Summary: Peter gives both believing wives and husbands some to-the-point instructions in order that Jesus might be glorified, even if they are persecuted wrongly for trusting in our Savior. Let us take these instructions to heart!

Basic Outline:

I. Peter's Discussion about Believing Wives' Conduct (1-4)

II. Peter's Appeal to Daughters of Sarah (5-6)

III. Peter's Direct (and Sobering) Warning to Believing Husbands (7)


Text: 1 Peter 3:1-7

1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,

2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.

3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward -- arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel --

4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands,

6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Paul's advice to husbands and wives: Ephesians 5:22-33

Peter's advice to husbands and wives: 1 Peter 3:1-7

Paul's main idea:

Man is the head of the wife: Picture of Christ as the head of the Church (His bride)

Men: Sacrificial love

Women: Respectful submission

Peter's main idea:

The woman needs to honor and respect her husband, him being responsible over both

Men: Treat her well and gently

Women: Submission with a gentle conduct and pure heart

Peter's section is couched in more of a behavioral section. He is concerned that Christians are going to hold the name of Jesus high, despite how they will be treated. Part of this relates to lifestyle -- how we live. But as we will see in this text, both come to the same main conclusions, as well as focus on the same motivations in living for Jesus. Before we go further, let's open in prayer.

Opening Prayer

I. Peter's Discussion about Believing Wives' Conduct (1-4)


- There are a bunch of 'even if' ideas, and two direct clauses as such in the middle of this book:

Even if…your husband does not obey the Word... (3:1)

Even if…you should suffer for righteousness' sake… (3:14)

Same idea throughout: Live your life in a pure manner. Our focus needs to be on God -- we need to seek to please Him in all things and give no excuse for ill repute.

Key idea: The importance of a good testimony. We shine Jesus' glory through a clean testimony. It should not be a matter of legalism, where we rejoice in our own self-righteousness, but when we are right before God, we can rejoice in His preservation of us through every temptation and be an example to those who may come to know Jesus.

Stumbling block: I'm sure you can name tons of pastors and so-called representatives of the faith who have fallen into treacherous public sin. How many times have you talked to someone outside of belief who has cited one of these men as their excuse not to believe in Jesus? In many street evangelism trips and emails, I've seen this as a huge barrier to get over even from the get-go. Those who have tarnished public records are often used by the enemy to turn others away from hope in Jesus. It's very unfortunate, but our duty is to keep a clean testimony, where despite our errors which WILL take place, others can see that we're striving more and more to be like Christ.

Basic points from Peter to wives:

Wives -- be submissive

By your conduct, win them over

This has been the whole argument of Peter in this conduct section -- live lives that are pleasing to God. If you are persecuted, then you will be blessed since you have been blameless before God.

Jesus did say -- blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake --

Matthew 5:11-12

11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

12 "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Think of Stephen in Acts. He was stoned to death as he told them how everything in the Hebrew Bible pointed to Jesus, the Messiah, and how the people were guilty of crucifying Him. As the text states:

Acts 6:15 - And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel.

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