and quiet (still, undisturbed, peaceable) spirit.
1Pet. 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
“after this manner” – the manner being referred to above—trusting in God with a meek and quiet spirit
“holy women” – sacred (physically, pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially, consecrated):—(most) holy (one, thing), saint.
Who were these holy women of ages past? Those who trusted in God; their confidence, hopes and expectation were in God, not in man. These women were in subjection to their husbands in their actions and attitudes, and they didn’t even have the role model of Jesus to follow. They were motivated by their trust in God and desire to be obedient to and please Him.
1Pet. 3:6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
Sara and Abraham were the parents, the father and mother, of the Jewish people and the spiritual parents of all believers through the Jewish Messiah. She recognized Abraham as the one in authority per God’s declaration to Adam and Eve. The wife who knows Jesus as her Savior can consider Sara her mother; this relationship will be proved by the actions of that wife.
“afraid” - Frightened or in awe; amazement - alarm or terror.
I think the implication here is connected with the statement in verse 5 regarding trusting God. The wife is able to be in subjection and adorn herself in a manner pleasing to God, knowing that He will not allow anything in her life that is not for her benefit and/or will be an opportunity for her to glorify Him. Her whole motivation, confidence and expectation are placed in God.
Rom. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
1Pet. 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
“Likewise” – in the same manner.
I think this verse is referencing the example of the holy women who trust in God and are in subjection to the authority placed over them—the husband, whose authority is God. How does he submit to God in his position?
What is the motivation for the husband? That his prayers be not hindered/cut into/impeded/detained. This is a direct indication that our actions impact the effectiveness of our prayers (the word for prayers includes worship). We can’t be disobedient to God and then turn right around and expect Him to honor our prayers/worship before Him. That’s hypocritical.
1Pet. 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
1Pet. 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
Finally (moreover, also), Peter is encouraging the believers to be of one mind, in harmony with one another. They are to be sympathetic to one another, willing to suffer and commiserate with one another. They are to love one another as family members, brothers and sisters.
The word for “pitiful” means tenderhearted, sensitive. Peter is reminding the believers to practice sensitivity, courtesy and kindness. He warns them not to respond to evil actions toward them with evil or wickedness. They are not to respond to slander or abuse by being slanderous or abusive. Instead, the believer is to respond to those who mistreat them with a prayer for their blessing and prosperity. This goes totally against our sin nature. We can only respond in this way through the power and enablement of the Holy Spirit at work in our life. What is our motivation? Knowing that this is what Christ has called us to do, how He expects us to act. When we are obedient, we can expect to inherit the blessing and bounty of our Father in heaven.
The interesting thought to remember is that Peter is talking to believers regarding their actions toward other believers. Sad to say, it is a necessary admonishment. Though we are new creatures we continually fight the sin nature. I am forever in debt to Paul for those verses in Romans…..
Rom. 7:14-25 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
1Pet. 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
1Pet. 3:11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
Peter is saying that in order to enjoy life while on planet earth, don’t use your mouth for evil or wickedness—don’t let your lips be used to practice trickery or deceit. Eschew (separate yourself from, depart from, cease) evil/wickedness. You should desire/pursue peace (oneness, quietness, rest). I liked the idea of oneness in reference to peace; I had never thought of it in that context before. It ties directly to my favorite verse of scripture—Isaiah 26:3, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (That verse gives the formula for obtaining the peace you seek—Keep your mind focused on God in complete trust.)
1Pet. 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
God is ever watching over His children. He is jealous over us (as the root word for eye allows). His ears are ever listening for our requests (peititions/beggings/beseechings). The wording in the first part of this verse indicates specific regard to our circumstances through intent focus of His eyes and ears.
The last half of the verse indicates that the Lord is just as aware of the actions of those who “do evil.” At first I thought this was referring to continual actions representing a way of life, but the word for “do” here is talking about specific acts of wickedness or evil. I keep reminding myself that Peter is writing to believers. He is warning the people that evil actions have consequences that God justifies/allows/imposes.
1Pet. 3:13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
Peter is basically stating that those who practice good deeds will have no reason to be harmed by others. (That should be true, but mankind has proven himself to be willing to sink as low as possible. Many today find themselves victims due to the selfishness, greed, or creed of another.)
1Pet. 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
The first thing I noticed as I looked over the words in this verse was that the words for “righteousness’sake” are missing in the Greek. The only way you can get this meaning is from taking the whole section in context. The word for happy means extremely blessed. That’s much more understandable. When we know that we are pleasing and glorifying God through our submission to His truth, we are blessed. We can be hurting physically and still have peace and joy within our being. We have nothing to fear from the evil of man because of the hope that is within us—the promise of our salvation and enjoying eternity with the Savior.
Matt. 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul.
Heb. 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
1Pet. 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
“sanctify” – purify, consecrate, venerate, hallow
“hearts” – your thoughts, feelings (mind)
“hope” - to anticipate, usually with pleasure; expectation (abstractly or concretely) or confidence:—faith, hope.
This verse starts out indicating that we are the ones responsible for our attitude/actions toward God. It’s up to us to “sanctify” God in our hearts by actions that avoid defilement or impurity and that express our devotion, reverence and respect to God.
We are always to be prepared with an answer, a defense, for the hope/expectation/faith that is in us. The more we are immersed in the Word of God, the more able we will be to defend our faith. We are to be willing to answer “every man” that questions us about our faith. It doesn’t say that we have to argue and debate—just that we be able to explain why we believe what we believe. In fact, our answers are to be given with meekness (mildness, humility) and fear before God.
1Pet. 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
“Having a good conscience” – Understand this well
People may choose to slander you and call you evil because they don’t like the truth you are speaking regarding Jesus or the actions you are taking based on His Word. They are the ones who will end up being shamed/disgraced for making false accusations about you.
1Pet. 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
“better” – stronger, nobler, powerful
I think the import of this verse is that your testimony is even more powerful when you suffer for doing what is right before God according to His Word than it is when you suffer because you deserve it.
“if the will of God be so” – The only way you can know if you are suffering according to God’s will is by being immersed in His Word and being sensitive to the Spirit’s teaching/leading.
1Pet. 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
Important points in this verse—
1) Christ (Jesus, the Messiah) suffered once for sins.
2) Christ was just (innocent, holy, righteous); He suffered for the unjust (you and me, the guilty, unholy, wicked).
3) The reason He suffered was to bring us near to God.
4) Jesus was put to death as the perfect man; He was quickened (made alive again) by the Spirit of God.
1Pet. 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
1Pet. 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
I’ve read these verses several times, and I still don’t really understand them. Logic says that the “spirits in prison” were those who had died previously to His death on the cross and were being held in hades, the place of the dead. It doesn’t seem that He would be preaching (telling the truth of the gospel) to those that were in the place of torment since their decision for eternity had been sealed. He describes these spirits as “sometime disobedient.” It sounds like He is explaining the patience of God before sending the judgment of the flood. The ark had to be prepared to provide physical salvation for Noah and his family.
1Pet. 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
He goes on to explain that preparation had to be made for Jesus to enter the scene and provide an “ark of spiritual salvation” for all those that believe. Noah and his family had a choice to make—to trust God or not. We too have a choice to make regarding “putting away the filth of the flesh” and trusting God, placing our faith in the resurrected Jesus Christ. That faith is demonstrated by our baptism, immersion/washing by water. This baptism isn’t for the purpose of physical cleanliness; its purpose is to declare publicly that we are consciously choosing to follow God just as Noah’s obedience in building the ark declared his faith in God. If we choose to reject Jesus, we will perish spiritually just as surely as those on earth (excepting Noah and his family) perished physically in the flood.
1Pet. 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
Who (Jesus Christ) is gone into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father.
Psa. 110:1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
Acts 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
Col. 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
All the great beings and powers of the heavens are subject to His authority; their purpose is to serve and obey Him.
Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Colossians 2:8-10 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power….