April 24, 2005

1 Peter 3:1-6 Sermon Notes

Category: Bible - NT - 1 Peter :: Permalink

1 Peter 3:1-6
(April 24, 2005, Sermon Notes)

Both feminism and chauvinism can keep us from understanding and obeying God’s word in 1 Peter 3:1-6, and we have to work hard to listen to what Peter is saying. He’s applying the gospel to our relationships at home. Christ has set us free from sinful desires to live for righteousness and that freedom gives wives a special calling


Peter has told the whole church to live such good lives among the pagans that the pagans will end up glorifying God (2:11-12). Submission is part of that evangelistic lifestyle, not only for wives but for all of us.

Peter doesn’t say that women are to submit because they are of lower value. Rather, we are all to submit to those in authority over us and marriage involves an authority structure. God appoints husbands to be the heads of their wives (Eph. 5) and He calls wives to submit from the heart as Sarah did when she called Abraham her “master” (Gen. 18:12).

At the same time, wives are to submit only to their own husbands, not to their dads or to anyone else’s husband. Women in general are not called to submit to men in general; wives are to submit to their own husbands.

But what if your husband isn’t godly? Peter says that your calling doesn’t change. God wants to heal your marriage and He does so through your submission.

He doesn’t allow you to nag your husband about believing the gospel. Instead, He calls you to show your husband the liberating power of the gospel without words by submitting to him, being chaste, and fearing God. If your husband won’t hear the gospel, let him see it in your life.


This sort of submission, Peter says, is beautiful. Peter tells wives not to let their beautification be merely external. People sometimes take Peter to be forbidding women from having fancy hairstyles or wearing jewelry, nice clothes, and, by extension, makeup. But in spite of the way some translations render this verse, Peter doesn’t talk about “fine clothes”; he simply talks about “clothes.” If he’s forbidding women to wear jewelry, then he’s also forbidding them to wear clothes!

Besides, from other passages in the Bible (e.g., Ezek. 16), we know that God doesn’t disapprove of external adornment. But Peter doesn’t want wives to reduce their beautification to these things. There’s nothing wrong with external adornment, but it cannot be the source of a woman’s beauty. There’s nothing wrong with physical beauty, but without godliness it’s only skin-deep (see Prov. 11:22).

Lasting beauty comes from a heart that fears God which produces a spirit that is gentle (not itching for a fight) and quiet (peaceful), neither of which, by the way, is an exclusively feminine trait.

To get that kind of beautification, you have to go to the beauty school of the daughters of Sarah and imitate the holy women — the godly women in the past — who trusted in God and submitted to their husbands. If you follow their example and aren’t scared away from doing good, you’ll be a daughter of Sarah. God rewards Sarah’s daughters with imperishable beauty and they share in the imperishable inheritance He promises the faithful (1 Pet. 1:4).

Posted by John Barach @ 10:02 am | Discuss (0)

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