You are currently browsing the daily archive for September 22, 2016.

Intro: Following along with the series of messages I am preaching through 1 Peter, as Peter writes to the dispersed and persecuted church in exile throughout Asia Minor, he encourages them by writing, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2:11-12). In chapter 2 verse 13 through chapter 3 verse 8 he gives us three specific ways that we are able to have “honorable conduct”, even while living in an environment that is hostile to God and the gospel. Those three ways all involve submission to authority in different realms of our daily interactions. We are to be (1) submissive citizens, (2) submissive servants, and (3) submissive spouses.

As we look at these three focal points for submission, I’ve titled this devotional series “Our Mission is Submission – 1 Peter 2:13-3:8.”

Today we will look at modesty:

(3) Submissive Spouses – 1 Peter 3:1-7
Chaste Conduct – vs. 2-3

Peter goes on to say, “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, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.” The conduct that gives evidence of the working of the gospel in the life of a wife is chaste conduct. The word chaste means to be pure, to be morally upright. It speaks of righteousness. Walking in holiness and Christ-likeness. Purity should be the rule, not the exception! A life and a home that models purity because of a right attitude toward God, an attitude of fear and reverence.

In Proverbs 31:30 in looking at the Biblical ideals for womanhood, we read that “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Outward beauty is deceitful – it can be faked. Beauty, especially based on the world’s standards, is passing and will fade. But inward character is what matters most.

Purity and modesty should flow from a desire to reflect the glory of God. Inward character and outward appearance should both work together to praise God and not be used for to exert affluence or gain attention, but to reflect the grace and goodness of God. Immodesty is revealing more of yourself in order to draw attention to yourself. Our goal is to point others to Christ not draw them to us.

Isaiah 3:18-24 says, “In that day (the day of judgment) the Lord will take away the finery: The jingling anklets, the scarves, and the crescents; 19 The pendants, the bracelets, and the veils; 20 The headdresses, the leg ornaments, and the headbands; The perfume boxes, the charms, 21 and the rings; The nose jewels, 22 the festal apparel, and the mantles; The outer garments, the purses, 23 and the mirrors; The fine linen, the turbans, and the robes. 24 And so it shall be: Instead of a sweet smell there will be a stench; Instead of a sash, a rope; Instead of well-set hair, baldness; Instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth; And branding instead of beauty.” All of these outward adornments can be taken away – they can be lost. And Peter has told us, “Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 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.”

So some will say it tells us that a submissive wife is to be chaste, and not to adorn herself by arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel. Hence some cults and denominations require wives to be make-up free, and to wear their hair in a simple fashion that is not seen as fashionable. Fine apparel refers to cloths that are worn to be noticed, not nice clothes, but still some say that their wives should not wear “nice” clothes but only simple and plain outfits. But these verses do not say not to adorn the outside – our bodies – but that we start with the adornment of godly character and holiness. We must value true beauty, not by worldly standards, but by God’s standards. And the way we live on the inside, in the inner man, that will work its way out in how we present ourselves on the outside.

Submission then is not seen in a mere outward action or choice of clothing. It starts inwardly as an attitude of service that works its way out in how we relate to those we are submitting to. In 1 Timothy 2:9-10, Paul writes, “in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” He is not arguing against being well put together on the outside but against trying to draw attention to yourself because of your supposed affluence, your desire to be noticed and appreciated. Trying to make yourself the object of envy and covetousness. No, godly women adorn themselves in modest apparel, they dress appropriately, with moderation, they dress in order to give evidence of their profession of faith in Christ and who do good works to back up their faith claims. It is not merely about the outer adornment, but the inner attitude and outward actions that give evidence of what we truly believe. By the way – if you are trying to draw attention to how modest you are, that is not being modest!

Tomorrow we will examine what it is to have a gentle spirit (meekness).

 

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