Faithlife Sermons


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1. While human law surrounds marriage with sanctions because it is viewed as a civil contract, it is God Who instituted it. It is He Who gives it the school of love and discipline of sweet self-denials.
viewed as a civil contract, it is God Who instituted it. It is He Who
gives it the school of love and discipline of sweet self-denials.
2. Stress society's view toward marriage in Peter's day:
a. Divorce was frequent.
b. The marriage itself was regarded by Greeks in such a way that the wife was looked upon as a mistress in her husband's house, the mother to his children and the partner of his cares. She was not looked upon as a helpmeet, nor sharer of his joys.
c. This depreciation of women, when contrasted with God's view toward marriage, shows that it is still Christianity (as revealed in the Bible) that gives sweet sanctities to wedded life and quiet happiness in the house.
3. "Christian" wives and unbelieving husbands afford a great difficulty:
a. Then and now her religion is scorned, her Saviour insulted, she is constantly reproached and sarcasms create hardships ().
b. But, here is nothing more calculated to strike unbelief more favorably than the power of Christianity expressing itself in holy conduct. Herein lies the importance of our text.
c. Even though divisions must come (), wives must be peace makers!



A. "Likewise" relates this text to previous instruction (2:13-15). Regardless of who you are, citizen, servant, obedient subjection even if mistreated.
B. "The also may without the word be won by the conservation of the wives" (3:1b).
1. "Be won" (KJV), "be gained" (ASV), Greek KERDAINO, "to gain," hence to win over, to embrace the gospel ().
2. "Conversation" (KJV), "behaviour' (ASV, footnote verse sixteen, "or, manner of life"). Greek ANASTROPHE, "mode of life, conduct, deportment." Stress that the English "conversation" is too limited though it includes speech.
C. What is the passage saying? Can one be converted without the gospel (). The meaning of this passage hinges on the use of "word." "If any obey not the word," definite article, while "without (the) word be won,' does not have article in the original. Therefore should be translated, "that they may, without a word, be won," or "that they may be won over without argument through behaviour." "Without word" means without "word from the wives." Show that one cannot be converted, or won without the Word of God (; , ; .
D. The text demonstrates the importance of influence when argumentation fails. A wife's pleas may be considered contentious, but her meekness and quietness cannot be misunderstood. "Holy life is better than holy words," someone said. Certainly worth more than train loads of sermons from her lips.


A. He does not advise the wife to leave the husband (, this text does not authorize separation without dissolution. Verses 2-3, 5 forbid separation. Only "IF" is the application of verse 11. Cf. with , "that ye sin not," but "if any man sin, we have an advocate . ."
B. He does not advise the wife to browbeat the husband (). This is forbidden by the context.
C. He does not advise the wife to neglect her service to God. One cannot rationalize to the point of violating by going fishing, camping, etc. with him. Both responsibilities exist and must be harmonized. "Manner of life" (), certainly requires faithfulness (; , those who "stay at home with them" or attend his beer parties had better reconsider).
D. He does not advise her to be overly concerned with her outward appearance (). Attractiveness and cleanliness are essential (and, cannot be over-emphasized). Primary concern is with the heart (Cf. , ).


A. Be submissive (). Know what this means, and its limitations (). "submissive," present participle, "habitual voluntary submission." The adjective "your own" signifies duty.
1. Consider the "I got rights"syndrome,
2. Show importance of genuineness in submission.
B. Be reverent (). close to , "submit," i.e., anxious avoidance of anything that might interfere with conjugal rights and authority. Hold him in respect and awe!
C. Be pure and chaste (). In her thoughts, speech and life. A vulgar woman is a disgust to her husband. The "inward man" (; ; ; ).
D. Be gentle and quiet (). "A calm temper, a contented mind, a heart free from passion, pride, envy and irritability; a soul not subject to the agitations and vexations of those who live for a fashion, and who seek to be distinguished for external adorning" (Albert Barnes).
1. Example, taking harsh words quietly without anger ().
2. Accepting her role will cause her to be free from the character of the world (; ; ).


The wise woman "then will first choose to persuade her husband to be her associate in what is conducive to happiness. And should that be found impractical, let her by herself earnestly aim at virtue, gaining her husband's consent in everything, so as to do anything against his will, with the exception of what is reckoned as contributing to virtue and salvation." (Clement of Alexandria).


I have a minister (writes Ibzan Icabod). Time was when he was to me a good minister. I pronounced him great. This I did because I liked him.
His sermons were wonderful—As long as I liked him. His speech was passing fair—As long as I liked him. He was a clean liver—As long as I liked him.
He was a hard worker—As long as I liked him.
He was the man for the job—As long as I liked him. In fact, I was strong for him—As long as I liked him.
But my minister offended me one day. Whether he knew it or not, I do not know. Since that day my minister has ceased to be a good minister—He is just an ordinary one.
His sermons are not so wonderful—Since he offended me. His speech is of no account—Since he offended me.
His faults are more prominent—Since he offended me.
He is not a hard worker—Since he offended me. He's not the man for the job—Since he offended me.
In fact, I am trying to oust him—Since he offended me.
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