Made Alive in the Spirit 1 Peter 3:18-22, Rob Harlan Teaching Staff

Made Alive in the Spirit 1 Peter 3:18-22

Context: This whole passage is about suffering for righteousness sake, that is suffering for standing up for what’s right – some Christians had been punished for it and Peter wants to address this.  We turn from the teaching portion of the passage to the example, or the illustration, which is Jesus and his life.  His life is our ultimate example.  

1 Peter 3:18-22 “18 For Christ also suffered[b] 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[c] he went and proclaimed[d] to the spirits in prison, 20 because[e] 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.”

  1. V 18 “For Christ also suffered[b] 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”
    1. When Jesus came to the earth on a mission to SAVE us, and that included suffering and I want us to look at how the Scripture describes His ministry. 
      1. 1 Peter 2:23-24 “23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
      2. Isaiah 53:3-5 “3 He was despised and rejected[b] by men, a man of sorrows[c] and acquainted with[d] grief;[e] and as one from whom men hide their faces[f] he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely, he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
  1. Righteous for the unrighteous.  Jesus suffered for the unrighteous, are we? 
    1. It’s not fair, is it?  How do you respond when you are treated unfairly?  The way you respond when you are treated unfairly may be an indication of how much you need this teaching, I know I do.  
    2. Does a sense of injustice and a victim mentality ever have a place in the Christian life? Does that ever bring about someone’s salvation? Does it bring to us happiness and peace?  
    3. If Christ opened not his mouth to revile, how should we be? 
    4. 2 Tim 3:12-13 “12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
    5. Luke 6:27-28 “27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”
    6. IF you try to do this with your own heart, this will be bondage, but if you do this with HIS heart, it will be life and joy. 
    7. If your objective is to be like Christ, then what happens to your sense of justice and indignation when you are treated unjustly?  It goes away. You are finally free from yourself.   
    8. If your objective is to be like Christ then when you are slighted, then instead of indignation and strife, it is joy and peace.  
  1. He brings us to God.  
    1. And Now, he brings us back to God and presents us to the father, fills us with the Holy Spirit and gives us purpose again.  
    2. 2 Cor 5:11-18 “17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;” 
    3. If Peter is using this passage as an example for us, and Christ’s suffering brings us to God, what does our suffering do for OTHERS??  Does it not bring THEM TO GOD?   
    4. God is seeking to use our suffering as a glorious testimony to the world and USE that testimony as a means of bringing the lost to a salvation.  
  1. He died in the flesh but was made alive or “given life” as in a birth, in the Spirit. 
    1. The meaning being the power that raised Christ from the Dead was through the power of the Holy Spirit.  
    2. The Same power that raised Jesus from the grave lies in us.
  1. V 19-20 “19 in which[c] he went and proclaimed[d] to the spirits in prison, 20 because[e] 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.”
    1. Christ, in His Spirit, that is, by the Power of the Holy Spirit proclaimed to the Spirits who disobeyed before the Flood.  
    2. Some believe this is talking about the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit during the days leading up to the flood, others believe that Jesus proclaimed to these same Spirits after the crucifixion.
    3. Either way, the point of this is that these spirits that he is talking about were DISOBEIDENT before the flood, to the point that eight persons ONLY were brought safely through the water.
    4. The point is that the WORLD turned against the truth, even in the face of God’s patience.  
    5. God was so patient.
    6. Also, SO FEW responded.  
    7. Does that have any bearing on us to today?  It is the very illustration that Peter is using to prepare us for suffering, that only 8 people made it on to that ark, so don’t lose heart if it seems that the WORLD is turning against you. 
  1. V 21 “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,”
    1. BAPTISM saves you!  From the context he is speaking spiritually because the whole context is Jesus being alive in the Spirit, therefor we are SAVED by means of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, what the Bible also calls regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.   
    2. Titus 3:5 “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,”
    3. Every new believer receives the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at salvation. 
    4. 1 Corinthians 12:13 “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[d] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”
    5. When he says that baptism is not for the removal of dirt but the an appeal – the word appeal here can mean an intense desire or an intense request – that is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the plea of the Believer to God for Salvation.
    6. WATER BAPTISM is the sign of the New covenant – Symbolism: 
      1. RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST – it is a symbol 
      2. This BAPTISM of Noah’s ark is the symbol of Christ’s death and resurrection. 
      3. Romans 6:1-6 “Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
  1. V 22 “22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.”
    1. The battle is won. He did it.  We are just the mop up crew and there are some final battles coming, but those battle will be over so fast, that it takes two verses in Rev 19:19-20 – which is the defeat of the antichrist and in Rev 20:9-10 the defeat of Satan.
    2. He was made alive in the Spirit so that we have been made alive in the Spirit at salvation. 
    3. So that what? So that knowing that he suffered in death to save us, so we can suffer to see others saved – Talk about radical surrender!  

Application

  1. The point of this passage is to give us and illustration of suffering, what are we to remember? Remember that He modeled to us SELF SACRIFICING love.  
    1. So what if our purpose was not career but viewing your workplace as a mission field, would it change the way your workplace looked? 
    2. What if your marriage was not for you to have needs, but was there to let Christ paint a picture of true love and self-sacrifice?  
    3. What if your parenting was no longer about raising kids, but about modeling the love of the father to children in a way that they are so raised in an atmosphere of self-sacrifice?
    4. What if your friendships weren’t just about having fun, but loving and encouraging each other? 
    5. Would these things be outside your comfort zone? Yes. Would they result in suffering?  Yes.  Would you be being Christ like?  YES. And you would count it all joy. 
  1. What if we DO get persecuted and what if we suffer??
    1. I believe that God would tell us to keep our eyes on HIM.  
    2. Is it all about watching the news for you?  I have to be honest that gets my mind on this world, not the next.  
    3. Col 3:1 ‘If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
    4. Rev 21:1-4 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place[a] of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,[b] and God himself will be with them as their God.[c] 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
    5. Rev 21:22-27 “22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
    6. Is your name written in the Lamb’s book of life?  If so, than this is your home.  This is where we are headed and we are on the journey home.  The faith that we have in this will give us the light of truth in our hearts to give us encouragement as we face suffering.