1 Peter 3:18-20

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,  by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.

Peter makes these statements:

  • Christ died onec for our sins
  • Christ who was innocent died for us who are guilty
  • Christ died in order to bring us to God
  • His body was put to death and His Spirit made alive
  • Christ preached to the spirits kept in prison
  • The people disobeyed God while Noah built the ark
  • Eight people went in the ark and God brought them safely through the flood

What these verses say to me is that Jesus died for our sins in order to reconcile us with God because sin separated us from the Father. 

Christ preached to the spirits in prison during His ministry here on earth.  He preached, “Turn back to God!  The kingdom of heaven will soon be here” (Matthew 4:17).  The people were prisoners of sin but Jesus came to free them.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Jesus read this to the people and then after He closed the scroll, He announced, “What you have just heard Me read has come true today” (Luke 4:18-20).  Throughout His ministry, Jesus fulfilled this prophecy.  He healed the sick, the lame, the crippled, gave sight to the physically and spiritually blind, cast out demons and taught people the good news about God’s love and His kingdom.  He freed many from spiritual darkness and the bondage of sin.

He also preached to the people in Noah’s time.  He did so through the Holy Spirit.  These were the people who disobeyed God while Noah was building the ark.  God was patient with them, giving them ample opportunity and time to repent.  He gave them 120 years during which Noah preached to the people.  Peter referred to Noah as “a preacher of righteousness”.  Sadly, in the end, only eight people (Noah and his family) were saved. 

Today, Jesus through the Holy Spirit is preaching to us, urging us to repent so that we could be saved from the destruction of the earth.  We ought to pray like David that God would bring our souls out of prison (Psalm 142:7).  Just as in the days of Noah, God is patiently waiting for people to repent and turn to Him so that through Jesus, they could be saved.  Peter confirms this, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).  God wanted to save more than eight people in Noah’s day but when the people continued to wallow in wickedness and rebellion, God had no other choice but to condemn them to destruction.

Don’t make God do something that breaks His heart.  Follow Peter’s advice, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.  Don’t allow yourself to be being led away with the error of the wicked;  but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:14, 17, 18).

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