The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 100 of 181
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him, Who hath made man's mouth?" (Exod. iv.10, 11). Get a pad of paper and practice
writing articles on basic themes like "redemption", "salvation". It will give you practice
in self-expression. It will aid your memory and reveal the gaps in your knowledge. The
precious Word of God deserves this close attention and the Holy Spirit will reward your
The good conscience that opens verse 16 suggests that if we offer ointment we should
not show spots on our own skin.
"Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they
may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation (manner of living) in Christ.
For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
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 (made alive in Spirit)"
(3: 16-18).
3: 19 - 4: 4.
pp. 117 - 120
Peter returns to the example our Lord set in His trial and crucifixion, the innocent
suffering for the guilty in meekness and silence. Peter's brethren were to follow this
example meeting every unjust accusation with patient endurance, putting their opponents
to shame inasmuch as believers in Christ, they exhibited no evil, neither any appearance
of the same.
The transition of the Saviour from the flesh through death into the life of the spirit was
the assurance to His followers that they too would follow the same path to God.
Moreover even as the Lord had ascended to glory they too if they suffered for His sake
would reign with Him. Verse 19 gives a further aspect of the Lord's glory in His spiritual
resurrection body.
"By which (in which condition) He went and preached (heralded the victory over sin
and death) 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 preparing, wherein a
few, that is, eight souls were saved by water" (3: 19, 20).
Of the `spirits in prison' there is an interesting explanation in The Companion Bible,
appendix 194. Spirits here are angels (created not born) of whom Jude writes:
"And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He
hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day"
(Jude 6).
These angels assuming human flesh had intercourse with women producing giants in
some instances, polluting the line from Adam to such an extent that it is recorded that
only Noah and his family were perfect in their generations. It was to these spirits