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  • Writer's pictureLou Hernández

26-06-24 - DOING LIFE DIFFERENTLY - 1 Peter 3:1-12



(After two weeks of being unable to post new messages for health reasons here I am again with the good news, continue with the book of 1 Peter by pastor Rob Inrig and pastor Daniel Park. Messages are so interesting with the teachings from Peter in how love is important between brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ our Lord)

I encourage you to click the introduction's video)

Doing life differently means living OVERTLY in Christlikeness, BEAUTIFULLY in God eyes, and UNDERSTANDING the work of relationships.

The 3rd and final part of our passage today from verse 9-12, can be taken as the conclusion, so we are going to start there as our first point. 

  1. Doing Life Overtly

Living in a world that is out of step with truth and justice requires followers of Jesus to live in His step

  • That is, differently from the world we live in

This is not just about being true to yourself or individual or unique. 

  • The out of step world we live in actually opposes the lifestyle and existence of people who follow Jesus 

  • It requires some hard work.

So finally, or in summary, Peter says, to all of you - Christians living in a world that is against you

  • “have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” V8 

  • A commentator pointed out the beautiful arrangement of this simple verse that is made up of 5 traits Peter wants Christians to be known by.

  • 5 things to do

  • At the centre and therefore most importantly, we are to have brotherly love- or to love each other as brothers and sisters.

So the first big question for us is: 

  • Are we, you, harmonious with your fellow brothers and sisters? 

  • In Bethany first and foremost, but also in the city. 

  • Not being in conflict does not mean there is harmony 

  • What do we need to do to be harmonious? 

  • A flip side what might not be asked as much is, what do we need to STOP doing to be harmonious? 

We are already facing tough opposition in the world as it is

  • So we NEED strong, harmonious backing to face it

  • Only then can we, together, be Christ to the world

  • Win people to Jesus

  • And be able to pray for people and the needs around us

As verse 9 says, WE, brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ doing life lovingly, is to be blessing the world

  • And being a blessing is what we have been called to

  • Even while living in a hostile world.

Peter reminds us that the omniscient and omnipresent God is watching and listening

  • I can imagine to some this might sound a little threatening

  • But only if you want to do evil. 

Knowing that God knows and sees everything means He is in control 

  • He sees and knows all the corruption and lies of people in power.   He sees and knows all the narcissistic and mean people who try to lord it over others at every opportunity 

  • God sees and knows all the issues between a husband and wife that transpires in the privacy of their own homes. 

And Peter is telling us, fear God, not the world 

  • The all powerful God is also the all loving God who watches over His children and leans His ears to their prayers

  • So no matter the situation, you do not have to be afraid

  • You are loved to love

  • Blessed to be a blessing at all times - overtly.

This is the overarching summary as we go into our 2nd point, which is really the first part of the passage, where Peter addresses wives, to be subject to their own husbands. 

2. Doing Life Differently for wives and women is doing life BEAUTIFULLY 

We need to begin with some context.

Peter wrote this part for Christian women in Asia Minor with non-Christian husbands, which is consistent with the theme of his letter

  • Peter’s instruction that wives must accept the authority of their husbands is part of a greater calling for followers of Jesus to live virtuous lives among unbelievers to be able to lead them to salvation in Jesus Christ  

The timeless principle is how to live as a wife, or woman who is Christ-honouring in a hostile world 

A quick review of the status of women during Peter’s time:

In Jewish society, the situation for women was highly restrictive and limited in their role and function - basically limited to the home

  • They could not legally inherit

  • They could not choose whom to marry

  • They could not pursue  formal education or participate in the synagogue 

  • And they could not move about with complete freedom.

Women in Asia-Minor had it better in general at the time: 

  • They could run businesses, vote as well as serve in public offices, and even be a leader in religious cults

  • They could own property independently, held greater leverage in marriage and divorce and could receive education.

  • So not as draconian as you might expect

  • And these were the primary people Peter was addressing

Not as oppressive, yes, but remember theirs was still a male-dominated and most importantly, shame-based culture that revolved around family honour. 

  • I would even say similar to modern Asia societies..

  • And the main tension here is a wife would would defy their family tradition and reputation by joining another religious cult independently of their husband and family

  • This would have been seen as an act of insubordination and shame

A lot of Christians in Korea live in this tension with their Buddhist or ancestor-worshipping families after they become Christians 

To these women, Peter says, “be subject to your own husbands”

  • Honour, respect, and defer to the man you fell in love with as you always and normally would have within the normal course of your relationship and marriage

  • He’s still the same man you love and married.

  • So honour that man for who he is and don’t let your relationship with Christ and his lack thereof cause you to make less of him in any way

But not, accept his authority, “No better what”

  • Peter is not telling women to listen to their husbands when it goes against their faith and relationship with Jesus

  • Peter says honour your husbands with your respect and born-again Christlike virtues 

  • Being as Christ-like as you can be, IS being subject 

Wives are not told to be subject to their husbands for the benefit of the husbands, 

  • Or themselves 

  • Or their families 

  • But God is glorified and He sees you as precious 

Peter declares that your worth as a wife or woman is no longer dependent on what you can add or bring to your marriage or family 

  • You are precious and beautiful in how your born-again living is a witness to Jesus that can WIN people to Jesus

  • A life that is beautiful in gentleness and quiet spirit 

  • Instead of TRYING to BE beautiful with external fineries that are artificial and perishable.

Your true worth is your heart and soul that is surrendered and submitted to following in the steps of Jesus Christ 

Peter is encouraging women to be strong and courageous, and not be afraid of the oppositions you will face against your faith and convictions

  • because it is a powerful testimony of the gospel of Jesus that will save lives.

3. Doing Life Differently for husbands and men is doing life UNDERSTANDINGLY 

Again, to fill in the context, Peter is now addressing Christian husbands

  • The implied assumption is  is that the Christian husbands he is addressing have Christian wives

  • Today, statistics within the church would most probably allow for this kind of assumption

  • There would generally be more wives who are Christians before their husbands, than the other way round.

I like the way the NLT words verse 7,

  • “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together.”

  • The Greek word for “understanding” is actually the word for knowledge, even science! 

  • Which husband is confident to say that he has his wife all figured out?

  • There is a nuance of the continual need for more understanding as you live together 

  • Husbands, you gotta KEEP TRYING and STUDY HARDER 

  • And this honours your wife 

  • So the husband’s efforts reveal his regard for his wife

So even though women may be weaker than men - pretty sure it’s a plain physicality Peter is talking about 

  • We are reminded that men and women are heirs together in the undeserved gift of new life in Christ Jesus 

  • So even as wives submit to their husbands, husbands honour their wives, together 

If I may go back a little bit to the previous point and section where Peter addresses wives, 

  • It’s actually surprising that wives are addressed at such length at all - especially to Peter’s original readers

  • Rather than presumed to be required to silently follow

  • Wives and women are addressed specifically and given a vital agency and purpose in God’s calling

  • Something we continue to see as Peter addresses husbands in how they should regard their wives.

The intimate earthly relationship has ramifications for our heavenly one - our relationship with God

  • The way the husband treats his wife has a direct correlation with his relationship with God 

  • I would say likewise for the wife

  • And expanded, even for unmarried men and women

  • The virtue of your relationship with the opposite gender has a direct correlation with your relationship with God. 

  • For women, are you more concerned with how men regard your perishable, outer beauty, or the beauty of your hidden person of the heart?

  • For men, do you regard the women around you as people worthy of honour and fellows heirs in the heavenly family, or as the “weaker sex” and people you expect to satisfy your various needs? 

So just as the bible says, to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 

  • I think it can parallel well here

  • Husbands and men, live with your wives and treat women in an understanding way

"Because that is how you do life differently"

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