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1 PETER 3:1-7 

I.                    Introduction

a.       An archaic passage of Scripture?

                                                               i.      Problematic in today’s environment of viewing differences as inequality.

                                                             ii.      It is important that we get to the heart of Peter’s message

b.      Context

                                                               i.      A small slice of a much bigger pie.

1.      Cf. 2:12

a.       As alien residents, ambassadors it is imperative that we behave in such a way that God is glorified.

2.      4 areas of citizenship where right behavior brings honor to the King.

a.       Note:  There is an evangelistic thread

                                                             ii.      How a marriage relationship functions in a God honoring way. 

                                                            iii.      Peter sums up this section w/ an admonition to the church as a whole.

II.                 God’s Ideal (for wives)

a.       Preliminary issues

                                                               i.      “In the same way” 

1.      As Christ submitted Himself not only to men but the Father.

                                                             ii.      To your own husbands. Speaks of a unique relationship shared w/ no one else.

b.      A good role model.

                                                               i.      Peter exhorts wives to a certain behavior then he provides an illustration.

                                                             ii.      Peter references back to saints who stand as an example of Godliness (5).

1.      Their defining characteristic. Hope in God. “Put one’s confidence in.”

a.       Not in husbands, govt etc.  Just like Jesus (2:23)

b.      They were certain that God is Sovereign and a completely trustworthy Lord.

2.      Secondary characteristic:  Fearless.

a.       Following God will take you into some frightening areas.

                                                                                                                                       i.      But hoping in God allows you to walk fearlessly through all situations.

1.      You are not frightened by tomorrow.

c.       Submit to your own husband.

                                                               i.      This must flow from confidence in God and fearlessness.

1.      It is voluntary, hence the use of the passive.

                                                             ii.      Does not refer to value or worth

1.      A mayor is not superior in worth than a citizen.  Yet citizen submits to authority of the mayor.

2.      Like w/ govt it does not include agreeing w/ everything he says. Or putting the will of husband before will of God.

                                                            iii.      God has ordained that such behavior be evangelistic

1.      The verses in this section are behavior intensive and result in specific effects.

a.       That your behavior brings the glory of God and salv.

d.      Chaste and respectful behavior

                                                               i.      Respectful:  Awe inspiring.

e.       Beautifully adorned

                                                               i.      A fearless trust in God that turns the hearts of unbelievers is the adornment of one who brings glory to the King.

                                                             ii.      Not a prohibition against certain type of clothing or makeup etc.

1.      External adornment is a statement of who we are or the image we want to project.

2.      Let the standard of who you are be a serene spirit, peaceful, unshaken.  This impresses God.

a.       Often we dress to impress others; Peter exhorts us to dress to impress God.

III.               God’s Ideal (for husbands)

a.       Notice “likewise.”  Submission is also a responsibility of the husband.

                                                               i.      Not in the sense of leadership of the household but to meeting her needs and treating her in the way God has designated for her to be treated.

b.      Notice:  there is a purpose.  That your prayers may not be hindered.

                                                               i.      There is a way to live w/ your wife that will stop your prayers.

c.       How to treat your wife.

                                                               i.      “Weaker vessel.”  Physically? Emotionally? Spiritually?

1.      There are unique male weaknesses as well as female weaknesses.

a.       We are not the same. This is good.

2.      Seek to understand her needs as a woman, labor to understand her feminine needs.  Have an awareness of what it is that makes her distinctively a woman, feminine.

                                                             ii.      What is it that makes her uniquely feminine?  Labor to understand that and submit y/s to her for her fulfillment.

1.      In areas of unique feminine weakness she needs you.  Seek to understand and meet that need.

d.      How not to treat your wife

                                                               i.      A disparity of the sexes was the cause of degradation of women in this culture.

1.      It is easy to take advantage of another’s weakness for the sake of gain.

2.      Christianity made these weaknesses not grounds for degradation but of tender consideration.

e.       Her status

                                                               i.      We are not the same but we are equal. She is a fellow heir of Christ.

f.        Unhindered prayer

                                                               i.      There is a way to live that hinders prayer and a way that helps our prayers.

                                                             ii.      It is important to assess your home life and making certain that your communication w/ God is unhindered.

1.      There is nothing more important than this.

IV.              Conclusion

a.       Peter is describing how as residents on this earth, but holding our citizenship in heaven how it is that we make certain that our King is seen as desirable and good.

                                                               i.      He has briefly described how we live a God honoring life under an earthly govt, in relation w/ those in authority in our work and in the home. 

b.      One of the main purposes for this self-denying life is to bring others into a relationship w/ the King.

                                                               i.      The divorce rate among believers mirrors that of the world.  This is to our shame and does not glorify Him

1.      The reasons are many. But much of the blame is that we have not followed the principles of heaven, preferring the ways of the world. 

2.      It may be time to once again hear from heaven, trust our Lord and follow His precepts. 

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