If any of you, like me, are trying to figure out what it means for wives to submit to their husband, I highly recommend this excellent sermon by Wayne Grudem on 1 Peter 3:1-6:
(I had trouble with the video, so I downloaded it from iTunes:
I listened to it twice. I loved it because: 1) it was practical; 2) it addressed common questions and misunderstandings about submission; 3) it tied the concept of submission to the Trinity and the glory of God!
Here is an outline of the sermon (my notes in parenthesis):
1. What if you are not a wife? (1 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. I think anyone would find this sermon to be helpful—husbands, wives, or unmarried folks--because it ultimately points to the glory of God)
2. Does this ancient text still apply today? (Yes! “There are some physical actions with symbolic meaning that change their application from culture to culture” i.e. kissing one another with a brotherly kiss, washing people’s feet, etc. Also, there are some things that were written in the Old Testament that pertained to the Jews and the Bible makes that clear. However, Biblical principles certainly pertain to us today! Some of the methods of application of these principles vary by culture because the significance of the physical actions vary by culture--ie meeting each other with a brotherly kiss means something different in our culture than it did back then, but the principle is hospitality and kindness. Today a brotherly kiss might look more like a hug or a warm handshake. The concept of submission is a principle, not an application).
I. What submission does NOT mean:
A. Your husband is smarter or wiser.
B. Your opinions don’t matter.
C. You should follow your husband into sin. (i.e. Esther who disobeyed her husband and king)
D. You are less valuable than your husband.
E. It’s OK for husbands to be selfish or cruel.
II. What submission DOES mean:
A. An inward gentleness of spirit that supports the leadership of your husband.
B. An imitation of both Sarah and Jesus.
C. An attitude that is precious in God’s sight.
III. The blessings that God promises
A. Salvation of some unbelieving husbands.
B. The joy of having inward beauty and peace.
C. The freedom from focusing on external beauty.
D. Knowing the favor of God on your life.
Other insights from this sermon:
Affirming someone else’s leadership is a natural part of life—we see this in the workplace all the time.
The barrier to submission is fear…not fearing comes from trusting in God, from a quiet confidence in God.
“Submission is an attitude that is precious in God’s sight. Do you hear the amazing promise of this verse? It says when you have a gentle and quiet spirit in your marriage—not contentions, not striving or shrill or harsh, not always fighting against your husband’s leadership, when you have a peace within that comes from walking with God and trusting in Him to protect you, God looks at your heart and takes great delight." GOD actually delights in our submission!!!
“Jesus is behind all submission to authority everywhere in the Bible because Jesus is not only fully man, He is also the Eternal Son of God who is equal to the Father in deity but eternally subject to God the Father in relationship.” 1 Cor 11:3 tells us that the head of Christ is God the Father.
“Submission and authority have existed eternally in the very being of God!...Wives, that means that when you submit to your husband’s authority, you are acting in imitation of God the Son and the glory of God the Son…it’s not demeaning, it’s not wrong… the glory of God the Son is that He submits eternally to His Father to whom He is equal in deity and value and every other way, except they are different in role.”
"You know what else this means? Wives if this is hard for you, you can talk to Jesus about it. Hebrews 4:15-16 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
Here are the sermon notes: http://www.scottsdalebible.com/docs/ppt/Inserts101908.pdf
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