Monday, June 10, 2013

Do Not Repay Evil for Evil

"Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.  Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.  For
"Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.  For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer.  But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?  But even if you should suffer for righteousness sake, you will be blessed.  Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ and Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.

For Christ also suffered 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, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, (verse 20)because 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. (verse 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, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him."  1 Peter 3:8-22 ESV

Here is an explanation for verses in 1 Peter 3:20-21.  This is from the MacArthur Study Bible, English Standard Version page 1894.
"3:20 did not obey. . .in the days of Noah.  Peter further explains that the abyss is inhabited by bound demons who have been there since the time of Noah, and who were sent there because they severly overstepped the bounds of God's tolerance with their wickedness. The demons of Noah's day were running riot through the earth, filling the world with their wicked, vile, anti-God activity, including sexual sin, so that even 120 years of Noah's preaching, while the ark was being built, could not convince any of the human race beyond the eight people in Noah's family to believe in God (see notes on 2 Peter 2:4-5; Jude 6-7; cf. Gen. 6:1-8). Thus God bound these demons permanently in the abyss until their final sentencing.      safely through water.     They had been rescued in spite of the water, not because of the water.  Here water was the agent of God's judgment, not the means of salvation. (see note on Acts 2:38).

"3:21 corresponds to this, now saves you.  Peter is teaching that the fact that eight people were in an ark and went through the whole judgment, and yet were unharmed, is analogous to the Christian's experience in salvation by being in Christ, the ark of one's salvation.     Baptism . . . through the resurection of Jesus Christ.      Peter is not at all referring to water baptism here, but rather a figurative immersion into union with Christ as an ark of safety from the judgment of God.  The resurrection of Christ demonstrates God's acceptance of Christ's substitutionary death for the sins of those who believe (Acts 2:30-31; Rom. 1:4).  Judgment fell on Christ just as the judgment of the flood waters fell on the ark.  The believer who is in Christ is thus in the ark of safety that will sail over the waters of judment into eternal glory (cf. Rom 6:1-4).     not as a removal of dirt from the body.      To be sure he is not misunderstood, Peter clearly says he is not speaking of water baptism.  In Noah's flood, they were kept out of the water while those who went into the water and were destroyed.  Being in the ark and thus saved from God's judgment on the world prefigures being in Christ and thus saved from eternal damnation.    an appeal to God for a good conscience.     The word for "appeal" has the idea of a pledge, agreeing to certain conditions of a covenant (the New Covenant) with God.  What saves a person plagued by sin and a guilty conscience is not some external rite, but the agreement with God to get in the ark of safety, the Lord Jesus, by faith in his death and resurrection. (cf. Rom. 10:9-10; Heb. 9:14; 10:22).

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus, I lift up those reading this today.  I pray that they will find comfort in You as they go about their day.  I also pray for the unsaved who are reading this, that they will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

I used this little painting of a cruise ship to symbolize Noah's Ark.  I know that Noah and his family were not on a cruise ship, but his was the only painting I had completed that could possibly symbolize Noah's Ark.  I didn't want to delay posting this devotional.  I hope you all have a lovely, blessed day!

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