“…in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison,”
1 Peter 3:19 (ESV)
This is among the most difficult verses in the New Testament to understand and preach. The following is shared primarily for the sake of other pastors researching this fascinating verse and wrestling with the challenge of understanding how v.19 fits into the verses before and after.
The Challenge of Preaching Difficult Verses
There is a different between teaching and preaching. A sermon must involve teaching the text without getting bogged down by exegetical details. Expository sermons must lead to the heart, not only to the mind. Therefore, passages like 1 Peter 3:19 should not be avoided (lest we unintentionally teach the congregation to be scared of hard Bible passages), but we must not allow them to completely derail the sermon. Continue reading