''What was should be no more, you are a new creation!'' is Peter's message to his believing readers. No one can proclaim that they are a Christian without its effects on their lives being shown and seen. You may have lived a morally sound life up until you became a Christian and then found that you could continue in the same vein, I've known many like that. You may read verse four and feel that Peter's description of your former life is not your own, but we should remind ourselves of two key things here: 1. Peter didn't set out to write this letter to you or me, he was writing to those whose way of living was like the one described in verse four, because that is the way it was for the great majority of people in that day. If you were a free man, it would have been assumed that you had sex with your female (and possibly male) slaves, you would have kept a mistress if you had the wealth and part of your worship of whatever idol you brought sacrifices to was sex with temple prostitutes. Some information from Wikipedia: 'Prostitution in ancient Rome was legal and licensed. In ancient Rome, even Roman men of the highest social status were free to engage prostitutes of either sex without incurring moral disapproval' and 'Although rape was a crime in ancient Rome, the law only punished the rape of a slave if it "damaged the goods", since a slave had no legal standing as a person.' 2. We are faced with the same certainty: that God will judge us as He will judge all of Peter's first century readers. Our call to live different lives is just as relevant today, but Peter's words in chapter three verse eight may be more relevant to most of us today. Now just to look at verse six here a moment...this verse could be referring to those dead in sin, those who have died before the second coming of Christ-remember our studies on that and the recognition that the early Church assumed that this was to happen in their lifetime? -or those who have physically died, the millions of them. It is fairly clear that Peter is returning to write about what he wrote about earlier in chapter 3 verses 19 and 20. The breathtaking conclusion then must be that Christ descended to the world of the dead and preached the Gospel in order to give all there another chance to live in the Spirit of God!! The Gospel of the second chance! We cannot speculate on whether this was a one-off to grant those who lived pre-Christ to accept His message or that it has been repeated since to those who have lived without ever hearing the Gospel.
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