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Jan 30, 2015

In yesterday's reading, Jacob blessed Pharaoh, Joseph lead powerfully during the worst of the famine, Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasseh, putting the younger Ephraim above his older brother. (And if you remember Jacob's story you'll konw where he got that idea.)

We turn to Job 30, which is the fifth Job’s 6 chapters of complaints. Yesterday Job spoke of his previous blessed life and high position. In this chapter he tells of his anguish.

We turn to 1Peter4. Yesterday in chapter 3 he gave instructions to wives, husbands, and all Christians, particularly when we suffer. NOTE: The difficult final verses having to do with Noah's day and spirits in prison is interpreted for us in v.6.

3:17 17Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!

       18 Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.

19 So he went and preached to the spirits in prison— 20those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood. 21 And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

      22Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept his authority.

Translation notes chapter 4:

1 So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must

arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready

to suffer, too.[[PET] 1 For anyone who suffers

because of following Jesus has also decided to stop

sinning.//For if you have suffered physically for Christ,

you have finished with sin.]

Plain English Translation, which is our English counterpart of

the Plain Indonesian Translation.

2 You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing

your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of

God. 3 You have [already spent//had] enough [time/0] in the past [doing/of] the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.

5 But remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both [those still living at the time and those already dead.//the living and the dead.]

6 [ [PET] That's why the Good News was given by Christ to those spirits in the world of the dead. Let that be a warning to all of us: God will judge all of us according to what we have done. But the Good News has been given so that people can live with God forever.//That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead— so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit.]

I don't agree with those who do all sorts of interpretational gymnastics in order to say that the spirits in this verse are not the same as those just a few verses before. One of the main principles of interpretation is to let Scripture interpret Scripture, and even more so when it is the same author and in

the same context. (Remember that Peter is not the one who came up with the unfortunate chapter break in this case.) I call on those who feel it necessary to find a difference between the spirits referred to to examine the doctrinal principles that force them to go to such lengths. Is it your doctrine that people are never given a second chance for salvation after death? In that case, just consider that God was starting the world all over in the flood, and God has the right to make a special case for those

pre-flood people. In our own case, I agree, God does not give a second chance after death. Actually, the way we have translated verse 6 above kind of eliminates the second chance problem.

14 So be happy when you are insulted for being a [follower

of Christ//Christian], for then the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you.

17 For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if [such/0] judgment begins with us [through this suffering//0], what [a/0] terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News[./?]