Sermon Notes from Sunday, March 22, 2020

March 26, 2020

Good News for Bad Times
1 Peter 3:18-22
March 22, 2020
Live Stream during COVID-19
The Gospel is the Good News of what God has done in Jesus Christ through His life, death, and resurrection to save sinners from the wrath of God.  It is really good news for all time and the best news in the midst of bad times.  Paul presents it plainly in 1 Corinthians 15 and the core of what the Gospel is, is given to us in these verses.

  1. The Context for these Verses
  1. The presentation of what God has done in Jesus Christ to save sinners and to gather His church is found three times in 1 Peter.  The presentations come at pivotal moments in the letter:
  1. 1:18-21.  We are called to give ourselves in surrender and submission to Jesus as Lord because He has paid the price to save us from our sin so as to set us free for full life found in Him, 1:18-21.
  2. 2:21-25.  The life that we have in Jesus Christ is to be lived out in the world in submission to those who are authorities over us, on our jobs, and in tough marriages:  here is the key for the believer.
  3. And this passage where the background is the reality that living as believers in the world is hard and suffering for the sake of the Gospel will come to us along the way.
We may doubt or become duplicitous; we may compromise or even see our faith collapse if we do not remember the simple and basic truth of the Gospel.

  1. Jesus suffered and Died for our sins, 3:18-20
  1. Jesus suffered physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. 
  1. He was the sacrifice to God and the substitute for us to take for us the punishment from God that we deserve.  The pure for the impure.  The perfect for the sinful. 
  1. He is the only one who can bring us or anyone else in all of time to God which is the key to what follows, “This is a strange text and certainly a more obscure passage than any other passage in the whole New Testament.  I still do not know what the apostle meant.”  Luther
  1. Jesus descended into hell after the resurrection and before the ascension to set “some’ in the prison of hell free;
  2. Jesus in the days of Noah preached his supreme rule over the devil and the demons
  3. Jesus in His spirit was speaking through Noah to call people to repentance from sin and faith in God—Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Hebrews 11
And we are reminded by Jesus that in the days when He returns people will be just as they were in the days of Noah so that those who are disobeying God and hear the word and see the warnings will not repent and turn in faith to God through Jesus.  Will you?

  1. Jesus was raised from the Dead, 3:21
  1. The symbol of baptism is connected with the flood:
  1. The waters are waters of judgment to  purge and to purify
  2. The waters do not save God saves through His provision those for whom the ark was prepared
  3. It is not then or now or ever the external symbol so that mode and amount are not the issue but the life-transforming meaning to which the symbol points
  1. Jesus rules and reigns over all, 3:22
  1. For the world and all who are in it:  He is Lord and will be acknowledged and worshiped
  2. For the church:  He is Lord and He is life both now and forever, Romans 8:35-39.  Jesus died.  Jesus was raised from the dead.  Jesus rules and reigns.  This is really good news in really bad times.