Thursday, December 08, 2011

Peter's Powerful Testimony Pt 6

Hard Examples of Godly Submission continues.......

I Peter 3 Likewise, wives, kbe subject to your own husbands, so that leven if some do not obey the word, mthey may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your nrespectful and pure conduct. oDo not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning bepthe hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham,qcalling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and rdo not fear anything that is frightening.
Likewise, shusbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker tvessel, since they are heirs with you1 of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

If you think the last post was controversial regarding slaves- this one contains just as much gunpowder.

None of the principles in the Bible, however, make sense apart from the gospel message. When John Newton penned the lines "I once was blind, but now I see" - He means the spiritual eyes that are opened in a way that 'it all makes sense'.

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.C. S. Lewis

Christians believe in one big miracle- "In the beginning, GOD" and from there it makes sense.. it makes sense to see that He is in charge of the revelation- the message is clear and, ultimately, the news is good.

The demise of marriage is tragic on so many levels. It has had huge negative consequences in social structure, family stability, the abuse of children, the increased heartache of children, and an overall cheapening of our understanding of love, faithfulness, and intimacy.

A deeper tragedy is that marriage is a picture of Christ's love for His bride as well. When Satan attacks- He especially loves to take down marriages individually and the overall reverence for the institution.

So let's look at the structure of a Biblical marriage and see its implications:

To the Wife:

Likewise (i.e. look back at the point I am making before... )

and again- I'm not trying to sugar coat it- this passage is saying some HARD things- supernatural things- things that make you say WHY? or HOW? Things that make non-believers sneer, mock, and criticize.

Skeptics will say - DO you see what these fools are buying INTO?

The bottom line- we are talking about SUBMISSION- sometimes painful submission. And yes, sometimes under cruel masters.

How long do you stay? Is it a sin to get out? Do you mean you have to sit there and get abused?

I always answer the question this way... as far as the Lord allows your faith to go.

I don't know if you believe me- but I am having such a hard time here writing this. I have a good marriage, I have a good life- and it is easy for me to write these things in a ivory tower, theoretical.

And I know there is real pain and tragedy out there.

So- Mr easy to say until you live it- what are you putting on the brother here? And it is with great understanding that I say it- and ultimately only Jesus took it the full mile.


The greatest literary character, in terms of actual heroic submission to the glory of God was Uncle Tom. The Christ honoring slave who suffered under the terror of slave owner Simon Legree in the infamous novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin.

When Abraham Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe, he smiled and said, "So you're the little woman who wrote the little book that started this great big war."

We have such strong negative feelings about the book today, so much that to be called an 'Uncle Tom' is about as big a slur that can be hurled in the african-american community. But the novel was anti-slavery and Tom was a genuine hero, Legree was a despicable villain.

And, as I read it, I wept for Uncle Tom's beautiful devotion to Christ and his willingness to love and pray for and endure his evil master.

But it is too demeaning... it is too high a price! Is it? It is a walk of faith and a trust in a land that is not our current home.


I know of great stories of supernatural forgiveness- way beyond what would be expected- God given examples of forgiving over and over, deeper and deeper.

So back to marriage- it is never easy to submit. Culture, human nature, modern feminist notions rail against these words. It is hard in a good marriage to a good man.

But this passage says likewise- be subject to your own husbands, so that leven if some do not obey the word, mthey may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives.

Peter says- this isn't submission just to a good man.. this is submission to a bad man as well!

So the woman just stays until she is beaten or killed? NO- she has to reach out to help and society must rush in to correct and protect. The church and magistrates MUST courageously confront these rogues.

BUT WE ARE MISSING THE POINT- all of this points to Christ. He endured cruel punishment, He yielded to the providence of pain, He did not even speak in defense, He lovingly and humbly stretched out His hands and embraced the nails.

All men fail... but Jesus stayed the course.

Now this is not just a moral imperative that we fall short of- there is instruction here for the wives.

  • Yield to the authority of the husband- that is the organizational chart.
  • Be beautiful on the inside- character shines longer, sweeter, and better than any vain, youthful flash.
  • Be strong, not fearful.

All of this, under the powerful Holy Spirit and the transformation of the gospel, makes for the chemistry of not only a good marriage, but of potential salvation. There have been men and children brought to Christ by the patient perseverance of a godly wife. This doesn't mean to choose an ungodly man for a missionary marriage- but it means that when a Christian says, "I do" it is for better or for worse.

Likewise, shusbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker tvessel, since they are heirs with you1 of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Likewise? What do you mean likewise? It means this- Men submit as well. When God places a man as Lord of the marriage- He doesn't mean Lord in the worldly sense, He means Lord in the heavenly sense.

The extent that any wife is to follow the husband as leader is always in direct correlation to his humility and submission to the humility of Christ. A godly husband yields to his wife as much as she yields to him. Mutual yieldedness, not a demand my rights contract, makes the marriage the sweetest.

The husband in an understanding way.... understands... energy to know her- wants to please her. Treats her as a 'weaker vessel' not that she is a weaker vessel, but he tenderly cares for her like a piece of the finest china or fragile treasure.

since they are heirs with you1 of the grace of life- Both husband and wives are equal heirs to God's grace- the marriage covenant is a temporary flow chart to picture Christ and to work pragmatically.

so that your prayers may not be hindered.- Men, is nothing happening in your prayer life... How are you treating your wife?

Final thoughts

All of this will lead into a message for all to seek unity, love, tenderness.

But Peter has hammered 'humble yieldedness/ submission' for over 21 verses. Do you remember the last thing Jesus said to Peter after the resurrection?

John 21:18 dTruly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, eyou used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show fby what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, g“Follow me.”

Over the course of his life, Peter learned this submission in a deeper way. The old Peter was proud and active, he would say before the thought, he would act before he considered. He just did it his way and really couldn't care less what anyone thought. The old Peter was a leader who walked all over any fool willing to follow.

But the new Peter- restored, forgiven, facing the end of his journey- would  have to watch his wife be killed for the faith and then himself led to a cross. He made a request- "I am not worthy to be killed like my Lord" and so they crucified him upside down.

And this ultimate humiliating state... GLORIFIED GOD!

And only the redeemed in Christ have any clue how that statement is true.......


Anonymous said...

Rather than looking at these Scriptures as husband/male and wife/female, we should see them as a picture of the Spirit(male/husband) and soul (female/wife) within each of us. Our soul (feelings, emotion, will, intellect, personality, etc.) must always be in submission to the Spirit of Christ within us. Once you have this picture key to translate husband/man = Spirit and wife/female = soul within us, many Scriptures be understood.

Jayopsis said...

I do think that the beauty of Scripture means there a dual meanings and types- it would be hard to find hard Biblical support of spirit as male and soul as female. It is more Christ and the Church.
I would have to see more of your Biblical exegesis before I could support that vague a symbol.

Anonymous said...

I think you should allow Biblical exegesis (soul-intellect) to submit to Spirit in you and consider things by revelation. Did Peter have an exegesis when Jesus said "who do you say I am" and Peter responded, "you are the Christ, Son of the Living God." Jesus response to Peter was not "What Scriptures do you have to back this up and explain your claim about me." No, He said "blessed are you Peter, for flesh and blood {read man's thoughts, understanding, intellect} has not revealed this to you but my Father in heaven." This is how all Truth about the Father and Son comes...through revelation by the Father who uses Scriptures, creation, people, events, etc. to reveal His nature.

You didn't come into a real understanding of Christ through intellect and study (if that would work, there would have been no need for Paul's road to damascus experience because he had us all out studied and exegesised). The Father revealed to you, opened your eyes to who Christ was through some personal means unique to you, and you, by His grace, believed and began to walk in that revelation of Christ.

You and I have nothing without His revelation.