I Peter 3

I Peter 3: Lost in Space

Peter continues in his instructions as how we are to live as Christians in this third chapter where he begins his instructions regarding submission on the part of  a wife in a marriage to an unbeliever.  He starts out : “ Wives , in the same way,…”  which is referring to his instructions to Christians  and their relationship to the government and the law in I Peter 2 and to slaves and their masters which we could equate to employees to their employers.  Our relationship to the law is we are to obey it. The exception is noted in Acts 4: 19 , where Peter himself responds to the Sanhedrin’s command to not speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.  Peter replies: “ Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

Here Peter addresses an issue of a wife who is a believer and the husband is not. Now Scripture is clear about not being unequally yoked, yet we do know this happens. ( It could be the wife is converted after they married or she simply fell in love and rationalized this act of disobedience.)

So Peter is addressing the issue where a wife may find herself married to an unbeliever for whatever reason, just as we may find ourselves being called to submit to a government that is becoming more opposed to the Word of God or working for a harsh, ungodly employer.  Submission is the act of yielding to the will or authority of another person or entity. Submission is a voluntary act on the part of the person submitting.  What Peter was stressing was that our words and actions and how we live our lives should glorify God and be salt and light to those around us.

What I read here is Peter is saying the best way to win over that unbelieving husband is not by hitting him over the head with the Bible .  You are to preach a sermon with your life and behavior- your conduct, not just with words. The Lord Jesus said we are salt and light. Salt is used for flavoring and preserving and salt creates thirst. We are to be light and to let our light shine before men, that they might see your good works and praise your Father in heaven.

The husband is to love his wife as the Lord Jesus loved the church, Paul told us in Ephesians, and here Peter is telling husbands in the same  way treat your wives with respect, as the weaker vessel ( partner, NIV).  Is this a believer- unbeliever marriage?  Not sure, but Peter speaking to a Christian husband says –‘in the same way-‘, implies this could be the case. It is also stating when the husband is not treating his wife ( whether she be a believer or not) in this manner, his prayers can be hindered.  If the relationship between the husband and wife is not right-  prayers are going to be hindered.

How  to love life and see good days.

Now that is the title of a sermon I would want to hear, or a seminar I would want to attend.  So what do I do to love life and see good days? Here are the steps:

  1. Live in harmony with one another.
  2. Be sympathetic.
  3. Love as brothers.
  4. Be compassionate and humble.
  5. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.
  6. Keep his/her tongue from evil.
  7. Keep your lips from deceitful speech.
  8. Turn from evil and do good.
  9. Seek peace and pursue it.
  10. Resist temptation, forsaking sin and when you sin- confess your sin(s) immediately.

Now all of this, the way we are to live our lives and conduct ourselves in business, in relationships and the in community in which we live is for this purpose: It is our witness. We want someone to asks us based on their interaction and observation of how we live our lives to ask :  What is the reason for your hope?  It may not be said that way,it might be stated this way: How come you are always smiling or upbeat?  How do you deal with setbacks with such a positive attitude?  How are you able to do the things you do?  How come you never –bad-mouth the boss/management/ company?

Peter instructs us :  “ Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you the reason for your hope.” Then Peter gives us some guidelines how we are to do this: “ But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” ( I Peter 3: 15-16)

When Peter and John were brought before the Sanhedrin, their behavior, their conduct- in other words their lives had prompted these men of power and position to ask them?  ‘By what power or what name did you do this?’ ( They were asking about a healing miracle,and this teaching and preaching for they were aware of the thousands of people being converted.)

Listen to the observations and thoughts of these men of the Sanhedrin who were their enemies: “ When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized they were unschooled ordinary men, they were astonished  and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”   The world takes note when they see a people and a church with power that cannot be explained. Do you see the begrudging admiration they had for these men?

Listen to this description of a service and of their individual actions:  “ After they prayed, the place was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God boldly. All believers were one in heart and mind.” ( Acts 4)

Their authority?  The Word of God.  They were leaning not to their own understanding but trusting the Lord with all their heart and He was directing their paths. Is not the Lord the same today as He was then?  Of course He is.

They were standing on His promises, longing for His Presence and looking for His coming. When they came together to worship the Lord and share the gospel they came expectedly, they came excited to see what the Lord was going to do next. Oh that we could say that today of our lives and our churches.

This is the pattern for the Church today. ( Also look at Acts 2:42-47)

*Prayer.  Charles Stanley says ‘ fight your battles on your knees and you will win every time.

*Being filled with the Spirit, which means we have to be empty of self. Peter has already told us God refines with fire.

*Preaching God’s Word with boldness.

*Unity- being of one mind and one heart.

*Giving- some gave all, all gave some.

* A church that has life is a growing church. A church of living stones experiences the supernatural power of God. This church is a unified, sharing church who worship and praise the true and living God.

*Proclaiming the Gospel, the truth that all have sinned . The truth that “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Just give me Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life- No man comes to the Father except by Him.

Here is the question you must answer:  Are you prepared to give the reason for the hope you have?

  1. We must know what we believe.
  2. We must know why we believe it.
  3. We must know how to share the what and why.

I have found people are willing to listen to someone who has something to say and knows how to say it.  Sadly, we have not disciplined ourselves and prepared ourselves to give a clearly, communicated message.

Our belief system governs our lifestyle and choices- it is the foundation from which we form our opinions and make decisions. As Christians we need to know what we believe and why.

Know this up front, the truth will set you free- but the truth divides, doesn’t it?  And we are being pressured to conform and accept as good what the Bible calls evil and a sin.  The enemy wants to unite in error in a lie.  And he will intimidate you if he can into compromising.

When a society allows godless ideas and philosophies to form its belief system, that belief system will ultimately penetrate that culture and that country where it has taken hold. Once it becomes the foundation  upon which this society rests it will eventually crumble and fall.  That is the outcome of sin.  It takes an individual or a society further than it wants to go, keeps them longer than they want to stay and cost them more than they want to pay.

Now know this when you say you believe something because the Bible says it is the truth. The person you are talking to may say –  ‘ well that is fine for you- but your truth is not my truth. ‘ You can then ask that person what they base  their truth on, what shapes their philosophy of life.  You will be surprised at what they base their beliefs upon.

And remember- the reason you believe what you believe, is because you have experienced what it has done and is doing in your life.  I tell people- one verse in the Bible kept me from taking a drink of alcohol.  A battle I had fought for 13 years and never won. One verse of Scripture- one truth I believed- set me free from what had kept me captive for 13 years. No one can argue against that with me.

Also remember this is in response to the person who has observed your behavior and how you respond to situations and has asked you what is the reason for your hope. We are to live our lives in such a way that people are  drawn to the light in our lives that is not dimmed  when troubling circumstances come upon us nor is it obscured by sin . This means people notice something about you is different.

When I began to get sober, I had several of my old drinking buddies who asked me how I had quit drinking- how I had gotten sober.  They were asking me the reason for my hope. And I had a ready answer- as you might also.

Here are some absolute truths we believe that should be a foundational part of your belief system.

  1. The Bible is the Word of God. It is His unfolding revelation of Himself. It is ‘God-breathed which means inspired by God. We believe it is absolute truth, infallible and inerrant. Through the centuries every discovery made of forgotten scrolls, every uncovering of archaeological findings have confirmed the accuracy and reliability of the Word of God.
  2. The Godhead- the Trinity.  We believe the Lord Our God is one God who consists of and reveals Himself in three distinct persons: God the Father; God the Son  and God the Holy Spirit. They are characterized by the same attributes- eternal, uncreated, all powerful, all knowing, omnipresent and unchanging. One God in three persons with equal powers but different functions.
  3. Satan, aka Lucifer. This is a created angel, Lucifer who desired to be like God and rebelled against his Creator and was cast out of heaven with 1/3rd of the angels who chose to follow him. He has set up a counterfeit kingdom and is called even by Jesus as the ‘ prince of this world.’ His desire is to keep unbelievers away from the saving grace of Jesus Christ. And deceive the saved to living powerless, sinful, compromised lives. Let me assure you, satan is defeated.(Although he continues to wage the battle.) I have read his obituary in Revelation 20.
  4. Man. God created man in His own image. Mankind was created by God in order to love him and have fellowship with Him, their creator. In fact the chief end of man is glorify God and enjoy Him forever. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden, man’s relationship with a Holy God was changed. From that moment all who were born into this world are born with sinful natures and separated from God.
  5. Salvation. God created the plan of salvation which is simply defined as – the gift of God’s grace, whereby He forgives us our sins. Our sin debt was paid in full at Calvary by God the Son who died in our place, our substitute.
  6. The Church.  The church is the body of Christ. This consists of believers all through the ages from all over the world.

If you want to know God’s will for your life,you will find it in His Word. Before we were saved,we could not understand spiritual truths. God was broadcasting on an FM frequency and we had no receiver for that frequency.  When we got saved, we became indwelt by the Holy Spirit and we could understand spiritual truths.  However, when we sin as Christians, it creates interference, static, that makes it difficult to hear God. You are hearing voices from that old radio station, your flesh.

Tune in.  Turn On. Drop out.

Tune in to God’s Word. Turn on the power of the Holy Spirit. Drop out of that old station you used to listen to- WSIN.

When you tune in God will speak truth to your heart. “Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “ This is the way, walk in it.{ Isaiah 30:21}

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”  ( John 10 – Jesus speaking)

Have you strayed from your shepherd?  WE all do at some time or other.  When you realize you have strayed- when you look up from that which has captured your attention, here is what you must do:  “ Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.” Don’t let too much distance get between you and the Lord.   Seeking forgiveness when you have sinned- should be your priority.  Seek it with expectancy- seek and you shall find. “ Let Him turn to the Lord and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.” Isaiah 55.

Does it not seem to you in the 21st century mankind has lost his way?  If one does not know where he came from and where he is going to- then one road seems as good as another. Let’s follow the crowd they say, the broad way-  a way that seems right to man, it is fashionable and in style- but ends in destruction.

Jesus told his disciples and us on the night of his arrest:  “I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Aren’t we glad Thomas asked this question : “ Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered:  “ I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. “ ( John 14)

By the 21st century man has been to the moon and back, and explored the depths of the oceans and the heights of the heavens.  But man has lost his way- when he does not know where he has come from and where is going. However, unlike Thomas, they are too proud to admit – they don’t know the way.

We are 7 billion people sitting on a planet called earth, God hung in space.

And for the most part we are a planet of people – LOST IN SPACE.

Copyright © 2010 Linda Benthal
Last modified: 08/12/14