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1 Peter 3
Led to be a Marvelous Light by a Merciful God
(Light and Darkness)
Chapter Three Outline
Marvelous Light of a Marriage
Instruction and Exhortation to Wives
VS 1-6 (1)In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, (2)as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. (3)Your adornment must not be merely external-- braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; (4)but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. (5)For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; (6)just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.
Instruction and Exhortation to Husbands
VS 7 (7)You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
(1)"In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands....(7)You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way"
Q. In what "same way" ?
Q. Why is the wife more of the focus in this passage?
The greater context is one of submission to earthly authorities, within the greater submission to Our Heavenly Shepherd, especially under difficult circumstances, which is relevant to a believing wife married to an unbelieving husband.
Summary of submission of believers in 1Peter 2:13-20:
"...so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives (2)as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior"
Q. Why might Peter's exhortation in this passage be to the believing wife of an unbelieving husband?
1) Peter is complimenting Paul's teaching in 1Corinthians 7 that believers, as new creatures in Christ, are to look at unsaved spouses as a mission field---superseding Old Testament laws that prohibited God's people from marrying heathen.
(13)And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. (14)For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. (15)Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. (16)For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife? 1Cor, 7:13-16 [A member of the Corinthian church had questioned Paul if believers should remain married to an unbelievers. Perhaps questioning the applicability of an OT law against marrying heathen (Deut 7: 2-3), especially since Ezra had, upon the return from Babylonian captivity, commanded all Israelites to put away all heathen wives with their children (Ezra 9 and 10]
2) Peter is confirming the natural order of creation carries on in the 'new creation' in Christ, as long as we are in these bodies.
(8)For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; (9) for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake. (10)Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels (11) However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. (12)For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God. 1Cor. 11:8-12
(3)Your adornment must not be merely external-- braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; (5)For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands"
Q. Why is the emphasis on inward adornment rather than outward adornment more relevant for a wife than a husband?
God created male and female (together, "man") so that the glory of man is the woman's hair. Therefore, Peter is contrasting the most glorious outward feature of man to that which pleases God---the heart
(26)Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." (27)God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Gen 1:26-27 ["Man", created in the image of God, is comprised of one part male and one part female]
But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. 1Cor.11:3
(7)For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man..... (15) but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her. For her hair is given to her for a covering. 1Cor,11:7,15
(4)but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
Q. Why is the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit precious in God's sight?
1) It refers back to that which grows from the imperishable seed of God (1:23)---newborn babes (2:2).
Meek = Willingness to be led (appears only two other times in NT)
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Matt 5:5 [Only those willing to be led by God will inherit the earth]
Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. Matt. 21:5 [The Father led the previously unridden donkey to Jerusalem with Jesus sitting upon it--an object lesson of the meekness of Jesus, in his willingness to be led by the Father]
Quiet = steadfast, settled from root word meaning 'sitting'
2) It refers to that which reflects Christ. God has ordained that in a marriage relationship, man is to reflect the characteristics of Christ in the authority given Him as Head of the Church while the wife is to reflect the characteristics of Christ in His submission to the Father.
(31)FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. (32)This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Eph 5:31-32 [Paul refers to great mysteries that are revealed metaphorically in Adam and Eve. One mystery is that Adam represents Christ while Eve is a picture of the church. However there are other mysteries as well, such as Eve also represents Christ with a quiet and gentle spirit in obedience to the Fathers will]
(6)"just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear"
Q. Why does Peter include the example of Sarah?
It shows that God's order of the authority of the male in his creation of "man" is consistent through his people from Adam and Eve to the church---Sarah living after Adam but before the Church.
In so doing her submission is ultimately to God in whom she hopes, as a stranger on the way to her heavenly home with heavenly rewards.
Women can be confident that such submission puts them in the Lord's will as long as they remain faithful unlike Sarah who became "frightened by fear".
(11)Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing. (12)Sarah laughed to herself, saying, "After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?" (13)And the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old? (14)Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son." (15)Sarah denied it however, saying, "I did not laugh"; for she was afraid. And He said, "No, but you did laugh." Gen. 18:11-15 [Sarah did not trust and hope in the Lord's promises and compounded her disobedience by lying to God]
VERSE 8 - 9 (8)To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing
"To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit"
Q. What is being summed up?
The marvelous light of 1Peter 2:9
1) Marvelous light, Part 1 (accentuate the positive)
God's word of love shining through believers is the marvelous light more precious than gold. It is proclaimed by God's holy people and royal priesthood as they journey through the darkness of the world as aliens and strangers.
Brotherly love is the elementary love of the newborn babe in Christ toward others who are begotten of the "Abba" Father. The same sincerity that marks brotherly love in our heart is to mark our love as it stretches out into humility, oneness, long suffering and sensitivity.
"not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing"
2) Marvelous Light - part 2 (eliminate the negative)
The holiness of God refers to the absence of evil. To the extent a believer's body is a vessel of unrighteousness, it crowds out and 'places a bushel' over the marvelous light of God. This includes no longer responding in the Old Testament "eye for an eye" manner.
God seed yields God fruit
The words by which we were born again are seeds of blessing which will bear the fruit of blessing toward others. Similar to:
"You once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY" 1Peter 2:10 [we have become the people of God by receiving His word of mercy, therefore we should evidence outward fruits of mercy toward one another]
The same thought as expressed starkly by James:
(3)from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. (14)But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. (15)This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. (16)For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. (17) But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. (18)And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. Ja. 3:10,14-18 [those who are born of the word of God (James 1:18) will give evidence of that word [i.e. fruit of righteousness]. For example, God's gospel seed speaks of peace, therefore because we are born of that word, we should give evidence of peace in the way we respond to provocation---either among the brethren or in dealing with the outside world].
Marvelous Light of Psalm 34
VERSE 10-12 (10) For, "THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS, MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT. (11)HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD; HE MUST SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT. (12)FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE
RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER, BUT THE FACE OF THE
LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL."
Peter quotes Psalm 34 so we know that fearing God has always been the key to deliverance and refuge. There is nothing new...yet it is new (1John 2:7-8) because now Christ is specifically the one in whom we are righteous and have refuge.
God is a refuge for those who fear Him
I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears....The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them....The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry...The righteous cry, and the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. Ps 34:4, 7, 15, 17
Dark Against Light
VERSE 13-15 (13)Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? (14)But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND
DO NOT BE TROUBLED,(15)but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.
"Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?"
Old Testamant law provided for the punishment of evil doers; good deed doers were not punished.
"But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed"
When light is persecuted by darkness, we are to consider the source of the light and the darkness which points to the reality of our heavenly destination and rewards compared to the destination of our persecutors.
(10) Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (11)Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. (12)Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matt. 5:10-12 [Those who are persecuted because of their Christian faith are to consider themselves twice blessed: 1) that they are the ones on the road to heaven, 2) there will be rewards awaiting them in heaven]
in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me. Phil 1:28-30 [Similar message as Matt. 5:10, those who manifest the road of destruction persecute those who are on the road to heaven]
"AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts"
Gospel account of Jesus and Peter walking on water is an object lesson of setting Jesus apart in our heart.
When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid. "Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt? "When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "You are certainly God's Son!" Matt. 14:26-33 [Peter's fear caused him to look away from Jesus and to then sink in the water. He experienced a double dose of fear; his fear of the winds moved his focus from Jesus and toward an even worse fear. Our peace in a dark, hostile world is realized as believers minister the word of Christ to each other, as we are shepherded along the way of His word]
Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord NIV [rather than setting their hearts apart unto the fear of the unconverted---resulting in dread, believers are to set their hearts on the Lord, resulting in peace.
For thus the LORD spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying... you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread. Isaiah 8:11-13 [The Lord of Hosts was one of the O.T. names for the Messiah. The Lord of Hosts of Isaiah 8:13 that is to be 'sanctified' was prophetically pointing to Christ]
Vessels of Light
VERSE 15 -17 always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame (17)For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.
"always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you"
The light of love and holiness is like salt that attracts the unconverted to the life of the gospel; the light of our words to the unconverted should be accompa meekness and fear of God.
A Living Hope
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 1Peter 1:3.23 [whatever deceitful words the unconverted believe for hope beyond this earthly existence, the truth is his destination is hell and death, but the hope of all who have been born again by God's imperishable word is life everlasting]
A Holy Hope
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance 1Peter 1:13-14 [God's word by which we have been born again leads us on a road where we delight in the things of God, not the things of the world that appeal to the lusts of the flesh]
A Faith and Hope in Christ
who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart 1Peter 1:21-22 [When we receive the truth of Jesus by faith, our hearts are baptized into both His death and His resurrection life; united with him in death, we are purified; united with His life, our hearts are hid with Him in heaven as we express his love for one another on earth]
"yet with gentleness and reverence"
"with meekness and fear" (KJV)
Click here for meaning of "meekness"
Fearing God means we care more about pleasing Him than pleasing people
"and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong."
Victories of Jesus
VERSE 18-19 (18) For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; (19) in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, (20) who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah
Victory over sin
"For Christ also died for sins once for all the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God"
And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. 1 John 2:2
Victory over death
"having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit"
"I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen" Rev .1:18
Death could not hold Him Act 2:24
"Death is swallowed up in victory."
Victory over Hell and Satan
"in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison" (click)
[After Jesus' work on Calvary's cross, he descended to the deepest part of hell and proclaimed victory over His enemies---like a champion athlete spiking the football in the heart of the opponent's endzone. These enemies were certain fallen angels described in Genesis 6:2,4 who are now chained in darkness]
O Hell, where is your victory?"
"And I have the keys of Hades and of Death" Rev 1:18
Salvation = victories of Jesus Christ in us
Q. How does this passage on the victories of Christ fit with the context?
1) God's Great plan of salvation was achieved as Christ humbled himself under the care of the Father. Similarly, the application of Christ's victories in our lives are gained when we humble ourselves under the arms of our Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
Our victories in Christ
VERSE 20-22 (20) ...during the construction of the
ark in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. (21)Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you-- not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good
conscience-- through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (22)who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.
Q. Why is this passage about Noah's Ark and baptism here?
Having recounted the victories of Jesus in the previous passage, Peter now illustrates how His victories become our victories through the pictures of Noah's Ark and believer's baptism---both are symbols of a believer's union with the death and resurrection of Christ.
Christ our Spiritual Ark
"...during the construction of the
ark in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water"
"Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you"
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In Christ our sins are forgiven and washed away
"not the removal of dirt from the flesh"
"but an appeal to God for a good
In Christ we have eternal life
"through the resurrection of Jesus Christ"
"who is at the right hand of God having gone to heaven"
In Christ we will "judge angels"
"after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him"
We have been saved to serve...