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Summary: : In 1 Peter 3:19-21 seems to provide a description of an event that transpired while Jesus was in the tomb for three (3) days. This is a very difficult passage to understand its meaning or implication.

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Title: Faith Revisited

Big Idea: In 1 Peter 3:19-21 seems to provide a description of an event that transpired while Jesus was in the tomb for three (3) days. This is a very difficult passage to understand its meaning or implication. Students of the Bible have developed different understandings of what this passage means. One thing is clear and the believer must never lose sight of is the "Faith in Jesus" is the foundation of our salvation. While there are many things in the Bible that we may not understand the one thing is for sure Jesus died on a cross, spent three (3) days in the grave and arose and sets on the right Hand of God (Heb 12:2).

Intro Illustration: Text Illustration:

"At last I understood: in the final analysis, forgiveness is an act of faith. By forgiving another, I am trusting that God is a better justice-maker than I am. By forgiving, I release my own right to get even and leave all issues of fairness for God to work out. I leave in God’s hands the scales that must balance justice and mercy. (Yancey, "What’s So Amazing About Grace?" p.93)

Read Sermon Text:

1 Peter 3:19-21 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 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. 21 There is also an antitype which now saves us — baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, NKJV

1. Three Propositions

1 Peter 3:19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, NKJV

a. Who are the spirits in prison?

i. Are they Old Testament Saints

ii. Are they those who died prior to the flood while the ark was being built?

iii. Are they all who have died without faith In Christ and are in hell?

iv. Are they Old Testament Saints

Abraham believed God according to the promises and new revelation God gave him in Genesis 12 and 15. Prior to Moses, no Scripture was written, but mankind was responsible for what God had revealed. Throughout the Old Testament, believers came to salvation because they believed that God would someday take care of their sin problem. Today, we look back, believing that He has already taken care of our sins on the cross (John 3:16; Hebrews 9:28). (Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/before-Jesus.html#ixzz3WoiVuRqR)

1. Are they those who died before the flood while the ark was being built?

What has changed through the ages is the content of a believer's faith. God's requirement of what must be believed is based on the amount of revelation He has given mankind up to that time. This is called progressive revelation. Adam believed the promise God gave in Genesis 3:15 that the Seed of the woman would conquer Satan. Adam believed Him, demonstrated by the name he gave Eve (v. 20) and the Lord indicated His acceptance immediately by covering them with coats of skin (v. 21). At that point that is all Adam knew, but he believed it. (Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/before-Jesus.html#ixzz3WoiVuRqR)

2. Are they all who have died without faith In Christ and are in hell?

3. The third (3rd) explanation of this passage could be that God is not willing that any perish so He (God) sent Jesus into the grave (prison) to give all there a second chance for eternal life.

b. What is the correct interruption?

i. As we look at each of the three (3) positions, each position has a constant and consistent focal point, Jesus is the central focus of each one of them. (1) The old testament saints believed God and it was their faith that save them (Heb 11) very clearly states that is was by "faith" and without faith it is impossible to please God. Heb 11:13 states that "These all died in Faith" they receive the promise even though they didn't see the promise (Jesus) they received their eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 11:13-16 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. NKJV

ii. The other two (2) positions imply that God will give all who die without faith in Jesus will have a second chance for eternal life. However the reality is that when a person steps from this life he/she will go to the eternal place that he/she has chosen. Each of the two positions (1) those who lived in the days while Noah was building the ark and those how (2) die without Jesus have had their last opportunity for a life in heaven with God. While God is a God of second chances and the opportunity for salivation ends at physical death and their eternal destination is sealed forever. Revelation 1:18 states that is Jesus who holds the keys to hell. Without faith the unbeliever will die in their sins. God's word clearly states "the wages of sin is death" (Rom 6:23) of which there is no second chance after we die.

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