3. Relationships in the light of Heaven 2:11-4:11

Chapter 2

3.1 Introductory summary: good conduct [2:11-12]

  1. Beloved, I urge you as foreigners and exiles
    to keep away from fleshly desires
    that do battle against the soul,
  1. and maintain good conduct among the non-Christians,
    so that though they now malign you as wrongdoers,
    they may see your good deeds
    and glorify God when he appears.

3.2 Toward every human institution: be subject [2:13-17]

  1. Be subject to every human institution for the Lord�s sake,
    whether to a king as supreme
  2. or to governors as those he commissions
    to punish wrongdoers and praise those who do good.
  1. For God wants you to silence the ignorance
    of foolish people by doing good.
  1. Live as free people,
    not using your freedom as a pretext for evil,
    but as God�s slaves.
  1. Honour all people,
      love the family of believers,
        carefully obey God,
    honour the king.

3.3 Slaves toward masters: be subject [2:18-25]

  1. Slaves, be subject to your masters with careful obedience in everything,
    not only to those who are good and gentle,
    but also to those who are perverse.
  1. For this finds God�s favour,
    if because of conscience toward God
    someone endures hardships in suffering unjustly.
  2. For what credit is it if you sin
    and are mistreated and endure it?
    But if you do good and suffer
    and so endure,
    this finds favour with God.
  3. For to this you were called,
    since Christ also suffered for you,
    leaving an example for you to follow in his steps.
  1. He committed no sin
    nor was deceit found in his mouth.
  2. When he was maligned,
    he did not answer back;
    when he suffered,
    he threatened no retaliation,
    but committed himself to God who judges justly.
  3. He himself bore our sins
    in his body on the tree,
    that we may cease from sinning
    and live for righteousness.
    By his wounds you were healed.
  4. For you were going astray
    like sheep but now you have turned back
    to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Chapter 3

3.4 Wives toward husbands: be subject [3:1-6]

  1. In the same way, wives,
    be subject to your own husbands.
    Then, even if some are disobedient to the word,
    they will be won over without a word by the way you live,
  2. when they see your pure conduct in passionate allegiance.
  1. Let your beauty not be external
    —the braiding of hair
    and wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes—
  2. but the inner person of the heart,
    the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit,
    which is precious in God�s sight.
  1. For in the same way the holy women
    who hoped in God
    long ago adorned themselves
    by being subject to their husbands,
  2. like Sarah who obeyed Abraham,
    calling him lord.
    You become her children when you do what is good
    and do not fear anything intimidating.

3.5 Husbands toward wives: honour [3:7]

  1. Husbands, in the same way,
    treat your wives with consideration
    as the weaker partners
    and show them honour
    as fellow heirs of the grace of life,
    so that your prayers may not be hindered.

3.6 Toward a hostile world: bless [3:8-17]

  1. Finally, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, affectionate, compassionate, and humble.
  2. Do not return evil for evil or insult for insult, but instead bless others because you were called to inherit a blessing.
  3. For
    �the one who wants to love life and see good days
    must keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from uttering deceit.
  4. And he must turn away from evil and do good;
    he must seek peace and pursue it.
  1. For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous
    and his ears are open to their prayer.
    But the Lord�s face is against those who do evil.�
  2. For who is going to harm you if you are devoted to what is good?
  1. But in fact,
    if you happen to suffer for doing what is right,
    you are blessed.
    But do not be terrified of them or be shaken.
  1. But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.
  2. Yet do it with courtesy and carefulness, keeping a good conscience,
    so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you.
  1. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if God wills it, than for doing evil.

3.7 How to understand suffering—the flesh and the Spirit [3:18-4:11]

What happened to us in Christ [3:18-22]

  1. Because Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God, by being put to death in the flesh but by being made alive in the spirit.
  1. In it he went and preached to the spirits [now] in prison,
  2. after they were disobedient long ago when God patiently waited in the days of Noah as an ark was being constructed. In the ark a few, that is eight souls, were delivered through water.
  3. And this prefigured baptism, which now saves you—not the washing off of physical dirt but the pledge of a good conscience to God—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
  1. who went into heaven and is at the right hand of God with angels and authorities and powers subject to him.

Chapter 4

How this has changed our desires [4:1-6]

  1. So, since Christ suffered in the flesh, you also arm yourselves with the same attitude, because the one who has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin,
  1. in that he spends the rest of his time on earth concerned about the will of God and not human desires.
  2. For the time that has passed was sufficient for you to do what the non-Christians desire. You lived then in debauchery, evil desires, drunkenness, carousing, drinking bouts, and wanton idolatries.
  3. So they are astonished when you do not rush with them into the same flood of wickedness, and they vilify you.
  4. They will face a reckoning before Jesus Christ who stands ready to judge the living and the dead.
  5. Now it was for this very purpose that the gospel was preached to those who are [now] dead, so that though they were judged in the flesh by human standards they may live spiritually by God�s standards.

3.8 Relationships with other believers: love fervently [4:7-11]

  1. For the culmination of all things is near. So be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of prayer.
  2. above all keep your love for one another fervent, because love covers a multitude of sins.
  3. Show hospitality to one another
    without complaining.
  4. Just as each one has received a gift,
    use it to serve one another
    as good stewards of the varied grace of God.
  5. Whoever speaks, let it be with God�s words.
    Whoever serves, do so with the strength that God supplies,
    so that in everything God will be glorified
    through Jesus Christ.
    To him belong the glory and the power
    forever and ever. Amen.

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