The Work of Christ - I Peter 3:18
July 10, 2023, 8:44 AM

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.”

Previously, Peter was encouraging the suffering church to be faithful. If they suffer, do so for the glory of God. He talked about the Lord knowing what they were going through and He would make things right.

Suffering is part of the curse since the fall of man. We all suffer. It is the judgement for sin. We suffer and we die. The suffering comes in many ways. God told Adam and Eve it comes through the pain of childbirth. It comes though the work by the sweat of our brow. It comes with a world of thorns and thistles. It comes through sickness and through death.

The first-time great grief was experienced was by God Himself when mankind disobeyed and fell out of fellowship with their creator. Worst of all, for mankind, came the separation of the close fellowship in the presence of God. We are separated from Him in His holiness and by our sin and continued disobedience. Let’s not forget we are all under judgement of eternal death in hell.

It wasn’t long when Adam and Eve also experienced the suffering of grief when their eldest son killed his brother. Cain experienced more separation apart from his family as he was sent away.

In the passage of this week Peter tells the story of the bad news and good news by the redemption of Jesus. Until Christ comes again, we will live in a suffering world and are instructed to allow God to work in and through us. As Jesus was preparing his apostles for ministry it was to go into the suffering world and declare ultimate victory in Christ. Tell His story of suffering, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension into glory.

Jesus tells His disciples in the meantime He is preparing a place for us. He is with His Father. But even in spreading the good news there will be suffering. John 16: 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus went before us in His suffering in body, soul, and spirit for our salvation. He suffered a horrible beating, mockery, and crucifixion. He suffered in body to be sure, but also in emotion, in spirit, and in taking upon Himself the sin of the world.

At the end of the Gospel of John we have the dialogue of Jesus with Peter. He foretells how Peter will suffer and die for Jesus. Indeed, all the disciples, save John, will die a martyr's death. Don’t be surprised if you go through that same road, but keep sharing the message of victory even through it all.

Application: According to Romans 6, spiritually in our baptism, we identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord.

Prayer:  As I am baptized into Christ, let me be dead to self and alive in Christ.