Our church is an independent, non-denominational congregation focused on equipping believers to accomplish all God has for each individual. We emphasize growing to maturity through regular, relevant study of God’s Word, meaningful corporate worship, and fellowship. Del Rio Bible Church was established in 1997 by a … Read More »
Living For The Will Of God (Part 2)
Bible Text: 1 Peter 3:18-4:6 | Preacher: Pastor Joe Ricchuiti | Series: 1 Peter, Living for the Will of God
“Although this passage is one of the most difficult in the New Testament, it begins with something which anyone can understand. The point that Peter is making is that, even if the Christian is compelled to suffer unjustly for his faith, he is only walking the way that his Lord and Savior has already walked. The suffering Christian must always remember that he has a suffering Lord.” (Wm. Barclay)
“Instead of asking ‘Why me?’ we should respond to suffering with confidence, perseverance, and courage. We can have confidence that God knows, plans, and directs our lives for the good. We can persevere when facing grief, anger, sorrow, and pain. We have courage because with Jesus as Savior, we need not be afraid. He who suffered for us will not abandon us.” (NLT One-Year Study Bible)
Verses 19 & 20 are difficult passages to interpret. Three questions are raised by the passage: who are the “spirits” mentioned; when was this proclamation made; and what was the content of the proclamation?
The following is a broad summary of the views concerning verses 19 & 20 (there are many shades of these three):
-Christ goes to the realm of dead spirits between His death and resurrection and announces condemnation to those who died in unbelief (or, alternately, announces victory to those saved).
-Christ preaches through Noah to Noah’s contemporaries during the 120 years the ark was being built.
-Between His death and resurrection, Christ goes to the realm of imprisoned fallen angels and proclaims His victory on the cross.
Whatever is meant in these verses, they cannot be teaching: the existence of purgatory, a so-called second chance after death theology, or a universal salvation theology. Purgatory is unfounded in canonical Scripture and devalues the cross. Hebrews 9:27 teaches that after death comes judgment, not a so-called “second chance.” In the words of Greek scholar, A.T. Robertson: “One can only say that it is a slim hope for those who neglect or reject Christ in this life to gamble with a possible second chance after death which rest on very precarious exegesis of a most difficult passage in Peter’s epistle.”