Peter uses some very interesting analogies in these passages. He brings us right up to the climax of the book. Know that suffering is on the way. Either you are going through a trial, have just come out of one, or are about to head into one.
1. The bold preaching of God’s word still works in the natural and in the supernatural. Jesus used His craft wisely and preached to the spirits in prison. It took Jesus’ sacrifice for us to be able to be in the presence of God.
Of all the things Jesus could have done during the time between the Cross and the Resurrection, He chose to preach. When He confronted them on the road to Emmaus, He concealed his identify from them so He could preach.
All Scripture is given by inspiration from God. When we follow the commandment to preach the word, it enables the word to do the saving and the rebuking. That way, the focus is not on the preacher but the preaching.
The word is not to be sugar-coated or watered down or altered in any way. In the realm of supernatural, it was Jesus’ preaching that worked.
Remember, Jesus didn’t get killed for who He was but for what He said. Likewise, John the Baptist was martyred not for who he was but for what he said. Genuine preachers aren’t interested in what people think.
Today, everyone knows who John the Baptist is but really don’t care anything about Herod, who had him beheaded for what he said.
Every time evil rose in the nation of Israel, God balanced it out with preaching. When King David went astray, it was Nathan who confronted him with his sin.
Then, once Israel got past Malachi, the prophet, there were 400 years of silence from God until Christ was born. The message is always the same: repent and get right with God. We have a church now because of that one message.
God has always emboldened those whom He has called, both Old Testament and New Testament, to preach the word even when they were threatened.
Even in Revelation, during the time of the Great Tribulation, God will bring forth two witnesses to preach the same message to unbelievers.
If there’s one thing we will build the church upon, it is the preaching of the word of God. It’s the Bible that changes lives, not the preacher’s personality, and it works in both the supernatural and natural realms.
What we find is that people are starved for truth.
Verse 3:20 refers back to the time of Noah, when a grand total of eight souls were “saved by water.” It was the word that saved them.
The power in the preaching is the gospel, not the stories or the three sermon points.
You can make the Bible say whatever you want. Examples and endorsements are not the same thing. David was an example of adultery, but his is not the example we are to follow.
The filth of our flesh is our sin.
We get baptized not to get saved, because our salvation does not come from baptism, but to show that we have been saved.
2. Baptism is an outward sign of our inward transformation. Baptism does not save us from the filth that sin crates in us. We are not saved by works of righteousness, but by mercy.
He has gone into heaven and sits at the right hand of God. This is an illustration of Jesus’ influence.
3. All authority, power and glory belong to Jesus Christ. Man does not deserve any glory. We have to be careful that when we see God’s power and evident work, we do not take credit for it nor attempt to take control over it.
Jesus will draw people unto Himself. He is in total control of our lives. When we finally believe this, then we can talk about suffering. May we never think that God is good for what He does for us, but He is good simply for who He is.