1 Peter 3

The first time I read through this Chapter, I misunderstood verse 1-2…
In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
I read it quickly and took it to mean that a husband could be saved by their wife if the wife believed. How I got that I’m not sure but I think there is another verse somewhere that talks about husbands and wives and how one can be saved through the other? Not sure, I’d have to look that up again.
I read it now to mean that a husband will look at the behavior of their wives, being morally chaste and respectful and be reminded of how they, themselves, should act. I believe this is talking about both husband and wife who are already believers, though the husband may be disobedient to the word. “..they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,” so basically, the wife doesn’t have to nag at their husband to remind him of how to act. If she is acting correctly, it should spark an acknowledgment in him that he is not acting correctly.
3 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
So these verses speak loudly to me. I’ve stopped dying my hair. I felt that I needed to get back to basics and figure out what I really looked like naturally, the way God made me. The questions in my mind pop around to …
a. Is it disrespectful of me to God to alter my appearance? Meaning, that in doing so, am I really showing God that I don’t think He did a good enough job when He made me?
b. Do the plain people (Amish, Mennonites etc.) have it right to not adorn themselves with make up, jewelry, hair dyes, flashy clothes, etc.?
So these verses speak to these issues. In these verses, I see that it is not “wrong” to externally adorn oneself as long as that is not the sole adornment. Basically, don’t focus soley on the external, the flesh… as God doesn’t care for that, He cares for the spiritual, the inner person, the heart.
5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.
These verses continue on the same theme looking in the past to Sarah and Abraham. Holy women back then also adorned themselves (externally and internally) submitting to their OWN husbands wishes. Couple of things… this verse isn’t telling women to submit to ALL men. This verse tells women to submit to their OWN husband. Two chiefs in the house making decisions can lead to a lot of arguments. It’s smart to have one person make the final decision and if the man is being a man and supporting his wife and children and protecting them and more importantly living in a way with his eyes on God, he should have the final say. I think this is why it is so important to be equally yoked in marriage. One cannot fully submit to a husband without fear, unless one knows 100% that both believe in the same God and the same moral guidelines, the same eternal consequences etc. Anything less is a recipe for disaster which my life has proved very nicely 🙂
7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
This verse is very important and one that I think, gets misinterpreted often. This verse doesn’t say that women ARE weaker (physically maybe but certainly not spiritually, mentally etc.). It is telling husbands to be understanding toward their wives and treat them AS IF they were weaker. They are to show honor to their wives as fellow heirs of the grace of life. There is no place in this verse that puts women down or in any way shows a lack of equality in God’s eyes for women.
8 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.
Verses 8-17
These verses are a reminder, a summing up, of how one should behave if one is to inherit a blessing. Basically, if you are doing what is right (or righteous) and you suffer for it… count it a blessing, knowing that you are pleasing God rather than men. Keep your conscience clear. Be ready to explain the hope that lives in you, the strength of character you show… be ready to explain Christ who lives in you and boosts you up. Keep your eyes on the afterlife, the inheritance, rather than on this life which will hold suffering and evil.
21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.
Verse 21-22 is extremely interesting concerning what “baptism” is and isn’t. Bear with me as I jot down my thought processes.
According to Peter (if He truly wrote 1 Peter) baptism is… an appeal to God for a good conscience.
I would have expected a verse as direct and blunt as this one to make mention of full body immersion, or sprinkling or water of any kind. Peter does not say that. In fact, he is very direct about specifically stating baptism is not the removal of dirt from the flesh. This separates it from taking a normal bath or shower.
I understand that the Jewish culture made use of ritual baths to cleanse and purify themselves before attending to spiritual matters.
I understand that John the Baptist (who was sent to pave the way for Jesus the Christ) used water for baptism for repentance.

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Matthew 28:19
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
According to Peter (if He truly wrote 1 Peter) baptism is… an appeal to God for a good conscience.
So now my thoughts are circling around …
  1. John the Baptist came first to pave the way for Jesus the Christ.. he baptized for repentance with water.
  2. Then came Jesus the Christ who baptized with fire or the Holy Spirit.
Peter says baptism is an appeal to God for a good conscience. Peter was taught by Jesus, John the Baptist was not.
We are told to be saved.. Romans 10:9
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
That goes hand in hand with what Peter says about baptism.. an appeal to God for a good conscience.
One makes an appeal with the mouth.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

Was Jesus talking about dunking people in water like John the Baptist did BEFORE Jesus came to His ministry?  Yes, He was because of one simple thing…the apostles and the disciples they created after them, WERE NOT CHRIST.  They, themselves, cannot baptize by the Holy Spirit – only Christ can.  Their only alternative is to baptize with water, same as John the Baptist.

I think… Jesus the Christ, taught Peter what baptism truly is… an appeal to God… and when He commanded His disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit… That is the WHO to appeal to. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit..
There is nothing wrong with a baptism by water for REPENTANCE and OBEDIENCE to Christ… to show publicly you repent of your sins and that you are obeying the Christ….like John the Baptist did.
On the other hand, I feel that the emphasis placed on this repentance/obedience baptism, is over done. Jesus wants people to appeal to God for a clean conscience… this is “the prayer” we say to be saved. That is the true believer’s baptism. Jesus was concerned with Saving people. 

Full-immersion water baptism was a big part of the Jewish culture prior to temple and such.  The idea of “being clean” spiritually was huge before they could perform any “works” or “worship” God.

Our culture today, not so much, as we rely on faith alone for salvation.  Does this negate water baptism?  I don’t think so, but the “emphasis” that various churches place on it I believe is out of line.

John 3:17
“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
If this is the case… churches should water baptize anyone, anytime, for repentance/obedience, just as John the Baptist did. Whether they believe in Jesus or not. This baptism by water does not save a person. John the Baptist even baptized Jesus… who knew no sin and had no need of repentance.
The believer’s baptism, the one that saves you, baptism of the Holy Spirit… that is the one that should have the most emphasis, and it has nothing to do with water.
Why then do churches put such high importance on the water baptism? This is the baptism that they focus on. This is the baptism that separates who can be or can’t be a member of a local church (in many cases). Why? It makes no sense.  They focus on the “works”.  They force people to jump through “hoops” in order to declare themselves believers and followers of Christ, even so far as to require in some cases, Baptism classes, refusing to baptize someone until they can pass a test?  I don’t get it.  Christ didn’t make people pass a test before baptism!

I am all for tradition and full-immersion water baptism as a way of demonstrating your belief and showing the inner change.  But realistically, our culture is not centered around baptism anymore.  It’s not like there is a ritual bath or a mikvah on every street corner. 

I have been saved for 2 years now and I just found a church I am comfortable with attending, though I am not comfortable enough with them for baptism yet.  They are still just acquaintances to me and not yet “family”.  I hope that changes this year as I would like to be baptized.  But I don’t want it to be a “cold, arms length” experience.  Not sure if that makes sense or not.

I know people say you should believe and then be baptized right away but truly?  Where can you go to just get baptized if you are not part of any church and don’t know the people etc.  A lot of churches have “requirements” prior to baptism and I think that should change.

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