:) Finally had some time! Next week should be fun... we're heading into some messianic prophecies... :)

Happy studying!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Peter Chapter 3

vs. 1-2- Instructions for Wives

- We are coming from the end of chapter 2 where it's talking about the duties of slaves and how we should do good even if it means suffering because Christ suffered for us and He's our example to follow...

- Then Peter says “In the SAME way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands.” Does that mean we are to be slaves to our husbands?

- no... I think I'd mutiny... or just continue to avoid the institution... 0: )

- When Peter was talking about the duties of slaves, he said they were to accept the authority of their masters with all respect. To do what they tell them even if they are cruel. Because God is pleased with you when you do what you know is right and patiently endure unfair treatment.

- footnote- “When a man became a Christian, he usually would bring his whole family into the church with him. By contrast, a woman who became a Christian usually came into the church alone. Under Roman law, the husband and father had absolute authority over all members of his household, including his wife. Demanding her rights as a free woman in Christ could endanger her marriage if her husband disapproved. Peter reassured Christian women who were married to unbelievers that they did not need to preach to their husbands. Under the circumstances, their best approach would be one of godly behavior. They should show their husbands the kind of self-giving love that Christ showed the church. By being exemplary wives, they would please their husbands. At the very least, the mend might then allow them to continue practicing their faith. At best, their husbands would join them and become Christians, too.”

- Have you heard the line that “we are the only bible, some will ever read”? We are called to show Christ in such a way that people see a need for something different in their lives. When we live a life following the example of Christ (2:22-25), we show the world around us a living picture of how God loves them and the character of our God.

- As a wife, especially one with an unsaved husband, her goal is not to beat her husband over the head with the bible every second she gets... Her goal is to show a living example of the change god can work in a person. To be the example of a loving God, loving the husband right where he is. To be the living example of a God who cares about the details of life. To be the living example of a God who is not judgmental.

- I Corinthians 7:10-24

- Wives are supposed to accept the authority of their husbands in all matters. First of all because he is the head of the house. Secondly because he is (if a Christian) supposed to be the spiritual leader of the household. Thirdly, because your marriage relationship is a reflection of your marriage relationship with God. If you can't submit to your husband's authority and form a habit of denying his authority over you, your habit will also be to deny God's authority. (Same goes for a work relationship with your boss, or your relationship with your parents...) Submission does not happen overnight... it's a long process of learning... much like the learning of patience...

- However, your relationship with God comes first. If your husband is not a Christian, despite what he thinks you should or should not do, your duty to God comes first. You must remain faithful to God.

- I knew a lady once whose husband would lock her out of the house every night if she went to church... she was constantly having to climb in through a window or something... Not to mention so many who have endured verbal or physical abuse over the years from their spouses for remaining faithful to God...

- But even this past weekend... I see men who are strong Christians and who are great men of God... and to hear what they used to be? Gosh... One girl was talking about a guy and she said “you didn't know him before he got saved... he was a scary man...” And to think of this man as scary... is not easy... He's a big lovable teddy bear... who loves his wife and children dearly... But there's a lot of times that there's a past that's full of pain in a marriage that used to be an unequally yoked one...

- But Peter says that eventually they will be won over by observing the pure and reverent lives of their wives. Not because the wife tells them what they need to do all the time... it just says that they will OBSERVE their lives... which implies watching... not listening...

- Proverbs 16:7

vs. 3-6- Wives cont.

- Peter goes on to give some more basic instructions for wives.

- They are not to be concerned about “the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry , or beautiful clothes.”

- Isaiah 3:16-26
- I Timothy 2:9-10

- This bespeaks vanity.

- Okay first of all, God created us. This is who we are. Does it mean that we shouldn't comb our hair and always wear the most comfortable old rag that we own? No... but it does mean that our physical appearance shouldn't be something that concerns us enough that we're always worrying about it. This body gets old. What beauty we have fades away... So don't worry about things you can't change...

- Our TRUE beauty should come from the inside. It should come from a heart that is gentle and quiet. This is precious to God because it is the very picture of His Spirit. It means that we are trusting God and we are assured of our place with Him. If our spirit is quiet, it's not worried about anything... it's totally content and depending totally on the provision of God.

- Peter uses Sarah as an example of this. She trusted Abraham and called him master. She picked up and moved with him, she trusted when he said they would have a son. Yeah there was a moment or two of doubt in there... but in the end, she saw the promise completed. (at least that portion of it...) She did whatever he asked her to do.

- Hebrews 11:11-12

- We in turn should treat our husbands with the same respect. Trusting God, and trusting our husbands that they can be depended upon and letting both take control of our lives to a certain extent.

- And in trusting God with an unsaved husband, we need to do whatever is right without fear of what the husband may do.

- footnote- “... Christian submission never requires us to disobey God, remain in an unsafe situation, or participate in what our conscience forbids. One-sided submission requires tremendous strength. We could not do it without the power of the Holy Spirit working in us.”

- Proverbs 16:19
- Ephesians 5:21-24
- Colossians 3:18

vs. 7 Instructions for Husbands

- Husbands must give honor to their wives. They are to treat their wives with understanding as you live together...

- Ephesians 5:25-33
- Colossians 3:19

- I have to kind of laugh when I read through these instructions... I get this stereotypical picture of either a TV family from the 50's... like... Ricky and Lucy. Or the Bunker's in “All in the Family”.

- Lucy was always right there with Ricky. She did pretty much whatever he wanted her to do. Always dutiful and ready to serve... but he had to use much understanding with her... because she always messed something up somewhere along the line... most of the time in a most hilarious manner... Or because she was always spazzing out over nothing and he had no clue what it was about... I think most husbands can relate to those moments... lol

- Or the Bunker's... Archie treating Edith like a servant. Big gruff man with no manners to speak of and a horrible personality... And Edith not really sure what to do other than just do what he asked...

- I don't think either of these are the kind of picture we're supposed to get from Peter's explanations. We are to work as partners, side by side, equals...

- Ricky and Lucy were very much a picture of teamwork most of the time... just one that had some communication kinks to work out... : )

- Archie and Edith, were a picture of a demeaning overbearing man and a scared timid woman.

- In our marriage relationships we are to be more like business partners. Peter tells the husbands that, even though their wives may be weaker than they are, they are still equal partners in God's gift of new life and to treat her as you should so that the husband's prayers will not be hindered.

- footnote- “When Peter says that women may be “weaker” than men, he was not implying moral or intellectual inferiority, but was recognizing women's physical limitations. Women in his day, if unprotected by men, were vulnerable to attack, abuse, and financial disaster. Women's lives may be easier today, but women are still vulnerable to criminal attack and family abuse. And in spite of increased opportunities in the workplace, many women still earn less than men, and the vast majority of the nations' poor are single mothers and their children. A man who honors his wife as a member of the weaker sex will protect, respect, help, and stay with her. He will not expect her to work full-time outside the home and full-time at home; he will lighten her load wherever he can. He will be sensitive to her needs, and he will relate to her with courtesy, consideration, insight, and tact.”

- Basically what Peter is saying is that we are to treat one another in a marriage relationship with the utmost consideration and love. We are to be sensitive to one another's needs and to complement each other's strengths and weaknesses. We are to be one unit, working together, moving as one, and thinking as one... It is putting someone else above yourself at all times. It is thinking of another's needs above your own, at all times.

- Your spouse becomes an inseparable part of you.

- And when Peter says to treat the wife well so your prayers will not be hindered... he's making a general statement about our heart's condition and our prayer life. In Matthew 5:23-24 Jesus said “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come offer your sacrifice to God.”

- It doesn't say anything about you having a problem with someone else.... it says if THEY have a problem with YOU. And in the husband's case... this may mean that you don't know what the wife has against you... or why... or what you even possibly could have done to upset her...

- Regardless of who it is or what has happened... we are to keep our relationships with those around us solid. Letting separation simmer or fester just causes more problems... and if someone has something against us, it may mean that we did something out of line... in which case we not only need to go apologize for our actions to keep up the relationship... but we also need to protect our witness with the people around us... even our spouses and closest friends... Our living relationship with God depends on our right relationships with others.

vs. 8-9 Instructions for all Christians

- Unity is key. We should all be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted. Keep a humble attitude. Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Pay them back instead with a blessing.

- I Corinthians 12:12-31
- Romans 15:1-7
- Ephesians 4:2-10, 17-32
- Matthew 5:11-48, 6:1-27
- Colossians 4:2-6

- To feel sympathy means to be in agreement of feeling or to be in approving accord- to sympathize with a person's aims or goals or cause. ( This doesn't just mean to be sad when another is sad. (Although that's part of it...) As Christians, our cause should be to promote the gospel in any way possible. This goes back to unity. One body with many parts moving as ONE.

- To maintain unity and a Spirit of love, we should love each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. When you love someone, you do not intentionally hurt them. You do not cause them pain. Their interest is always at the center of your heart in your actions towards them. And when there is a problem... you want to fix it! And you work together to fix it.

- Be tenderhearted to each other. Be gentle in your conversation. Be ready to feel concern and to be understanding with each other.

- Stay humble. If we are humble, we are not so self-centered. As humans, we have a tendency to make life all about us. To make ourselves the center of the universe... however, if we keep a humble attitude, we can more willingly and more fully minister to others.

- Don't repay evil with evil. Turn the other cheek so to speak. If you are insulted, don't insult right back. It does no good to get into an argument of attacks. It hurts relationships, it hurts your witness, and it doesn't help your relationship with God...

- Romans 12:17-21
- I Thessalonians 5:12-22

- God's heart is not a heart of retaliation. How many times did Israel turn and spit in God's face? How many times did they vow their allegiance to Him and then turn to idol worship? God punishes... but He never retaliates. Instead... He sent His son to die for them. For the very people who had insulted Him, had hurt Him, had used Him badly... His heart is all about love... despite us...

- Our hearts should mirror the heart of God. If God's heart is a heart of love, so should ours be. If God's heart says turn to your captors, or your tormentors and love them to their faces... then so should our hearts wish to show them love...

- Ephesians 5:1-20
- I Corinthians 4:10-16

vs. 10-12- Instructions cont.

- Psalm 34:12-16 is used here to say that in order to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from lies. Which I think is pretty self explanatory. If you're not arguing or fighting or getting caught in lies... your life will certainly be more happy and more enjoyable...

- James 3:2-18

- Turn away from evil and do good. Again, our reflection of God's heart. God's heart is not evil. His heart towards us to do good. So should ours be to the rest of the world. We should search for peace and work to maintain it... this may mean that we will have to sacrifice some things in order to maintain this peace... like... pride.

- The eyes of God watch over those who do right and His ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns His face against those who do evil. So do right. Turn from evil things and do good. Show the world how good God is...

vs. 13-17 Do Good

- If you are eager to do good, who will want to harm you? If you are always ready to do some good work, or reach out a helping hand... who will want to cause you problems?

- But the human mind doesn't always see things the way they really are. We can't see the spiritual wars that rage outside us... and sometimes even our good works cause problems. People get mad because we're trying to help when they don't want it or don't think they need it... or even just being cheerful sometimes can rake on a nerve somewhere and bring down wrath on your head...

- So if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. Don't be afraid of their threats. Instead, worship Christ as Lord of your life.

- It's easy to say this when nothing bad is happening. “Oh if I was ever persecuted for my faith, I'd stand up to them. I'd tell them what I believe...” But when people are beating you up for your faith... whether verbally, or emotionally, or physically... it's a whole other story... It's hard to stand for something when everything seems to be against you. It's hard to swim against the current.

- It's hard when a friend whom you love dearly gets in your face to tell you that you're fake... or that the God you think you believe in is nothing but a myth... or that there's no point to the walk you're trying to follow because we all end the same anyway... Even if it doesn't hit right that second... if they keep at it constantly... even the strongest of faith's can begin to have questions... I've had friends that just made an occasional comment every so often... but sometimes... that one comment would slice right through to my heart and burn in me for months... Sometimes, they didn't even know that they did it... but gosh! How Satan can use those kinds of things to dig at us.

- Whether it be comments from people, or rulings from a government, or persecution from law enforcement.... the command is still the same. Stay faithful.

- If someone asks you about your faith, always be ready to explain it.

- Pastor last week was talking about our story. He said, each of us has a story about our walk and our salvation... and it is one thing among many that is one of our witnessing tools. The more connections you have with an unbeliever by way of making yourself as personable as possible will help them be more accepting of your witness and your friendship.

- Our story is an important part of why we believe what we do about God. Partly I think it defines who we COULD have been... To see the potential of where we could have ended up or who we could have become... and yet didn't...

- So if someone asks you about your faith, be ready to share. Be ready with your history. Be ready with where you came from. Be ready with the love of God that reached down to pick you up from the pit and change every part of you. Because that love... is still there. It didn't change. It's the same for you as it is for them. If they see it at work in your life, if they understand what God has done in your heart and in your life... I mean WOW.

- Sometimes our story isn't big. We weren't all former drug addicts and alcoholics who came to the knowledge of Christ at the last possible second before falling into the abyss of suicide... But we all had to come to the knowledge of Christ through coming to realize that we can't do it on our own. We had to come to the end of ourselves and realize that we NEEDED something outside ourselves to make it.

- Even if you grow up as a preacher's kid doing all the right things in all the right places in all the right ways... you still have to come to the place that YOU need God for YOU.

- This is not something that you get to get in people's faces and yell and scream and beat into their heads... (although sometimes I feel like that's necessary... lol) Peter says to explain your faith in a gentle and respectful way.

- A few weeks ago, my friend kind of got into it with my dad. He's mad at God... and he doesn't think that God, who is supposed to be loving, would allow some of the things that's happened in his life to happen. His mom's pretty sick, and she's Catholic... and he made the comment that “well her God just got her real far didn't He...” And for about 2 hours, around in circles they went about this stuff...

- But it comes down to this... my friend isn't ready yet... are seeds being planted? Yeah... Can we see progress? I can a little... he's a lot more open to conversation on the subject than he used to be... but his heart's still not ready... And if we go in guns blazing and try to force him to see our point of view... it's just going to push him away... I mean I push the issue... but not to the breaking point... I don't back down and I don't condone anything he does. If he asks an opinion, I give it. Because he's the kind of person that wants complete honesty. So there's no beating around the bush with him. “Do you think I'm gonna go to hell?” “Yeah” LOL I mean truth is truth... and he wants to know where I stand... He's searching for truth... and he's seen so many people speak truth... but not follow it... There's a lot of times if we're hanging out he'll try to make me compromise something that I've already made a stand against... Like cursing... he'll sit there and go... just say it... say one word... just say it... LOL Or try to get me to come do something with him on a Sunday morning... knowing I have church... and then give a guilt trip about not coming when he's free... I mean geesh... “One of these days I AM going to corrupt you in some way...” He's testing this thing out... which is fine... I just keep praying that God doesn't let my witness be hindered in his eyes in any way...

- but you know... he keeps coming back... : ) He hasn't stopped seeking the acquaintance, nor has he insisted on silence about God... To the contrary... the last few months... he initiates the conversations concerning things of God... In the end... all we can do is leave it in God's hands and hope and pray that SOMETHING sometime breaks through those walls he's built up...

- (Now just to clarify... not everybody can handle blunt honesty all the time... sometimes it has to be cushioned more than that... My friend just happens to respond better to blunt treatment... lol)

- Sometimes depending on personalities, we have to show nothing but love and compassion... if someone has been through a lot of horrible life experiences... sometimes it doesn't take much to show them God's love... and sometimes their heart's are already yearning so much for the love of something tangible that they grab on and hang on for dear life... Just depends on the person and where they're at...

- We have to keep our consciences clear. If we have done no wrong, when people speak out against us, then the shame will not come down on us, but rather on them when people see what kind of life we live.

- That sounds kind of self-righteous... but what Peter is saying is that accusations made against us, should be unfounded ones. Because it is better to suffer for doing right, now, than to suffer for doing wrong, later. (as in when our day of judgment comes...)

vs. 18-22 HOPE!

- Following is the salvation message. This is what every person we meet should know before they leave us. Everyone we come into contact with should be able to not only see this story in our walk with God, but to hear from our lips the story about how Christ did this for us AND for them. How He has provided the way and is just waiting on them to take His hand and let Him lead them to everlasting life...

- Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He didn't have to... He was sinless, but He came and died for sinners... you, me, everyone so that we could be brought safely home to God. He suffered a physical death. A horrible brutal physical death. Torment and suffering for US.

- BUT! He was raised to life in the Spirit! He lives again! He died and rose again of His own power!

- He went and preached to the spirits in prison (the holding place for souls until such a time that the plan was fulfilled in Christ... a type of purgatory if you will...) These were those who had disobeyed God during the time of Noah. Noah went and preached to these people for years... and they laughed at him. They mocked him.... and so only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood.

- The water God used to cleanse the earth from all these sinful people, is a picture of baptism. This is the symbolic showing of the cleansing that happens when we are washed in the blood of Christ. Not from physical dirt.... but it washes our consciences. Our minds and spirits are washed as white as snow by the blood of Christ. It is effective in its cleansing because Christ put it into effect when He was resurrected from the dead.

- And where is Christ now? He is in heaven, seated at the right hand of God. He has authority over all the angels and authorities and powers... they all accept His authority...

- Can you say AMEN!?

- Christ fulfilled the plan! There's HOPE! There's an escape! There's a Love that is greater than we can ever comprehend.

- How can you stay quiet? If we don't proclaim the message, it says the very rocks will cry out. Nature itself will raise up and proclaim that Christ is Lord!

- Does your life proclaim the message of Christ? Do people around you see and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have been changed by an Almighty God?

- II Corinthians 2:14-17, 3:7-18, 4:1-18, 5:11-21
- Titus 2:11-15
- Hebrews 9:11-28, 10:1-39
- Romans 8:38-39

No comments:

Post a Comment