In the preceding paragraph, Peter has argued that the triumph of Christ – over death and Satan – is the ultimate grounds of “the hope that is in us” (3:15). This triumph has been pressed into the life of the church through the practice of baptism, by which individuals “act out” the fact that they too deserved judgment but have been rescued from judgment in Christ, and raised to walk in a new way of life!
This new way of life begins with a new way of thinking that sees suffering for doing good not as evidence that God has abandoned us, but as proof that we are no longer dominated by sin and selfishness. Rather, we have thrown off our “used to be” and found great purpose, satisfaction and joy in living out God’s will in a broken world.
All of this flows from the treasure that is the Gospel … that message from God that one day He will bring justice and settle all the accounts, vindicating His Name and granting the eternal reward of life to all who have committed their lives and destiny