What in Hell is happening in 1 Peter 3:19

1 Peter 3:18-21

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.

This is a really weird passage right? You are reading along in 18 and it’s typical stuff. Christ died as propitiation for our sins, the one sacrificial lamb, he died and was raised again…wait in the spirit? His spirit, is that the Holy Spirit, or does Christ also have a spirit? Three in one (trinity) would mean it’s also the Holy Spirit’s spirit. Then you hit verse 19 and all hell breaks lose.

He spoke to spirits (like his spirit?) in a prison, then all of sudden we are talking about Noah and a few, well eight (sounds like a response to how many drinks you’v had) were saved and then something about water and as we leave and go into 21 we are talking about baptism. By this point, you get confused and kind of skip ahead to chapter 4, because that’s a nice round number.

Don’t worry, Karen Jobe helps us catch our breath with four questions the think about:

  • Where did Christ go?
  • When did he go?
  • To whom did he speak?
  • What did he say?

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