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Summary: 1. We see Jesus’ perfection (vs. 18). 2. We see Jesus’ purpose for suffering (vs. 18). 3. We see Jesus preaching (vs. 18-20). 4. We see Jesus’ power to save (vs. 20-22).

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Our Wonderful Savior Jesus Christ

1 Peter 3:18-22

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - Feb. 3, 3013

*Nobody is like Jesus! -- He is our wonderful Savior!

*I love the way this old hymn puts it:

“O worship the King, all glorious above,

O gratefully sing His power and His love;

Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,

Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,

In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;

Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,

Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.” (1)

*Jesus is our wonderful Savior.

-And in these verses we can see how wonderful He is.

1. First, we see Jesus’ perfection.

*Leading up to vs. 17&18, Peter had been talking about believers suffering for the cause of Christ. Then Peter said:

17. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

18. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

*“Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust.” Jesus is perfect. He is the Just One, -- The only one who never sinned in thought, word or deed. The Just died for the unjust. The perfect, only righteous one died for the unjust!

*And we are the unjust. Richard Wilson explained by saying, “Some folks think they are good really good people. Let’s suppose that a person only sins three times a day: A sin in the morning, a sin during the day and a sin at night.

*Sounds like a pretty good person! But if that person lives to be 70 years old, they will commit 76,650 sins in their lifetime.” (2)

*And Church: That doesn’t count leap years! -- We are the unjust.

-But here in vs. 18, we see Jesus’ perfection.

2. We also see His purpose for suffering.

*Verse 18 tells us that: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. . .”

*You surely won’t get to the Heavenly Father without Jesus! As the Lord said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” And Jesus wants to bring us to God.

*What a glorious trip it will be for all who trust in the Lord!

-But that trip for us home to Heaven came at the highest cost.

-It was Jesus’ purpose for suffering on the cross.

3. But here in these verses we also see Jesus preaching.

*Of course Jesus preached during His earthly ministry. But here in vs. 18-20, we see something very different. And we are going to spend a good while on this preaching, because it’s a difficult passage of Scripture.

*Peter said:

18. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

19. by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,

20. who formerly were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.

*The mystery in these verses is about preaching to the spirits in prison. And the mystery centers around:

-Who the “He” is in vs. 19.

-What He preached.

-Where He preached.

-And who He preached to.

*Some people believe that Jesus went to hell to preach salvation to those who were lost. But that cannot be true, because it is contrary to the rest of Scripture.

*Another view is that the “He” in vs. 19 refers to the Holy Spirit, who spoke through Noah when he preached during the building of the ark.

*My view is that the “He” in vs. 19 is talking about Jesus, and vs. 18-19 could read this way:

18. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

19. by whom also (Jesus) went and preached to the spirits in prison,

*To see why, I think this is the answer to the mystery we have to answer two questions.

[1] The first question is this: When saved people in the Old Testament died, where did they go?

*We tend to think they went to Heaven, but I don’t know of any Scripture that tells us that. On the contrary, let’s look at evidence that saved people did not go to Heaven before the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ:

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