This piece of scripture is among the most difficult to interpret in all of the Bible. In this sermon, Pastor Mark Driscoll preaches on what we can learn from suffering, the dangers and reality of hell, and principles of interpreting scripture.
TEXT: 1 Peter 3:17 – 22
PREACHER: Pastor Mark Driscoll
DATE: April 5, 2009
_"For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil" – 1 Peter 3:17 _
1 Peter 3: 18 – 20 is, according to Martin Luther, “More obscure than any other passage in the New Testament.” It is one of the most debated passages in the Bible; there are around 180 different interpretations.
All Scripture is equally inspired but not all Scripture is equally clear (2 Tim. 3:16 cf. 2 Pet. 3:16).
The doctrine of perspicuity: Those verses in the Bible that are unclear should be interpreted in light of the passages that are clear.
Lack of clarity in some passages requires us to be humble when approaching them.
The story of Noah (Genesis 6:5 – 14) is often twisted to say that because Noah was righteous, he received favor from God. The Bible, however, presents the opposite order: God’s favor (“grace”) precedes and enables Noah’s righteousness.
Along with his sons, Noah preached righteousness and built the Ark for 120 years. He was constantly mocked and nobody ever responded to his invitation for repentance. Christians suffer likewise in our day, awaiting the fulfillment of God’s promise.
h3. Learn from Jesus’ Resurrection
Baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection Jesus Christ.
Baptism is an outward demonstration of inward transformation.
Baptism shows a FACT (“the resurrection of Jesus Christ”) and FAITH (“a good conscience”).
h3. Learn from Jesus’ Ascension
Remember who Jesus is, not just who he was. As a Christian…
You will die, as Jesus did.
Your body will go into the ground but your spirit will live, as Jesus’ did.
You will rise from death as Jesus did.
You will live in victory over the presence and power of sin with Jesus.
In the meantime…
You will suffer as Jesus did.
Your suffering will likely be as mysterious as Jesus’ suffering and as confusing as 1 Peter 3.
Don’t try and figure it all out.
Suffer well in faith like Noah did.
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, 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 he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.