Cover to Cover
1 Peter 3
In context, Peter is instructing Christians on living in the world. He encourages believers to live holy for God, but not just for themselves; Peter is also speaking in consideration of living a testimony before the world. Peter is thinking of the lost and how they can either be brought closer or pushed farther away from salvation based on how the Christian represents Christ.
In verse 15 Peter talks about being ready to answer someone for the hope that is in us. Verse 16 says, “having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed (for slandering you).” Then he goes on to say it is better to do suffer for doing good than for evil, following Christ as our example.
In context, Peter tells wives that they could win an unbelieving husband by being meek and harmonious in the home, living with honor and respect. This passage goes along with the ones before it where Peter encourages believers to behave with respect and honor for authority in government and at work (chapter 2).
Peter always encourages all believers to aim for unity, compassion, love, tenderness, and humility. Let’s live our lives God’s way, and enjoy the blessings that go along with it. Let’s demonstrate Christ to the world by honor so people can be drawn to know Him like we do.
God wanted the Jews to live in His life and His blessing, being an example to the nations of His mercy and holiness. Then they, too, could know the Lord. However, because of Israel’s sin, correction was administered as the nations looked on. Israel became a picture of punishment rather than blessing, and the nations disrespected Israel and Jehovah. After their correction, as God regathers Israel, the nations will notice God is will them, a sign that God is who He says He is and that God wants all to look to Him and call on His name, as we see in the continually repeated phrase, “they shall know that I am the Lord (36:23).”
Today, God has not changed. He still wants every nation and every people to know Him and His salvation. Do we see wickedness in people today? Yes, but God doesn’t wish for any to perish. Are people persecuting Christians in our present time? Yes, but God loves them so much that He’s trying to reach them with His Gospel. He’s doing this in many ways. One of the ways God is looking to get the attention of the nations is by reestablishing Israel in their land. Since 1948, the Jews have been reestablishing themselves in Israel, developing their land, and increasing in number. While many nations despise Israel, it is undeniable that God is blessing Israel – a sign of His mercy and holiness for all.
Also, many Jews are accepting Jesus and His salvation in our present day. God promised His salvation through Christ. Like any Christian, the Jewish Christian receives a recreated spirit and new life (Ezekiel 36:25-27, 2 Corinthians 5:17). They are a sign to the world that their Messiah has indeed come and will come again. “They shall know that I am the Lord!”
Ezekiel 37:1-14 is a familiar prophecy about dry bones coming to life. We often like to use this passage to talk about God bringing revival to the Church, which is a good illustration of a good of God, but this passage is literally about the house of Israel (verse 11). The dry bones are from a nation that has lost its life and bones have been scattered, like the nation of Israel had been scattered. God promises to bring them back together again, fill them with life, and bring them to their own land. As we know, God scattered and brought them together after captivity, as well as a scattering in 70 AD from Rome’s attack and a promise to regather after the Day of the Lord. Verses 15-28 make it clear that God is speaking of the end times, when Jesus Himself is their one and only Shepherd, their one and only King.