A Particular View of Submission

Bible Book: 1 Peter  3 : 1-12
Subject: Submission

We have already seen that in 1 Peter chapter 1, there is “A Message Concerning The Believer’s Salvation.” In chapter 2 and the first half of chapter 3, there is “A Message Concerning The Believer’s Submission.”

In chapter 2, Peter is dealing with the idea of submission in a practical way.

Now we come to the first part of chapter 3 where Peter is dealing with submission in a particular way.

I. He Gives Some Marital Guidelines

(1 Peter 3:1-7)

A. Notice The Wife’s Heart (vs. 1-4)

1. We See The Witness Of Her Subjection

(1 Peter 3:1-2) Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; {2} While they behold your chaste (innocent, modest, clean, pure) conversation (behavior) coupled with fear (reverence). So this is righteousness with reverence.

subjection – Greek 5293. hupotasso, hoop-ot-as'-so; from G5259 and G5021; to subordinate; reflex. to obey:--be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto.

[Likewise] homoioos. The English Revised Version (1885), “in like manner;” better, because likewise in popular speech has, wrongly, the sense of “also.” Peter means in like manner with servants (1 Peter 2:18). (From Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament)

Warren Wiersbe said…
The fact that a man and a woman are both saved is no guarantee that their marriage will succeed. Marriage is something that we have to work at; success is not automatic. And when one marriage partner is not a Christian, that can make matters even more difficult. Peter addressed this section of his letter to Christian wives who had unsaved husbands, telling them how to win their mates to Christ. Then he added some important admonitions for Christian husbands.

Wiersbe said that “submission is an obligation” and…
Submission is an opportunity (vv. 1-2). An opportunity for what? To win an unsaved husband to Christ. God not only commands submission, but He uses it as a powerful spiritual influence in a home.

2. We See The Way Of Her Spirit

(1 Peter 3:3-4) Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; {4} But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price (precious, of great value).

adorning – Greek 2889. kosmos, kos'-mos; prob. from the base of G2865; orderly arrangement, i.e. decoration; by impl. the world (in a wide or narrow sense, includ. its inhab., lit. or fig. [mor.]):-- adorning, world.

meek – Greek 4239. praus, prah-ooce'; appar. a prim. word; mild, i.e. (by impl.) humble:--meek.

quiet – Greek 2272. hesuchios, hay-soo'-khee-os; a prol. form of a comp. prob. of a der. of the base of G1476 and perh. G2192; prop. keeping one's seat (sedentary), i.e. (by impl.) still (undisturbed, undisturbing):--peaceable, quiet.

spirit – Greek 4151. pneuma; a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by anal. or fig. a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by impl.) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy Spirit:--ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind.

B. Notice The Wife’s History

(vs. 5-6)

1.    Peter Mentions The Example From Ancient History
(1 Peter 3:5) For after this manner (in this way) in the old time (aforetime, in time past) the holy  women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

holy – Greek 40. hagios, hag'-ee-os; from hagos (an awful thing) [comp. G53, H2282]; sacred (physically pure, morally blameless or religious, cer. consecrated):--(most) holy (one, thing), saint.

adorned – Greek 2885. kosmeo, kos-meh'-o; from G2889; to put in proper order, i.e. decorate (lit. or fig.); spec. to snuff (a wick):--adorn, garnish, trim.

2.    Peter Mentions The Example From Abraham’s Home
(1 Peter 3:6) Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

lord – Greek 2962. kurios, koo'-ree-os; from kuros (supremacy); supreme in authority, i.e. (as noun) controller; by implication Mr. (as a respectful title):--God, Lord, master, Sir.

Adam Clarke explains the phrase “not afraid with any amazement” by saying…
If ye do well, and act conscientiously your part as faithful wives, ye will at no time live under the distressing apprehension of being found out, or terrified at every appearance of the discovery of infidelities, or improper conduct. Being not guilty of these, you will not have occasion to fear detection.

C. Notice The Wife’s Husband

(vs. 7)

1.    His Responsibility In Marriage Is Connected To His Partner’s Limitations
(1 Peter 3:7) Likewise (in like manner, with the same character), ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
“Dwell with” (is an) an old verb for domestic association. “According to knowledge” (means) “with an intelligent recognition of the nature of the marriage relation.” (From Robertson’s Word Pictures in the NT)

honour – Greek 5092. time, tee-may'; from G5099; a value, i.e. money paid, or (concr. and collect.) valuables; by anal. esteem (espec. of the highest degree), or the dignity itself:--honour, precious, price, some.

“Vessel” has the idea of an implement or a utensil or a furnishing. And the word “weaker” suggests that which is more delicate. This can be illustrated in the fact that my desk is of solid and simple construction, but my wife’s desk has some intricate details, and it seems more fragile.

2.    His Responsibility In Marriage Is Connected To His Prayer Life
Vincent’s Word Studies In The New Testament says…
Hindered ?engkoptesthai?. The word means, literally, “to knock in; make an incision into;” and hence, generally, “to hinder or thwart.”

Barnes’ Notes says…
It is implied that there might be such a way of living as effectually to hinder prayer; that is, to prevent its being offered aright, and to prevent any answer. This might occur in many ways. If the husband treated the wife unkindly; if he did not show her proper respect and affection; if there were bickerings, and jealousies, and contentions between them, there could be no hope that acceptable prayer would be offered. A spirit of strife; irritability and unevenness of temper; harsh looks and unkind words; a disposition easily to take offence, and an unwillingness to forgive, all these prevent a “return of prayers.” Acceptable prayer never can be offered in the tempest of passion, and there can be no doubt that such prayer is often “hindered” by the inequalities of temper, and the bickerings and strifes      that exist in families.

II. He Gives Some Mutual Guidelines

(1 Peter 3:8-9)

A. He Indicates That We Should Have Fellowship
(vs. 8a)

(1 Peter 3:8) Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

1. There Is Mutual Cooperation
of one mind – Greek 3675. homophron, hom-of'-rone; from the base of G3674 and G5424; like- minded, i.e. harmonious:--of one mind.

Barnes’ Notes says of the phrase “be ye all of one mind”…
The word used here (?homofroon) does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It means, of the same mind; like-minded; and the object is to secure harmony in their views and feelings.

2. There Is Mutual Compassion

having compassion one of another – Greek 4835. sumpathes, soom-path-ace’; from G4841; having a fellow-feeling (“sympathetic”), i.e. (by impl.) mutually commiserative (sympathetic).
B. He Indicates That We Should Have Friendliness

(vs. 8b)

(1 Peter 3:8) Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

love as brethren – Greek 5361. philadelphos, fil-ad'-el-fos; from G5384 (philos – fondness) and G80 (delphos – a brother); fond of brethren, i.e. fraternal:--love as brethren.

1. You Exhibit The Affection Of A True Friend

pitiful – Greek 2155. eusplagchnos, yoo'-splangkh-nos; from G2095 (eu – good, well, well-done) and G4698 (splagchnon – from splen, the “spleen”; an intestine; pity or sympathy:--bowels, inward affection, tender mercy) ; well compassioned, i.e. sympathetic:--pitiful, tender-hearted.

2. You Embody The Attitude Of A True Friend

courteous – Greek 5391. philophron, fil-of'-rone; from G5384 (philos – a friend) and G5424 (phren – the mind or the cognitive faculties; sympathy); friendly of mind, i.e. kind:--courteous.

C. He Indicates That We Should Have Forgiveness

(vs. 9)

1. There Is A Difference In How Believers Respond To Negative Treatment

(1 Peter 3:9) Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

evil – Greek 2556. kakos, kak-os'; appar. a prim. word; worthless (intrinsically such; whereas G4190 prop. refers to effects), i.e. (subj.) depraved, or (obj.) injurious:--bad, evil, harm, ill, noisome, wicked.

railing – Greek 3059. loidoria, loy-dor-ee'-ah; from G3060; slander or vituperation (a violent outburst):--railing, reproach.

contrariwise – Greek 5121. tounantion, too-nan-tee'-on; contr. for the neut. of G3588 and G1726; on the contrary.

blessing – Greek 2129. eulogia, yoo-log-ee’-ah; from the same as G2127; fine speaking, i.e. elegance of language; commendation (“eulogy”), i.e. (reverentially) adoration; religiously, benediction; by impl. consecration; by extens. benefit or largess:--blessing (a matter of) bounty (X - tifully), fair speech.

Cf. (1 Peter 2:23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

Wiersbe said…
This admonition must have meant much to Peter himself, because he once tried to fight Christ’s enemies with a sword (Luke 22:47-53).

2. There Is A Discernment In How Believers Respond To Negative Treatment
(1 Peter 3:9) Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

Wiersbe said…
We must always be reminded of our calling as Christians, for this will help us love our enemies and do them good when they treat us badly. We are called to “inherit a blessing.” The persecutions we experience on earth today only add to our blessed inheritance of glory in heaven someday (Matthew 5:10-12). But we also inherit a blessing today when we treat our enemies with love and mercy. By sharing a blessing with them, we receive a blessing ourselves! Persecution can be a time of spiritual enrichment for a believer. The saints and martyrs in church history all bear witness to this fact.

III. He Gives Some Moral Guidelines

(1 Peter 3:10-12)

In this section, Peter is quoting from Psalm 34:12-16…

(Psalms 34:12-16) What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
{13} Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. {14} Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. {15} The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. {16} The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

A. The Christian’s Life Involves Guiltless Words

(vs. 10)

(1 Peter 3:10) For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

1. The Believer Should Not Say Depraved Things
refrain – Greek 3973. pauo, pow’-o; a prim. verb. (“pause”); to stop (trans. or intrans.), i.e. restrain, quit, desist, come to an end:--cease, leave, refrain.

evil – Greek 2556. kakos, kak-os'; appar. a prim. word; worthless (intrinsically such; whereas G4190 prop. refers to effects), i.e. (subj.) depraved, or (obj.) injurious:--bad, evil, harm, ill, noisome, wicked.

Cf. (Psalms 139:4) For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

A woman came forward at the end of a service saying that she wanted to put her tongue on the altar, and the pastor told her to put as much on there as would fit and let the rest hang of the end.

I remember hearing a church song leader use a curse word, and it reflected badly on him and on the church where he was a member.

The dean of our Bible College said that he didn’t use foul language, but the way he felt sometimes
… if someone would write a cuss word on a piece of paper, he would sign his name to it.

2. The Believer Should Not Say Deceitful Things
guile – Greek 1388. dolos, dol’-os; from an obs. prim. dello (prob. mean. to decoy; comp. G1185); a trick (bait), i.e. (fig.) wile (means deception – like “Wile E. Coyote”). It is also translated as “craft, deceit, guile, subtilty.”

B. The Christian’s Life Involves Good Works

(vs. 11)

(1 Peter 3:11) Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

1. He Declines A Wicked Path – “Eschew”
 eschew – Greek 1578. ekklino, ek-klee'-no; from G1537 and G2827; to deviate, i.e. (absol.) to shun (lit. or fig.), or (rel.) to decline (from piety):--avoid, go out of the way.

evil (same as the word in verse 9) – Greek 2556. kakos, kak-os'; appar. a prim. word; worthless (intrinsically such; whereas G4190 prop. refers to effects), i.e. (subj.) depraved, or (obj.) injurious:-- bad, evil, harm, ill, noisome, wicked.

good – Greek 18. agathos, ag-ath-os’; a prim. word; “good” (in any sense, often as noun):--benefit, good (-s, things), well.

2. He Desires A Worthy Path – “Ensue”
seek – Greek 2212. zeteo, dzay-teh'-o; of uncert. affin.; to seek (lit. or fig.); spec. (by Heb.) to worship (God), or (in a bad sense) to plot (against life):--be (go) about, desire, endeavour, enquire (for), require, (X will) seek (after, for, means).

peace – Greek 1515. eirene, i-ray'-nay; prob. from a prim. verb eiro (to join); peace (lit. or fig.); by impl. prosperity:--one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again. This is a path of peace, quietness, and reconciliation.

ensue – Greek 1377. dioko, dee-o'-ko; a prol. (and caus.) form of a prim. verb dio (to flee; comp. the base of G1169 and G1249); to pursue (lit. or fig.); by impl. to persecute:--ensue, follow (after), given to, (suffer) persecute (-ion), press toward.

C. The Christian’s Life Involves God’s Watching (vs. 12)

(1 Peter 3:12) For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

1. Notice God’s Favorable Look
eyes – Greek 3788. ophthalmos, of-thal-mos'; from G3700; the eye (lit. or fig.); by impl. vision; fig. envy (from the jealous side-glance):--eye, sight.

righteous – Greek 1342. dikaios, dik'-ah-yos; from G1349; equitable (in character or act); by impl. innocent, holy (absol. or rel.):--just, meet, right (-eous). The word speaks of those who have been justified and saved.

John Calvin said, “It ought to be a consolation to us, sufficient to mitigate all evils, that we are looked upon by the Lord, so that he will bring us help in due time.”

2. Notice God’s Frowning Look
The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary says…
The Lord’s eyes imply favourable regard; His face upon (not “against”) them that do evil, implies that He narrowly observes, so as not to let them really hurt His people

Albert Barnes said…
The Lord sets his face against them: an expression denoting disapprobation, and a determination to punish them. His face is not mild and benignant toward them, as it is toward the righteous.

evil (same as the word in verse 9,10, and 11) – Greek 2556. kakos, kak-os'; appar. a prim. word; worthless (intrinsically such; whereas G4190 prop. refers to effects), i.e. (subj.) depraved, or (obj.) injurious:--bad, evil, harm, ill, noisome, wicked.

Learning to color as a child involves staying within the lines (the guidelines), and when you finally learn to do that, the picture turns out much better.

Similarly, when we learn to stay within God’s guidelines as believers, our lives portray a much better and clearer image of Christianity.
So let’s follow God’s particular guidelines for our lives