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John Wesley's notes on the First Epistle Peter 3:17-22


17 It is infinitely better, if it be the will of God, ye should suffer. His permissive will appears from his providence. 

18 For - This is undoubtedly best, whereby we are most conformed to Christ. Now Christ suffered once - To suffer no more. For sins - Not his own, but ours. The just for the unjust - The word signifies, not only them who have wronged their neighbours, but those who have transgressed any of the commands of God; as the preceding word, just, denotes a person who has fulfilled, not barely social duties, but all kind of righteousness. That he might bring us to God - Now to his gracious favour, hereafter to his blissful presence, by the same steps of suffering and of glory. Being put to death in the flesh - As man. But raised to life by the Spirit - Both by his own divine power, and by the power of the Holy Ghost. 

19 By which Spirit he preached - Through the ministry of Noah. To the spirits in prison - The unholy men before the flood, who were then reserved by the justice of God, as in a prison, till he executed the sentence upon them all; and are now also reserved to the judgment of the great day. 

20 When the longsuffering of God waited - For an hundred and twenty years; all the time the ark was preparing: during which Noah warned them all to flee from the wrath to come. 

21 The antitype whereof - The thing typified by the ark, even baptism, now saveth us - That is, through the water of baptism we are saved from the sin which overwhelms the world as a flood: not, indeed, the bare outward sign, but the inward grace; a divine consciousness that both our persons and our actions are accepted through him who died and rose again for us. 

22 Angels and authorities and powers - That is, all orders both of angels and men.