Summary: 1 Peter 3:18 is a powerful verse when memorized and utilized in sharing your faith. All of the elements of the gospel are here. Link verse 18 to verse 15. If you want to be ready to answer meditate on this verse and commit it to memory.
The Just for the Unjust
April 24, 2016, a.m.& p.m. (1Peter 3:18-22) Command Baptist Church
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
Text: (vs. 18) - “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”
Verse 18 is a key verse every Christian believer should memorize and utilize. If you will memorize this verse and its content, you will be ready at any moment to give an answer to every man that asks you of the hope of your salvation with meekness and fear.
There is a connection between verses 17 & 18. Verse 17 speaks of the suffering of the saints and verse 18 speaks of the suffering of the Savior. The conclusions are obvious. 1] The Lord Jesus suffered for us. 2] Suffering is a normal part of the Christian’s life. 3] God uses our suffering for His glory and our good..
In verses 18-22, it’s as if Peter takes three snapshots of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There are three meaningful things about the Lord Jesus that are of great interest in these verses. Peter portrays Jesus as the Suffering Savior, (vs. 18), the Silent Savior, (19-20), and the Sovereign Savior, (vs. 22).
BI - “This verse is loaded with theology that exalts the Savior and equips the saints.”
*** The Suffering Savior - (vs. 18)
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”
There are five facts Peter mentions in this first portrayal of the Lord Jesus Christ as the suffering Savior. He tells us first that:
1. Jesus’ Suffering was Timely - “For Christ also hath once suffered…”
During the Old Testament era, people brought a sin offering as a sacrifice to the Lord through a God-anointed priest, (Lev. 5:7; 6:30). Since men have always been sinners and therefore continued to sin, this was a reoccurring sacrifice. The sin question was never satisfied in the Old Testament economy. This happened every day of the year, year after year, and decade upon decade.
It was not satisfied until “one” major, exclusive event occurred in history. Jesus, the Son of God, became the perfect, permanent, propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of all men. He suffered on the cross for us. He took our suffering, our sin with its enormous debt load, and our hell for us! Jesus did it “once” for all time, and “once” was enough! Jesus’ suffering was timely. God appointed a day from the foundation of the world, (Rev. 13:8), in which the sin question would be finally and permanently dealt with. Paul wrote this to the Galatian church,
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons, (Gal. 4:4-5).
For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation, (Heb. 9:24-28).
APP: Jesus suffered for sin and He understands your suffering.
Jesus appeared in history to answer the sin question, and He did that. But, there is more here. The apostle Peter reminds us of the Lord’s suffering for our sin. But, he reminds us of the suffering of the Lord as if to say, “God understands your suffering. He suffered once too.” He knows what it is like to undergo the tremendous pressure of suffering that comes to one who strives to live for God. He knows what it “feels” like because He suffered once like you suffer now, only to a greater degree. He knows the mental agony and physical strain that comes with suffering in life.