Victory in Defeat
Topic: Expository Scripture: 1 Peter 3:18–3:22
The following study guide is to be used to discuss the Friday, June 21, 2019 sermon.
Introduction - These five verses are some of the most difficult to interpret in the whole Bible. And yet they are part of God’s Word for us and so they deserve our attention and careful thought. And if we’re willing to wrestle with the text prayerfully and thoughtfully, there will be a blessing for us because “all scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
READ 1 Peter 3:18-22
1. Notice that verse 18 begins with the word “for” or “because.” That means our verses are an argument or basis for another truth. Go back and read verses 13-17. What is the main command of the section, for which our verses (18-22) are a supporting argument?
APPLICATION: In what ways do we get discouraged in the face of suffering for Jesus’ name? What are some negative ways we might view when we suffer for obeying Jesus?
2. How might Jesus’ suffering for our sins be an encouragement to Christians suffering for Christ’s sake?
APPLICATION: Imagine you’re talking to someone who’s not a Christian. And they ask you “How does someone get to God?” How might you answer based on verse 19?
3. Verse 19 is a notoriously difficult verse with a host of proposed interpretations. What theories have you heard about who the imprisoned spirits are that Jesus preached to? What arguments might support those interpretations? How might verses 22 give us guidance?
APPLICATION: What can you do when you find a difficult text in scripture? What should we not do?
4. In what ways is the experience of Christians in Peter’s day, or in the world today, like Noah’s experience?
5. Does this passage teach that you must be baptized in order to be reconciled to God? Why do you think that?
APPLICATION: Have you been baptized as a believer in Jesus? If not, why not?