Sermon for Trinity Eighteen — Sunday October 16, 2022
Sermon for Trinity Eighteen – Sunday October 16, 2022
Calvary/Marquette ● Soli Deo Gloria
God’s Grace, mercy and peace are yours in abundance, for you have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ. Amen.
1 Peter 3:1–7 (EHV)
Wives, in the same way, be submissive to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they might be won over without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2as they observe your respectful and holy behavior. 3Do not let your beauty be something outward, such as braided hair or wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4Rather let your beauty be the hidden person of your heart—the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in God’s sight. 5In fact, this is also how the holy women of the past who put their hope in God made themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6just as Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him lord. You are her daughters if you do what is good and do not fear anything that is intimidating.
7Husbands, in the same way, continue to live with your wives with the knowledge that, as the wife, she is the weaker vessel. Also continue to accord them honor as fellow heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
In the Name of Jesus, the Christ,
Dear Fellow Redeemed in His Blood –
Complimentary...that’s what they call it in team sports when each player and each part of the team does its job.
Hockey – When the offense scores goals, the defense defends shots and the special teams kills the other team’s power play, it’s called complimentary hockey.
Football – When the offense scores touchdowns, the defense prevents touchdowns and the special teams doesn’t allow the other team to gain yardage on punts and kickoffs, coaches call it complimentary football.
They call it complimentary, but it really means each player is doing their job. Each player on a team has a role to play, a job to do.
Some roles (like Goaltender and Quarterback) seem more important, because they are the last line of defense or the person running the offense, but that doesn’t mean the other players are less important. For example, when defensive players in hockey block the other team’s shots during a power play it makes the goaltender’s job much easier.
When God established marriage in the very beginning, He also established roles within marriage. God created the man first and then the woman from the man. God made the husband the head of the household (Ephesians 5:23) and gave the wife a necessary and complimentary role in the household. This doesn’t mean that the husband is more important than the wife. These are the complimentary roles given by God within marriage.
Today these roles are considered ‘old-fashioned’ at best; and defamatory at worst. Some wives usurp the authority from their husbands and husbands don’t play their roles. Other husbands rule with an iron fist, and treat their wives more like slaves than partners.
This is what happens when husband and wife don’t maintain the two God-given attitudes in marriage...Respect and Love.
Respect -- The wife is called upon to respect her husband – not because ‘he’s the boss’ or ‘more important’ but because God has given him with the role of head, and leader and the responsibility that comes with it. Where there is no respect, the wife’s role ceases to be complimentary to the husband and there is a breakdown.
Love – The husband is called upon to love his wife with a self-less, self-sacrificing love. He is to protect his wife, and put her needs before his own – like Christ put the needs of Believers before his own needs. Where there is no self-less love and the husband dominates the wife like a servant, the husband’s role ceases to be complimentary to the wife and there is a breakdown.
We continue our study of the 1st Epistle of Peter and we are given instruction on the attitudes that belong within marriage. Even if God has ended your marriage in death, don’t tune out! God would have you help the young couples in your lives to establish and maintain these complimentary attitudes.
So, we ask that God the Holy Spirit bless our study of these words. We ask further that He enable us to establish and maintain them in our own lives and by good advice in the lives of our children and grandchildren.
Sanctify us by your truth, O Lord, Your Word is Truth! Amen.
Now before we even begin, let me remind you: This is God’s Word. This is not an attempt by a male chauvinist, grizzled fisherman, to dominate the female gender. This isn’t intended to demote or devalue women, but establish the roles that God intends exist within Christian marriage, whether only one or both are Believers.
This is God’s order of creation and it’s not intended to be an affliction...but a blessing and delight. It becomes an affliction when husband or wife do not fulfill their God-given roles with godly attitudes.
Wives, in the same way, be submissive to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they might be won over without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2as they observe your respectful and holy behavior.
This may come as a surprise to you, but there are no personal photos in the Bible (unless you put them in there). We don’t know what Jesus looked like or Peter or Paul. There aren’t wedding pictures for the apostles either.
The Bible does tell us that the Apostle Peter was married and even traveled with his wife (1 Corinthians 9:5). Nevertheless, this isn’t Peter’s personal opinion, but words given to him by God the Holy Spirit. So even as Christians are to respect the Government and employees their employers, so wives are to respect their own husbands...as the Lord (Ephesians 5:22). As Christians, we submit to Jesus as Head of the Church and have no concerns about doing so because we KNOW that He loves us. We aren’t afraid that He’s going to dominate and abuse us...because He proved His love by dying for us.
So here, the wife is to submit, to respect her husband as head of the household...even if he isn’t a Christian. In fact, if He isn’t a believer, she isn’t to attempt to ‘talk him into the Christian Faith’ but to respect him and submit to the fact that God has made him the head of the family.
This doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t talk about her faith...but she is to win her husband for Jesus by her respectful and holy behavior. She is to follow Jesus holy example herself.
For when the wife lives her faith in Jesus, she sets a priceless example for her husband, one that may well move him to ask questions about what his wife believes. He may join her and attend worship and in time be won for Christ. On the other hand, if she disrespects him and attempts to ‘nag him into the church’ she may push him away from the Savior rather than win him for Him.
In the eyes of God, beauty is to be found in godly behavior.
3Do not let your beauty be something outward, such as braided hair or wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4Rather let your beauty be the hidden person of your heart—the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in God’s sight.
Do you remember the television program called ‘The Twilight Zone’? It was a collection of stories which ranged from funny to tragic...often with an unexpected twist. One story that sticks in my mind was entitled, “The Eye of the Beholder.” It tells the story of a woman facing a 12th facial surgery in an attempt to make her appear ‘normal’. When the bandages are removed from her face, she is revealed a beautiful young woman...but when the faces of her ‘normal’ doctor and nurse are revealed they are hideously deformed...but considered ‘normal’.
In our society today women are judged by their external appearance. “Beauty is skin deep” as the old saying goes. So young ladies will ‘cake’ on the foundation, color their eyes and put on mascara in an attempt to look ‘beautiful’ by societies standards. It’s now become popular to die hair in every conceivable color. Some try to keep up with fashion by buying certain brands of clothing and trying to imitate the trends. Now clothing trends border on indecent as women ‘reveal’ their bodies in an attempt to attract attention and portray this sinful world’s idea of beauty.
In Peter’s Day it wasn’t a lot different. It was popular to braid the hair and wear gold jewelry or expensive clothing. The Apostle Peter doesn’t say it’s WRONG to wear jewelry or nice clothing. He reminds us that in God’s eyes, beauty isn’t found in jewelry or clothing. Christian women are not to look the part of worldly women, but strive instead to imitate inward beauty.
God values a woman who lives her faith, who has a gentle and quiet spirit. Rather than imitate the Kardashians, God would have Christian women imitate the godly women of old, like Sarah, the wife of Abraham.
5In fact, this is also how the holy women of the past who put their hope in God made themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6just as Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him lord. You are her daughters if you do what is good and do not fear anything that is intimidating.
Godly women, those described in the Bible, lived their faith. They respected their husbands and fulfilled their roles in marriage – not perfectly to be sure – but also not according to this world’s standards.
Godly women today are to try to be daughters of Sarah, by imitating her and respecting their husbands. If the Lord Jesus has seen fit to take your husband to his heavenly home, this doesn’t mean you have no role.
No indeed, for God gives you the role of teaching younger women by living your faith! Don’t become a bitter old sarcastic worldly women!
This is the role given to you by the Lord (Titus 2:3-5, EHV):
3Likewise, encourage older women to be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not enslaved to much wine, but teachers of what is good, 4so that they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled, pure, busy at home, kind, and submitting to their own husbands, that the word of God might not be slandered.
The fact that the wife is to respect her husband doesn’t give him license to live like a king, to sit on the couch saying: “Bring me my hassenpfeffer, and a fresh beer!” For the Spirit of God also has a message for men today...and it isn’t that they imitate Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone or the characters they play in their movies.
While wives are called upon to RESPECT their husbands; husbands are called upon to LOVE their wives. This love isn’t to be a love of words. This love isn’t only expressed in chocolate, flowers and jewelry. While wives are called upon to imitate Sarah and the godly women of old; husbands are called upon to imitate the love of Jesus.
For it is written (Ephesians 5:25, EHV):
25Husbands, love your wives, in the same way as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
Husbands, your love for your wife is to reflect the love of Jesus. You are to put her needs before your own and be willing to die in defense of her. (Honestly, ladies, if your husband loves you like this...would you hesitate to respect or submit to him?)
7Husbands, in the same way, continue to live with your wives with the knowledge that, as the wife, she is the weaker vessel.
We’ve been using the Evangelical Heritage Version because after working through the Greek each week, I’ve found it to be a pretty good translation even though it’s only five years old (2017). But in the first part of the seventh verse, I think it unnecessarily limits the word ‘knowledge’ to one thing – that the wife is the weaker vessel.
But the ‘knowledge’ or ‘understanding’ to which Peter refers is more than observing the physical traits of men and women, but the greater understanding found in Gods’ Word. Husbands are to live with their wives (whether believing or unbelieving) in an understanding way -- guided by the wisdom of God’s Word.
Even as wives are urged to submit to their husbands – even if their husbands aren’t Christians; so, husbands are to live with their wives according to the wisdom of God’s Word. The same word of God that urges wives to submit to husbands...urges husbands to live with their wives according to God’s Will.
When it says that the wife is ‘the weaker vessel’ it’s not a criticism. It’s pointing out the obvious differences between male and female. The man is generally physically stronger than the female. We were originally built differently: The man was created by God out of the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7). The woman was also created by God out of the rib of the man (Genesis 2:21-23). But this doesn’t say that the woman is weaker or inferior in any other way.
Why would it be necessary to point this out?
As the weaker vessel the woman is vulnerable. Just take a look at what happens to women in our fallen world. Some men abuse their wives. In some places their rights are reduced, their status lowered and they are exploited and disrespected!
So, is this what God wants to happen when He calls upon wives to submit to their husbands? NO, in no way! Men who don’t know Christ and His Love may treat women in this way, to see them as sexual objects. God wants Christian men to see the woman as vulnerable – and love her, defend her, protect her and to treat her with honor and respect.
There are those who suggest that we don’t value women because we follow God’s Word and don’t allow them to serve in the public ministry. They suggest that this means we consider them inferior. What hogwash!
God – in His Word -- determines the roles of men and women within the church and within marriage...not our fallen society. The fact that our society now has difficulty defining what a woman is...proves we shouldn’t follow its leadership or wisdom.
Finally, Godly men remember that their believing wives are also heirs of salvation.
Also continue to accord them honor as fellow heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
God values both men and women as equals when it comes to salvation. Believers – whether men or women – are children of God and heirs of salvation. There are no ‘second-class citizens’ before Christ. We are to see our wives – and all godly women -- as co-heirs of salvation.
In writing to the Galatian Christians, the Apostle Paul declared (Galatians 3:26-28):
“In fact, you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27Indeed, as many of you as were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. 28There is not Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, for you are all one and the same in Christ Jesus.”
Godly men are to love and honor their wives as heirs with them of the gift of life. The wife can willingly submit to her Christian husband because he is a child of God through faith in Christ. The husband should love and honor his Christian wife because Jesus died to save her and to make her an heir of salvation.
When a man disrespects his wife; he sins against her...and puts a roadblock in the way of his own prayers.
Respect and Love...these are the attitudes that belong in a Christian Marriage. May God grant that we exhibit them and teach our own to foster them. Amen.