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Victorious Suffering

by Rev. Kirby Williams

How the Gospel triumphs through the suffering of the saints.

Text: 1Pet. 3:18-20
Date: 03/15/2020, the Evening service.
Series: "Peter's Epistles: The Sojourners Handbook" Part 19

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Peter continues his discussion of suffering by turning his attention to the supreme example: the suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ. As he does, he will continue two themes all ready established in this part of his epistle: the benefits of good behavior in the midst of suffering, and its underlying impact on evangelism (even of those who persecute us). In this passage he will introduce a third thread, or perhaps just a nuance of the other two. Using Christ as the model, he will show how suffering can be victorious-- even under the most intense persecution. We will find in Peter's somewhat enigmatic words both comfort and encouragement as we also face from time to time our own persecution for the Gospel of Christ, and thereby the prospect of victorious suffering.


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I. Introduction
II. Exposition of the text, 1Pet. 3:18-20.
A. Context
B. Suffering with a purpose.
1. Our Model of victorious suffering, vs. 18a.
a. Turning the focus to Christ.
b. The key to victorious suffering.
i. A continuing thought.
ii. Defining "suffered".
iii. The "once and for all" sacrifice, Heb. 7:27.
iv. A specific suffering.
v. The heart of the Gospel.
c. The undefiled sacrifice, 1Pet. 2:19-20, Rom. 3:26, 2Cor. 5:21.
d. The victory in suffering.
2. The victorious proclamation, vs. 18b-20a.
a. The Crucifixion of Christ, vs. 18b.
b. Celebrating the Life in the Spirit, vs. 18c.
i. Dueling translations.
ii. Dueling interpretations.
• A clearly incorrect view.
• The divine "inner-person" of Christ.
• Resurrected by the Holy Spirit.
c. The spirits in prison, vs. 19, 20a.
i. Dueling translations, vs. 19.
ii. The heart of the problem.
iii. What is not being said.
• Preaching to the lost souls in Hell, Heb. 9:27.
• The confusion caused by the Apostle's Creed, John 19:30, Luke 23:46.
iv. Analyzing the pieces of the puzzle.
• Determining what was "proclaimed".
• Struggling with "the spirits".
• Locating the prison, Rev. 9:2,11, 2Pet. 2:4,5, Luke 8:31.
v. The worst of the worst, vs. 20a, Gen. 6:2, Jude 6.
d. Solving the puzzle.
3. Victory in the time of Noah, vs. 20b, Gen. 6:3, 2Pet. 2:5.
4. Summation
III. Application
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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