Sunday, March 31, 2019


This is the second letter written by Peter. He identified himself in verse 1. Interestingly, he used his Hebrew name, Simeon. Most English versions translate it to “Simon”, but the English Standard Version (ESV) maintains the Hebrew.

The letter was written to the same people he addressed in his first letter. We know this because he said “this is the second letter I am writing to you”. (2 Peter 3:1) So, again, he addressed the churches in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. (1 Peter 1:1)

Peter wrote this letter in the mid 60s A.D., from prison, not long before he was martyred.


In addition to giving his Hebrew name, Peter identified himself as a servant of Jesus Christ. (1) The Greek word for “servant” is “doulos”. It really means a slave. By this Peter means he is “owned” by Jesus Christ, serving him only, living under his authority, and dedicating his life to him.

There is, however, a certain honor in using the term. In the Old Testament, those faithful men who were called by God to do special things, such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses and David, were also called servants of God. It is an honor to be chosen to be a servant of the Lord to accomplish his work.

He also identified himself as an apostle. By doing so, he asserts this authority to teach them and command them, as he had authority directly from Jesus. He was specifically called to be one of the Twelve. (Matthew 4:18)

He heard Jesus teach and was called to teach. (John 21:15-19; Matthew 28: He had authority to say what was sound teaching and good doctrine, and he had the authority to rebuke false teachers and their teaching. (Matthew 16:19)  He will go on to do that in this letter.

Peter addressed his readers as “those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours”. (1) Although these were second generation believers who never saw or heard Jesus in the flesh, their salvation was as valid as Peter’s. All believers stand equally in the grace of Christ. There are different roles and different offices in the church, but all believers are equally saved.

Faith comes from God to us. Ephesians 2:8 says: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” And the faith he gives is effective to bring each believer into salvation. It is of equal standing with the faith of others.

We have this faith “by the righteousness” of Jesus. We receive his righteousness as part of the gift of salvation. Therefore, all faith is of equal standing, based not on our righteousness, but on that of Jesus.

The last item to note in this introduction is Peter’s clear declaration of the deity of Jesus. Peter’s blessing is that grace and peace would be multiplied to his readers in the knowledge of “God and of Jesus our Lord”. (2) The original language is more clear, as it literally says “of our God and Savior Jesus Christ”. Additionally, the title of Lord implies divinity. Peter believed in the divinity of Jesus.

Peter stated that grace and peace would be multiplied to the believer through knowing the Son. We begin to know them when we are converted, or saved, and we come to know them in a deeper way through our walk with him and our study of his word.

This growth in grace and peace begins and ends the letter. In 3:18, Peter urged his readers to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.  

Christ’s Provision For The Believer

When we come to Jesus in faith for salvation, we begin to know him. As we come to know him, His divine power gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness. He gives us life, which is eternal life. That life begins when we come to faith. Jesus said that whoever believes in him will not perish, but will have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Jesus calls us to a high standard of holy living. He calls us to his own glory and excellence. (3) But, in addition to eternal life, Jesus gave us everything that pertains to godliness.

What are those things? He regenerated us. He took us from being dead in trespasses and sins to being made alive in Christ. (Ephesians 2:1-5)  He made us new creations. (2 Corinthians 5:17) He took away the old and gave us the new. (Colossians 3:9-10) He gave us the indwelling Holy Spirit to help us. He gave us his word to teach us.

By Christ’s glory and excellence, he gave us his precious and very great promises. What are these promises? They are the promise of eternal life, the promise of the Holy Spirit, the promise of increasing sanctification (becoming more and more like Christ) and the promise of his return. (4)

Through these promises, we become partakers of the divine nature. This does not mean we will become gods, as the Mormons teach, or that we will become part of the divine, as Pantheists teach. It means that we will become like Christ.

In this life, sanctification means we become more Christ-like as we mature as Christians. We also escape the corruption of the world caused by sin.

When Christ returns, we will be changed to be like him. Now we bear the image of the man of dust, Adam, but then we will bear the image of the man of heaven, Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:49)

That is exciting, isn’t it? That is why we can pray along with John in the Book of Revelation, “come Lord Jesus”.

Sunday, March 24, 2019


Exhorting the Elders

Peter has been teaching about suffering.

Before closing his letter, Peter had a word for the elders of the churches, then for all believers in the churches. He began with the word “so”. It could also be translated “therefore” or “then”. (The NIV leaves the word out.) In other words, I said there will be suffering and tests, therefore, I exhort you to do the following things which will help the church endure.

He told three things about himself to identify with them and assert his authority.

First, he identified himself as a fellow elder. (1) He evidently was an elder in the church at Rome, which would make sense, given his experiences. Because he was an elder, he could identify with them and their problems.

Second, he was an apostle, “a witness of the sufferings of Christ”. You might remember that the qualification for an apostle to take Judas’ place was that he had to have been with them from the time of Jesus’ baptism until Jesus’ ascension. (Acts 1:21-22) That would include the sufferings of Jesus.

Third, Peter was simply a believer, “a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed”. Believers will see Christ glorified upon his return. Additionally, all believers will be raised at the return of Christ to receive glorified bodies. 1 Corinthians 15:21-23; 42-49) This is in line with what Peter wrote earlier, that the testing of faith will result in praise, glory and honor when Christis revealed (upon his return). (1 Peter 1:7)

Peter’s first exhortation to the elders was that they “shepherd the flock of God that is among you”, meaning the congregation they each served. A shepherd leads the sheep and protects them. This instruction would have been near and dear to Peter’s heart, as the resurrected Christ commanded him to shepherd, or tend, the sheep. (John 21:16)

The image of a shepherd is used repeatedly in the Bible.

God the Father is portrayed as a shepherd of his people. When Jacob was dying, he said God had been his shepherd all of his life. (Genesis 48:15) If you have read Jacob’s story in Genesis, you know he needed shepherding. He was often in trouble, he made bad decisions, and deceived people. But God shepherded him through all of this, leading and protecting, until Jacob became a wise old man.

The Psalm everyone knows and reads for comfort, Psalm 23, pictures God as the shepherd who takes care of the sheep, who was David specifically.

Jesus referred to himself as the good shepherd in John 10:14. He  said he knew his sheep and they knew him, and he laid down his life for his sheep.

Those who lead and take care of God’s people have also been referred to as shepherds. The Lord told David he would be the shepherd of his people, Israel. (2 Samuel 5:2)

God promised Israel a shepherd after his own heart who would feed them with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:15)

This is what Peter exhorts the elders to do: lead, protect and teach the congregation. He also exhorted them to exercise oversight, which is the leading and governing function.

Why would a congregation need oversight? Not everyone knows what to do and where to go. Like sheep, some will stray and fall into danger if they have no shepherd.

By using comparisons, Peter told them what kind of attitude they should have as elders. They would not oversee under compulsion. That is, they would not oversee because they felt they had to. Rather, they would do it willingly, because that is what God would have them do. (3) It means with whole heartedly.

Elders should not serve for shameful gain. Ministry should never be about getting rich from the flock. Rather, the elder should be eager to serve the Lord and the congregation.

Elders should not be domineering. You may have been in a church where the pastor or other leaders bullied others. That is not the example of Christ. Rather, elders should act as examples to the congregation, both in attitude and in service.

The reward for serving faithfully as an elder, is that when Jesus, the chief shepherd, returns, the faithful servant will receive the unfading crown of glory. (4) Peter made a contrast between the crowns given to the winners of races and games, which were plant garlands that faded and died. What Christ gives, lasts forever. Again we see that rewards for faith and service do not necessarily come in this life, but they will in the next.

Exhortations to the Church

Peter also had a word for those who are not elders, especially the younger ones. They were to be subject to the elders. There is always a structure of authority in the Bible. A Godly life is never portrayed as a free for all.

Undergirding all of this is humility. Peter said to clothe ourselves in it. (5) We should wear humility as a garment, visible to all. We are humble toward one another. We love others and serve them, we do not insist on our own way, we do not exercise privileges, we do not demand special treatment.

Peter quoted Proverbs 3:34 for authority that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. He went on command that we humbles ourselves under the mighty hand of God. He is the mighty one, not us. He is God Almighty.

If you cannot be humble under God’s hand, there is something wrong with you. He created the heavens and the earth. He gave life to humanity. He destroyed the earth with a flood.

He led Israel out of slavery in Egypt, exercising his dominion over the most powerful man and kingdom on earth. He made Israel, once weak and lowly, into a powerful and rich kingdom under David. He destroyed kingdoms which opposed him. He destroyed his own land and temple when his people abandoned him for other Gods. What have you done? So, humble yourself.

It is for God to exalt, and he will exalt the humble at the right time. We will be vindicated on the last day when all of his, and our, enemies are crushed and he makes all things new.

By acknowledging God as almighty, you humble yourself. But you also acknowledge that he is almighty when you cast all your anxieties on him, knowing he cares for you. (7) A Christ follower should believe that God is able to take care of all things because he is almighty, and that he is willing to take care of you because he cares for you.

Peter begins to close his letter with pithy statements of warning and exhortation, reminding us how we should live, reiterating points he made earlier in the letter.

We are to be sober-minded, or serious, about spiritual things, especially watchful for what is going on in the spiritual realm as far as we can discern. The reason for doing this is that the devil is our adversary, our opponent, our enemy. He prowls around looking for someone to devour. (8)

He looks for someone to succumb to pride and reject God. He looks for someone to trap with pornography. He holds up shiny objects to tempt us to covet. He attacks us through atheists, humanists, and hedonists that try to bring us down to their level, ridicule us, take away our freedoms and rights to practice our faith, and to make us suffer.

Peter says to resist the devil, staying firm in our faith. (9) Realize the our brothers and sisters all over the world experience the same time of suffering. In other words, as Peter wrote earlier in the letter, we should not be surprised by suffering.

But God, in his grace, will restore the sufferer. He is the one who has called us to eternal glory in Christ and he will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us. (10)

This fact leads Peter again into doxology, or praise. To him be dominion forever and every. (11) Dominion belongs to God. Believers wait for that to be revealed to the whole world. And it will be when Jesus returns.

We often end letters with a brief sign off, such as “sincerely”. Peter, goes into more detail. He tells us he wrote this letter and that Silvanus delivered it.

Silvanus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Silas. Certainly there is a Silas mentioned many times in the New Testament. We do not know if he is the same one, but may be.

Peter also sent greetings from the church in Rome, where he was living. He called it Babylon. He said this church in Rome was a body of those who were chosen just as the those in the churches receiving this letter were chosen.

Finally, Peter mentions Mark (John Mark), his spiritual son. He is the one Paul and Barnabas quarreled over, but who later became useful. He even became useful to Paul. Paul asked Timothy to get Mark and bring him to Paul when Paul was in prison in Rome for the second time.

Peter’s final word is peace to all who are in Christ. I pray you all have peace as well, peace in the world, yes, but, most importantly, peace within yourself, resting in the power and comfort of the God who cares for you.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Owe Everything To God

"For, until men feel that they owe everything to God, that they are cherished by his paternal care, and that he is the author of all their blessings, so that nought is to be looked for away from him, they will never submit to him in voluntary obedience; nay, unless they place their entire happiness in him, they will never yield up their whole selves to him in truth and sincerity." — Institutes, I.2.1

Sunday, March 17, 2019


Be Ready To Suffer
1 Peter 4:12-19

In these verses, Peter returns to the topic of suffering. He told his readers not to be surprised when a fiery trial comes upon them, to test them, as if it were something strange. (12)  Why would they think it strange?

Then, as now, believers often assumed that doing God’s will meant every thing would go smoothly. At the present time there is an entire industry devoted to this idea: the prosperity gospel.

But Peter knew better. He had learned this partly from rebuke and partly from instruction.

The rebuke came when Peter attempted to keep Jesus from the cross. Mark tells us the story. As Jesus began to teach the disciples that he must suffer many things, including death, Peter actually took Jesus aside and rebuked him. Jesus responded by rebuking Peter in front of the other disciples. It was a stinging rebuke. He said “ Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but the things of man.” (Mark 8:31-33) Peter did not want the way of Christ to be suffering. He wanted it to be glory in earthly terms.

The Christian life is more about suffering than success in earthly terms. It is about self denial, not self indulgence.

Peter also heard Jesus instruct the disciples to prepare for suffering and persecution. He told them the world would hate them because it hated him. (John 15:18). John must have remembered this also, for he later wrote “do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. “ (1 John 3:13) Jesus told the disciples they would have tribulation. (John 16:33). He told James and John they would drink the cup he would drink. (Matthew 20:23).

So, Peter knew suffering would come and prepared his readers for it. We are in a similar situation today in America. Many believers are surprised that much of our culture is turning away from the church and seeking to harm it. But, here is the deal: you are either of the world or of Christ.

Jesus made this clear. He said the Father gave the Son people out of the world. (John 17:2, 6) The Father gave you to the Son to give you eternal life.  And so, he called you out of the world and into his kingdom. You are in this world, but not of it.

You recognize this when you are uncomfortable with the world, despite the people of the world around you being comfortable with it. They rejoice in abortion. You recoil from infanticide. They celebrate gender fluidity. You contemplate God’s creation of male and female only. (Genesis 1:27) They deride those who go to church. You delight in gathering to worship.

The people of the world notice your discomfort also, and they do not like it. Jesus said “the world has hated them (the disciples) because they are not of the world just as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14)

That is where persecution comes from.

If you know these truths, you should not be surprised when persecution comes.

Not only were Peter’s readers not to be surprised at suffering, they were to rejoice in it. (13) They were to rejoice that they were able to share Christ’s sufferings. It is an honor to suffer for Christ, since he suffered for us. It is an honor to suffer for his church. Paul, who suffered a lot, had his same thought. He said “Now i rejoice mu sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, the church. (Colossians 1:24)

They were also to rejoice in their sufferings so they would be glad when Christ’s glory is revealed. The more you are suffering for Christ, the more you would be glad to see his return. If life is easy for you now, you do not as easily look forward to his return. I actually had a family member tell me at one point she did not want Christ to come soon because she was having too good of a time on earth.

If we suffer, we are blessed because the Holy Spirit rests on us. This is a corollary to Jesus’ words of comfort to the disciples: “When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will begin to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. (Matthew 10:19-20) When we need him, the Holy Spirit is there to help us.

In the hour of greatest trial there is a great consolation. With great suffering on earth comes great support from heaven.

However, you can only rejoice in suffering if you suffer for the right reason. (15) If you suffer because you committed a crime or meddled in other people’s business, your suffering is a result of wrongdoing and receiving what you deserve.

But, if you suffer for your faith in Christ, you should not be ashamed. (16) instead, you should glorify God in Christ. As God was glorified in the death of Christ, he will also be glorified in the suffering of his saints.

Peter said judgment begins with the church, the house of God. (17) What does that mean? The context is Peter exhorting the church—the house of God—which was facing persecution, to persevere in suffering. “Judgment” includes a judgment that is for the purpose of discipline, though not necessarily for any specific sin.

Sometimes God uses suffering to test our faith so that we may display our deep commitment to Jesus. Sometimes He uses it to strengthen our faith; it is far easier to trust God after being put “through the wringer” than it is before we faced any serious difficulties. Other times He might use it to bestow some kind of reward, if we have endured faithfully.

However, the word can also include judgment in the sense of bearing some kind of suffering because of repeated sin. Though we have seen that this suffering is not the kind that glorifies God and brings blessing to the believer, it can result in blessing if the believer turns from the sin in question as a result of God’s discipline.

This is part of the process of sanctification. God is making you more like Christ. He does this even when you have given up. He does this when you don’t care. In fact, God cares more about your sanctification than you do. He will discipline those he loves. (Hebrews 12:5) He will bring the work he started in you at salvation to completion. (Philippians 1:6)

Judgment will also come on those “who do not obey the gospel of God.” (17) Yet for them, it will not result in purification but eternal condemnation. Peter made a contrast here for emphasis, saying, if God will judge the church, or individual sinners, in a way that brings suffering, how much more will he do to those who reject him. Peter quoted Proverbs 11:31 (from the Septuagint, the Greek Old Testament) as authority for his statement.

In verse 19, Peter concluded his teaching with a summary: those who suffer according to God’s will should entrust themselves to God, their faithful Creator, while continuing to do good. And that is the answer to it all. Look only to Christ, not to yourself, or others, to truly bear suffering.

Keep looking, looking continuously, knowing he loves you.

Sunday, March 10, 2019


Living In the Light of The End

This is the third time Peter has told us the motivation to live the Christian life in holiness and in willingness to suffer. First, it was because of our eternal life, and imperishable inheritance. Second, it was because of the suffering\death of Christ. This time it is because of the return of Christ. The return of Christ is the beginning of the end.

Peter said the end of all things is at hand (7). Yes, we live in the last days. The “last days” began when Jesus’ ministry, death and resurrection were concluded.  Now, we wait for his return. All of the events concerning salvation have occurred and the only event remaining is the return of Christ, which inaugurates the resurrection and judgment. His return could happen at any time, so we should live accordingly.

Notice that Peter does not say to speculate about the date of Jesus’ return or on what signs would accompany his return. Rather, living in the light of the end is to encourage us to live in a Godly way.

What behavior does Peter encourage? He said to be self-controlled and sober minded.These two words, and traits, are very similar. We exercise control over our passions and our temper. We are serious about the things of the Lord. We are to think seriously and clearly about our life in this world. If we do not, it will affect our prayers.

If we are thinking correctly, and believe the return of Christ could be soon, we are praying that God will save lost people, build up his church, and glorify his name. If we are preoccupied with worldly thoughts, we will not pray as we should. We pray that God will give us things, make us happier, and protect us from suffering.

We should also keep loving each other earnestly. (8) (The New International Version leaves out the Greek word translated “keep”.)  Peter wrote this in the way that makes it a command. He has already written this in 1:22, so he shows us he thinks this is very important.

We should not be surprised at this, for Jesus gave us the same command. Jesus said “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) Paul also wrote “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Paul also wrote : “the fruit of the Spirit is love…” (Galatians 5:22) The Holy Spirit fills us with love and gives us the ability to love.

Paul also described love for us in 1 Corinthians 13:1-8a. It is a daunting list of things we do as a matter of love. For example, Paul wrote that love is patient and kind, does not insist on its own way, and is not irritable or resentful. He said love is the most excellent way. (1 Corinthians 12:31b.)

A Christian loves because Jesus loves him, because he is a disciple, and because God’s love is in our hearts. How do we know you are a Christian? We can tell by the traits you exhibit. We know because you love other Christians. And when you earnestly love a fellow believer, you can look past his sins. That is what Peter meant by love covers a multitude of sins. (8) (There is probably a reference here to Proverbs 10:12.)

In contrast, when you do not love, you focus on the other persons sins as a way to run them down or to reject them. You do what Jesus said not to do in Luke 6:42. You concentrate on the speck in your brother’s eyes to avoid looking at the log in your own eye.

As part of this love, we show hospitality to each other without grumbling. (9) In New Testament times, those who traveled and preached had to rely on other Christians to take them in for the night. Christians were known for this hospitality. It was essential to the mission of the church. That is why Paul often ended his letters asking the church to take in someone he sent to them.

Hospitality was also to be offered graciously, without grumbling.  It is easy to get tired of having guests. We all like to retreat to the comfort of our own homes. But God wants us to share our homes with other believers. We do this when we let members of a traveling choir or youth group stay in our home. We also do this when we just invite another believer over for dinner and fellowship.

We also serve each other with the spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit has bestowed on us. They are not for our personal self esteem or aggrandizement. Each one of us received at least one gift. (10) We are to use that gift to serve the church as a whole and each other. You can see lists of spiritual gifts in 12:1-8, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, and Ephesians 4:8-16.

Peter divided the gifts into two categories: speaking and serving. Speaking includes prophecy, teaching, tongues, and exhortation. (Romans 12:6-7, Ephesians 4:11) Serving includes giving, leading, mercy, helps, healing and miracles. (Romans 12:8, 1 Corinthians 12:9-10 and 28-30)

If your gift is speaking, you should speak the oracles, or words of God, not your own words or ideas.

If you gift is serving, you serve in the strength God provides. All gifts are used to serve each other, serve the church, to the glory of God. The thought of this brings Peter to doxology: to him (God) belong glory and dominion forever!

So live in a way that helps others see the glory of God.

Sunday, March 03, 2019


Living the New Life\Arm Yourselves
1 Peter 4:1-6

Peter again uses Christ as our model. Here it is his suffering. Peter stated in 3:18-22 that Christ suffered for our sins. This suffering was his death on the cross. His death, including his resurrection and ascension, was a victory over sin. He defeated Satan and he defeated sin.

When Christ died to sin, he was done with it. He died once for sins. Not that he sinned and quit sinning, but that he was finished with his work in regard to sin. Since we are united with him (we are “in Christ”) in his death, we have died to sin. We are done with it and can have victory over it. We do not ever get completely sin free, but we have the ability in Christ to turn away from it as a life style and to pursue Christ instead.

Here Peter says, since Christ suffered, we should expect to suffer. We should arm ourselves with a willingness to suffer. To arm yourself is to pick up a weapon and prepare to fight. Here the weapon is an attitude: willingness to suffer for Christ and to turn away from sin. Those who have come to the point of being willing to suffer for Christ are focused on living a life that glorifies him rather than a life that satisfies and glorifies the flesh. They stopped letting sin have dominion over them. They live a life of seeking God’s will. Those who live according to God’s will glorify him, not the flesh.

In verse 3, Peter says you spent enough time living as an unsaved person lives. He uses the word “Gentile”,  as one who does not believe in and follow Jesus.

In Old Testament times, the Jews were the chosen people of God who lived according to his will and were blessed by him (at least when they were doing right). Everyone else was a Gentile, a person not a part of the chosen people.

Now the church is the chosen people of God who are to live according to his will. (2:9) Peter picked up the language of the Old Testament to refer to everyone else as Gentiles.

Peter listed some those things the Gentiles do. They live in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. All of the same things exist today. Paganism is certainly on the rise, as people seek a spiritual experience that has no moral requirements, or at least not the Christian ones. Worship of the creation is common. People put their requests out to the universe rather than pray, they treat the universe as a being rather than a thing.

The physical passions are the same, of course, because humans are the same. so the drunkenness and orgies continue. It has been interesting to see a celebrity “dust up” over this issue. A young model got drunk and intimate with the boyfriend of a celebrity. The celebrity family is angry and has cut the model off from their life until she humiliates herself to them. She was just doing what the “Gentiles” do.

Peter reminds us that these Gentiles will be amazed that we do not join them in their debauchery. (4) That amazement will turn to anger and they will malign us. “Malign” means to same harmful things about or to slander a person. Why does this happen?

This happens because the law of God is written on the heart of every person. They may not know God, but they know his standards. Paul wrote that “what can be known about God is plain to them, because god has shown it to them”.  (Romans 1:19) He said they suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. (Romans 1:18) Therefore, his wrath is upon them.

When you do not partake in ungodly behavior, it is a reminder to them of their violation of God’s standards and they feel God’s judgment, although they will interpret it as your judgment of them. When they feel this way they have two options. They can repent and seek God or they can reject him and you. If they do not repent, in order to feel good about what they do, they must malign you.

Here is an example. Remember the story above about the model who is criticized for getting intimate with a celebrity’s boyfriend. In contrast, Mike Pence, the American vice president, is being reviled because he will not meet alone with a woman who is not his wife. Here is a man working hard to be faithful to his wife and avoid even the appearance of unfaithfulness, and he is reviled for it.

Peter reminds us that they will give an account to God at the final judgment. (5) Hebrews 9:27 says it is appointed for men and women to die one and after that comes the judgment. The unbelievers might have social popularity and good reputation now, and believers suffering the opposite, but the day will come when that will change.

Verse 6 tells us this, the judgment, is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead. The NIV says “now dead”. This is an interpretation of the text, as the word “now” is not in the Greek text. But the interpretation is correct. It was preached to them so that although they would die (judged in the flesh the way people are), they would live in the Spirit. As 3:18 said Christ died in the flesh but was made alive in the Holy Spirit, so believers will die a physical death but also be raised.

This does not mean that Jesus goes, or went, to lost people in the afterlife and gives them a second chance to believe and be saved. The verse does not say Christ himself preached, but that people preached the gospel of Christ. It means that people who are now dead heard the gospel, believed, and will live through the resurrection.

Here are the take aways from this passage:
-we live this life armed with the willingness to suffer
-this willingness helps us conquer sin
-the world will oppose us
-the world will be judged
-we will be raised to live forever with the Lord