Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #283 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading 1 Peter 3 today and our focus is on Does Baptism Save Us? Does The Act of Baptism Bring Salvation? Is it Sexist That The Bible Calls Christian Wives to Submit? We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Let’s open with some controversy, shall we? Perhaps the most controversial thing in the entire Bible is the teaching that wives must submit to their husbands, and Peter is going to lead off this chapter with just that command, so there is no avoiding it. Here is what vs. 1 says:
In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the word, they may be won over without a word by the way their wives live 2 when they observe your pure, reverent lives 1 Peter 3:1-2
This is much the same thing that Paul says in Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3, and it drives people crazy. And the reason it drives people crazy is because they cut the verses out of their context. Let me be clear- I don’t mean to say or imply that Paul or Peter is not calling wives to submit- there is absolutely no grammatical doubt about it – the Bible calls wives to submit to their husbands. There is no way to be faithful to what the clear text of the Bible says and omit that. BUT, and it is a big BUT – that’s not ALL the Bible says. God’s Word has certain commands to husbands and certain ones to wives, and if you miss that, you might cry sexism. Here’s what I wrote last year, in discussing this issue, while discussing Ephesians 5.
In a biblical marriage, the husband serves and sacrifices in every way, and the wife submits. Neither is easy, and this is obviously different from what most in the world think of as marriage, but I would argue that it is absolutely biblical and absolutely beautiful. Is it easy? Not even close. Is the Bible’s teaching on marriage set up in a patriarchal way to benefit the husband? The only way to argue for such a thing is to denigrate the cross of Christ and minimize His sacrifice. The husband in a Christian marriage is not there to be served but to serve, and to give his life for his wife in a similar way that Jesus gave His life for the church. Paul here in Ephesians 5 gives us a glimpse into a wonderful mystery: that husbands and wives model the ministry of Jesus and the reality of the gospel in their interactions with each other. When a husband sacrifices himself and serves his wife, that honors Christ. When a wife submits to her husband, that honors Christ, and I think that is beautiful. Does my marriage model these principles? Not always – my wife and I love each other very much, but submission and sacrifice/serving are difficult, but I can tell you that our marriage is best when I am serving and sacrificing for my lovely wife, and when she is submitting. When we model submission, sacrifice and serving, we model the wonderful way that Jesus interacted with His Heavenly Father.
So, to reiterate, wives are called to submit and husbands to sacrifice – not get their way – GIVE themselves to their wives and put their wives’ needs first. Which is an easier thing to do? They are BOTH hard and both difficult. And allow me to say this: A husband who demands that his wife submit and refuses to love her the way Christ loved the church by sacrificing his needs and desires for her is an abomination. He is OUT OF LINE. There is absolutely NO ROOM in a Christian marriage for misogyny, machismo, men who are abusive, or bullies, or who Lord it over their wives. NO. Husbands are called to sacrifice AND, points out Peter here in today’s passage, they are called to HONOR their wives and seek to live with them in an understanding way. WORKING to understand them and their needs and sacrificing to meet those needs.
7 Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker partner, showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7
Lest any husband miss it on this, Peter says: If you don’t treat your wife well, husbands, then YOUR PRAYERS WILL BE HINDERED. That is terrifying, and it sounds like it means something like, you are on your own, husband, if you fail to honor your wife or treat her with understanding.
Shifting gears with a bit of grinding – let’s talk about baptism. I’m a Baptist preacher, myself – so I am a fan of baptism, as you might imagine. But, does baptism actually SAVE somebody? Is baptism the act that brings salvation? One might get that idea with a less than careful reading of vs. 21, “21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (not as the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, ”
Wait, Peter – are you saying that the act of water baptism is the thing that brings salvation? Actually, I don’t believe he is saying that, as he makes clear in his parenthetical statement, “not as the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.”) Here’s Spurgeon to help us understand:
That is to say, baptism is a type and symbol of salvation, just as Noah’s ark was, for therein we, being spiritually dead with Christ, are buried with Christ in the outward symbol, and rise from the water, even as Christ rose from the grave, to live henceforth among the twice-born race who fear not the second death….THE story of Noah’s preservation in the ark, is a suggestive representation of salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. It is, we think, especially intended to depict that part of our salvation which lies in the washing of regeneration. In the same way as baptism is the outward symbol of regeneration, so also is the ark, “wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” The ark was immersed in those dreadful rains and awful cataracts which deluged the earth, and Noah’s family were buried in that ark to all the world; but by this burial they were floated out of the old condemned world, into the new world of life and grace. Death to the world, and burial in the ark, were the means of their safety. “The like figure whereunto,” saith the apostle Peter (1 Peter 3:21), “even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Baptism is a most significant picture of regeneration, but it is in no sense the cause of the new birth; and the blunder of the [Those who believe that baptism saves] lies in considering the outward manifestation of an accomplished fact, as though it were the means of creating that fact. Baptism saves no one, except, as Peter says, in figure; but as a figure, it is eminently full of divine teaching, for it sets forth the great truth that the believer, standing to-day in the old world, is buried to that world, “buried with Jesus Christ by baptism into death;” and his rising from the liquid tomb, is the figure of his resurrection in Christ, into a new world, as a new man, “that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4.) Would to God that we thought more of being dead with Christ, buried with him and risen with him. Brethren, let Noah in his ark preach the work of righteousness within the heart to all of us this morning.
C. H. Spurgeon, “The Rainbow,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 9 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1863), 361.
C. H. Spurgeon, “Diamond Hinges—‘As’ and ‘So,’” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 51 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1905), 555.
As Romans 6 says:
3 Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be rendered powerless so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, Romans 6:3-6
This text shows that baptism is a great symbol and picture of that which ACTUALLY saves us – the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Let’s read our passage.
Bible Memory passage for the month of October: 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
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