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Learning to Suffer Well (1 Pet. 3:18-22)

Notes & Transcripts

Intro

When the Lord first put 1 Peter on my heart to study this year as a church, I had two major concerns. First, I did not want to preach on submitting to the government in 1 Pet. 2:13-17 and second, I did not want to preach on our text this morning from 1 Pet. 3:18-22.  But I am committed to preaching all of God’s Word since all of it is equally inspired and profitable, even if all of it is not equally clear.

The problem verses are in 1 Pet. 3:19-21. Apparently there are close to 180 different interpretations of these verses.[1] Don’t worry! I am not going to be presenting all 180 today, just the three major views and really just two that is worth considering. Interestingly, Martin Luther, the great Protestant reformer, cheerfully comments on this section that it is, “a more obscure passage perhaps than any other in the New Testament, so I do not know for a certainty just what Peter means.”[2] I am thankful for Luther’s honesty. Ironically, Peter says in 2 Pet. 3:16, that Paul has some writings that are “hard to understand.” Really Peter? And you don’t? Maybe I’m assuming that just because it is hard for us to understand that it is hard for Peter’s audience to understand as well. But maybe it wasn’t, since we are so far removed in time and culture from them. 

In any case, I studied the major views and one of them makes more sense to me than the others, but I certainly will not die over it. I’ll have to ask about it in Heaven. But I don’t want you to leave here with just a good position in your head, but having grabbed a hold of a great Savior in your heart and life! We want to meet Jesus here and have him not just inform us, but transform us!

Peter’s theme, which had been the background for a while, is now pushed to the front. It is the theme of suffering (1 Pet. 3:13, 17, 18, 4:1, 13, 16, 19, 5:1, 9 and 10). Really, other than Job, no book talks more about suffering than 1 Peter.

Peter talks a lot about suffering and a lot of that is about learning to suffer well. We’ve been seeing that suffering for being a believer is part of the package of following Christ. You need to tell that to people as soon as they are interested in following Him! This is why broad is the way of destruction and narrow is the way of eternal life (Matt. 7:14). And Peter wants to make sure it is the right kind of suffering. Not suffering from foolish choices we have made (and now life is hard as a result of those consequences), but suffering that has come merely because of our faith and people not liking it and making life hard because of it.

Do you want some examples? It is the person who has become Christian and has decided to marry a believer and have a Christian wedding and the family says, “Don’t invite us. We are not coming.” In fact, I think it is certain sects of Islam where they hold a funeral once someone becomes a believer and treat them as dead and disown them. Or it is the student in the classroom who is known as a believer, but the teacher makes sure to make fun of him/her constantly and even give lower grades in the process. It is the believer wanting to save himself/herself for marriage and is ridiculed by friends and co-workers. I heard one story where at an office the co-workers have a pool, betting money on who can get their believer co-worker to fall sexually before marriage.

And these things are nothing compared to what some believers are going through around the world! And who knows how long we have the freedom to worship here in the United States? But regardless of the extremity of suffering, we need to know how to suffer well. How can we suffer well, to the glory of God? Most of us want to escape suffering or try to avoid it at all costs. But sometimes it is inevitable. And we need to make sure we are not a bad witness during it. Sometimes we want to retaliate really badly. Other times we see it as the end-all disaster of life and we want to give up. But the Word of God tells us suffering is inevitable, but how can we make sure we are suffering well? Well first of all learning to suffer well means:

I.   I trust God’s purposes for my suffering (1 Pet. 3:18)

Peter’s thesis is in 1 Pet. 3:17. And now he is going to explain why it is “better to suffer for doing good…” He again points to our Lord’s suffering like he did in 1 Pet. 2:21-25. He is the ultimate example for why unjust suffering can achieve God’s purposes. John Macarthur says, “At the heart of the gospel is the fact that Jesus Christ, who was perfectly righteous, died for the utterly unrighteous. He triumphed through that undeserved suffering by, as God had predetermined, providing redemption for the world. In that one event, God had His intentions fulfilled….”[3] And if you follow this Jesus, you too can have confidence and hope that God’s purposes will triumph in your own suffering!

Let’s examine the purposes for Christ’s suffering. I can never get tired of hearing the gospel! Here Peter shares the heart of the gospel in one verse. First we are going to look at who Christ suffered for, why He suffered and how He suffered. Some manuscripts have “died” (KJV) here instead of Christ “suffered.” Earlier manuscripts, which are more reliable, have “suffered” (which is why I will use that word) but the meaning is the same: Christ suffered by dying for our sin.

a)    Who Christ suffered for

Peter says Christ suffered as “the righteous for the unrighteous.” By the way the Quran says Jesus never died on the cross, but He just fainted.[4] This is because a good prophet cannot die a death like that. And I’m not sure, but I think their teaching is that the disciples just took him off the cross and put Judas in His place. So which is it? Did He die or didn’t He? This is another reason why all religions are not the same as the Bahai’s teach. If Jesus did not die for our sin, guess what, we are going to die for them! We might as well pack up right now, go party somewhere and wait to die. We are all going to die in our sin!

But praise His name, He died for us! Peter says clearly, “He was put to death in the flesh.” It wasn’t that He died for us spiritually or in His heart. He physically died like I should have! He was righteous, without sin in word, thought or deed (1 Pet. 2:22, Heb. 4:15; 2 Cor. 5:21). But He died as my substitute. The Gospel in four words: Jesus in my place. We are unrighteous. We are sinners by nature and by choice. James says if we break one of the Ten Commandments, it is like breaking them all (James 2:10). Have you broken just one of the 10? It is enough to send you to hell. We are unrighteous and for our sins, we deserve to die (Rom. 6:23). But Jesus was righteous and He did not deserve to die. So why did He die?

b)   Why Christ suffered

Peter says, “to bring us to God.” Isaiah 59:2 says our sins have separated us God. It is a chasm that can never be bridged unless God bridges it and He did when He died for us. Commentator Peter Davids says, “Jesus died in order that, so to speak, he might reach across the gulf between God and humanity and, taking our hand, lead us across the territory of the enemy into the presence of the Father who called us.”[5] Pastor Stephen Cole also observes, “The phrase “bring” is a word was used…for an admission to an audience with the Great King. You just didn’t stroll into the presence of a great king and say, “How’s it going?” You had to have someone to introduce you properly. Because the righteous Christ bore our sins, He can bring us into an audience with the Great King.”[6] The only reason why God accepts us today is because of Jesus Christ! He brought us to God!  

c)    How Christ suffered

How did Christ suffer? He suffered by dying ONCE for sins, being put to death in the flesh. Peter is alluding to the millions of animal sacrifices people would bring to pay for their sins in the Old Testament (sometimes almost 250 million every Passover). But all of that was pointing to the one ultimate final sacrifice, the Lamb of God who came to take the sins of the world (John 1:29).

By the way, this teaching that Christ suffered only once is important because Catholics and Orthodox teach that when you take communion, the wine and the bread turn mysteriously by faith into the actual body and blood of Christ (it is called transubstantiation). One of their writings say, “‘Hence the Mass, the Lord’s Supper, is at the same time and inseparably: a sacrifice in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated …’ (p. 102); ‘For in it Christ perpetuates in an unbloody manner the sacrifice offered on the cross, offering himself to the Father for the world’s salvation through the ministry of priests’ (p. 103). See the decree of Trent ‘On the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass’ in P. F. Palmer, ed., Sacraments and Worship (Longmans, Green, 1957), pp. 304–309.”[7] As a result, the mere act of taking communion has power to forgive your sins. The teaching that Christ is suffering again and again is not a non-essential for us. Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30) and to say it is not finished is undermining the perfect work of Christ on the cross. As a result, we cannot participate in taking Communion there.

What is the point of sharing this Peter? The Gospel teaches me that the suffering of Christ was part of God’s purposes. If I can trust Him for my salvation, I can trust Him in my suffering. I might not always understand why things are happening to me. Trusting does not mean I have all the answers or that I am always feeling the way I should. But it is a choice that I make continuously that God has His purposes for what He allows in my life. The Gospel humbles us in our suffering. Often when we suffer we say things like, “I don’t deserve this. I am an innocent victim.” But we forget that we did the same thing to God. Listen, the Gospel tells me that I don’t deserve answers; I deserve hell and the cross is not just something done for me, it is also something done by me.

Trusting God’s purposes also teaches me that I need the Gospel every day. I am still a sinner. The antidote for sin was the Gospel, so the antidote for sin in my life when I am far away from God even after knowing Him is the Gospel. Do you need it today? The Gospel says if you come just as you are in your unrighteousness to the Righteous One Jesus Christ, you will be brought to God and accepted righteously and perfectly because Jesus became unrighteous to make you righteous! It is if you were dying of cancer and I came to you and said I will take each of your cancer cells and put them in my body. I will die so that you will live! Jesus did that for us. Thank you Jesus for suffering so well! Thank you for not backing out of suffering! Thank you for the way you trusted God’s purposes in your suffering.

Remember again that Jesus had to choose to trust God for His suffering. He had a crisis moment in Gethsemane, where He said, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Then He had trusted God continuously (1 Pet. 2:23) and finally trusted God as He died, when He said, “Into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). We need to have crisis moments of trust and process moments. When we fail in the process moments, we must come back to the crisis moment and keep on trusting God and His purposes for our lives. Secondly suffering well means: 

II.    I wait for God’s glorious victory after my suffering (1 Pet. 3:19-20, 22)

Now we get to the fun part. Let me first give you some pointers on what to do with difficult texts.[8]

a)    Remember that we are in good company. The prophets and disciples all struggled with understanding parts of God’s Word.

b)   Never make a doctrine from problem texts. There are more clear parts of the Bible and less clear parts of the Bible. We must interpret the less clear parts of the Bible in light of the more clear parts of the Bible.[9] So if you have 100 clear verses on a subject and one unclear verse, you interpret that one unclear verse in light of the 100 clear verses. The cults do the opposite. They take one unclear verse and then make doctrines out if them.

c)    Humility. Though the Bible tells us to “Study to show yourself approved unto God…a worker rightly handling the Word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15), we should at the same time realize that some things will still be hard to understand. God has secrets (Deut. 29:29). Some things we do not know. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Is. 55:9). We have degrees of certainty in our theological understanding.

So I am not willing to die over my interpretation of these verses. The way I understand it, the issues revolve around three questions: Who are the “spirits in prison”? What did Christ proclaim or preach? And when did Christ preach?

The major views on this are the following. Again, there are other variations of these views, but it will take forever to go through all of them, so I will give three major ones:

View #1

After Christ died, He went and preached to unbelievers in hell, offering them a second chance of salvation. So “the spirits in prison” are unbelievers, people like in the time of Noah’s day. By the way, in the Apostles Creed, which is a statement of faith that many churches use to cite its non-negotiable beliefs, there is a phrase that says, Jesus “was crucified, dead, and buried, he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead” (italics mine).[10] However, in the earliest forms of the creed, c.200 AD, that phrase is not found there. It must have been added later.[11]

Regardless, I have serious problems with this view, because nowhere in the Bible does it teach that we have a second chance after death or purgatory. Heb 9:27: It is appointed man once to die and then the judgment. It also does not make sense when Peter himself has been encouraging his audience to preserve and endure suffering, trust God and maintain a godly life if everyone gets another chance anyway.

View #2

In this view which Wayne Grudem and Augustine holds, “When Noah was building the ark, Christ “in spirit” was in Noah preaching repentance and righteousness through him to unbelievers who were on the earth then but are now “spirits in prison” (people in hell).[12] So Jesus never went anywhere after death, but when Noah was asking people to get into the ark, it was actually the Spirit of Christ in Noah. These people did not listen and are now in hell. Peter did say the Spirit of Christ was in the prophets (1 Pet. 1:11). Why could He not have been in Noah as well? Also, the word “proclaim” is a similar word used of Noah’s preaching in 2 Pet. 2:5, when Peter calls him a “herald.” The problem though is this word “went” in 1 Pet. 3:19 and 1 Pet. 3:22. In 1 Pet. 3:22, the same word is used of Jesus actually going to a place, Heaven. It doesn’t make sense in the flow of thought where it seems that Christ died and then went to a place.

View #3

After Jesus died (or after He rose but before He ascended to Heaven), He traveled to the place where bound fallen angels (demons) are and proclaimed triumph over the fallen angels who had sinned when they married human women before the Flood. This will require more explanation, but it is the one that I am leaning toward after my study. Again, I will not die over this and my view might change later! Let me explain this. Let’s go back to 1 Pet. 3:18. Peter says, “being put to death.” He is saying Jesus physically died. After He died, He was “made alive in the spirit.” This is not talking about the resurrection because Peter would have said, that he was “made alive in the flesh.” The resurrection was not merely a spiritual event, it was a physical event as well. And it is not the Holy Spirit mentioned here, because Peter would have placed a definite article before “spirit” saying, the Spirit if he was talking about the Holy Spirit (NIV capitalizes Spirit). Also, biblical authors did not have capital letters like we do in English. Only the context and grammar can tell you if the author is talking about the Holy Spirit or just spirit. So Peter is saying, “though Jesus’ body was dead, He was alive in His spirit.”

While Jesus’ body was lying in the tomb, in His spirit He went somewhere. “Went” as I mentioned earlier, denotes going from one place to another.[13] Where did Jesus go? He went to “proclaim to the spirits in prison.” “Proclaim” here is where we get the word “herald.” John Macarthur says, “In the ancient world, heralds would come to town as representatives of the rulers to make public announcements or precede generals and kings in the processions celebrating military triumphs, announcing victories won in battle. This verb is not saying that Jesus went to preach the gospel, otherwise Peter would likely have used a form of the verb euangelizō (“to evangelize”).”[14]

So Jesus proclaimed His victory to “spirits in prison.” “Spirits” here “…fits much more plausibly with a reference to angels than to human beings, for “spirits” (pneumata) in the plural almost without exception in the New Testament refers to angels.”[15] So Jesus proclaimed victory to fallen angels (demons). There are two types of demons: bound ones (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6-7) and unbound ones (Eph. 6:12). The unbound ones are scared of the judgment awaiting them (Luke 8:31, Matt. 8:29). We will talk about how they got bound in a second, but they are in a “prison,” a holding place before they are finally judged and sent to hell. No one in Scripture does it say that the souls of men are kept in a prison after death. Satan will be eventually tossed there (same word used) in the Millennium and released for a short time before being cast into the eternal lake of fire or hell forever (Rev. 20:7).

Why does Jesus need to declare victory? Because ever since Satan and his demons fell from Heaven, (they were formerly angels) there has been an ongoing conflict between them and the plan of God. Satan succeeded in inducing Adam and Eve in Gen. 3. And since Satan knew from the beginning that someone will come and crush his head (Gen. 3:15), he has been on a mission for that not to happen. As a result, he tried to get rid of Moses (Ex. 1:22). He failed. He tried to kill the Messianic line during the time of Joash (2 Chron. 22:10-12). He failed. He tried to kill the Jews during the time of Esther (Est. 3:1-4:3). He failed. He tried to kill the infant Jesus (Matt. 2:16-18). He failed. He tried to tempt Jesus to abandon His mission (Luke 4:1-13). He failed. Then he incited the Jewish mob to crucify the Messiah (Mark 15:6-15). He thought he succeeded here when Jesus died. And the demonic world celebrated, but only to find that moments right after the death of Christ, the living Christ visited these bound demons and declared His victory of sin, death, hell, demons and Satan. I think Paul was talking about this in Col. 2:15. So Jesus went and proclaimed His victory to the worst of demons. They had a big inning here and there, but Jesus won the game!

Now let’s talk about how these demons got bound. Look at 1 Pet. 3:20. Peter talks about the days of Noah. He is referring to Genesis 6, another problem passage. In Gen. 6, the fallen angels have been cast out of Heaven and working to corrupt mankind. In Gen. 6, they try to destroy the God-ordained institution of marriage and corrupt the line where the Messiah would come. Who are the “sons of God”? The phrase “sons of God” is always used to talk about angels in the Old Testament (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Ps. 29:1; 89:6). The most ancient commentaries, Jewish understanding of this text and church fathers have all understood this as being fallen angels. So if we go with this interpretation, we see that these demons possessed men since angels and humans cannot intermarry. Macarthur adds, “these, then, are fallen angels who acted perversely, overstepping the boundaries of their realm. They defied God by leaving their spirit world to enter the human realm (as Satan had entered the animal world in Eden). This is the first biblical record of demon-possession, demons indwelling people.”[16]

They procreated and created a human race corrupt inside and out. Not only did you have these demon-possessed people, you also have “Nephilim” (Gen. 6:4). Some say the actual race that was created from the demon possessed men and human women were the Nephilim. I do not know. I do know this term means “giants” not in size, but a powerful group known to terrorize or frighten people.[17] Regardless, the point is that the world has really become corrupt and depraved. In fact, Noah preached 120 years to them to get in the ark and be saved. God could have destroyed them immediately, but did not. But they did not listen. God was patient, but in the end only eight people (Noah, his wife, three sons and their wives) were saved. God destroyed the rest of the world. The wicked demons responsible were taken and bound in this prison and have been there since then.

But Noah, though he was in the minority and around wicked people, persevered and trusted God’s purposes and awaited His victory and vindication. Noah did that and Jesus did that! Macarthur concludes with the fact that “The Lord proclaimed His triumph over Satan, sin, death and hell to the very worst of demons, who disobeyed God in the worst manner in the days of Noah before the Flood. The fallen angels’ long effort to demonize people, hinder the redemptive purpose of God, and prevent the “seed” of the woman (Gen. 3:15) from crushing Satan’s head and sending the demons into the lake of fire (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 19:20; 20:10, 14, 15) was ultimately foiled at the Cross.[18]And the point of all of this is that if you suffer well, you will join in God’s victory that is coming. The pathway of glory and victory is the pathway of suffering.

Look down at 1 Pet. 3:22. Peter talks about Jesus victory and notice he mention of “angels, authorities, and powers.” I think he is referring to the “spirits of prison” and the entire angelic and demonic world when he mentions “angels, authorities and powers.” Jesus conquered them. All created spiritual authorities are to submit to Jesus Christ. Commentator Simon Kistemaker says, “The point is that Christ has received the greatest honor imaginable: he is next to God.”[19] He triumphed through His suffering and guess what believer, you will too!

It is difficult now to wait for God’s victory. Right now the name of Jesus is a curse word or people use it casually when you are upset about something. By the way, does it bother you that His name, that precious name is used like that? Do you wonder why Mohammed or Buddha or Bahaullah’s name is not mocked like that? There’s something about that name!

Do you stand up for Him when His name is mocked? We should! I get angry about that. I also get angry at all the believers killed around the world. Recently, missionaries were slaughtered in Afghanistan. This century has seen more martyrs than all the other centuries combined. The Voice of the Martyrs organization states that 160,000 people every year are martyred for Jesus. About one every three minutes![20]

And in Rev. 6, some martyrs are asking the Lord, “how long O Lord before you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Rev. 6:10). It is debated whether these are martyrs are from the Great Tribulation or not, but regardless, God’s answer to them is that He is a specific number of martyrs in mind before judgment comes. He’s patient and waiting for more people to come to salvation. But one day, total victory is coming! Jesus is ruling the world with His feet up! And He will vindicate His people. He will reward His people and judge the wicked. Yes, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:10-11). Yes, those who are sowing in tears will reap with joy (Ps. 126:5-6) and sorrow may last for a moment, but joy comes in the morning (Ps. 30:5)!

And do you know what greatest victory of all will be for me? My flesh will be vanquished forever. The other Sunday, I was trying to answer all of the little kids’ questions in Sunday School and a lot of their questions were about Heaven. They mostly wanted to know what kind of stuff we will get. But as I thought about it, my greatest joy will be the opportunity to worship Jesus without sin. I have never known that! I know we were created for worship, but our flesh keeps us caged from truly giving all of ourselves to Him in true worship. What a thrill will that be! But suffering well means I wait for that…it is coming as sure as the sun comes up in the morning! Lastly and quickly, suffering well means:

III.  I hold on to God’s salvation and commit to live for Him in my suffering (1 Pet. 3:21)

All the talk about water reminded Peter of what baptism entails. Notice he says baptism “corresponds” which NIV translates as “symbolizes.” The waters of the flood in Noah’s days are a picture of salvation. It is a picture of judgment or death as well as a picture of life and salvation. What happens in baptism by immersion? You go under the water and identify with Christ’s death. The old you is no more. It has died with Christ. Christ has taken your judgment. Then you arise and identify with Christ’s resurrection. You are raised with Him. You then make a pledge (this is the idea of the word of “appeal”) before God’s people saying that you will follow Jesus, walking in newness of life.

But Peter makes sure we realize that the physical act of baptism (the removal of dirt from the body) does not in itself have any saving power, but it is an outward demonstration of an inward change. The inward change, he says, came not from the water. Bob Deffinbaugh says, “Peter means that when we trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, we turn to Him for the forgiveness of our sins; we appeal to Him for a cleansing both of our sins and our defiled conscience which these sins have produced (Heb. 10:26).”[21]

You said in your baptism suffering believer, like the old hymn writer, “I have decided to follow Jesus. There is no turning back!” God cleansed you and gave you a pure conscience. Today as you suffer, you hold on to this salvation. Live with a good conscience as you live a godly life for Him (1 Pet. 3:16). Because it is better to die for your faith than to disobey and fall away from the Lord. Warren Wiersbe concludes, “So, Peter reminded them of their baptismal testimony to encourage them to be true to Christ.”[22]

Look over the three points. The first point (I trust God’s purposes for my suffering) points to faith, the past work of Christ. The second point (I wait for God’s victory after my suffering) points to hope, the future. The last point points to the love, the present. As Peter says, “though you don’t see Him, you love Him” (1 Pet. 1:8). Faith, hope and love all in Jesus Christ. Can you say today, “Though none go with me, still I will follow?” Do you need the Gospel again today?

Think for a second when you first became a believer. Maybe you remember it, maybe you don’t. I remember realizing for that I was a bad sinner, but Jesus was a great Savior. I remember crying out to Him to know Him. I remember I confessed my sins before Him and having Him come into my heart, cleansing me and filling me with peace. He died for me. I will live for Him! All I did was desperately cling to the cross. And you know what, you need to hold on to Jesus like that again today, especially as you suffer. Come back to His salvation and what He has done for you and hold on to Him and recommit your live, your soul and all to the One who did that for you.

Conclusion

I want to suffer well. Today we live in the land of the free and home of the brave. Tomorrow we might be forbidden to worship. We might be mocked by friends. We might be alone. I don’t know what might happen. But I want to suffer well for the Lord who suffered well for me.

Back when I was at Moody, we had Gary Witherall come and speak. He and his wife Bonnie went to Moody and they felt a call for missions in Lebanon. This was about eight years ago. So they left everything in the US and went to Lebanon. Bonnie worked with pregnant Muslim women at a clinic. Gary worked on building relationships with the nationals. Now listen to what happened one morning:

“On the morning of November 21, 2002, Gary received a frantic phone call from a friend to quickly come to the clinic just outside of Beirut. His wife Bonnie had been shot. Gary dashed over to the clinic, and tried to get into the room where Bonnie lay. Dozens of soldiers surrounded the clinic. Gary was pushed back by the soldiers and eventually wrestled down. He found out Bonnie, his wife, was dead. He saw her lifeless legs on the floor in a pool of blood. He wanted so much to be with her and to hold her once more, but the soldiers would not let him in. In his anger and frustration, he was put into another room. At that moment, as he was crying his heart out, Gary heard a still, small voice very clearly saying, “Gary, there’s a seed planted in your heart today. That seed can grow into hatred and bitterness, or grow into love and forgiveness. Choose!” And Gary, by the grace of God, said “I choose forgiveness.”

At the memorial service for Bonnie, where the world press surrounded him, and with dozens of cameramen literally in his face, a wonderful thing happened. Gary, by God’s grace, got up and preached to that nation, and because of the world press, he preached to many other nations around the world as well. “I forgive this man, because Jesus has forgiven me!” was his ringing message. The Gospel had seldom been preached so powerfully in Lebanon, Syria and the Middle East as on that day.”[23]

And Gary looked at all of us at that Moody auditorium and said, “You know, no one can take anything away from me because I have given it all away.” Did you hear that? That is a man who is suffering, but he’s suffering well.


----

[1]Read from http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/2009/04/05/20090405_suffering-to-learn_notes.pdf  accessed 22 August 2010. 

[2]Hillyer, N. (113).

[3]MacArthur, J. (206).

[4]Sura 4:157-158 http://www.submission.org/suras/sura4.html .

[5]Davids, P. H. (136).

[6]Cole, Stephen. “A Difficult Passage Explained and Applied,”  http://www.fcfonline.org/content/1/sermons/101892m.pdf accessed 26  August 2010.

[7]As quoted in Clowney, E. P. (155).

[8]Deffinbaugh, Bob. “A New Slant on Suffering.” http://bible.org/seriespage/new-slant-suffering-1-peter-313-46  accessed 27 August 2010. 

[9]Called the principle of perspecuity. 

[10]Grudem, W. A. (1994). Systematic Theology : An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (586). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House.

[11]Ibid. 

[12]Grudem, Wayne. “Christ Preaching Through Noah: 1 Pet. 3:19-20 in the light of dominant themes in Jewish Literature.” Vol. 7: Trinity  Journal Volume 7/. 1986 (2) (4). Winona Lake, IL: Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

[13]MacArthur, J. (209).

[14]Ibid.

[15]Schreiner, T. R. (186-187).

[16]MacArthur, J. (213).

[17]Ibid. 

[18]MacArthur, J. (215).

[19]Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (150).

[20]“Missionary in Lebanon until wife was killed by extremists” http://www.ambassadorspeakers.com/ACP/speakers.aspx?speaker=224  accessed 27 August 2010.

[21]Deffinbaugh, Bob. Ibid.  

[22]Wiersbe, W. W. (1 Pet. 3:18).

[23]“Missionary in Lebanon until wife was killed by extremists” http://www.ambassadorspeakers.com/ACP/speakers.aspx?speaker=224  accessed 27 August 2010.

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