I Peter 3:18-22 “Suffering, the Spirit & Baptism”

Verse 17 closed with the very real truth that there is a suffering that is not only unto God, but it is even the will of God. Peter has been calling his readers to submission, even if it leads to suffering, to difference even when it is costly. The definition of holiness is to be other, to be completely and utterly different than anyone or anything, to be unexpected and in many ways to leave others unsure of what to do with us. When the Scripture says that God is holy, it doesn’t simply mean that He’s not like us, it means that there is no one and nothing like Him. That’s what the seraphim are shouting to each other as they fly around His throne for all of eternity, “He’s holy”. Ultimately, that’s what submission is, it’s holiness. That’s what being citizens of heaven, pilgrims and strangers in this land looks like, it looks like holiness. It looks like not being caught up in what is going on around us, not being trained by the place we live but instead being trained by the place we are headed, not responding in ways that make sense, agreement or bring praise from people, but rather in ways that are spoken by God and bring glory to Jesus while offering redemption to men. Holiness is not how we present ourselves to God it’s how we present God to those around us and so our holiness must match His character and be walked out in love or else it is more haughty than holy. Submission, holiness, can lead to suffering because when God is glorified, Satan is exposed, while there is redemption when Jesus is glorified there is also rejection. There is a suffering that is God’s will, not because God chose it for us but because the world around us rejects what God has chosen. The suffering is not from God, but it is for God. There is a submission that leads to suffering. Peter wrote, “For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” He then gives us the grounds or the example of submission that leads to suffering:

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