For Christ also died for sins once for all, 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; in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. (1 Peter 3:18-20)
This is a portion of Scripture used, or rather misused, for two purposes: First, to prove the existence of disembodied conscious spirits; and, second, the personal preexistence of Christ. The mistake in regard to the first case grows out of the preconceived idea that the word “spirits” means bodiless entities commonly called “immortal souls”. In 1 John 4:1 the word “spirits” is used as the equivalent, of “prophets”:
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Author: Thomas Williams
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Bible reference(s): 1 Peter 3:18-20, 1 Peter 4:6
Source: The Great Salvation (Englewood: Advocate and Gleaner Pub. House, 1893?).
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