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1 Peter 3 : Christians must be ready to have trouble, even when they do good things

v8 Now I want to say this to you. All of you should agree with each other so that you do not argue. You should try to understand how other people are feeling. Love each other as brothers and sisters, because all of you belong to Christ. Be kind to each other. Do not want to be more important than anyone else. v9 If people do bad things to you, you must not do anything bad to them. If people say bad things against you, you must not say bad things back to them. Instead, you should pray that God will be good to those people. This is what God wants you to do. He has chosen you yourselves because he wants to be good to you. v10 The Bible says this:

  ‘If a person wants to enjoy his life and to have good days,

  he must be careful not to say bad things.

  And he must stop saying things that are not true.

v11  He must stop doing what is bad.

  Instead, he must do what is good.

  He must try very much always to be friendly with people.

  He must try always not to argue with them or to cause trouble.

v12  Because the *Lord is watching over those people who obey him.

  All the time, he is listening to what those people pray.

  But the *Lord turns away from people who do bad things.’

  [Psalm 34:12-16]

v13 If you are trying always to do good things, then nobody can really hurt you. v14 People may cause you trouble and pain, even when you do right things. But God will be good to you. So, do not let anyone make you afraid. v15 Instead, always remember that only Christ is your *Lord. And always let him rule you, deep inside yourselves. People may ask you to explain why you hope certainly for good things because of Christ. Always be ready to answer anyone who asks you that. v16 Be kind and polite when you answer them. You know the difference between what is right or wrong. So, always do what is right. Then the people who say bad things about you Christians will be ashamed. They will see that you do good things. You do the good things that Christ’s people should do. So, they will be ashamed.

v17 Sometimes God may let you have trouble and pain even when you have done good things. But that is better than to have trouble and pain because you have done bad things. v18 Even Christ himself, who never did anything wrong, died on our behalf. He died to take away all the wrong things that we have done. He died once, for all time. He died to bring you to God. People killed his body, but God’s Spirit made him alive again.

v19 Then, as a *spirit, he went to the *spirits who were in prison. And he told his great news to them. v20 A long time ago, those *spirits had refused to obey God. God waited patiently for them at that time when Noah was building that big boat. But only a few people, only 8 people, went into that boat so that God could save them. God saved them when they went through the water. v21 That water is like a picture of *baptism, which now saves you also. *Baptism does not mean that the water washes dirt off a person’s body. It means that a person has decided always to obey God. God has made that person really good and clean inside. And so that person is choosing always to do what is right. *Baptism saves you because Jesus Christ rose, to become alive again after his death. v22 Jesus has gone into *heaven now and he is sitting at God’s right side. He rules over *angels and over all other *spirits that have authority or power.

Verses 19-20 The story about Noah and the big boat is in Genesis 6:1-9:17. The ‘*spirits who were in prison’ may mean all the people who drowned in the water. Or it may mean *angels who did not obey God. (See Genesis 6:2.)

Verse 21 Baptism is when they put a believer into water. (Or sometimes they put water on the believer.) That shows everyone that the person believes Christ.

Verse 22 Jesus ‘sits at God’s right side’. The right side or right hand means the most important place. It shows that Jesus has the same authority as his Father.

Chapter 4

v1 Christ had trouble and pain while he lived in his body. So, you should think like he thought. You should be ready to have trouble and pain while you live in your bodies too. If you think like that, you will make yourselves strong. Anyone who has had trouble and pain in his body has stopped wanting to do wrong things. v2 As a result, that person will obey God during all the time that he continues to live in his body. He will not want to do the bad things that people often want to do. He will not let those bad things rule him. Instead, that person will do what God wants him to do.

v3 The people who do not know God want to do bad things. And, in past times, you did those bad things too. But now you have wasted enough time doing those bad things. You did wrong things that people should not do. The things that your bodies wanted to do ruled you. You had sex with people who were not your wife or your husband. You were drunks. You went to many bad parties and you drank too much alcohol. Also, you *worshipped false gods, which is something that God hates.

Verse 3 To worship means to be a servant to someone or something, and to love them or it. To hate means not to like something strongly or completely. When you hate, it is the opposite of when you love something or someone. God hates it when people worship false gods. He hates it because only he himself is really God. Only he can really help those people and be good to them.

v4 The people who do not know God continue to do many, very wrong things. But now, you do not want to do wrong things any more as they do. So, those people are very surprised because of you, and they say bad things about you. v5 But those people will have to explain to God what they have done. He is ready to decide what should happen to every person. He will decide about all people, whether they are alive or dead. v6 This is why even the dead people heard the good news about Christ. Their bodies had to die, as all people must die. But they heard the good news so that their *spirits could live. Their *spirits could live as God wants them to live.

Verse 6 The ‘dead people’ may mean all the believers who had died during the time that the New Testament describes. (The New Testament is the second part of the Bible, which describes Jesus’ life on earth and his work.) Or, the ‘dead people’ may mean all the people who died before Christ. Many people had died before Christ came to live on earth. They had no chance to hear the good news about Christ while they lived on earth. So, this may mean that Christ went to the dead people. He went to tell them about what he had done on their behalf. Then they had the chance to believe him, as we do.

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