1 Pet 3:1,2
INTRO: Peter has touched upon social, civil and vocational relationships as he has written of the new life in Christ. Now, he begins to address the closest and most intimate of human relationships...that of husband and wife. And he jumps right into one of the most serious possible problems which may come into that very special relationship. That problem may be simply stated as so often it is like this...My husband is not a Christian. Of course, there is also the reverse possibility...with equal potential as a serious problem. Peter gives important advice, then, to wives in this situation. Incidentally, there is herein wise advice for all wives in their relationships with husbands.
I. SOME BACKGROUND THOUGHT
A. Role of wife in the ancient world?
1. in Jewish, Roman, and Greek cultures she had little real importance, freedom...or expression
2. at best she was property-at worst she could be killed by her husband for virtually no offense
3. for woman to obey gospel was a bold step
B. The problems?
1. immediately perceived to go against her husband
2. was in company with people who may not have been the right sort
3. was with Christian men whose deportment toward women would be drastically different from pagan husbands
4, two problems then were potential: (a) a change for the worse in her husband toward her (b) a change in her feelings toward her husband for the worse
5. to some degree the same possibilities exist now
II. WHAT IS ONE IN THIS SITUATION TO DO?
A. What she is not told to do is very significant
1. she is not told to leave her husband!
2. 1 Cor 7:12,13 Christianity emphasizes family and does not seek in any way to weaken it
3. contrarily, Christianity aims to reinforce the family
B. She is to be in submission to her husband
1. to her own husbandhe must still be first in human relationships
2. submit: voluntary selflessness, desire to serve, submission of perfect love!
3. this is the only way marriage can be as God intends it
4. Eph 5:22,23 room for only one head in familyhusband
C. She is to be concerned for his spiritual condition
1. obey not suggests certain antagonism, stubbornness
2. yet, she wants to win him for the Master
3. for, indeed, his condition is graveand needs changing
4. but note without the word...literally, without a wordshe cannot nag, be pushy, etc. (a fact in truth!)
D. She should live in hope of his conversion
1. the tenor of Peters words is so positive
2. even the most hopeless case is not impossible when God, His word and good example are involved-Mt 19;26b
3. there will undoubtedly be disappointment, delay, heartbreak and ache...but Phil 4:13
E. She must live a completely exemplary life
1. isnt it reasonable that Christ in her would make her a better person and wife than ever? husband will notice that
2. too, he must see seriousness of her choice in her
3. Titus 2:4,5 with 1 Tim 4:12 an example of domestic and spiritual qualities
F. She must be chaste, faithful to her husband (3:2a)
1. this must be fidelity founded in/on love
2. chastity...not just a quality of restraint, but an inner quality which makes unchastity, impurity, infidelity unthinkable1 Jno 3:9
3. Christ, in his word are sorely needed in marriage!
G. She must give honor, respect to her husband-Jesus (3:2b)
1. note Eph 5:33-what formula could be more perfect
2. yet, Peter writes of a relationship in which not both are children of God! still, she must reverence him
and, yes, the basis for all of this is her godly fear
CLOSE: Will it always work? Perhaps not. But perhaps, too, we are not always using this advice as we should. In any case, the relationship will-in all probability-be better than ever!
Cecil A. Hutson
30 September 2001
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)