Reading through the Bible together
Continuing in a practical vein, Peter offers counsel to husbands and wives to be respectful and loving, “both being heirs together of the grace of life” (v. 7). He reminds women that what makes them most attractive is Christ-like conduct, rather than external ploys for attention. God will not bless the husband who is tyrannical, egotistical, or domineering toward his wife.
Peter addresses Christians in general with an admonition to be united in spirit. The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary suggests that the unity in v.8 does not mean uniformity. Nevertheless, Peter recognizes that differences of opinion may arise, and urges the believers to love each other, showing courtesy and compassion, rather than contention or name-calling.
Some have been troubled by vv. 18-20, wondering if Jesus or Noah preached the gospel to people in hell. In actuality, Christ preached through the Holy Spirit (v.19) to people living in the prison house of sin (Ps. 142:7).
One of Peter’s greatest challenges to us as followers of Jesus occurs in v.15, where he urges believers to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” This admonition is impossible to fulfill without careful, prayerful study of Scripture to understand the will of God, and the anointing of the Spirit to give wisdom and tact.
Cindy Tutsch, DMin
Associate Director (retired), Ellen G. White Estate