1 Peter 3
Wherein the apostle describes the duties of husbands and wives one to
another, beginning with the duty of the wife,
1 Peter 3:1-7.
He exhorts Christians to unity, love, compassion, peace, and patience
under sufferings; to oppose the slanders of their enemies, not by
returning evil for evil, or railing for railing, but by blessing; by a
ready account of their faith and hope, and by keeping a good conscience,
1 Peter 3:8-17.
To encourage them to this, he proposes the example of Christ, who
suffered, the just for the unjust, but yet punished the old world for
their disobedience, and saved the few who were faithful in the days of
1 Peter 3:18-22.
|Duties of Husbands and Wives.
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1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands;
that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be
won by the conversation of the wives;
2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with
3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of
plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is
not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit,
which is in the sight of God of great price.
5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also,
who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto
their own husbands:
6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose
daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with
7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to
knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker
vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that
your prayers be not hindered.
The apostle having treated of the duties of subjects to their
sovereigns, and of servants to their masters, proceeds to explain the
duty of husbands and wives.
I. Lest the Christian matrons should imagine that their conversion to
Christ, and their interest in all Christian privileges, exempted them
from subjection to their pagan or Jewish husbands, the apostle here
1. In what the duty of wives consists.
(1.) In subjection, or an affectionate submission to the will,
and obedience to the just authority, of their own husbands,
which obliging conduct would be the most likely way to win those
disobedient and unbelieving husbands who had rejected the word, or who
attended to no other evidence of the truth of it than what they saw in
the prudent, peaceable, and exemplary conversation of their
[1.] Every distinct relation has its particular duties, which ministers
ought to preach, and the people ought to understand.
[2.] A cheerful subjection, and a loving, reverential respect,
are duties which Christian women owe their husbands, whether they be
good or bad; these were due from Eve to Adam before the fall, and are
still required, though much more difficult now than they were before,
[3.] Though the design of the word of the gospel is to win and gain
souls to Christ Jesus, yet there are many so obstinate that they will
not be won by the word.
[4.] There is nothing more powerful, next to the word of God, to win
people, than a good conversation, and the careful discharge of relative
[5.] Irreligion and infidelity do not dissolve the bonds, nor dispense
with the duties, of civil relations; the wife must discharge her
duty to her own husband, though he obey not the word.
(2.) In fear, or reverence to their husbands,
(3.) In a chaste conversation, which their unbelieving husbands
would accurately observe and attend to.
[1.] Evil men are strict observers of the conversation of the
professors of religion; their curiosity, envy, and jealousy, make them
watch narrowly the ways and lives of good people.
[2.] A chaste conversation, attended with due and proper respect
to every one, is an excellent means to win them to the faith of the
gospel and obedience to the word.
(4.) In preferring the ornaments of the mind to those of the body.
[1.] He lays down a rule in regard to the dress of religious women,
1 Peter 3:3.
Here are three sorts of ornaments forbidden: plaiting of hair,
which was commonly used in those times by lewd women; wearing of
gold, or ornaments made of gold, was practised by Rebecca,
and Esther, and other religious women, but afterwards became the attire
chiefly of harlots and wicked people; putting on of apparel,
which is not absolutely forbidden, but only too much nicety and
costliness in it. Learn, First, Religious people should take
care that all their external behaviour be answerable to their
profession of Christianity: They must be holy in all manner of
conversation. Secondly, The outward adorning of the body is very
often sensual and excessive; for instance, when it is immoderate, and
above your degree and station in the world, when you are proud of it
and puffed up with it, when you dress with design to allure and tempt
others, when your apparel is too rich, curious, or superfluous, when
your fashions are fantastical, imitating the levity and vanity of the
worst people, and when they are immodest and wanton. The attire of a
harlot can never become a chaste Christian matron.
[2.] Instead of the outward adorning of the body, he directs Christian
wives to put on much more excellent and beautiful ornaments,
1 Peter 3:4.
Here note, First, The part to be adorned: The hidden man of
the heart; that is, the soul; the hidden, the inner man. Take care
to adorn and beautify your souls rather than your bodies.
Secondly, The ornament prescribed. It must, in general, be
something not corruptible, that beautifies the soul, that is,
the graces and virtues of God's Holy Spirit. The ornaments of the body
are destroyed by the moth, and perish in the using; but the grace of
God, the longer we wear it, the brighter and better it is. More
especially, the finest ornament of Christian women is a meek and
quiet spirit, a tractable easy temper of mind, void of passion,
pride, and immoderate anger, discovering itself in a quiet obliging
behaviour towards their husbands and families. If the husband be harsh,
and averse to religion (which was the case of these good wives to whom
the apostle gives this direction), there is no way so likely to win him
as a prudent meek behaviour. At least, a quiet spirit will make a good
woman easy to herself, which, being visible to others, becomes an
amiable ornament to a person in the eyes of the world. Thirdly,
The excellency of it. Meekness and calmness of spirit are, in the sight
of God, of great price--amiable in the sight of men, and precious in
the sight of God. Learn,
1. A true Christian's chief care lies in the right ordering and
commanding of his own spirit. Where the hypocrite's work ends, there
the true Christian's work begins.
2. The endowments of the inner man are the chief ornaments of a
Christian; but especially a composed, calm, and quiet spirit, renders
either man or woman beautiful and lovely.
2. The duties of Christian wives being in their nature difficult, the
apostle enforces them by the example,
(1.) Of the holy women of old, who trusted in God,
1 Peter 3:5.
"You can pretend nothing of excuse from the weakness of your sex, but
what they might. They lived in old time, and had less knowledge
to inform them and fewer examples to encourage them; yet in all ages
they practised this duty; they were holy women, and therefore
their example is obligatory; they trusted in God, and yet did
not neglect their duty to man: the duties imposed upon you, of a quiet
spirit and of subjection to your own husbands, are not new, but what
have ever been practised by the greatest and best women in the world."
(2.) Of Sara, who obeyed her husband, and followed him when he went
from Ur of the Chaldeans, not knowing whither he went, and
called him lord, thereby showing him reverence and acknowledging
his superiority over her; and all this though she was declared a
princess by God from heaven, by the change of her name, "Whose
daughters you are if you imitate her in faith and good works, and
do not, through fear of your husbands, either quit the truth you
profess or neglect your duty to them, but readily perform it, without
either fear or force, out of conscience towards God and sense of duty
to them." Learn,
[1.] God takes exact notice, and keeps an exact record, of the actions
of all men and women in the world.
[2.] The subjection of wives to their husbands is a duty which has been
practised universally by holy women in all ages.
[3.] The greatest honour of any man or woman lies in a humble and
faithful deportment of themselves in the relation or condition in which
Providence has placed them.
[4.] God takes notice of the good that is in his servants, to their
honour and benefit, but covers a multitude of failings; Sara's
infidelity and derision are overlooked, when her virtues are
[5.] Christians ought to do their duty to one another, not out of fear,
nor from force, but from a willing mind, and in obedience to the
command of God. Wives should be in subjection to their churlish
husbands, not from dread and amazement, but from a desire to do well
and to please God.
II. The husband's duty to the wife comes next to be considered.
1. The particulars are,
(1.) Cohabitation, which forbids unnecessary separation, and
implies a mutual communication of goods and persons one to another,
with delight and concord.
(2.) Dwelling with the wife according to knowledge; not
according to lust, as brutes; nor according to passion, as devils; but
according to knowledge, as wise and sober men, who know the word of God
and their own duty.
(3.) Giving honour to the wife--giving due respect to her, and
maintaining her authority, protecting her person, supporting her
credit, delighting in her conversation, affording her a handsome
maintenance, and placing a due trust and confidence in her.
2. The reasons are, Because she is the weaker vessel by nature
and constitution, and so ought to be defended: but then the wife is, in
other and higher respects, equal to her husband; they are heirs
together of the grace of life, of all the blessings of this life
and another, and therefore should live peaceably and quietly one with
another, and, if they do not, their prayers one with another and one
for another will be hindered, so that often "you will not pray at all,
or, if you do, you will pray with a discomposed ruffled mind, and so
without success." Learn,
(1.) The weakness of the female sex is no just reason either for
separation or contempt, but on the contrary it is a reason for honour
and respect: Giving honour to the wife as unto the weaker
(2.) There is an honour due to all who are heirs of the grace of life.
(3.) All married people should take care to behave themselves so
lovingly and peaceably one to another that they may not by their broils
hinder the success of their prayers.
|Duties towards Friends and Enemies.
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8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of
another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but
contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that
ye should inherit a blessing.
10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him
refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no
11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and
12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his
ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is
against them that do evil.
13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of
that which is good?
14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are
ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready
always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason
of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
The apostle here passes from special to more general exhortations.
I. He teaches us how Christians and friends should treat one another.
He advises Christians to be all of one mind, to be unanimous in
the belief of the same faith, and the practice of the same duties of
religion; and, whereas the Christians at that time were many of them in
a suffering condition, he charges them to have compassion one of
another, to love as brethren, to pity those who were
in distress, and to be courteous to all. Hence learn,
1. Christians should endeavour to be all of one mind in the great
points of faith, in real affection, and in Christian practice; they
should be like-minded one to another, according to Christ Jesus
not according to man's pleasure, but God's word.
2. Though Christians cannot be exactly of the same mind, yet they
should have compassion one for another, and love as brethren; they
ought not to persecute or hate one another, but love one another with
more than common affection; they should love as brethren.
3. Christianity requires pity to the distressed, and civility to all.
He must be a flagrant sinner, or a vile apostate, who is not a proper
object of civil courtesy,
1 Corinthians 5:11,2Jo+1:10,11.
II. He instructs us how to behave towards enemies. The apostle knew
that Christians would be hated and evil-entreated of all men
for Christ's sake; therefore,
1. He warns them not to return evil for evil, nor railing for
railing; but, on the contrary, "when they rail at you, do you bless
them; when they give you evil words, do you give them good ones; for
Christ has both by his word and example called you to bless those that
curse you, and has settled a blessing on you as your everlasting
inheritance, though you were unworthy." To bear evils patiently, and to
bless your enemies, is the way to obtain this blessing of God. Learn,
(1.) To render evil for evil, or railing for railing, is a
sinful unchristian practice; the magistrate may punish
evil-doers, and private men may seek a legal remedy when they
are wronged; but private revenge by duelling, scolding, or secret
mischief, is forbidden
Luke vi. 27; Rom. xii. 17; 1 Thess. v. 15.
To rail is to revile another in bitter, fierce, and reproachful terms;
but for ministers to rebuke sharply, and to preach earnestly against
the sins of the times, is not railing; all the prophets and apostles
Zeph. iii. 3; Acts xx. 29.
(2.) The laws of Christ oblige us to return blessing for railing.
"Love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those
that hate you, and pray for those that persecute you. You must not
justify them in their sin, but you must do for your enemies all that
justice requires or charity commands." We must pity, pray for, and love
those who rail at us.
(3.) A Christian's calling, as it invests him with glorious privileges,
so it obliges him to difficult duties.
(4.) All the true servants of God shall infallibly inherit a blessing;
they have it already in a great degree, but the full possession of it
is reserved to another state and world.
2. He gives an excellent prescription for a comfortable happy life in
this quarrelsome ill-natured world
(1 Peter 3:10):
it is quoted from
"If you earnestly desire that your life should be long, and your days
peaceable and prosperous, keep your tongue from reviling,
evil-speaking, and slandering, and your lips from lying, deceit, and
dissimulation. Avoid doing any real damage or hurt to your neighbour,
but be ever ready to do good, and to overcome evil with good; seek
peace with all men, and pursue it, though it retire from you. This will
be the best way to dispose people to speak well of you, and live
peaceably with you." Learn,
(1.) Good people under the Old and new Testament were obliged to the
same moral duties; to refrain the tongue from evil, and the lips
from guile, was a duty in David's time as well as now.
(2.) It is lawful to consider temporal advantages as motives and
encouragements to religion.
(3.) The practice of religion, particularly the right government of the
tongue, is the best way to make this life comfortable and prosperous; a
sincere, inoffensive, discreet tongue, is a singular means to pass us
peaceably and comfortably through the world.
(4.) The avoiding of evil, and doing of good, is the way to contentment
and happiness both here and hereafter.
(5.) It is the duty of Christians not only to embrace peace when it is
offered, but to seek and pursue it when it is denied: peace with
societies, as well as peace with particular persons, in opposition to
division and contention, is what is here intended.
3. He shows that Christians need not fear that such patient inoffensive
behaviour as is prescribed will invite and encourage the cruelty of
their enemies, for God will thereby be engaged on their side: For
the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous
(1 Peter 3:12);
he takes special notice of them, exercises a providential constant
government over them, and bears a special respect and affection to
them. His ears are open to their prayers; so that if any
injuries be offered to them they have this remedy, they may complain of
it to their heavenly Father, whose ears are always attentive to the
prayers of his servants in their distresses, and who will certainly aid
them against their unrighteous enemies. But the face of the Lord is
against those that do evil; his anger, and displeasure, and
revenge, will pursue them; for he is more an enemy to wicked
persecutors than men are. Observe,
(1.) We must not in all cases adhere to the express words of scripture,
but study the sense and meaning of them, otherwise we shall be led into
blasphemous errors and absurdities: we must not imagine that God hath
eyes, and ears, and face, though these are the express words of the
(2.) God hath a special care and paternal affection towards all his
(3.) God doth always hear the prayers of the faithful,
1 John v. 14; Heb. iv. 16.
(4.) Though God is infinitely good, yet he abhors impenitent sinners,
and will pour out his wrath upon those that do evil. He will do himself
right, and do all the world justice; and his goodness is no obstruction
to his doing so.
4. This patient humble behaviour of Christians is further recommended
and urged from two considerations:--
(1.) This will be the best and surest way to prevent suffering; for
who is he that will harm you?
1 Peter 3:13.
This, I suppose, is spoken of Christians in an ordinary condition, not
in the heat of persecution. "Ordinarily, there will be but few so
diabolical and impious as to harm those who live so innocently and
usefully as you do."
(2.) This is the way to improve sufferings. "If you be followers of
that which is good, and yet suffer, this is suffering for
(1 Peter 3:14),
and will be your glory and your happiness, as it entitles you to the
blessing promised by Christ"
[1.] "You need not be afraid of any thing they can do to strike you
with terror, neither be much troubled nor concerned about the rage or
force of your enemies." Learn, First, to follow always that
which is good is the best course we can take to keep out of harm's way.
Secondly, To suffer for righteousness sake is the honour and
happiness of a Christian; to suffer for the cause of truth, a good
conscience, or any part of a Christian's duty, is a great honour; the
delight of it is greater than the torment, the honour more than the
disgrace, and the gain much greater than the loss. Thirdly,
Christians have no reason to be afraid of the threats or rage of any of
their enemies. "Your enemies are God's enemies, his face is against
them, his power is above them, they are the objects of his curse,
and can do nothing to you but by his permission; therefore trouble not
yourselves about them."
[2.] Instead of terrifying yourselves with the fear of men, be sure to
sanctify the Lord God in your hearts
(1 Peter 3:15);
let him be your fear, and let him be your dread,
Fear not those that can only kill the body, but fear him that can
destroy body and soul,
We sanctify the Lord God in our hearts when we with sincerity and
fervency adore him, when our thoughts of him are awful and reverend,
when we rely upon his power, trust to his faithfulness, submit to his
wisdom, imitate his holiness, and give him the glory due to his most
illustrious perfections. We sanctify God before others when our
deportment is such as invites and encourages others to glorify and
honour him; both are required,
"When this principle is laid deeply into your hearts, the next thing,
as to men, is to be always ready, that is, able and willing, to give
an answer, or make an apology or defence, of the faith you profess,
and that to every man that asketh a reason of your hope, what
sort of hope you have, or which you suffer such hardships in the
world." Learn, First, An awful sense of the divine perfections
is the best antidote against the fear of sufferings; did we fear God
more, we should certainly fear men less. Secondly, The hope and
faith of a Christian are defensible against all the world. There may be
a good reason given for religion; it is not a fancy but a rational
scheme revealed from heaven, suited to all the necessities of miserable
sinners, and centering entirely in the glory of God through Jesus
Christ. Thirdly, Every Christian is bound to answer and
apologize for the hope that is in him. Christians should have a reason
ready for their Christianity, that it may appear they are not actuated
either by folly or fancy. This defence may be necessary more than once
or twice, so that Christians should be always prepared to make it,
either to the magistrate, if he demand it, or to any inquisitive
Christian, who desires to know it for his information or improvement.
Fourthly, These confessions of our faith ought to be made
with meekness and fear; apologies for our religion ought to be
made with modesty and meekness, in the fear of God, with jealousy over
ourselves, and reverence to our superiors.
|Good Conscience and Good Conversation.
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16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of
you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse
your good conversation in Christ.
17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer
for well doing, than for evil doing.
The confession of a Christian's faith cannot credibly be supported but
by the two means here specified--a good conscience and a good
conversation. conscience is good when it does its office well, when
it is kept pure and uncorrupt, and clear from guilt; then it will
justify you, though men accuse you. A good conversation in
Christ is a holy life, according to the doctrine and example of
Christ. "Look well to your conscience, and to your conversation; and
then, though men speak evil of you, and falsely accuse you as
evil-doers, you will clear yourselves, and bring them to shame. Perhaps
you may think it hard to suffer for well-doing, for keeping a good
conscience and a good conversation; but be not discouraged, for it is
better for you, though worse for your enemies, that you suffer for
well-doing than for evil-doing." Learn,
1. The most conscientious persons cannot escape the censures and
slanders of evil men; they will speak evil of them, as of evil-doers,
and charge them with crimes which their very souls abhor: Christ and
his apostles were so used.
2. A good conscience and a good conversation are the best means to
secure a good name; these give a solid reputation and a lasting one.
3. False accusation generally turns to the accuser's shame, by
discovering at last the accuser's indiscretion, injustice, falsehood,
4. It is sometimes the will of God that good people should suffer for
well-doing, for their honesty and for their faith.
5. As well-doing sometimes exposes a good man to suffering, so
evil-doing will not exempt an evil man from it. The apostle supposes
here that a man may suffer for both. If the sufferings of good people
for well-doing be so severe, what will the sufferings of wicked people
be for evil-doing? It is a sad condition which that person is in upon
whom sin and suffering meet together at the same time; sin makes
sufferings to be extreme, unprofitable, comfortless, and
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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:
19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in
20 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.
I. The example of Christ is proposed as an argument for patience under
sufferings, the strength of which will be discerned if we consider the
several points contained in the words; observe therefore,
1. Jesus Christ himself was not exempted from sufferings in this life,
though he had no guilt of his own and could have declined all suffering
if he had pleased.
2. The reason or meritorious cause of Christ's suffering was the sins
of men: Christ suffered for sins. The sufferings of Christ were
a true and proper punishment; this punishment was suffered to expiate
and to make an atonement for sin; and it extends to all sin.
3. In the case of our Lord's suffering, it was the just that suffered
for the unjust; he substituted himself in our room and stead, and bore
our iniquities. He that knew no sin suffered instead of those that knew
4. The merit and perfection of Christ's sacrifice were such that for
him to suffer once was enough. The legal sacrifices were repeated from
day to day, and from year to year; but the sacrifice of Christ, once
offered, purgeth away sin,
5. The blessed end or design of our Lord's sufferings was to bring us
to God, to reconcile us to God, to give us access to the Father, to
render us and our services acceptable, and to bring us to eternal
Heb. x. 21, 22.
6. The issue and event of Christ's suffering, as to himself, were
these, he was put to death in his human nature, but he was quickened
and raised again by the Spirit. Now, if Christ was not exempted from
sufferings, why should Christians expect it? If he suffered, to expiate
sins, why should not we be content when our sufferings are only for
trial and correction, but not for expiation? If he, though perfectly
just, why should not we, who are all criminals? If he once suffered,
and then entered into glory, shall not we be patient under trouble,
since it will be but a little time and we shall follow him to glory? If
he suffered, to bring us to God, shall not we submit to
difficulties, since they are of so much use to quicken us in our return
to God, and in the performance of our duty to him?
II. The apostle passes from the example of Christ to that of the old
world, and sets before the Jews, to whom he wrote, the different event
of those who believed and obeyed Christ preaching by Noah, from those
that continued disobedient and unbelieving, intimating to the Jews that
they were under a like sentence. God would not wait much longer upon
them. They had now an offer of mercy; those that accepted of it should
be saved, but those who rejected Christ and the gospel should be as
certainly destroyed as ever the disobedient in the times of Noah
1. For the explication of this we may notice,
(1.) The preacher--Christ Jesus, who has interested himself in the
affairs of the church and of the world ever since he was first promised
He went, not by a local motion, but by special operation, as God
is frequently said to move,
Hos. v. 15; Mic. i. 3.
He went and preached, by his Spirit striving with them, and
inspiring and enabling Enoch and Noah to plead with them, and preach
righteousness to them, as
2 Peter 2:5.
(2.) The hearers. Because they were dead and disembodied when the
apostle speaks of them, therefore he properly calls them spirits now
in prison; not that they were in prison when Christ preached
to them, as the vulgar Latin translation and the popish expositors
(3.) The sin of these people: They were disobedient, that is,
rebellious, unpersuadable, and unbelieving, as the word
signifies; this their sin is aggravated from the patience and
long-suffering of God (which once waited upon them for
120 years together), while Noah was preparing the ark, and by
that, as well as by his preaching, giving them fair warning of what was
coming upon them.
(4.) The event of all: Their bodies were drowned, and their spirits
cast into hell, which is called a prison
but Noah and his family, who believed and were obedient, were saved
in the ark.
2. From the whole we learn that,
(1.) God takes exact notice of all the means and advantages that people
in all ages have had for the salvation of their souls; it is put to the
account of the old world that Christ offered them his help, sent his
Spirit, gave them fair warning by Noah, and waited a long time for
(2.) Though the patience of God wait long upon sinners, yet it will
expire at last; it is beneath the majesty of the great God always to
wait upon man in vain.
(3.) The spirits of disobedient sinners, as soon as they are out of
their bodies, are committed to the prison of hell, whence there is no
(4.) The way of the most is neither the best, the wisest, nor the
safest way to follow: better to follow the eight in the ark than the
eight millions drowned by the flood and damned to hell.
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21 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
22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God;
angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
Noah's salvation in the ark upon the water prefigured the salvation of
all good Christians in the church by baptism; that temporal salvation
by the ark was a type, the antitype whereunto is the eternal salvation
of believers by baptism, to prevent mistakes about which the
I. Declares what he means by saving baptism; not the outward ceremony
of washing with water, which, in itself, does no more than put away the
filth of the flesh, but it is that baptism wherein there is a faithful
answer or restipulation of a resolved good conscience, engaging to
believe in, and be entirely devoted to, God, the Father, Son, and Holy
Ghost, renouncing at the same time the flesh, the world, and the devil.
The baptismal covenant, made and kept, will certainly save us. Washing
is the visible sign; this is the thing signified.
II. The apostle shows that the efficacy of baptism to salvation depends
not upon the work done, but upon the resurrection of Christ, which
supposes his death, and is the foundation of our faith and hope, to
which we are rendered conformable by dying to sin, and rising again to
holiness and newness of life. Learn,
1. The sacrament of baptism, rightly received, is a means and a pledge
of salvation. Baptism now saveth us. God is pleased to convey
his blessings to us in and by his ordinances,
2. The external participation of baptism will save no man without an
answerable good conscience and conversation. There must be the answer
of a good conscience towards God.--Obj. Infants cannot make such
an answer, and therefore ought not to be baptized.--Answer, the
true circumcision was that of the heart and of the spirit
which children were no more capable of then than our infants are
capable of making this answer now; yet they were allowed circumcision
at eight days old. The infants of the Christian church therefore may be
admitted to the ordinance with as much reason as the infants of the
Jewish, unless they are barred from it by some express prohibition of
III. The apostle, having mentioned the death and resurrection of
Christ, proceeds to speak of his ascension, and sitting at the right
hand of the Father, as a subject fit to be considered by these
believers for their comfort in their suffering condition,
1 Peter 3:22.
If the advancement of Christ was so glorious after his deep
humiliation, let not his followers despair, but expect that after these
short distresses they shall be advanced to transcendent joy and glory.
1. Jesus Christ, after he had finished his labours and his sufferings
upon earth, ascended triumphantly into heaven, of which see
He went to heaven to receive his own acquired crown and glory
to finish that part of his mediatorial work which could not be done on
earth, and make intercession for his people, to demonstrate the fulness
of his satisfaction, to take possession of heaven for his people, to
prepare mansions for them, and to send down the Comforter, which was to
be the first-fruits of his intercession,
2. Upon his ascension into heaven, Christ is enthroned at the right
hand of the Father. His being said to sit there imports absolute
rest and cessation from all further troubles and sufferings, and an
advancement to the highest personal dignity and sovereign power.
3. Angels, authorities, and powers, are all made subject to Christ
Jesus: all power in heaven and earth, to command, to give law,
issue orders, and pronounce a final sentence, is committed to Jesus,
God-man, which his enemies will find to their everlasting sorrow and
confusion, but his servants to their eternal joy and satisfaction.