1 Peter, 3
1: Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2: While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. 3: Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4: But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 5: For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. 7: Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. 8: Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 9: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10: For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12: For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 13: And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14: But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15: But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 17: For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 18: For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20: Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21: The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
Next Peter moves on to practical exhortation regarding the daily living of various people in the family with instruction suitable to their situations. First he describes the conduct of wives who he says are to be in subjection to their own husbands. This does not mean that they are to be the servants of their husbands but that in matters in which there is dispute the wives are to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord. And by this means if any of their husbands are not saved they will be won over by the good living of their wives. He says that their adornment is not to be only external but it is to be the hidden person of the heart that is to be beautiful. Peter gives the example of Godly Sarah who called Abraham Lord. Then he turns his attention to the husbands and here the focus is much more intense. He says you men are to give great honour to your wives and to protect them as weaker in body. However you are heirs together of the grace of life. Both of you will inherit the kingdom equally. Lastly he says that nothing that we do should hinder joint prayer. Then Peter gives general exhortation. He asks for unity, compassion, love, pity, respect, restraint, blessing. Then he reiterates the principle of the Mosaic law. ‘For he that wants to a long life, and see good days on earth, let him refrain from speaking evil, and his lips from saying things that are deceptive. Let him repudiate evil, and do righteous things and let him seek to live in a clear conscience and constantly pursue it. Because the Lord sees everything that the righteous do and his ears are always open to their prayers, but the face of the Lord is against those that do evil things. This promise is a fair summary of the Mosaic Law but its exhortation is true for all men. Then Peter speaks of suffering for Christ and contrasts it with suffering for wrongdoing. Peter says to his readers that they are to set themselves apart for the Lord in their hearts. And to always be ready to give an answer to those who would ask a reason for the hope that they have within them. Christians today should be no less ready to give testimony to Christ. But they are to do this in meekness and the fear of the Lord. (Two great characteristics of the Jew who is under the blessing of God). Peter says that they are to live in good conscience before the Lord, so that although people might speak evil things of them, their good lives will speak in their defence. He reminds then that Christ suffered unjustly and on behalf of the unjust, so that he might bring them to God. He was put to death in the body, but was raised from the dead in the Spirit (or by the Spirit) He tells them that Christ in death went down to declare the victory he has achieved in the prison of those who had sinned in the days of Noah. They had been separated from every contact with the earth. They were those who rejected the preaching of Noah while the ark was being built. In a similar way baptism saves these Jews (not because water can actually cleanse the sinner but because it is the response to God of a clean conscience) by the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Because he has ascended to heaven and now sits at the right hand of God. And all heavenly creatures are now subject to him.