Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

Dealing With A Difficult Passage
1 Peter 3:18-22

18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, {the} just for {the} unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;     19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits {now} in prison,    20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through {the} water.    21 And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you-- not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience-- through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,    22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him. NAS
 

Introduction The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his
only Son, our Lord.

He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and it seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

This idea of Jesus descending into hell is not new, and you probably have heard of it. Please follow closely as I share..

Did you hear the words He desended into hell?  Some of you think this idea is brand new.  It is as olsd as the Apostles Creed.  It it as old ad the scriptures.    If we are not familiar with it it is our fault.

This thought is a controversal one.  It has many interpretations.   It is a difficult passage,  and we are going to deal with it tonight.
 
 

1.    Dealing With The. . Death of Christ. v 18


18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, {the} just for {the} unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

A.    The Death of Christ Is . . Enough. v 18 a
        ". . . For Christ also died for sins once for all, . . . "
 

B.    The Death of Christ Is An . . Exchange. v 18 b
        ". . . {the} just for {the} unjust, . . . "
 

C.    The Death of Christ Is . . Effective. v 18 c
        ". . . in order that He might bring us to God, . . . "
 

Illustration
D. L Moody's was preaching a great revival and as he was going to the building where the revival was held he noticed a little boy crying just outside the door. He said, "son, what's the matter?" he said "I wanted to go hear d. l. moody preach.'' he did not recognize that the man he was talking to was d. l, moody. And he said, "they won't let me in without a ticket and I don't have a ticket.

D. L. moody said, "son, when they open those doors, Do you see my coattails," and back in those days they Wore these real long tails on their coat, and he said, "yes, sir." he said, "when they open that door you take hold of those coattails and don t you let go." well, when they opened that door, he just held on as hard and as tight as he could to those coattails. D. l. moody went walking in and the ushers kind of looked at the little boy And laughed at him, and said, "son, we're glad to have you."
 

Application

You and I will go to Heaven because Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life.
 
 

2.    Dealing With The . . Preaching of Christ. v 18 d - 20


18 d ". . . having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits {now} in prison, 20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through {the} water.
 

A.    When Did He Preach?
18 d ". . . having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits {now} in prison,
 

B. How Did He Preach?
18 d ". . . having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
 

C.    To Whom did He Preach?
19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits {now} in prison,

I believe the following passages can give some help at this point.

Gen 6:1-6
1 Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore {children} to them. Those were the mighty men who {were} of old, men of renown. 5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (NAS)

Jude 1:6
6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day. (NAS)
 

D.    Where did He Preach?
19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits {now} in prison,

2 PETER 2:4-6
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;

5020 tartaroo (tar-tar-o'-o);
from Tartaros (the deepest abyss of Hades); to incarcerate in eternal torment:
KJV-- cast down to hell.
 

E.    What did He Preach?
        1.    No One Knows but perhaps.
                a.    It Is Finished.
                b.    I Am Lord. Phil 2:10-11
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth,    11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NAS)

This word for preach is primarily a word of proclamation, not evangelism.
2784 kerusso (kay-roos'-so);
of uncertain affinity; to herald (as a public crier), especially divine truth (the gospel):
KJV-- preacher (-er), proclaim, publish.
 

Application Who agrees with my interpretation?

Some almost entirely, some in part, and some not at all.   I can only tell you what I believe at this time in my life,  and understanding.
 
 

3.    Dealing With Noah and , , Baptism. v 20-21


20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through {the} water. 21 And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you-- not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience-- through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
 

A.    Noah Save through the Ark. v 20
20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark . . . "

        1.    Jesus Is the Ark.
        2.    God Planned the Ark
        3.    One Door
        4.    One Window on top. (must look Up)

Saved by getting in the Ark. v 20 b
". . . in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through {the} water."

        5.    Water did not save them the Ark did.
        6.    They did not get in the water.     ". . . Saved by water in KJV. . . "

B.    What Is Not Saved In Baptism. v 21 a
21 And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you-- not the removal of dirt from the flesh, . . ."
 

C.    What Is Saved In Baptism. v 21 b
". . . but an appeal to God for a good conscience-- through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
 

Illustration
A few months ago I went by Bob and Diane Aklin's home. I had made an appointment, and I wanted to share the gospel with them. Diane had been doing a good job of helping Bob clean up his life.

He told me all the things he had changed in his life, and I was pleased but I told him Bob you know cleaning up your life will not attain salvation for you. Hew said well I know it nut I think I have to do better before I can ask God to save me.

I simply took out a gospel tract, and began sharing. I answered some questions as we went along, and then asked if what we were reading made sense. He said and Diane both said "yes". I then asked if they were willing to right now turn from their sin and ask Jesus to save them. They both said "yes"

We all got down on our knees, ant I lead them in a prayer of confession and receiving Jesus as Lord in their lives. When we got up I talked to them further from the scripture focusing on Romans 10:9-10.

Then I talked about Baptism. Bob stopped me and said "I may not want to be a Baptist, I grew up in the Methodist Church, and I may want to join the Methodist Church." I told him Bob I haven't asked you to be a Baptist. I am simply expanding what the scriptures say about baptism.

I made several visits through the months, and then Bob said I might be willing to get Baptized. I left him with some scripture, and the next time I visited Bob said it bothers me that I am not baptized. I also want to be a member of the Baptist Church.

Interesting Side Light    (From Warren Wiersbe)
It may be worth noting that the chronology of the Flood is closely related to our Lord's day of resurrection. Noah's ark rested on Ararat on the 17th day of the 7th month (Gen. 8:4). The Jewish civil year started with October; the religious year started with the Passover (Ex. 12:1-2). but that was not instituted until Moses' time. The 7th month from October is April. Our Lord was crucified on the 14th day, Passover (Ex. 12:6), and resurrected after 3 days. This takes us to the 17th day of the month, the date on which the ark rested on Mt. Ararat. So, the illustration of Noah relates closely to Peter's emphasis on the resurrection of the Saviour.
 
 

Application

The Aklin's wanted to be baptized not to put away the filth of the flesh but to clear their conscience before God.
 
 



4. Dealing With The . . Submission. v 22

22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him. NAS

Jesus In Submission to God the Father. v 22 a

". . . who is at the right hand of God, . . . "

Angels In Submission to Jesus. v 22 b

". . . having gone into heaven, after angels. . . "

Authorities and Powers In Submission to Jesus. v 22 a

". . . having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him."

Illustration The Treasure from Journey Mag.

The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.

"Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please!" Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face. "A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. You're birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."
 
 
 
 

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. James if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel grown up. She wore them everywhere-- Sunday School, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said it they got wet, they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?" "Oh, yes, Daddy. You know that I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess--the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She's my favorite."

"That's OK, Honey, Daddy loves you. Good night." And her brushed her cheek with a kiss. About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?" "Daddy, you know I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."

"That's OK. Sleep well. God bless you little one. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss. A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek. "What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"

Jenny didn't say anything but lift her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, Daddy. It's for you." With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dine-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure.

Application

When we submit to the Lord He has much more to give us than we lost by submission.