Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Way Connection Group. 1 Peter 3:1-12

Name: Jeff Sandberg
Class:  The Way Connection Group     Topic:  1 Peter 3:1-12
Date:   11/10/2019
Ephesians 5:22-24
1 Corinthians 11:3,11
1 John 2:9-11
Psalm 34:12-16
Last week, we work our way down the list of those we are to be in submission to. Whereas in Lesson 5 citizens were to be in subjection to those upholding the law, slaves are to be subject to masters in lesson 6. It is inferred that slaves generally suffered under the hand of their masters. Therefore, as Jesus suffered on our behalf in order to “bring us to God,” we are to follow in his example of “being reviled” but who “reviled not again.”

This week, we turn to the subject of marital submission. "Likewise," we are told, wives should be in subjection to their husbands. However, while last week's subject was almost devoid of any counterpoint regarding masters of slaves, today's chapter very explicitly and adamantly exhorts men to dwell with women "in knowledge, giving honor" as we dwell together as co-heirs with Christ. Christ calls us to obedience, not because it's pretty or makes a lot of sense, but because our obedience to God in Christ is how we win souls. It all, again, points back to the urgency of suffering in preaching. 
1 Likewise, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands, so that if any do not obey the word, they also without the word may be won by the conduct of their wives,
We continue with the ideas of submission and subjection in the lives of our wives. I’m going to betray myself and admit that I am egalitarian in salvation, complementation in a partner role. As Paul states about our eqaulity as believers and co-heirs with Christ, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, but we are all one in Christ.” There are many and varied opinions on the topic of male headship. I would ask that everyone here make the plain reading of Scripture their final authority. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” May we sharpen each other as we all wrestle together with this very divisive subject.

[READER. EPHESIANS 5:22-24] As Peter continues to steal material from Paul, we will see that Jesus is “setting us an example that we should walk therein.” Though he was God, he was also in submission to the Father.

[READER. 1 Cor. 11:3,11] 1 Corinthians 11:3, Paul states that “the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” In fact, later in this chapter, Paul is clear to appeal to creation and the fall for this state. Will it always be this way? I dunno. What I do know is that, when sin and death are finally defeated and we’re serving Christ in heaven, we will only have unhindered and full desires to obey, honor, and enjoy Jesus. It won’t really matter then. However, to the world, we are to demonstrate our unfettered obedience to our savior.

This brings up the question of taking things out of context. Suzanne mentioned parts of chapter 2 being used in the deep south to support American slavery as it happened in modern history. I abhor and reject that outright. My wife is my chief advisor. It would be a horrible house if I ran it like a dictator. Paul states in 1 Cor. 11:11 that, “Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.” We are not to be independent of one another. If you simply put two lists together - Christ’s service to the church, and Paul’s and Peter’s admonitions to husbands - I don’t believe a single person could come away thinking that men would be domineering over their wives. So, let’s take a slightly closer look at verses 1-4.

Wives are to be subordinate to. It’s literally of one’s will. Wives are to place themselves in humble submission to the husband’s household lead. It’s very similar to when Paul says he “beat his body into submission,” meaning he trained it to follow reason and not feelings. Then he says “if” any [read “husbands”] do not obey the word [of God] (meaning they’re not believers), that their conduct would win them over. Aside from the outright preaching of the gospel, didn’t Jesus say “let your light so shine before men that they may see your good WORKS and glorify your Father who is in heaven”? John MacArthur notes, “The loving, gracious submission of a Christian woman to her unsaved husband is the strongest evangelistic tool she has. Added to submission is modesty, meekness, and respect for the husband.”
2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied with reverence.
3 Do not let your adornment be only an outward appearance, arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on of clothes,
4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with that which is incorruptible, even the adornment of a meek and quiet spirit, which is of great value in the sight of God.
5 Because, in this manner, in old times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being in submission to their own husbands,
Then, Peter draws attention to Sarah as the example to emulate, which is weird, because Sarah was known as one of the most beautiful women of her time. Think of the holy women who followed Jesus. Luke 8:2-3 memorializes Mary Magdalene, Chuza’s wife, Joanna, Susanna and “many others” who ministered to Jesus. What?! Ministered to Jesus?! Why, yes. Luke, in Acts 1:14, reminds was careful to mention that the remaining disciples/apostles” continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, Mary, and his brothers. “The women” are mentioned first before even Mary. Jesus was certainly about valuing women in the kingdom of God.

Again, here we are to remember Sarah. Sarah called Abraham “kyrios,” meaning “supreme in authority; master.” Did she not reverence God? Very much so. Sarah and the wives of the other patriarchs did not hold their husbands by sex appeal. As J. Vernon McGee has said, “A Christian woman may win a husband by sex appeal, but she can never win him to the Lord by sex appeal.” Matthew Henry adds, “[They] trusted in God, and yet did not neglect their duty to man: the duties imposed upon [women], of a quiet spirit and of subjection to [their] own husbands, are not new, but what have ever been practiced by the greatest and best women in the world.” “Christians ought to do their duty to one another, not out of fear, nor from force, but from a willing mind, and in obedience to the command of God. Wives should be in subjection to their churlish husbands, not from dread and amazement, but from a desire to do well and to please God.”
6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
What about husbands? Dictators? Domineering? In a word, no. I could use stronger language, but it would take away from the obvious. In our case, husbands are commanded to give their wives honor, like a queen, a chief advisory, a high court official. She is not a pauper, but, as it were, a highly respected part of our presidential cabinet. She is to be defended and protected. We are, as Peter sees, co-heirs, as we heard Paul mention earlier. In fact, if we negate our privilege and responsibility through “unnecessary separation,” dwell with her according to lust as “brutes” (says Matthew Henry) in devilish passion, if we refuse to respect her, maintain her authority, delight in her conversation, or refuse to place our confidence in her, our very prayers are hindered. [READER. 1 John 2:9-11]. She is our co-heir, our brethren in Christ. We cannot and must not separate her place as co-heir from her place as our wife. They must find harmony. We must work hard for her.
8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brethren, be tenderhearted, be courteous;
Peter concludes by addressing the church. The ekklesia, the called-out ones, are to have a united front, to be like-minded. In other words, as husbands are to dwell with their wives in knowledge, even more so should we dwell with Jesus in knowledge. However, that knowledge should be wrapped up in compassion, tenderness, and courteousness. My parents always taught “tough love.” Peter says different.

As you can see, the modern and common attitudes of Southern masters towards their slaves was largely, if not completely, devoid of compassion, love, tenderheartedness, courteousness, and blessing in the face of reviling.

It is clear to me why the modern approach to these verses is to relegate them to the culture of the time. Why? Because men are rightly accused of ignoring these passages. However, Peter says were are called to “this”? What? We are called as believers to inherit the blessing of eternal life and future rewards for our obedience. That’s also what Paul and Peter say in their open lines in both Romans and 1 Peter.
9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you are called to this, that you should inherit a blessing.
10 Because, "He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.
[READER. Psalm 34:12-16]

As John MacArthur notes, “The requirements of the fulfilled life include 
  • a humble, loving attitude toward everyone (1 Pet. 3:8)
  • a non-vindictive response toward revilers (v. 9 )
  • pure and honest speech (v. 10)
  • a disdain for sin and pursuit of peace (v. 11)
  • and the right motive, 
  • [in other words], to WORK (obey) the righteousness that pleases the omniscient Lord.”

“Because, the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.” 

Against. The Greek word is “upon.” Teachers watch students who are particularly unruly during class, their eyes are against AND upon those students. [EXPAND]
11 Let him turn away from evil, and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 Because, the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil."
13 And who is he who will harm you if you be followers of that which is good?
SUMMARY:  Write 4 or more statements describing specific learning from these notes.
  1. The family unit is to be an example of how the church operates. The family is how God intended to naturally teach love and grace towards others as well as while growing up. These are ideal pictures for how to operate in the larger church body.
  2. Obedience, submission, and subjection are not to be forced from without but are to come from within our relationship to Jesus.
  3. The church is to know doctrine and display it lovingly, graciously, and tenderly, even in the face of reviling.
  4. God is watching us, God is watching us, God is watching us…very closely.

No comments: