Faithlife Sermons

Beauty from the Inside Out

The Gospel for REAL Life: A Study of 1 Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  48:00
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What is beauty? True beauty is from the inside out. It is character. And, this kind of beauty shines brightly for all to see, and impacts those around them.

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Happy Mother’s Day! Our best wishes to all you mothers who are with us today. Mother’s have a special place in God’s sight. We see that all the way from Genesis when Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living, to Jesus on the cross, when He cared for His earthly mother to the last by asking John to care for her.
Said Dwight Eisenhower:
Said Dwight Eisenhower:
“My sainted mother taught me a devotion to God and a love of country which have ever sustained me in my many lonely and bitter moments of decision in distant and hostile lands. To her, I yield a son’s reverent thanks.” — Dwight Eisenhower
Said Dwight Eisenhower: “My sainted mother taught me a devotion to God and a love of country which have ever sustained me in my many lonely and bitter moments of decision in distant and hostile lands. To her, I yield a son’s reverent thanks.”
Being a mother is a beautiful thing. And mothers are beautiful. Ask any kid and they will tell you their mom is beautiful!
Beauty is one of our values isn’t it. Everyone wants to be beautiful/handsome. How many of you took time to look good when you came to church?
But...
What is True Beauty? Where does true beauty come from?
Where does true beauty come from?
Where does true beauty come from?
Being beautiful is a goal. But what is it exactly that makes us beautiful.
Studying different cultures, this is one of the universals — that is, something that you can find in most every culture. Each culture has certain standards of what it considers beauty.
But are those externals really what comprises beauty?
Mom’s Night Out movie… She gets up on mother’s day… kids are making breakfast for her. She tries to get them looking nice. She tries to dress up and go to church. The kids have wrecked her outfit. Her kids have tried to help her with makeup. She tries to fix herself up in the bathroom, and things just don’t go well. She wants to be a great mom. She wants to be that beautiful picture of the perfect mother… But. it is hard! and full of challenges!
Mom’s Night Out movie…
One of the greatest challenges of them all… and I know this by experience… is the husband. God knows that. Peter knew that; likely because he was a husband.
Because of the trials that come with being a wife and mother, Peter included a section of his letter to this very topic. That is what we are going to look at today.
Please open your Bibles to .
Peter wrote this letter to encourage believers in light of the REAL Life struggles they faced. He wanted to encourage them to have a proper focus… focusing on Jesus, their savior, and the reward waiting for us when He comes.
He wanted to also exhort them to live in reverent fear of their heavenly Father.
In light of this encouraging hope for the future with God, and the exhortation to live in the present in reverent fear of God the Father who judges impartially, Peter now is addressing specific trials believers face in REAL Life.
Let’s read this passage dealing with the REAL Life trial of being a wife an mother.
1 Peter 3:1–6 NIV
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
True Beauty is from the Inside Out
You have already probably seen it as we read through the passage for today, but true beauty is not external. According to God’s word, true beauty is from the inside out.
It should not surprise us that beauty is from the inside out. Consider where beauty comes from. Did you know God is called beautiful?
Psalm 27:4 NIV
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
Why would David call God, ‘beautiful’?
God is spirit. Jesus appeared in the flesh to certain individuals in the Old Testament, but God is spirit, without physical form like us. So, beauty must be something other than how he looks physically. What is it that God is beautiful?

True Beauty is based upon Character

I think it is His character. His love and concern for David. That is what makes Him beautiful to David. Check out the rest of . David is talking about how God never abandoned him. He is talking about how God cared for him.
Have you seen God’s beauty? Do you know His character and care toward you? Take time this week to see His beauty.
God also shows us that beauty is from the inside out when He chosed David to be King.
God told Samuel to go to Bethlehem and there annoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king of Israel.
One by one, Samuel looked over Jesse’s sons, and thought each one must be the one because of how they appeared to him. But each one God said, no, until David came in from taking care of the flock. Why?
1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
True beauty has always been something that isn’t outward and physical in nature. It has always been the character—beauty from the inside out.
Let’s take some more time to look in detail through the passage in about how women, mothers, and all of us can be truly beautiful.
1 Peter 3:1 NIV
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,
Beauty from the Inside Out
Proper submission
Proper submission is not being a doormat. Proper submissions is having the right heart. It is recognizing that God has created order in the world. Order does not make some more important, but does give differing roles so that there is order.
We know the expressions ‘Too many chefs’, or ‘Too many chiefs’. We recognize that there needs to be order and roles played out for things to go smoothly. Even the God-head works in complete Unity, while each is playing a distinct role. The Father sends the Son. The Son dies on the cross for sin and rises again. The Father and the Son send the Spirit. The Spirit indwells, seals and empowers the believer.
Proper submission is a heart attitude that recognizes the role God has given, and does not seek to take a different role. Rather, it plays its part, within its role. God has made man the head of the house, just as Christ is the head of all mankind, and especially the head of the church. See , and .
Mothers, women, are do you want to be beautiful? Live in your role, under the authority of the husband.
Husbands, men, do you want to be beautiful in God’s eyes, and the eyes of your wife and children? Live within your role, under the authority of Christ who has commanded you to love them, and live in consideration of them!
Whenever submission is brought up, it rears up the hypothetical question, but what if the husband does not live properly, loving his wife?
Peter addresses that issue. “If any of them do not believe the word...” Other translations more clearly say, obey the word. What if a husband does not obey the word and properly love his wife?
Peter says if the husband does not obey, you obey anyway. The hope is that they will see your behavior—your moral conduct, your character—and be won to Christ! God wants you to act properly so that your reverent and pure moral conduct. The hard part is to submit purely, without bitterness. How is that possible? Peter uses the word ‘fear’ here. That word reverent is the word fear. Remember seeing that in Peter before?
We talked about that in .
1 Peter 1:17 NIV
Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.
1 Peter 1:22 NIV
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
Proper submission is a heart issue of living in reverent fear of God. It is recognizing that your loving Father has given you a role to play, and out of respect for Him, fulfilling that role. It does not depend upon your husband. It comes from your heart, wanting to obey your Father in heaven.
[Story from When Sinners Say I Do, Emma and Gordon]
When a woman lives like that, she is beautiful. Truly beautiful, and it truly effects those around her.
That is why Peter says,
1 Peter 1:3–4 NIV
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,
1 Peter 3:3–4 NIV
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 1:3-4
True Beauty is from the Inside Out
Proper Submission
Gentle and quiet spirit
I love the way Peter pointed out unfading beauty. This inward beauty will never end. It will never diminish, nor break down.
This unfading beauty is ‘Gentle’. One dictionary defined this word as ‘not being overly impressed by a sense of one’s self-importance, gentle, humble, considerate, meek’. BDAG.
This is how Christ lived. uses this word in relation to Jesus.
And, all believers are commanded to have this attitude. ; ; .
How can we do this? It is a fruit of the Spirit, .
Galatians 5:22–23 NIV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:23 NIV
gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
It takes a work of God in us to have this fruit. It does not come naturally. As Galatians points out, my flesh fights against this. Nothing in me want to be meek or gentle. It wants to boast. It wants to be proud. It wants everyone around to know how important I am and how lucky they are to have me. But what kind of person is that? Beautiful or ugly.
If we want to have unfading beauty, we need to study, understand and ask God to work this fruit of the spirit within us, the fruit of gentleness.
The other inner quality of Beauty that Peter mentions is quiet spirit. This is defined as, ‘being untroubled and free from disturbances’. It is learning to not be anxious and dramatic. Know any drama queens? Do we view drama queens as beautiful? Typically not.
True beauty is a quiet spirit that does not get ruled by anxious thoughts, nor make a big deal of things.
I think this falls under that spiritual gift of self-control. Maintaining control in the chaos of life. Not becoming anxious, but controlling the thoughts. Not being dramatic and letting everyone around know things are not ‘as they should be’, or at least the way you think they should be. Rather, being in control. and untroubled. One who can keep her head in the chaos, and maintain a peaceful spirit is truly beautiful.
True Beauty is from the Inside Out. When one has a Gentle spirit, and a Quiet spirit, it shines like a lighthouse on a dark and stormy night. everyone around will see that Beauty as it shines from the Inside Out.
Peter goes on to share,
1 Peter 3:5–6 NIV
For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
The women of the past who were Beautiful lived from the Inside Out. They had proper submission, knowing God had given them that role. They lived in that role willingly, out of reverent fear of God.
They also were beautiful from the Inside Out by having Gentle, quiet spirits.
Do you want to be known for generations as a woman who had fading outward beauty? Do you want to be known as a woman who did not live in proper submission? Do you want to be known as one who thought highly of herself and made sure eveyone knew how important she was, or one who was gentle, meek, humble? Do you want to be known by future generations as they one who was always anxious, or a drama queen, who had not peace, and hence did not let anyone else have peace around her? Or, do you want to be known for generations as a woman who knew God’s peace, and had a truly quiet, calm spirit?
I think most would want to be the one with Beauty from the Inside Out.
Why don’t we live that way?
Peter mentions that in verse 6 when he writes, do not give way to fear. When we live in fear, we are afraid to submit. What if he doesn’t do his part. When we live in fear, we are afraid people won’t give us proper due. When we live in fear, we are afraid things won’t go the way we want them to, and we are anxious, or we become drama queens.
Let’s learn to trust ourselves into the loving hands of our Father. Let’s learn to have that moral character on the inside that makes us Beautiful from the inside out, and trust Him to work, like Emma.
After 40 years of marriage, Gordon’s life fell apart. He bankrupted his family, and finally divorced his wife. Emma continued to send him birthday cards every year, and occasional letters as well, encouraging him to obey the word, and come to the Lord in faith.
Her children were all strong believers, I believe because of her True Beauty. They eventually saw their father come to true faith. Then, he wrote and apologized to Emma.
Emma wrote back...

It is with mixed emotions that I read your letter. Sad, as I was reminded of many difficult years, but also glad for the work the Spirit of God is doing in your life. Glad to hear you share your failures so frankly and ask for my forgiveness. And glad to hear you share them with your children. Gordon, I forgive you. I forgive you for not loving me as Christ loved the church and for your disregard of our marriage vows. Though I am saddened by many marriage memories, I have released them to the Lord and have guarded my heart from the ravages of bitterness. I rejoice in the mercy of God, that in spite of our failed marriage, our children all serve the Lord faithfully . . . God uses confession and forgiveness to bring healing. I’m trusting God that will be true for both of us.

True Beauty is from the Inside Out
Proper Submission
Gentle and Quiet Spirit
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