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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

1 Peter 3

Verse 1

1) "Likewise, ye wives," (Gk. homoios gunaikes) "In like manner ye wives" -- alluding to the manner of absolute subjection of 1) citizens to rulers and 2) servants to masters, 1 Peter 2:13-15; 1 Peter 2:18-19.

2) "Be in subjection to your own husbands." Wives are admonished to be in absolute subjection (hupotassomenai) to their own husbands in everything that does not prevent personal duty to worship and to obey God. See also Ephesians 5:22; Ephesians 5:24; Genesis 3:16.

3) "That if any obey not the Word." (hina) "in order that" even if the husband be not persuaded or led to obey the call of God directly, by the Word.

4) "They also may without the word." They may even (aneu) without (a) word - a verbal expression.

5) "Be won by the conversation of the wives." Be gained or won by the upright course of daily conduct of their wives who walk in fear of the Lord.

GOOD EXAMPLES

Of all the commentaries upon the Scriptures, good examples are the best and the liveliest.

--Donne.

Nothing is so contagious as examples -- Never was any considerable good or evil done without producing its like.

--Rochefoucauld.

Verse 2

1) "While they behold your chaste conversation." (epopetusantes) while discretely watching the (Gk. hagnen) pure, clean, or holy conduct or daily behavior of you --

2) "Coupled with fear." (en phobo) which you live in reverential fear. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Hebrews 11:7; Hebrews 12:28.

Verse 3

1) "Whose adorning let it not be the outward adorning." Whose (eksothen) outward show or exterior, let it not be.

2) "0f plaiting the hair." of hair plaiting attraction.

3) "And of wearing of gold." Putting on and placing gold decorations about the body for sensual attraction.

4) "0r of putting on of apparel." Or by dressing up in world appealing garments. Peter admonishes Christian women against the use of display of earth’s passing vanities as a means of influencing and helping their husbands in a godly way. Modesty in dress is becoming to the spiritual influence of Christian women always. 1 Timothy 2:9-10.

Verse 4

1) "But let it be the hidden man of the heart." But let it (the adorning, outward show) be of the (Gk. kruptos) hidden or inner man of the heart. Let the countenance reflect inner peace, joy, longsuffering, love and compassion. Romans 2:29; Proverbs 15:13.

2) "In that which is not corruptible." In that (exterior show) that is not (Gk. aphtharto) not corruptible, temporary, or decaying. A genuine reflection, or peace, joy, and love should reflect the Christians heart.

3) "Even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit." A raucous, boisterous, voice or attempt of exterior show of apparel and accessories constitute unbecoming vanity, void of influence toward winning a lost husband. Let meekness, quietness, and wifely subjection control you, woman of God. Proverbs 16:18; Ecclesiastes 7:8.

4) "Which is in the sight of God of great price” (hos) which -- which kind of spirit, is (enopion) "in the face of" God of (poluteles) much value, Proverbs 16:32. Meekness, quietness, humility and self-control are Christian virtues that help Christians mightily to influence the lost.

Verse 5

1) "For after this manner in old time," (houtos gar) For thus in this manner (of subjection) (Gk. pote) back then, in old time former years.

2) "The holy women also, who trusted in God." The holy or pure (saved women), Gk. elpizousai) hoping in or who hoped in God -- believed in the redeemer. Titus 2:13.

3) "Adorned themselves." (Gk. ekosmon heautas) themselves -- made an outward show of exterior appearance.

4) "Being in subjection to their own husbands

Submitting themselves willingly, of their own violation, to their own husbands. This is the kind of submission enjoined by Peter to those wives whom he was addressing.

Verse 6

1) "Even as Sara obeyed Abraham." Just as an example Sarah (Gk. hupekousen) “listened up" and gave ear to Abraham.

2) "Calling him lord" respectfully addressing him as a citizen does a king or ruler and as a servant does his master. Such is the respect the Christian wife is enjoined to show her husband. Genesis 18:12.

3) "Whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well." (hes) of whom ye become daughters (in the Lord) (agathopoiousai) those of you doing good.

4) "And are not afraid with any amazement." Those not fearing -- not even one thing of terror. Proverbs 29:25, declares that that one putting his trust in the Lord, obeying Him in what He commands "shall be safe.

I’VE BEEN WATCHING YOU

"For a good many years I went to church alone. My husband was good enough to take me, but he always left me at the front door of the church and then drove home again.

"One day at the close of a Sunday service we were asked to bow our heads in prayer and an invitation was given. When I raised my head there was my husband at the front kneeling. When we got home I said to him, ’Husband, how did you happen to come in church tonight?’ ’Well, wife,’ he replied, ’I’ve been watching you for a long time now and I saw you had something that I didn’t have. When I heard the singing inside something drew me into the church and I took a back seat. When the minister asked if there were any who would like to give their hearts to Jesus I decided that I wanted your Saviour too.’

You can’t imagine how surprised and happy I felt. I have often thought what if I had gotten discouraged and given up. My husband’s salvation depended on his seeing Jesus in me.

/-

Someone is watching you and me.

Are we living the Gospel

That they might see

The Spirit and message of Calvary?

--Margaret Bogart

Verse 7

1) "Likewise, ye husbands dwell with them according to knowledge." (Gk. homios) "In the same manner," of obedience the husbands are instructed to (Gk. sunoi kountes) dwell or settle down with them according to knowledge, formerly acquired, Ephesians 5:24.

2) "Giving honor unto the wife." (G k. aponemontes) assigning honor to the wife, meaning giving special attention to or showing special respect toward.

3) "As unto the weaker vessel." As (Gk. asthenestero) to or toward a weaker or more fragile (Gk. skeuei) vessel, one more easily broken or bent;

4) "And as being heirs together of the grace of life;" (hos kai) "as even" being (sugkleronomois) co-heirs or closely tied, attached heirs of God’s grace of life. Ephesians 5:28-33.

5) "That your prayers be not hindered." This language is plain. Husbands and wives have divinely appointed responsibilities to each other. The wife is to be in absolute submission to the husband and the husband is to show absolute honor, special attention and care to the wife, lest their prayers be hindered before their children, neighbors, and the world and they lose rewards. 1 Corinthians 3:13-15; 2 John 1:8.

Verse 8

1) "Finally, be ye all of one mind." (Gk. to de telos) Indeed to this end, Peter admonishes, "Be of one mind" in Christ as husband and wife are or become one flesh. Ephesians 5:31.

2) "Having compassion one of another." Jesus had compassion (tenderness) Matthew 9:36; Matthew 14:14. The good Samaritan was commended for it. Luke 10:33. The prodigals father showed it, Luke 15:20, So should children of God, Judges 1:22.

3) "Love as brethren." Much like his Lord, Peter challenges these scattered brethren to love each other, cultivate it in their local fellowship. John 13:34-35; Romans 12:9-10; Romans 13:8; Romans 13:10; 1 John 3:18.

4) "Be pitiful” (Gk. sumpatheis) Be sympathetic or pitiful of weakness and hurts of others. This is a Christian virtue, Ephesians 4:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8.

5) "Be Courteous" Luke commended Julius of Sidon for his courteous treatment of Paul, Acts 27:3 and he acknowledged with gratitude, three days of courteous treatment for Paul and his traveling companions, shown by Publius of Melita, Acts 28:7. The Greek term (tapeinophrones) means "be humble minded" toward others.

Verse 9

1) "Not rendering evil for evil." (Gk. me apodidontes) not giving back -- or retaliating with evil for or in response for evil. Such was our Lord’s instruction Matthew 5:44.

2) "Or railing for railing." Our Lord did not even under his greatest trial or testing of life. Matthew 26:59-63; Matthew 27:12-14; Isaiah 53:7; Acts 8:32.

3) "But contrariwise blessing " Such was our Lord’s instructions in the sermon on the mount, Matthew 5:38-43. He also practiced it in life and on Calvary, as He prayed, "Father forgive them," Luke 23:34.

4) "Knowing that ye are thereunto called." (Gk. hoti eis) because unto or with reference to this - to this end, to bless the lost of the world, children of God were called in salvation and to service. John 4:35-38; John 15:16.

5) "That ye should inherit a blessing." (hina) In order that you might inherit or become heir to a blessing – Romans 8:17; Psalms 25:12-13; Matthew 5:5.

OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD

A traveling salesman was rudely treated by a member of a business concern. He related the humiliating experience to a friend. "And you did nothing about it afterward? A fellow like that should be taught a lesson!" "Yes" said the salesman, "but I’m not here to avenge personal wrongs. I’m on business for my employer."

We are on business for the One of whom it is written: "Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not" (1 Peter 2:23).

--W.B.K.

MAGNANIMOUS GENERAL LEE

Jefferson Davis, President of the Southern Confederacy, asked General Lee’s opinion of a certain officer. General Lee commended him very highly. I am greatly surprised at your commendation of that officer," said an aide-de-camp to General Lee. "Why, that officer habitually says unkind things about you!" To which General Lee replied, "I understand that the President wanted to know my opinion of this officer, and not that man’s opinion of me!"

__W.B.K.

Verse 10

1) "For he that will love life, and see good days." Godly behavior lengthens life, Psalms 34:12-16; Ephesians 6:1-3. The one wishing strongly (thelon) to see good days a full life is admonished.

2) "Let him refrain his tongue from evil." (Gk. pausato) "Let restrain" the tongue from (Kakou) spilling forth hurtful words, such as blasphemy, falsehoods, backbiting, gossip, slander, etc.

3) "And his lips that they speak no guile." Flattery, half-truths, and calculated words of deception are hereby understood to be avoided. Psalms 34:9; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

TONGUE CONTROL

Unless we yield our tongues as instruments of righteousness unto God, Satan will use them to his advantage, and to our spiritual impoverishment. Some people pride themselves that they have the gift of gab. But one thing is certain -- what little spirituality such people possess may soon dribble away via the mouth.

--W. B. K.

A dog has many friends because the wag is in his tail, and not in his tongue.

--W. B. K.

Verse 11

1) "Let him eschew evil" (Gk. ekklinato) let this person desiring a good life and long days "turn aside from" or avoid evil, bad things and attitudes, Colossians 3:5-9.

2) "And do good." Let him even be doing good deeds. James 1:22; James 4:17.

3) "Let him seek peace." (Gk. zetesato) search diligently, earnestly, for peace, as a shepherd searches for a lost sheep, an householder for a lost coin or a mother for a lost child. Matthew 5:9; Luke 14:31-32.

4) "And ensue it." (Gk. diozato) and pursue or "follow it diligently." Romans 14:19; 2 Corinthians 13:11.

THE PEACE OF GOD

There is what is called the "cushion of the sea." Down beneath the surface that is agitated with storms, and driven about with high winds, there is a part of the sea that is never stirred. When we dredge the bottom and bring up the remains of animal and vegetable life, we find that they give evidence of not having been disturbed for hundreds of years. The peace of God is that eternal calm which lies far too deep down in the praying soul to be reached by an external disturbance.

--A. T. Pierson

Verse 12

1) "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous." (Gk. hoti) "Because", the Lord’s eyes are (epi) upon or watching the righteous, Job 28:10; Psalms 11:4; Psalms 33:18.

2) "And his ears are open unto their prayers." His ears are declared to be "to or turned toward" the (Gk. deesin) petitions of the righteous. Luke 10:9-10; James 1:5; 1 John 3:22.

3) "But the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." (Gk. de) "Indeed" the face of the Lord is said to be against the one progressively doing evil. This means His back is turned upon even the saved person who tries to petition God while actively, repeatedly, living a sin-pattern life, a checkered life. See Isaiah 59:1-3; James 1:7.

HINDERED PRAYER

A short prayer will reach the throne -- if you don’t live too far away.

--Speaker’s Sourcebook

If prayer does not drive sin out of your life, sin will drive prayer out.

--Speaker’s Sourcebook

Sin breaks fellowship with God. A little girl committed a certain offense and when her mother discovered it she began to question her daughter. Immediately the child lost her smile and a cloud darkened her face as she said, "Mother, I don’t feel like talking." So it is with us when our fellowship with God is broken by sin in our lives. We do not feel like talking to Him. If you do not feel like praying, it is probably a good indication that you should start praying immediately.

--Speaker’s Sourcebook

Verse 13

1) "And who is he that will harm you." (kai tis ho kakoson) who is the one harming you or doing you evil -- this seems to be a rhetoric question, meant to affirm that no real, permanent harm shall come to the true servant of God. Hebrews 13:5; Romans 8:35; Romans 8:39.

2) "If ye be followers of that which is good " If or should you be continuing (Gk. zelotai) zealots or servants of doing good, on fire for God. Peter rhetorically affirms that this progressive doer of Good shall prosper, not be seriously harmed, in whatsoever he does. See Psalms 1:1-3. Consider the 3 Hebrew children and Daniel -- were they really harmed? Daniel 2:29-30; Daniel 2:46-49.

Verse 14

1) "But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake." But (Gk. ei kai) if you indeed or even suffer (dia) because or on account of righteous living and righteous deeds. Peter and John did, Paul did. 2 Corinthians 11:24-28; Acts 5:40-42.

2) "Happy are ye." (Gk. makarioi) happy or spiritually prosperous are ye -- See Matthew 5:11-12; Acts 5:41.

3) "And be not afraid of their terror." This is a Petrine imperative (Gk. phobethete) fear ye not" -their kind of terror or fear. The fear of man bringeth a snare? Peter had been ensnared by it when he denied the Lord, wanted these to avoid the same error, Proverbs 29:25; 1 John 4:18; Romans 8:15.

4) "Neither be troubled." (Gk. tarachthete) over anxious, distraught, or unglued. Paul, Peter and John, like their Lord, suffered, endured wrong without turning back, turning aside, or questioning the Lord -so must true disciples today. 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9.

Verse 15

1) "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts." (hagiasate) hold ye, or set ye apart in a saved manner, the (Kurion ton Christon) "Lord anointed one" the Christ in your hearts and do not stop there.

2) "And be ready always to give an answer." (hetoimoi) be ye ready each of you (aei) always (pros apologian) to give forth a defense of logical nature –Psalms 119:46; Acts 26:1-2.

3) "To every man that asketh you a reason of the hope." To each one requesting or asking for a defensible word of hope, 2 Timothy 2:15; Psalms 115:1-8; Acts 17:27-28.

4) "That is in you." Paul witnessed of "Christ in you the hope of glory" as the "anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast," Colossians 1:27; Hebrews 6:19-20.

5) "With meekness and fear," (meta prautetos) With meekness, humility, or self control and reverential fear -- "to be ready" to give such a defensible testimony of hope that the believer must study, search the scriptures, Acts 17:11.

Verse 16

1) "Having a good conscience." Having or holding a good conscience, one void of offence toward God and man, Acts 24:16; Hebrews 13:18; 1 Peter 2:19.

2) "That, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evil doers." (hina) in order that these who "speak down" on or deride you, or abuse you, Matthew 5:11.

3) "They may be ashamed." (Kataischunthosin) may be ashamed, may be blushing, or may be humiliated, can’t look you in the eye.

4) "That falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ." The ones that misrepresent your good course of daily behavior or course of conduct. Matthew 5:15-16; 1 Peter 3:1-2.

FIVE KINDS OF CONSCIENCE

There be five kinds of consciences on foot in the world; first an ignorant conscience, which neither sees nor says anything, neither beholds the sins in a soul, nor r e proves them. Secondly, the flattering conscience, whose speech is worse than silence itself, which, though seeing sin, soothes the man in the committing thereof. Thirdly, the seared conscience which has neither sight, speech, nor sense in men that are past feeling. Fourthly, a wounded conscience, frightened with sin. The last and best is a quiet and clear conscience, pacified in Christ Jesus. Of these the fourth is incomparably better than the three former, so that a wise man would not take a world to change with them. Yea, a wounded conscience is rather painful than sinful, an affliction, no offense, and is in the ready way, at the next remove, to be turned into a quiet conscience.

--Thomas Fuller

Verse 17

1) "For it is better, if the will of God be so." (Kreitton) For it is better or needful, (theloi) if God wills it so. Let each understand the will of God is always best for his life, Ephesians 5:17; Romans 12:2; James 4:15.

2) "That ye suffer for well doing." Abel did. The Apostles, John, Peter, and Paul did, as did the Lord.

3) "Than for evil." (he kakopoiountos) than to suffer for doing dirty, evil, immoral things. Suffering for practicing evil is a retribution of God’s natural laws now functioning, Galatians 6:7-8. The Spirit sustains the righteous in suffering for well doing, or while doing good, Romans 8:26-27; 2 Corinthians 2:10.

Verse 18

1) "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins."

He suffered not (Gk. peri) concerning his, but our sins. For these he died, 1 Peter 2:21; 1 Peter 4:1.

2) "The just for the unjust." (dikaios huper adikon) the righteous one on behalf of the unrighteous ones, the whole world, Romans 5:6; Romans 5:8; Romans 5:10.

3) "That he might bring us to God." (hina) "in order t ’ he might (prosagage) lead us to or toward God -- restore us to God’s favor. Romans 5:11.

4) "Being put to death in the flesh." (Gk. men) on the one hand being (a state or condition of being) put to death in flesh.

5) "But quickened by the Spirit." (de) on the other hand being (Gk. zoopoietheis) made alive in Spirit Romans 8:11. The necessary inference is that as Christ was glorified in suffering wrongfully, for or on behalf of others, so may His children glorify him thru suffering wrongfully for doing righteousness, Romans 8:17.

OH HOW MUCH WE OWE

When this passing world is done, When has sunk yon glorious sun, When we stand with Christ in Glory, Looking o’er life’s finished story: Then, Lord, shall I fully know, Not till then, how much I owe.

When I stand before the Throne, Dressed in beauty not my own, When I see Thee as Thou art, Love Thee with unsinning heart: Then, Lord, shall I fully know, Not till then, how much I owe.

--Robert Murray McCheyne

Verse 19

1) "By which also." (Gk. en ho) In or by which (spirit), the Spirit that quickened Christ from the dead (dead corpse of flesh) (kai) also or even.

2) "He went and preached unto the Spirits in prison !! He (Jesus) (G k. poreutheis) going (ekeruksen) preached to the (phulake) in prison spirits -- unsaved -- this he did thru Noah. Hebrews 11:7; Genesis 6:22; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Peter 2:5.

Verse 20

1) "Which sometime were disobedient." (Gk. apeithesasin pote) to the then disobeying ones, the idea is that the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead also empowered Noah in pre-flood times to preach coming judgment and the way of deliverance, 2 Peter 1:21.

2) "When once the longsuffering of God waited." The preaching was done by Christ, thru Noah (Gk. hote) "when" the longsuffering or patience of God waited or lingered -- He had warned "my Spirit will not always strive with man, Genesis 6:3.

3) "In the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing." The preaching of Christ, by the Spirit was done when God’s longsuffering lingered or waited (120) years) in the days of Noah -- not after Christ was raised from the dead. There has never been but one way of salvation, by the Word and Spirit, Acts 10:43.

4) "Wherein few, that is eight souls." (eis en oligoi) in which (time and place - the ark) a few (tout estin okto psuchai) eight souls or individuals - Noah’s family – Genesis 7:1; Genesis 7:13.

5) "Were saved by water." (diesothesan) were saved or delivered (di hudatos) by or through water. The deliverance of Noah’s family of eight through the “water - judgment," of God on earth was effected through the Spirit empowered preaching of Noah to his family who responded by faith and obedience while the ark was preparing. They also responded as children of obedience when they entered the ark.

Verse 21

1) "The like figure whereunto even." (ho) which (ark) (Gk. kai humas antitupon) even to us a figure or antitype is. The ark, place of safety, was Christ, not the water. True faith works by love to the saving of the life for God, Galatians 5:6-7.

2) "Baptism cloth also now save us." As the ark "identified" true believers, so baptism is designed to identify, be a monument to their profession it (nun sozei) now and hereafter saves, delivers from identity of our lives with the lost world. Baptism is a picture -a figure of the source of our salvation, Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Galatians 3:27.

3) "Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh." (Baptism (a picture) no more saves, puts away flesh or soul-sin (filth) than a mother’s picture gives physical life - see?

4) "But the answer of a good conscience toward God." Noah and his family believed in God before they believed in the ark -- after they trusted in Him, they obeyed out of love. Galatians 5:6. Their building and entering the ark was in answer or response to a good conscience. So must ours be today. We follow Jesus in baptism. We do not find Him in baptism, Romans 6:4-5.

5) "By the resurrection of Jesus Christ." Baptism saves, (in a figure), by or through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism did not make Jesus the Son of God -- it identified him as such. It does the same for us. John 1:31-33; Mark 8:34.

Verse 22

1) "Who is gone into heaven." Where did Jesus go when he left earth? The answer is "into heaven itself where the Father is." John 14:1-3; John 14:14; Acts 1:10-11; Hebrews 9:24.

2) "And is gone into heaven." Where is Jesus now? He is sitting on the right hand of God, making advocacy, intercession for the redeemed, Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2; Revelation 12:10; Romans 8:34.

3) "Angels and authorities and powers." Heavens host (angelon) the host - all of them are his servants -. authorities (Eksousion) the organized orders of Gabriel and Michael and (dunameon) all their dynamic resources.

4) "Being made subject unto him." (Gk. hupotagenton) are progressively and continuously under his control, at his disposal. What a Savior, deliverer, and keeper we have! See also Hebrews 1:14; Psalms 34:7; Hebrews 13:5.

A MARK OF OWNERSHIP

If you have a book which you do not wish to lose you write your name in it. The shepherd brands his name upon his sheep, and every one knows they are his. "From henceforth let no man trouble me, wrote Paul, "for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." And we read in Revelation 22:4 for those who serve the Lord, "My name shall be in their foreheads." The Good Shepherd knows His own sheep by name, and no one can pluck them out of His hand.

--Sunday at Home

KEPT

Kept every day from morn to night, We know His promises are sure, Kept by His truth, His power and might No jot shall fail, while words endure.

Kept all the way from youth to age, Thus far the Lord hath sheltered me. Kept from the fangs of Satan’s rage, Safely we’ll cross life’s troubled sea.

Kept all these years by God’s own hand, To Him be praise and homage given. Kept by H is grace we’ll hope to stand. At evening time, in sight of Heaven,

Kept from the power of hell and sin, Home of the pure in heart we’ll see. Kept by His love we’ll here begin The life that fills eternity.

--Selected

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/1-peter-3.html. 1985.