1 Peter Class 3 - Submission and Sufferings

1 Peter Class 3 - Submission and Sufferings

Verse 1-2

In the last class Peter gave a couple of examples where it was important for believers to be submissive even if it meant innocent sufferings. First there was subjection to governments and the laws of the land. Second was servants to masters. At the heart of this was the example of the sufferings of the Messiah, who did no sin, yet committed himself to him that judgeth righteously. Now Peter continues “likewise” with wives being in subjection to their own husbands.

The first six verses of this chapter are dedicated to wives while one verse is directed to husbands. The words of exhortation are longer to wives mainly because their position would have been the more difficult especially in pagan society where the woman would have been expected to follow the husbands lead in religious matters. You’ll notice here that the emphasis is on unbelieving husbands or those who do not obey the word.

(1 Pet 3:1-2) "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; {2} While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear."

A few years ago the Southern Baptists came out and publicly stated that a wife should “submit graciously to her husband’s leadership” obviously paraphrasing Peter’s and Paul’s words. Well there was quite an uproar about the whole thing yet it was a purely Biblical stance. A Newsweek article during the time said,

“That a Christian wife should “submit” to the “servant leadership of her husband” was the line that secular critics found both odd and oppressive. “We don’t think any human being should submit to any other human being,” said Kathy Rodgers, executive director of the National Organization for Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund. ‘You cannot have submission and equality at the same time.’”

While wives are told to submit this does not mean that they are inferior, as verse 7 says, they are “heirs together of the grace of life.” The sisters and wives in our lives have an immensely important role to play in showing the true behavior of all those in Christ. An example of humility and submission which will put all us brothers to shame and win many to Christ.

First off, you’ll notice that the submission is to their “own husbands.” I think those are very choice words for the exact same phrase, “own husbands”, is carefully used by Paul in Ephesians, Colossians and Titus. We may ponder why it’s said this way. Sisters in general, whether single or married, are to show forth submission, but in the bonds of marriage there is even a greater meaning behind a wife being a sign of the ecclesia and a husband being the sign of Christ. She is to show submission to one man, even as unto the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yet husbands don’t always live up to their model. They are far from it most of the time. There are even many who find themselves unequally yoked either by the call of Christ or by their own foolish decision. But what is to be done in trying circumstances? Certainly Peter shows that a marriage to an unbeliever is still vital to keep intact. More then anything, subjection is needed to bring him (or her) to Christ. Paul commenting on the same subject in 1 Corinthians 7:16 says,

(1 Cor 7:16) "For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?"

And here in 1 Peter 3:1 is the same objective,

(RSV) "Likewise you wives, be submissive to your husbands, so that some, though they do not obey the word, may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives"

How are you going to do it sisters when he leaves you crying? When he hurts your feelings with sharp words? When the tensions become unbearable? Certainly we would not expect any women to live in a physically dangerous situation but we would also not want to underestimate the importance of doing your all for the salvation of your spouse. How are you going to do it?

Peter does not say you’re going to do with anger or yelling. It’s not done by nagging. It’s not done with crying and begging and pleading. It’s done without a word by chaste behavior and submission. It is the most powerful weapon that can be used. Don’t think they are not watching for the word “behold” here means (as it did in 2:12) to watch with intense scrutiny.

We have an example in our meeting of a sister, now dead, who doesn’t know that her husband is baptized. She went to the grave married to an unbeliever. It was only through her example of peace in the face of death which impressed her husband enough to search out her beliefs. After all those years. Now she’ll wake up at the resurrection and know that her labor was not in vain. That’s the type of patience and perseverance we all must have, not only with our spouses, but with everybody.

Verses 3-4

The Psalmist (45:13) describes the king’s daughter in beautifully embroidered gold clothing. Yet chief above this is that she is “all glorious within”. That is the place of real beauty. It is all reminiscent of 1 Peter 3:3-4,

"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; {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."

But why is it described as the “hidden man”? Why not the “hidden woman of the heart”? Because, this man in the heart is Jesus Christ. He is that inner man that dwells by faith. Paul wishes in Eph. 3:16-17,

"That he [God] would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; {17} That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith . . ."

Beauty is vain and all the makeup in the world in the end cannot hide the ravishes of time. And though our outward man perish our inward man is renewed day by day. The more a sister becomes married to Christ in her heart the more attractive she becomes to the right man. And even though the husband may be unbelieving you have something more rewarding in the sight of God. Something of great price, extremely expensive, and more costly then the biggest diamond, the most beautiful bouquet, or the fanciest dress you could wear.

Verses 5-6

There is a perfect example of this type of submission found in Sarah. There were many holy women of old Peter could have used but he settled on Sarah, verses 5-6, for the reason that she clearly had this submission in her heart. Back in Genesis 18:12 you’ll see that she never verbally called Abraham lord.

“Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”

So it was an inward expression. It was how she really and truly viewed Abraham. Sarah was a very important woman, a prophetess, a rock of faith. Yet at this time she laughed in unbelief and when the angel questioned her she denied it by saying, "I laughed not; for she was afraid.” (Gen 18:15). This is most likely why Peter says,

(1 Pet 3:6) ". . . whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement."

So as the Lord did marvelous things for Sarah so he can do for any sister, in any impossible situation, if they are adorned with the same spirit of meekness.

Verse 7

And now husbands get one verse but what a verse it is,

"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."

The husband then is the one who is supposed to keep the anchor of “knowledge” in the relationship. It’s just not all about feelings. You may not feel the same way about your wife but this relationship is not all about emotions for at it’s core is knowledge. Now this knowledge most likely pertains to knowledge about God and his will for marriage which is essential for any long lasting commitment. It also may be talking about the males ability to discern a problem intellectually while a female is more emotional, generally speaking. These qualities that males and females tend towards are individually to their detriment but put them together and they make a balanced whole in Christ. That’s the ideal of course and the thing to strive for in marriage.

Physically, by design, the woman is the “weaker vessel”. There is danger in a man using his physical prowess to subject the woman to his will. Peter here is exhorting husband’s to not abuse the wife, physically, verbally or emotionally, but to honor her. Wayne Grudem in his commentary put it well by saying,

“Wives are often more likely to be hurt deeply by conflict within a marriage, or by inconsiderate behavior on the part of the husband. Knowing this, Christian husbands should not be 'harsh' (Col. 3:19) or fill their marriage relationship with criticism and conflict, but should rather be positive and affirming.” Wayne Grudem, 1 Peter: Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Eerdamans, Grand Rapids, 1988), p. 144.

So husbands should always bear in mind that the wife is the weaker vessel physically yet she is nonetheless a vessel prepared for God, sanctified and meet for the master’s use. Spiritually there is no difference for you are “heirs together of the grace of life.” What lovely words to show that marriage is not just a physical union but also a spiritual one where each is helping the other towards the kingdom. It makes sense then that at the heart of this relationship is the path to salvation. For if you cannot show the love of God to a person you have chosen and vowed to love in marriage then how can you show God’s love to anybody? Thus, partners not willing to be humble and submissive in marriage risk receiving eternal life!

When troubles arise they “hinder” the prayers of the couple. Conflicts can so easily cloud the mind with anger and anxiety that it’s hard to come together before God with an open heart to seek help. Our avenues to forgiveness are cut off. The word “hinder” has two senses. One means to cut or hew down as in felling a tree. It can also mean to impede the way by breaking up the road or placing an obstacle in the path. Is this how the prayers of the couple, “your prayers”, together or individually, are viewed before God if there are troubles in the marriage? Certainly, if we are bitter and unforgiving to a spouse then the principle holds true that, “if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matt. 6:16).

Verses 8-9

While Peter has focused up to this point on specific relationships he goes on to say how important it is for all of us to use these principles in our lives. We all are to show forth sympathy, love, pity and friendliness as Christ has showed us.

(1 Pet 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."

You’ve probably all heard the saying, “Don’t get mad, get even.” That’s good advice if we “get even” by “blessing” those who are antagonistic. When someone shows good in the face of evil he baffles the attacker and steals the initiative from him (cp. 2:23). The whole point being to lead them to repentance. Paul follows a similar train of thought from humility to the ideal of not rendering evil for evil in Rom. 12:16-21. He ends by saying,

(Rom 12:21) "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

Verses 10-12

To back up this teaching Peter in verses 10-12 directly quotes from Psalm 34. It is used many other places in the New Testament. It seems to be a favorite of Peter’s for he often refers to it but more then that it really was a touchstone for his message to these believers (refer to chart). When you consider their background of unsubstantiated accusations and persecutions and their need to react in submission the Psalm really comes to life. Let’s pick it up at verse 11 and read to the end.

"Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. {12} What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? {13} Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. {14} Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

This is a Psalm of David. David always spoke of Saul “while refraining his tongue from evil” even though it would seem he had every right to repay evil with evil. Certainly this example of David’s reaction in the face of persecution would have brought comfort and strength to these believers.

“{15} The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. {16} The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. {17} The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. {18} The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Isn’t this the same attitude that Peter is teaching these believers and us to develop?

“{19} Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. {20} He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.

This last verse is quoted in John 20:36 referring to Christ’s crucifixion, his sufferings. So the heart of the Psalm makes reference to the example of Christ just as Peter does in his epistle.

“{21} Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. {22} The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate."

Verse 13-14

Peter follows up on this Psalm by saying,

(1 Pet 3:13-14) "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? {14} But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;"

Physical harm was always a possibility but they couldn’t destroy the soul. It is only God who can “redeem the soul of his servants.” The phrase “be not afraid (phobeo) of their terror (phobos)” has been translated in the NIV as “fear not their fear.” What had they to fear with God on their side? What have we to fear with God on our side? Didn’t Jesus say in Matt. 10:28,

"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

All those around us have a fear of death. They have a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries (Heb. 10:27). Their hearts are failing in fear for the things which they see coming upon the earth (Luke 21:26). More then once in preaching I’ve met people afraid of the second coming, of the end of the world and this fear just paralyzes them from reacting in a proper way to seek salvation. They focus on the despair rather than the hope. We who have sanctified the Lord in our hearts do not have such fear.

Verse 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:"

Like the virgins who had their lamps ready we too have to be ready to speak of the hope that is within us. There will be no last minute cramming. The hope has to be a part of us now.

But if this is a simple exhortation to preach then do we have to wait until we are asked? Well, the context suggests that this is about being brought before judgment seats to be interrogated and the believer having to make a defense of his case. The word “answer” (Gk. apologia) has been translated elsewhere as “defense.” The RSV translation reads, “be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account”. This translation fits in good with the context of Peter’s message.

Nonetheless there is some great instruction here on how to preach in general. First of all, we are not just to tell about our hope but to give “a reason of the hope that is within you.” The word “reason” is the Greek word “logos” meaning “purpose”. Our preaching and teaching shouldn’t be just a list of doctrine set forth. The real power of preaching is by sharing in your own experiences and how this beautiful truth changed you and why it fills you with such joy.

This all must be done with “meekness and fear”. So we don’t preach with aggression or belligerence. Do we put forth an attitude that we have the rod of divine truth? Meekness before God’s word is what is called for when instructing. The fear of God is needed for he is the one actually doing the calling and working in the person’s heart. Consider also the words of Paul in 2 Tim. 2:24-25,

"And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, {25} In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;"

Verses 18-19

Peter now goes on again to reiterate that it is the will of God that they suffer for well doing and he gives Christ as the supreme example. 

"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: {19} By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;"

This is the second of four times this theme will come up (refer to chart). In the midst of this is a verse that is difficult to explain.

It seems that there are as many interpretations of this verse as there are commentators. No doubt it is a difficult passage to understand for there are many questions that have to be answered such as:

  1. Who are the "spirits in prison"?
  2. What was preached?
  3. What does "by which" refer to?
  4. When did the preaching take place?

Much of the discussion in commentaries centers around Greek grammar and even then no quick answers are forth coming. The conclusions of many commentators are contradictory because they come to different solutions based on slim grammatical structures. The following table shows some of the major view points. The Christadelphian viewpoints have been expanded upon and you will notice that they differ only in respect to the time of the preaching.





What was preached?







When did it take place?

At his resurrection

During His earthly ministry

Before his birth by the Spirit of Christ in the prophets

Before his birth by a preexistent Christ

Between his death and resurrection (or before his ascension)

Between his death and resurrection

Where did it take place?

In the world

In the world

In the world

In the world



To whom was it preached?

The living during the time of Jesus' resurrection

The living during Jesus' life

The living of Noah's generation

Those who were living during Noah's generation but are now dead in hell

Sinful angels based on

1 Enoch

The wicked of Noah's generation


John Stephenson, "The Testimony Magazine", Vol. 68, pg. 261.

Alfred Norris, "Acts and Epistles", pg. 725-6.

C.C. Walker, "The Christadelphian Magazine", Vol. 44, pg. 452.

Percy White, "Immortality of the Soul", pg. 45-50

Ron Abel, "Wrested Scriptures", pg. 113-4.

Augustine (354-430),

Ryrie study Bible

E.G. Selwyn, "The First Epistle of Peter",

W.J. Dalton, "Christ's Proclamation to the Spirits"

Justin (100-165),

Clement of Alexandria (150-215)

Not much can be said for the Protestant or Catholic views as they are usually based upon unsound doctrinal principles such as that man can exist without a body or that angels can sin. The early Catholic belief that Jesus went and preached to dead people in hell between his death and resurrection presents a blatant contradiction of scripture that there is a second chance for those who are dead (Heb. 9:27; Isa. 38:18; Ecc. 9:5). Most of the confusion arises from a misunderstanding or a complete assumption that the "spirits" refers to disembodied souls of the dead and that the "prison" is referring to hell. This is as good a place as any to start disentangling these misconceptions.

The usage of the word "spirit" is very diversified in scripture and is often difficult to ascertain even from the context. Vine's gives a total of eighteen different ways the word is used in scripture. Why then should we automatically jump to the conclusion that Christ is preaching to disembodied souls of men? Some other uses of the word might be just as applicable such as

"(f) the sentient element in man, that by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires (Mat. 5:3; 26:41; Mark 2:8; Luke 1:47, 80; Acts 17:16; 20:22; 1 Cor. 2:11; 5:3-4; 14:14-15; 2 Cor. 7:1; cp. Gen 26:35; Isa. 26:9; Ezek. 13:3; Dan. 7:15 . . .

(h) the equivalent of the personal pronoun, used for emphasis and effect: 1st person, 1 Cor. 16:18; cp. Gen. 6:3; 2nd person, 2 Tim. 4:22; Philm. 25; cp. Ps. 139:7; 3rd person, 2 Cor. 7:13; cp. Isa. 40:13; . . .

(j) moral qualities and activities: bad, as of bondage, as of a slave, Rom. 8:15; cp. Isa. 61:3; stupor, Rom. 11:8; cp. Isa. 29:10; timidity, 2 Tim. 1:7; cp. Josh. 5:1; good, as of adoption, i.e., liberty as of a son, Rom. 8:15; cp. Ps. 51:12; meekness, 1 Cor. 4:21; cp. Prov. 16:19; faith, 2 Cor. 4:13; quietness, 1 Pet. 3:4; cp. Prov. 14:29" (Vine's entry on SPIRIT). 

Could Peter then by referring to "spirits" be just referring to that inner part of man that reflects his feelings, beliefs and perceptions? This view is also warranted by the coupling of "spirit" with the word "prison". One of the usage's above mentions the "spirit of bondage" (Rom. 8:15) which ties in nicely with the Biblical idea of spiritual imprisonment to sin and ultimately doomed to death. Notice here how similar the message is to Peter’s.

(Rom 8:15-17) "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. {16} The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: {17} And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."

Jesus himself, in Luke 4:17-21, related this as the core of his preaching when he quoted Isaiah 61:1-3,

". . . to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound". 

The word "proclaim" in Luke is the same word that Peter uses for “preach”. Notice also from Isa. 61:3 another spirit which is the spirit of heaviness. The Bible often uses this imagery for those captive to sin as being in prison and the compliment of that is their being set free by belief in Christ (Psa. 102:20; Isa. 42:7; Zech. 9:11-12; 2 Cor. 3:17; Heb. 2:15). The prison we are in is one of sins that have corrupted us and will lead us only to death. The liberty (1 Pet. 2:16) is the forgiveness of sins and the new life we have in Christ. 

For Christadelphians the differences come in ascertaining when the preaching took place which is also dependent on figuring out what the phrase "by which" refers to in the previous verse. If the reference is to the whole aspect of "made alive by the Spirit" then it has reference to the actual event of Jesus' resurrection. There has been some authors in the Testimony magazine who have made this point. Alfred Norris puts forth the notion that the timing should be thought of during his ministry on earth mainly because of Jesus' usage of Isaiah 61 in reference to his earthly ministry. To sustain this view a break has to be made in Peter's thoughts between verses 19 and 20 which seems somewhat plausible with the phrase "which sometime (formerly) were disobedient". Peter is known to change his flow of thought quite quickly.

The majority view seems to have the most backing that the "in which" refers simply back to the "spirit" of verse 18. Thus the spirit of Christ that was talked about in 1:21 as being in the prophets is now referred to as being in Noah. It is true that Noah was not a prophet but he was a "preacher" of righteousness as Peter tells us (2 Peter 2:5). The word "preacher" (kerux G2783) is a derivative of the same word that Peter uses here in 1 Peter 3:19. Thus a strong connection is made here in the context of Peter that it was the Spirit of Christ that was also in Noah. Compare also what is said about Noah in Heb. 11:6 "things not seen as yet" with Moses in Heb. 11:26-27 "Christ . . . seeing him who is invisible".

Before moving on, there is a similar verse presented to us in 4:6 which is more then likely parallel with the thoughts here in 3:19.

(1 Pet 4:5-6) "[The Gentiles] shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. {6} For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit."

As in 3:19 the question has to be asked, "how was the gospel preached to the dead?" The most forthright answer is to stick in the word "now" as the NIV does so that the passage reads "for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are now dead". This slight alteration then makes sense and fits with the context, but is it warranted sticking in words?

It could also be suggested that what is meant here are "the spiritual dead". This way of reference to those still in sins as being dead is common in scripture (Matt. 8:22; Luke 15:32; John 5:25-26; Eph 2:1; 5:14; Col. 2:13; 1 Tim. 5:6; 1 John 3:14; Rev. 3:1). This then would make a nice parallel with our exposition in 3:19 and would seem to fit the structural comparison also with verse 2. The major objections to this viewpoint are the very literal meaning of dead in the previous verse (v. 5). Would Peter so rapidly change his meaning? Possibly since Jesus changed the meaning in one sentence.

(Mat 8:22) "But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the (spiritual) dead bury their (literal) dead."

Verse 20

In and amongst the explaining of these passages we cannot lose sight of how this was to impact the readers of Peter’s epistle. He wrote it for the reason to give them strength and encouragement in the face of trials and persecutions. The passage functions much better if we understand that it is the spirit of Christ in Noah during a time of great persecution. There are then several parallels, suggested in the Tyndale Commentary, that can be drawn from this.

  1. Noah was in a small minority of believers surrounded by a group of hostile unbelievers (who were perhaps even persecuting him). The readers are also a small minority and are surrounded by hostile unbelievers who make the threat of persecution very real (3:13-14; 4:4).
  2. Noah was righteous (Gn. 6:22; 7:5; 2 Pet. 2:5). Peter exhorts his readers to be righteous in a similarly difficult situation (3:10-12, 13, 16-17; 4:1-3).
  3. Noah witnessed boldly to the unbelievers around him, preaching repentance and warning of judgment soon to come (cf. 2 Pet. 2:5, 9). Similarly, Peter exhorts his readers not to fear (3:14) but to bear witness boldly (3:15-16), even if suffering is necessary (3:16; also 4:16), in order to bring others to God - just as Christ was willing to endure suffering in order to bring us to God (3:18). Peter also sounds a clear warning of judgment to come (4:5, 17-18; cf. 2 Pet. 3:10) which makes the reader's situation prior to judgment similar to that of Noah.
  4. Christ, though he was in an unseen 'spiritual realm', was preaching through Noah to the unbelievers around him (3:19-20). Similarly, Christ is working in an unseen spiritual way in the lives and hearts of Peter's readers (3:15; cf. 1:22; 4:11, 14). Thus, Peter by implication is reminding his readers that if Christ was preaching through Noah he certainly is also preaching through them as they bear witness to the unbelievers around them.
  5. In the time of Noah, God patiently awaited repentance from unbelievers, but finally did bring judgment. Similarly, at the time Peter is writing, God is patiently awaiting repentance from unbelievers (cf. 2 Pet. 3:9) but will certainly bring judgment on the unrepentant (4:5; cf. 2 Pet. 3:10).
  6. Finally, Noah was rescued with a few others (3:20). Similarly, Peter reminds his readers that they too will be saved, even if their numbers are few, for Christ has certainly triumphed (3:22), and they will share in his triumph as well (4:13, 19; 5:10; cf. 2 Pet. 2:9)." Wayne Grudem, 1 Peter: Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Eerdamans, Grand Rapids, 1988), p. 231-232

Verse 21

To draw us even nearer to the times of Noah our experience at baptism is also compared with the flood. There are three major strands in the flood which bear a striking resemblance to baptism.

  • The death of the ungodly, swept away by the waters, is like the death of the old man in ourselves when we come to the waters of baptism. Flesh was the problem before the flood (Gen. 6:3, 5, 12-13) and that is what is still the problem in us (Rom. 7:18). The flesh is what is put to death in the waters of baptism (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:24).
  • The entering into the ark is like us entering into Jesus Christ. During the flood God set forward a covenant with Noah at the same time he is commanded to go into the ark. Certainly this is significant. The entering into the ark was not done by human hands (Gen. 7:16) and so we too are "hid in Christ" by God (Col. 3:1-3).
  • The after affects were like a new creation and so too is baptism spoken about as a new creation. Genesis 8:1 has echoes back to the original creation (i.e. wind=Spirit). The person who has experienced baptism is also termed as a "new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17 RSV).

The "answer of a good conscience" is translated as "an appeal to God for a good conscience" in the RSV while the NIV has "the pledge of a good conscience toward God". This is the only place the Greek word for "answer" (eperotema G1906) is used in Scripture but Vine's says "eperotema, 1 Pet. 3:21, is not, as in the A.V., ‘an answer.’ It was used by the Greeks in a legal sense, as a demand or appeal." Thus the RSV translation is backed up and what baptism really affords us is the forgiveness of the sins, the chance to have the slate cleaned off and have a new start so that we might have a good conscience. This makes sense because before baptism we do not have a good conscience but one that should be filled with guilt looking for the chance of forgiveness.

(Heb 9:14) "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"