ROOTED | Living Scattered, Not Shattered | 1 Peter PART VI | ROOTED Marriage | 1 Peter 3:1-7
Topic: New Testament Passage: 1 Peter 3:1–7
Christopher Rich – April 3, 2022
ROOTED| Living Scattered, Not Shattered | 1 Peter
PART VI | ROOTED Marriage | 1 Peter 3:1-7
Introduction | Rooted Relationship
Good morning! Welcome to Mercy Fellowship where we are Saved by Jesus Work, Changed by Jesus’ Grace, and Living on Jesus’s Mission. This week we are continuing our series in 1 Peter called ROOTED: Living Scattered, Not Shattered. Many of us are realizing our roots are too shallow and weak to sustain us in the storms of life. We need good news greater than our current events. We need to be rooted in what is real, true, and eternal. When we are rooted in the transcendent, we are not reactive to the temporary.
Recap – Who are we? We are Living as Elect Exiles. ROOTED Identity, as elect exiles, loved, empowered, led by the trinity When are we in the story? Peter has also helped the people of God (who have understand where they are in the story of God (ROOTED Hope) He started with the end (destination) in mind, to inform how the engage with their present, while being encouraged by God’s past Faithfulness. How do we grow and change? Good news for eternity should be good news for today. Our conduct matters to God, but it is a result of the transformation Christ has begun in us. Call to grow, change, holiness comes AFTER the Good News of the Gospel. A grace filled heart, and a truth filled mind, can produce a transformed life. To grow in Holiness is to grow in the purity, presence, power, purposes, and passion of God found in Jesus. What is God Building us into? Individual dignity is essential for flourishing, but our significance is exponentially greater when our identity is also part of a ROOTED People. To have faith in Jesus is to be part of his people. This then plays out in how we engage in key relationships both in the world with non-believers and with other Christians.
1 Peter 2:11-12 |11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Our eternal identity is beloved, while our internal reality is conflicted. We are passing through and we have an eternal impact in the temporary lives we live. The result of being built up together and scattered in the world is we abstain from evil, and we pursue what is Good. The war in our soul may rage in the world around us may revile but our response is one of both practicing and proclaiming peace in, with, from Jesus Christ. Our lives with outsiders are to be honorable even as we are seen by them as shameful. We are to give them no reason to hate us but what is true about Jesus and God’s word. How we engage with the outside/non-Christian/unbelieving world plays itself out in 3 key arenas Civic/Political life, Economic Life (last week) Marriage life, this week. Before you check out, Marriage impacts everyone of us in this room and the world.
Married, single, divorced, remarried, widowed, we are ALL impacted by several marriages. The first marriage, your parents’ marriage (if they had one or not), others marriages, yours (if applicable), and IN Christ the last marriage. Why? We are created for relationships. We have relationships with friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, etc. Each of these can be important and edifying. However, God has created one earthly relationship unique and distinct from all others both in its nature and in what it represents. Gospel & Marriage:
Marriage& Creation (Gen 2) - Marriage has been given by God to men and women to reflect the exclusive, faithful, and pure relationship He has with His people. Verse 18 after making all things “good” God says one thing is “not good”, for Man to be alone. He doesn’t make another man or make Adam different. God makes women (Eve) Both Men and Women are made in God’s image worthy of dignity & respect (1:27). Called to “be fruitful & multiply” Adam alone cannot fulfill that calling so God makes a “Helper suitably” Helper isn’t assistant but a necessary person/position of Honor. Holy Spirit is called the “Helper”. Suitable or fit for, literally means corresponding to or complimentary with. Both are needed, necessary, and valuable in God’ design. Man is not woman, women is not man, husband is not wife, etc. In Creation, Women comes from Man’s side the significance being not in front/over, not behind/under but alongside and together. A wedding happens the two become “one flesh” the wife doesn’t become the husband or vice versa they are something new together. It is significant that the Husband is told to leave HIS comfort zone (parents specifically) and draw near to his wife. The two are together naked (intimate) and unashamed. Sounds great!
Marriage & The Fall – Eve fails by believing a lie that God doesn’t love and His word cannot be trusted. Adam fails to both “work & keep” by following God’s law, teaching, word. Evil enters the world and our hearts. Sin separates us from God, each other, and ourselves. Shame and conflict reign. God knows all that happened, both sinned/failed, yet comes to Adam as the one responsible. Adam unaccountable, blame shifts to his wife & God. Eve blames the satan/serpent. God responses with both mercy and curse. Pain and conflict for the women, toil for the man. Grace & Promise are given. God covers sin through sacrifice and path to ultimate victory goes through woman. Dominion turns to domination – Husband vacillate from absence or abuse. Wives are subjugated and at times subversive. Conflict overshadows confession, compassion, and complementary living. Sexism, demonizing the other sex and sainting of their own, characterize marriage.
Marriage & Redemption (New Testament) - Jesus reaffirms God’s design in Marriage from Creation, but our goal is not to get back to the garden, but to look to Christ. Died for our sin, bared our curse so we do not have to live under the Law (curse) but under His grace (Romans 6:14) Our marriages are broken and have sin and selfishness in marriages. Why? Because our marriages are two imperfect people apart from the work of God who are broken and selfish and so when a husband and wife come together sin and selfishness isn’t masked it’s multiplied. At the same time, it is a relationship that is intended to bring great joy and flourishing for the individuals in the marriage, as a couple and the other people around the marriage impacted by a flourish union. We have been made new to be new in the context of the relationships God has us in. Marriage is not the Gospel, but our marriages should reflect the Gospel. The design, purpose, and roles of Marriage transcends time and culture so while the specific applications of this change with time the underlining principals are timeless. God has always intended marriage to be an absolutely equal and fundamentally complementary partnership for the purpose of displaying His Glory and for the joy and flourishing of people. If we don’t have the context of redemptive history, God’s good design, humanities sin, the atoning work of Christ in our lives, the Holy Spirit leading and changing us as New Creations we won’t even begin to understand and apply the good news that is in theses verse for both Men & Women in our marriages. Peter, who is married, writes directly to both wives and husbands.
PART I | Rooted Wives | 1 Peter 3:1-4
1 Peter 3:1-4 |Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.
Rooted Wives (3:1-4) – Likewise(lit similarly) all you do in marriage should be motivated for “The Lord’s Sake” Wives you should have a posture and disposition (in this case even when married to an unbeliever) of respect and “good conduct” In general, wives should live in purity and respect with their husbands. It needs to be said, while there are unique roles in marriage, the relationship between husbands and wives it is NOT that of boss and employee, or government and citizen. The word in verse 1 (submit/subject to) is the same word across the NT, including Ephesians 5:21 (same word) where ALL Christians are called to “submit” to one another. So “submission’ is a willing, not demanded, posture of humility or deference we all take with/to others. It is NOT something that we are owed by or demand from others. Peter writes this to the wives to encourage and equip godly behavior, not to Husbands to enforce. Gospel submission is not subjection to another but humility shown to others. Husbands do NOT call their wives (or women in general) “into submission”.
Lydia Brownback describes it this way: “Wife’s submission to her Husband - What is is: Helping, Respecting, Honoring, Encouraging, Deferring. What it isn’t: Giving up your identity, Tolerating Abuse, Participating in Sin, Squashing Your Views, Having No Voice.” There is never an excuse or room given in Gospel Marriage to receive or endure abuse. That doesn’t mean you pack your bags on your first disagreement, or that you will never be sinned against (or sin) in marriage. But abuse is not your call, peace is. Rooted wives have their primary relationship not as a wife but as a daughter of the King. You are loved by the Lord they can and do point to their husbands to the Lord. This is a principal not a promise. You are never alone. God is near.
Internal Beauty > External Adornment – Rooted Wives have an inner life tapped into the Love of God. Verse 3 & 4. Their focus is on their inner life. That does not mean you need to neglect or reject outward appearance. These verses are not a prohibition of “outward adornment” but a prioritization of inner adornment. Their identity is not found externally but is rooted internally in an enduring beauty flowing from a strong spirit of gentleness and full, peaceful heart. Gentle & Quiet does not equal mild and silent It means (not fierce, or crude) and (calm, not violent). What is on the outside will fade, but what God does in our hearts is imperishable.
PART II | Rooted Marriages/ in The Lord | 1 Peter 3:5-6
1 Pet 3:5-6 | 5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
Rooted in The Lord (3:5-6) – Sarah responding to the leadership of her husband Abraham, along with other Old Testament wives, are given as an example. Abraham and Sarah are a perfect example of an imperfect marriage. Author Sheila Wray Gregoire points to some of the key interactions between Abraham and Sarah:
Genesis 12 - Sara followed Abraham when he was called by God specifically to go and leave his family.
Genesis 12 (and again in 20)- Abraham lied to a powerful king saying Sara wasn’t his wife but sister (infact half-sister) each time she was taken and then rescued by God before she could be used or abused. Gen 12:13 he does NOT command her; he asks her for the purpose of saving his life and blessing him/them.
Genesis 18:12 - After I’m worn out and “my lord is old” Calls him lord, almost as a joke. The word is not like the LORD, but rather a word like “sir” or “mister” it’s respectful as an equal but not quite reverential.
Genesis 16 - Sarai still didn’t have children so she told Abram to sleep with her handmaid (not a good idea) and he listened to her. It did NOT go well, leading to jealousy and abuse and abdication. Absent in any of these verses is God, until He intervenes to comfort Hagar the victim of their scheme. Neither sought God.
Gen 21:12 - Sarah finally wants Hagar and Ishmael gone and Abraham is not having it. He is then told by the Lord in Gen 21:12 to “Listen to Sarah,” do what Sarah says, because God is working in it. This is A picture of a very complex marriage one with mutual trust and respect, times where when God is leading the other follows. Times where both are not listening to God but making their own plans. Times where Sarah follows Abraham, and times God tells them to act and trust and sacrifice are required. It’s not Sarah always did what Abraham said and/or never questioned. She followed when it was clear God was leading and Abraham was following God. She reminded Abram what God had promised. Follow God and do what is right. Abraham is not perfect. At times he was consumed with fear and his conduct was foolish. Yet, Sarah remained hopeful in a perfect God, enduring an imperfect husband, in the face of difficult circumstances.
Rooted Marriages do what God commands. Wives do not follow your husband to sin or when he wants to sin. Husbands don’t allow or acquiesce if/when she is leading you to sin. Wives Obey God, Husbands Obey God and love and dare I say submit to one another. Men and Women are equal in value and dignity while also being distinct as created being. There are distinct (God Given and/or Circumstance determining) roles in different settings, relationships, and season. This tension will lead us to walk with intentionality, discernment and away from lazy stereo types. In my 15 years in ministry, I have seen men and women abuse, manipulate, commit adultery, walk in bitterness, abandon. I’ve seen men dominate their wives and wives dominate their husbands. I’ve seen forgiveness, repentance, restoration, and I’ve seen necessary endurance, and necessary and painful divorce. What I haven’t seen is husbands and wives both living out respect, honor, and mutuality, and it not leading to flourishing. All Christian men & women are all called to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, love, serve, honor, and submit to one another, while resting their identity and worth in Christ.
Because all Marriages reflect the Gospel, all marriages need the gospel. This requires humility. We marry people because we’re drawn to them either a version of them we believe they are or one we hope they become. But marriage, becoming one flesh, vulnerability, intimacy exposes how broken and imperfect each of us are. We can usually see it first in the other person, but they see it in us two., “I know I’m not perfect, I know I’m selfish, but I am a little more perfect, and a little less selfish then they are.” This won’t work.
“If two spouses EACH say, ‘I’m going to treat my self-centeredness as the main problem in the marriage,’ you have the prospect of a truly great marriage.”- Tim and Kathy Keller, Meaning of Marriage.
You cannot “fix” your spouse, you’re not the Holy Spirit. We can address sin and share what see, but if we are always starting with “my spouse is the main issue” you won’t have intimacy you’ll have isolation. You won’t have vulnerability, you’ll have violence. There is mutual joy and struggle that leads to growth. Our marriages exist by God, primarily to proclaims what is true about God. Namely, how He intentionally loves and cares for His people leading to their Joy. We can trust God in the ups and down of our marriages and lives.
PART III | Rooted Husbands | 1 Peter 3:7
1 Peter 3:7 7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
Rooted Husbands (3:7) – A marriage rooted in the Lord will include great intentionality from husbands. Where there is an understanding of a husbands role that includes servant leadership, that word “lead” is not a four letter word. It can be if it’s not paired with another four letter word “Love” Ephesians 5, “love 3x” your wife like Christ Loves the church. This love is not a soft sentimental, or superficial attraction (phileo) it is a strong, intentional, action oriented, outcome desiring self-sacrificial “agape” love. So any aspect of “leading” is this: Intentionality and initiation in serving, honor, sacrifice, engagement, protection, and provision. I may be wrong, but I don’t think there is a wife that would say I want less intentionally and initiation, in how my husband loves, serves, honors, etc. What does this intentionality look like? Peter explains:
Understanding Way – Husbands are called to be students of their wives. How do you experience and receive love and affection? How has God uniquely made you? How have your experiences help shape you? What wounds have you suffered what victories have you achieved? Where are you reliant on Christ? They listen to, and learn from, their wives for the purpose of loving and leading for their mutual flourishing. In this, a husband’s energy and leadership are used to protect and provide in ways which foster his bride’s flourishing.
Weaker Vessel - How has “weaker vessels” been misunderstood/misapplied? It’s not hammer and tea cup if you’re a hammer than everything is a nail. If you’re a tea cup you’re fragile, of great value, but little use. Context in the Greek is a “less than” social status woman had in the Roman Empire. Since society saw them as less than in THE Christian response was to show greater honor. This is even more/greater than a passive “respect” it is an active engagement of facilitating blessing. Lifting up, seeking to free your bride from everything that hinders her from being the “her” that God created her to be. In this, a husband’s loving leadership should be the most liberating experience and earthly relationship a bride has with another person. Husbands are to show extravagant honor in word and deed to their wives as they are “joint heirs” of God’s grace. This is a stark contrast to the male only inheritance of Roman times or the feminism of today. Men and Women, husband and wife are BOTH co-equal heir in God’s grace and eternal inheritance. A husband’s relationship with their wife impacts their relationship with the Lord. Put bluntly, a man’s prayers are hindered when men won’t listen to and respect their wives as co heirs to the kingdom.
Husbands… should not be cruel towards their wives, or think all things that they please to be permissible and lawful, for their authority should rather be a companionship than a kingship. – John Calvin, 16th Century
Husbands need the Gospel- Often the greatest changes in a marriage begin with the greatest changes in the man. Men have a great impact on their marriages in either their action (positive/negative), abuse (emotional/physical), or in their absence. Men have a responsibility in marriage but not the ability to carry it out on our own. We have and do sin, we need forgiveness. We need the Gospel both in our identity and in power to walk out good works in our marriages. We have been loved by Jesus, so we can love like Jesus.
The design, purpose, and roles of Marriage transcends time and culture so while the specific applications of this change with time the underlining principals are timeless. God has always intended marriage to be an absolutely equal and fundamentally complementary partnership characterized by love and respect, for the purpose of displaying His Glory and for the joy and flourishing of people. The Husband is the loving sacrificial servant leader of the wife, and the wife is the joyful recipient of honor and reciprocates by respecting the one she loves and who loves her. A ROOTED Marriage is an example of two people loved by God, rooted in God, made one by God through active covenantal, intentional, forgiving, and faith building love, creating something new, mutually lifegiving, and progressively more beautiful.
PART IV | FINAL WEDDING | Revelation 19:6-9
Rev 19:6-9 | 6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; 8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. 9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
Regardless of the state or our marriages WE can ALL look forward to the final wedding. Peter keeps point people to the final hope we have Jesus. The Bible begins AND ends with a wedding. The first marriage failed and sent sin and pain into all creation. The final wedding is a triumph with shock waves of glory and praise echoing into eternity. The groom is the perfect Lord Jesus. The Bride is His church made perfect by His sacrifice and the Holy Spirits sanctification. Everyone, single married, divorced, widowed, etc can have great hope in the blessing of the final wedding. When you’re in Christ you are not defined by the first marriage, your parents’ marriage, your own, but the Hope of the final Marriage when you simply Trust Jesus.
More in ROOTED: Living Scattered, Not Shattered | 1 Peter
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