Ever find yourself in a situation when you ask yourself how did we get here? When you simply, do not understand, there’s no rhyme or reason to it, it feels deeply spiritual, outside of common sense, irrational, beyond you. It feels like there’s another agenda, a hidden one, something is taking place that you cannot see right now, it feels like a battle that is being played out right in front of you but you don’t really know who the characters are.
Peter speaks right into this situation to a people who like us at times feel the onslaught of the situation, maybe the malicious talk, perhaps the persecution is actually not flesh and blood but demonic.
19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.” (1 Peter 3 v 19-22)
Here’s the encouragement:
- VICTORY. Christ has proclaimed (not evangelised) victory over the unseen world. The demonic are triumphed by the cross (numerous passages in the NT support this).
- Wait. God waits. He waited patiently for Noah’s generation to believe and He thus is waiting patiently for the persecutors of His church to repent.
- INADEQUACY. In the flood only a few were saved and at times when facing our enemy we also feel inadequate, few in number compared to the Goliath’s.
- CLEAR CONSCIENCE. The flood symbolised the water baptism to come but not that it saves us but is the sign of a new relationship with the risen Christ who gives us a powerful clear conscience before God because of His forgiveness.
- VINDICATION. Christ has gone, ascended, into heaven, at God’s right hand and the whole cosmos and underneath the cosmos are under His rule. It means this: Christ is vindicated. And because Christ is our Lord so we will also be vindicated.