Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fixing Your Hope On Christ (1 Peter 3) #hope #suffering #Christ

Theme: Fix your hope on Christ

3) By getting under authority (2:12 - 3:7)

Suffering makes it difficult to fix your hope on Christ.  Several reasons christians suffer are because the lost slander  them, because they do wrong, or because they are treated unjustly. Because it helps silence slander (15), prevents suffering for wrong doing (19-20), follows the example of Christ (21-25), and wins the lost (3:1-2), getting under authority helps you fix your hope on Christ when suffering. 

This passage shows several ways to get under authority.  

A) By keeping the law (13-17)

To submit means to "rank yourself under", and "obey". These verses tell us to obey secular law. God has established the governing authorities with the right to avenge His wrath on evil-doers, and praise those who do right (cf. Rom. 13:1ff.).  When you keep the law, you are getting under God's authority.  Keeping the law would include avoiding crime (cf. Rom. 13:1-5), and paying your taxes (cf. Rom. 13:6-7). When you obey the law, you don't have to worry about being punished, or violating your conscience (Rom. 13:5). Keeping the law also serves as a witness to the lost, and helps you silence slander from unbelievers (1 Pet. 2:15).  You get under authority by
keeping the law. 

B) By complying with your boss (18-20)

This passage was written to "oiketai" ("household or domestic servants"), rather than "douloi" (the word usually used for "slaves"). The principle of getting under authority may also apply to your boss at work. According to these words, you should submit to them with all respect, even if they are "harsh" or "unreasonable" (from "skolios": meaning "bent" or "not straight", and from which we get the word "scoliosis").  

It is of no benefit to suffer for wrong doing, but if you endure or bear up under unjust suffering, this is "acceptable with God. The word "acceptable", literally means "grace", or "favor". The word "with", also means "from".  We might understand this to mean enduring unjust suffering is "grace
from God". It is when you endure unjust suffering, that God demonstrates His grace though you. 

C) By following Christ's example (21-25)

Christ endured unjust suffering to the point of death to pay for and heal us of our sins. In the process, the lost heaped abuse on Him, and He felt it. Still, He didn't sin or return their reproach. When He suffered unjustly, He kept on (tense of verb notes repeated or continual action) putting Himself in the hands of God, the righteous Judge.

D) By obeying your husband (3:1-6)

These verses seem to describe a situation where a saved wife is married to an unsaved husband, although the principle of submission also applies when both are saved (cf. v 5-6). Even
if an unsaved husband does not himself believe or obey the word of God, the saved woman should voluntarily rank herself under him, and obey. This kind of "chaste" and "respectful behavior" will do more to win the unsaved husband than words. 

For women, submitting to authority seems to also include dressing modestly, taking more care to show the inner beauty of a quiet spirit "which is precious in the sight of God."  This is how "holy women" in the OT days "obeyed" their husbands, like Sarah, who called Abraham "lord". 

E) By respecting your wife (3:7)

If you're a husband, the Bible seems to give you three main responsibilities toward your wife. Ephesians 5 says you should "love" your wife. This includes giving yourself up for her well-being, washing her with the word of God, feeding her spiritual food, and keeping her warm. This verse adds two more duties: understand and honor your wife. 

The word "understand", refers to a type of knowledge you gain with experience. It comes from a word "ginosko", which means "to learn", or "come to know". This would apparently include coming to know how to treat her as a "weaker vessel" physically. 

As a husband, you should also honor your wife as a "co-heir" of the grace of life, spiritually. Galatians 3:28 says that both male and female are equal in their spiritual standing as children of God and heirs of Christ. Ephesians 1 says that God has blessed all believers with "every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus". This inheritance awaits husband and wife alike, and therefore husbands should treat their wives with honor as "co-heirs" of the grace of God.

How should you understand the instruction for women to submit to their husbands, since they're equal as heirs of Christ? The harmony of these two ideas may be seen in the difference between your spiritual standing before God, and your role in daily life. For example, Christ told Peter he was an heir of the King, yet instructed him to pay taxes to secular government (Mt. 17:25-27). 

Or again, Christ is 100% God, yet always submits to the will of the Father in His role and function (Heb. 10; John 17). In the same way, women, although equal to their husbands in their spiritual standing before God, should submit to them in their role and function. As a husband, you may get under authority by understanding and honoring your wife.

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The Gospel

Have you heard Christ died for our sins, and God raised Him from the dead? Did you know God saves you from hell and gives you eternal life through faith in this finished work alone, not your merits (Jn. 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Thess. 1:8-9)? This is so man cannot boast, and God alone gets the glory (Eph. 2:8-9).


The grand purpose of creation is to bring glory and pleasure to God in Christ (Eph. 1:1-10; Rev. 4:11). The gospel of Christ's death and resurrection for our sins, achieves this goal by magnifying God's grace and mercy towards undeserving sinners. The purpose of faithguard, is to glorify God, by defending and confirming the gospel of Jesus Christ.