1 Peter 3:18-22
¹⁸ For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, ¹⁹ in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, ²⁰ because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. ²¹ Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, ²² who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
Understanding the text
Christ’s atoning death on our behalf gives us the love and humility to serve and suffer for the sake of others. But it is Christ’s triumphant resurrection from death that gives us the courage to face and endure opposition, persecution, and suffering. We are called to follow Him in both courage and humility.
Peter reminds us of Noah who faithfully preached the gospel with love, and faced massive opposition with courage. God did not neglect Noah’s work. Though he was ridiculed by the masses, in the end he was vindicated by God. Likewise, we who are in Christ can have the assurance that in the end, our sacrifice and witness will be vindicated through our ultimate salvation in Christ, our Ark.
- Romans 6:1-5
- Matthew 14:27
- Acts 4:13
Applying the text
- As Christians, we are called to both servant-like humility and death-defying courage. Which comes more naturally to you? Which do you struggle with more and why?
- In what sense is our salvation in Christ a better version of the story of the flood and Noah’s ark?
- What does this text teach about the role and importance of baptism?
Call to Worship
¹ O LORD, in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults! ² You have given him his heart's desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. ³ For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold upon his head. ⁴ He asked life of you; you gave it to him, length of days forever and ever. ⁵ His glory is great through your salvation; splendor and majesty you bestow on him. ⁶ For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
Prayer of Confession
Holy God, You said that You are the Light of the World, yet we still refuse to let You into the darkest places of our lives. You said that You are the Good Shepherd, but we fail to follow where You lead. We are sheep that have gone astray. You said that You are the Bread of Life, but we seek out other things to satisfy us. You said that You are the Way, but we often make our own paths. You said that You are the Truth, but we find ways to deceive ourselves and others. You said You are Life. Forgive us and help us to embrace the mercy, forgiveness, and grace that You offer us so that we can have an abundant life in You. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.
Resources for Parents
On Family Worship Sunday, the Juniors class, (the 2 and 3 year olds), receives a special lesson on next month's catechism question. All of our classes work through one question per month from the New City Catechism.
Parents! You can download the New City Catechism app with all the questions and children's songs for free.
New City Catechism Question #42
How is the Word of God to be read and heard?
With diligence, preparation, and prayer; so that we may accept it with faith and practice it in our lives.
Q: What is the Bible?
A: God's true word!
Q: What do we do before reading God's true word?
Q: Who helps us to understand the Bible?