Lesson 14 - I Peter 3: 1-6

Lesson 14 - I Peter 3: 1-6

Lesson for April 21, 2013

The Book of I Peter

Chapter 3:1-6

Verse 1

In the same way is the Greek word “omoios,” meaning in a similar manner.  The similar manner is referring to Christ as the Shepherd and the Guardian of the soul of every believer in Chapter 2:25.  It is continuation of thought by Peter regarding a believer placing himself under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ as the head of the Church (returning to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls). 

The Greek word for submissive is “hupotasso,” which is a military term meaning to rank under.  Submissive therefore means that a wife in a Christian marriage is to recognize the leadership role of the husband within the marriage.  This does not mean that the woman is inferior to the man or that her role in marriage is any less important.  In many ways, the Christian woman’s role in marriage is far superior to the man’s role.  But God has given the man the responsibility of leading the family unit.  His primary responsibility is spiritual leadership, which if done properly will also affect every other area of responsibility that God has entrusted him with for his family.   

The word won does not mean to be won in the sense of soul saving if both are believers.  In a case of a believing woman and a believing husband (the wife being positive toward doctrine and the husband being negative toward doctrine), the husband can be “won” over to doctrine.  And since he is negative and she is positive, she will have capacity and therefore she will be positive toward the leadership of her husband in all other aspects except spiritually.  This positive attitude toward him can influence him to become positive toward doctrine, which will only make their marriage happier.   The same principle would apply to an unbelieving husband and a believing wife. 

Verse 2

As they observe your chaste and respectful behavior refers to some period of time in which a husband who is negative to doctrine or is an unbeliever observes his wife.   The word chaste is the Greek adjective “agnos” and it means blameless.  It does not mean perfect; it does not mean sinless, but it does mean blameless.  The word chaste really means that she is blameless in her mental attitude - her mental attitude love is so strong that she is willing to be patient enough to wait until the Word of God lived out before him in her life wins the man over, rather than attempting to “remake” him.

Respectful means that the Christian woman respects her husband’s authority, though she may not always agree with, respect or condone his decisions as the leader of the household.  She is still commanded by God to respect his authority.  In the case of a husband who is abusive or a bully, the woman can separate herself from the situation without violating any principle of Scripture.  (I Corinthians 7)

Verse 3-4

And let not your adornment be merely external- braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, and putting on dresses is not a prohibition on proper grooming.  Peter is saying that the beauty of a woman is internal not external.  So, all these things that Peter mentions in this verse are totally legitimate for a woman believer, if not expected.  External grooming is a testimony to what is internal - spiritually. 

There is a contrast here of emphasis between outer beauty of verse three and the inner beauty of verse four.  Neither is excluded in the woman but there is a difference of emphasis.  For a detailed dissertation on inner beauty we would have to go to 1 Timothy 2:9-15.

We have a Greek word here for gentle, “prauj,” which refers to the mental attitude of humility.   Humility is grace orientation.  Grace is all that God is free to do for mankind on the basis of the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.  Grace is undeserved mercy and unmerited favor.  Grace is the title of God’s plan and His policy for mankind.  Orientation is defined as familiarization with a particular person, thing or field of knowledge.   To orient means to set right by adjusting to facts or principles; to put oneself into correct position or relation or to acquaint oneself with the existing situation.  Grace orientation, therefore, means to become familiar with God’s grace plan and grace policies by adjusting to the facts and principles found in the Word of God, which puts you in correct relation to God and others.  You will never be grace-oriented until you understand that your personal sins don’t condemn you.  Adam’s original sin, which was imputed to you at birth, is what condemns you (spiritual death).  This means that God’s grace was operational when He imputed Adam’s original sin to you, because condemnation must precede salvation.  This is just another part of God’s ingenious grace plan of salvation.

The Greek word for quiet is “hsuxios,” which means tranquil.  This is a reference to a relaxed mental attitude.  A relaxed mental attitude is a result of applying the Faith-Rest Technique.  The principle of Faith-Rest is from God, who is perfect. Therefore, the Faith-Rest Technique is perfect.  No human deed or work can be added to a perfect provision from God.  The believer must cease from human good and enter into a rest where he does no work.  The Holy Spirit does the work.  The requirement, therefore, for the believer is faith, not human works.  Faith is the absence of any human merit, which means that in and of itself faith has no value or worth.  The value or worth is in the object of our faith.  The object of faith for the believer should always be God and His Word.

Faith-Rest is knowing, believing and applying the promises and the principles and the doctrines of the Word of God. (Isaiah 33:6)  We have a principle in verses three and four to apply.  There are over 7,000 promises in the Bible for the believer.  These promises do us no good unless we mix them with faith and apply them to our situation. (Hebrews 4:2)  Claiming these promises eliminates mental attitude sins such as fear, worry and anxiety, which cut off Divine Viewpoint Thinking.  Faith-Rest will restore Divine Viewpoint Thinking and stabilize the believer in times of pressure and adversity. Faith-Rest results in a relaxed mental attitude. (Matthew 11:28-30)  This mental attitude of resting in the Lord and leaving the results to Him is a precious sight to God.

Verse 5-6

Now Peter gives us an illustration from the Old Testament of Sarah, the wife of Abraham.  First Peter tells us that the norm for “holy women” in the Old Testament was to adorn themselves with outer beauty and the inner beauty of placing themselves under the leadership of their husband.  Sarah, though not perfect, got it right when she submitted herself to Abraham’s leadership.  Once again, she was not inferior to Abraham; she was simply fulfilling her role as a believing wife. 

It was years before Sarah came around to the correct mental attitude.  Her name was Sarai (it would be changed later to Sarah to reflect a new attitude) and she did not have inner beauty, she had mental attitude sins, she was full of jealousy, bitterness and vindictiveness.  This was demonstrated by the whole operation with her Egyptian slave girl.  Remember, Sarah was the one who suggested Abraham have a child by her “handmaiden.”  She finally got to where she listened to Abraham.  She had always been telling Abraham what to do, she never listened.  But finally she came around.  It took a long time because she was full of mental attitude sins.  She had finally arrived, as evidenced by the fact that she called Abraham lord (person of authority). 

If you do what is right means you too can become Sarah’s children  in the sense of having the right mental attitude.  The Greek word “agaqopoieo” for right means divine good.  The production of divine good is based upon doctrine and, in this dispensation, the filling of the Spirit. So the filling of the Spirit plus the production of divine good through knowledge of doctrine results in fulfilling this particular principle of following Sarah’s example of right mental attitude.  

If you do what is right (divine production) it eliminates all forms of fear with regard to your life with a negative believer spouse or an unbelieving spouse.  Everyone is susceptible to fear, even the mature believer.  Fear is a mental attitude sin that shuts down thinking and makes application of Bible doctrine impossible.  When fear catches us off guard, it is important to know the correct recovery procedure, which is the Faith-Rest Technique. 

Again, this technique involves claiming a Bible promise, applying a doctrinal rationale and reaching a doctrinal conclusion.  This is the reason that it is so important that we all learn theology.  The nice stories and “Christian principles” will not sustain us in times of extreme difficulty or disaster.  We need Bible Doctrine! 

We cannot apply what we do not know.  Therefore, we need to be consistent in our intake of God’s Word for the purpose of growth.  Growth means learning to use the Word of God resident in our souls to combat and to control our sin nature and the influences of the world system.  Since fear is a sin, the first step to recovery from fear is the utilization of I John 1:9.  By naming “fear” as our sin, we are forgiven and under the control of the Holy Spirit.  Now we are in a position to use the Faith-Rest Technique.  The best illustration of the Faith-Rest Technique is Romans 8:28-32. 

Step one is to claim a promise by thinking divine viewpoint - God is working all things for good for me because I am a maturing believer (those who love him).  Once thinking is resumed, we can move on to step two, application.  A doctrinal rationale can be any doctrinal truth that you have learned and stored in your memory.  In Romans 8 the doctrinal rationale is a series of five related doctrines. 

  1. Foreknowledge - God’s awareness of all the assets that He prepared for the believer in eternity-past.  This assures us that God was thinking about each of us in eternity -past.
  2. Predestination - God predesigned a plan for us in eternity-past.  That plan calls for us to be set apart unto God in time and in eternity.
  3. Election - God chose each Church Age believer to be spiritual royalty.  Since Jesus Christ was elected, we share in His election because of our union with Him.
  4. Justification - God declares the believer to be righteous.  God actually imputes His righteousness to each believer, setting up the potential for divine blessing in time and in eternity. 
  5. Glorification - God will give each believer a glorified body and eternal rewards based on execution of His plan in time.

Finally, in Romans 8:31-32, the believer is able to reach a doctrinal conclusion.  This passage says, “To what conclusion are we forced? If God be for us, who shall be against us?  He Who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up in behalf of us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things?”

Reaching the doctrinal conclusion “that God is for us,” allows us to retake control of our situation and restores confidence in God and in our ability to make good decisions.  If the problem is too overwhelming, beyond our ability to solve, we are still able to cope by placing ourselves in the mighty hand of God and trusting Him for the solution. (Exodus 14:13)

Utilization of this technique restores the most important ability God has given us: thinking.  This technique does not need to be a mechanical, “step one, two, three,” but can be if the situation demands it.  The key is to stop fear in its tracks and restore the thinking process by using the Faith-Rest Technique.