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1 Peter 3





This chapter has too much to be covered on this one page.  But it is perhaps possible to summarize this chapter by saying it has much to do with the way we should live in relationship to those around us.

The chapter begins with some important teaching about marriage.  Peter addresses the wives first.  He speaks of the importance of submission to husbands even if that husband is not a believer.  In fact, he says that a wife’s respectful and pure life could be the very thing that could bring her husband to a saving knowledge of the truth. 

I know Scriptures that speak of a wife submitting to her husband are troublesome today.  But the Bible is clear that God has ordained an authority structure in the family and the husband is the head of that.  Although some men may take that as a positional privilege, I think it has much more to do with relational responsibility.  In fact, I am quite convinced that the husband will answer for how he led his family. 

Verse 3 is not a restriction against wives dressing nicely or making sure they look nice.  But it is a reminder that what is going on inside of us is more important than what we look like on the outside.  Wives are exhorted to have a gentle and quiet spirit.  The Bible says this attitude is of great value in God’s eyes.

As we make our way to verse 7, Peter addresses the husbands.  Husbands are to live with their wives in an understanding way.  In other words, husbands need to strive to understand their wives better and then to honor those differences.  Husbands are to be considerate of their wives and live with them in a way that proves the value of a Godly wife. 

Wives, this verse says, are weaker vessels.  That simply means that typically the man has greater physical strength than his wife.  But the fact that she may be physically weaker does not mean she is of less importance.  Indeed when it comes to the grace that God freely gives, the wife is an equal partner with her husband. 

Verse 7 ends with an interesting statement: “So that your prayers may not be hindered”.  The relationship between a husband and a wife has an impact on each of their relationships with God.  When men and women are living together according to Biblical principles that has a very positive impact on their spiritual vitality.  The reverse is true as well.  When husbands and wives are not doing well in their marriage that can have a negative impact on their spiritual vitality.  This is all the more reason for husbands and wives to live together as the Bible directs.

As you think about these exhortations to husbands and wives it is important to note that the Bible doesn’t say if the wife behaves in this particular way, the husband should do these things.  He is to live by these principles regardless of how his wife behaves.  By the same token, the wife’s submission, respect, and purity are not dependent upon the husband’s behavior.  She should live that way regardless of how he lives or behaves.

In verse 8, Peter casts a bigger net.  He moves from husbands and wives to the way that we should relate to all other Christ followers.  He begins with a short list of things that should characterize our relationships with others.  And then moves to a short list of things we should not do.  Peter knows that living the Christian life is not always a bed of roses.  Indeed there are multiple thorns attached to every rose.  In other words, we will encounter difficult people who will not treat us well.  But that does not give us liberty to mistreat them.  Our responsibility is to do the right thing regardless.  Verse 9 ends with a promise that if we choose to live in right relationship with those around us, there is a blessing that comes from that and through that. 

Posted by Joe Ligon with

1 Peter 2





We can rightfully divide this chapter into three sections.  The first section revolves around the analogy of a spiritual house.  The second section deals with a special people.  And the third section has to do with subjection to authority.

The spiritual house analogy is common in Scripture.  In verse 4, Jesus is referred to as the living stone that was rejected and then describes Christ followers as living stones.  As you read on, you will find Jesus is compared to the corner stone.  In ancient construction processes, the corner stone was the first stone put in place and everything about the house/structure was built off of and tied to that cornerstone.  In Ephesians 2, we also find that picture of Jesus being the cornerstone.  But in Ephesians 2 we find the apostles and prophets compared to the foundation.  And, once again, Christ followers are the stones.

This is a great picture of the Christian family.  We have our beginning in Jesus.  Our foundation is the Word of God that we received through the apostles and prophets.  Each of us is like a stone put in place to build up the structure.  And the Holy Spirit, of course, is like the mortar that holds everything together. 

Beginning in verse 9 we find the section on Christ followers being special people.  As Christ followers we have been set aside as a chosen race, not Jew nor Gentile, but Christian.  We are a royal priesthood which makes us kings and priests.  We are a holy nation which makes us unlike any other nation.  And we totally, completely, eternally belong to God.

There are a couple of marvelous truths that should come out of this.  First, God has made us who we are so that we can testify of the great and good things God has done (end of verse 9).  The second thing is that because of the great and good things God has done, we should live lives that are most different from those who don’t know God through Jesus (verses 11-12).  We should live in such a way that even when non-believers want to speak against us, our lives and our deeds cause them to know that God lives in us and is at work among us.

The third section is the subjection to authority that begins in verse 13.  First and foremost we are to willingly subject ourselves to God.  But we are also to submit ourselves to the government’s authority.  Government is an ordained institution from God and we have an obligation to be law abiding citizens.  There are limits to this, however.  As Peter himself said in Acts 4:19, when the rule of man contradicts the rule of God, we must always follow God.

Verse 17 gives us a great principle.  Honor everyone and love those in the family of God. 

Peter knows living the Christian life will never be easy.  As our world grows worse and darker, living the Christian life will get harder.  It would be easy to kick against that and rebel.  But Peter ends this chapter by reminding us of how Jesus responded to all that unrighteous, inhumane treatment he received.  As difficult, perhaps even impossible, as it is for us to follow that pattern, it is nevertheless an admirable and right thing to honor all – Christ follower or not – and love the family of God.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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