THEREFORE #3: BE LIKE CHRIST !” – Part 3b

“THEREFORE #3: BE LIKE CHRIST !” (1 Pet. 4:1)
1-2 Peter Series Message #4, Part 3b
FBC Earlville 2-22-15 10:30 AM Rev. J.B. Stopford, Pastor

INTRODUCTION Today’s Special: “A Wedding Funny”
During the wedding rehearsal, the groom approached the pastor with an unusual offer: “Look, I’ll give you $100 if you’ll change the wedding vows. When you get to the part where I’m supposed to promise to ‘love, honor and obey’ and ‘be faithful to her forever,’ I’d appreciate it if you‚d just leave that out.” He passed the minister a $100 bill and walked away satisfied.
On the day of the wedding, when it came time for the groom’s vows, the pastor looked the young man in the eye and said: “Will you promise to prostrate yourself before her, obey her every command and wish, serve her breakfast in bed every morning of your life, and swear eternally before God and your lovely wife that you will not ever even look at another woman, as long as you both shall live?”
The groom gulped and looked around, and said in a tiny voice, “Yes.” Then he leaned toward the pastor and hissed, “I thought we had a deal.”
The pastor put the $100 bill back into the groom’s hand and whispered, “She made me a better offer.”

Illus.: 2 recent articles concerning “anything goes” being “normal” Both refer to marriage deterioration in the USA. I encourage you to check out Cal Thomas’ commentaries for Feb. 13, 2015 – “What’s Perverted Today?” – and his commentary for Feb. 10, 2015 – “The End Is Near”. [they can be found at “calthomas.com” under the heading, “transcripts”].
* Don’t be confused: the gospel reaches all hearts, even those who have been broken by failed marriages – either their parents’ or their own.
* I’ve officiated almost 200 marriages in the past 29 years, and almost 10 of them reached 25 years of marriage. I’d like to say that all will. Many have already failed. even among those who called themselves “Christian.”
* In today’s passages, Peter addresses why being like Christ can make a difference even in the most intimate area of life – the home. PRAYER

# 1 God’s design for marriage – we looked at these last Sunday
a. Genesis 1-2 (quoted by the Lord Jesus – man leaving his parents and becoming one with a woman; what God has joined together, let no man put asunder.
b. Proverbs 31 (guideline of a godly wife and mother; even these classic words: “he praises her: “Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.”
c. Ephesians 5:20-33 (first surrender to the Lord, and then to each other, before learning what each other’s roles are). This passage provides a good guideline for prayer. Pray concerning the role of your spouse: that the husband and wife will both be surrendered to the Lord, that the husband will love the wife as the Lord Jesus loved the church, and that the bride will love the husband as the church loves the Savior!
d. 1 Peter 2:21-25 (the humbling of the Savior is not only the blueprint for life, it is the blueprint for marriage) see 1 Peter 3:1, 7 “in the same way” refers back to the surrender of the Savior to the Father’s will. So true Biblical marriage is a humbling both to the Lord and to each other.

# 2 God’s delight for marriage (1 Peter 3:1-7)
a. Marriage is a mission (vs. 1-6) Key thots:
(1) The “submitted” wife is the one who is first “submitted”, or better, surrendered to the cross. She is humbled that she belongs to the King. And since she surrenders to the King of kings, it is natural for her to surrender her heart to the man the Lord has placed in her life.
Illus.: what IF the woman is a 6’7” Amazon woman, and the man is a Wally Cox type like me? Is she still to be surrendered? Note that the Bible does not say she is “weak” physically. There will be areas in her life where she is much better than her spouse. But he is the one who God has placed in the position of responsibility for the marriage. He is the one accountable before the Lord, NOT her.
(2) The “meek” wife. Her mission – should she decide to accept it! – is to win her husband to Christ, not by her words but by her “meek” character (v. 4). Jesus and Moses were “meek”. “Meekness” is not weakness nor passiveness nor timidity. But it is “power under control”. Illus.: The Lord Jesus had the power to destroy Rome, and those who were rejecting Him at the time of the cross; but He didn’t exercise that power and remained on the cross to die for the unlovely. Illus.: Barry and Miriam (Canada) – Miriam would really get her husband upset when she would put her hair in braids. He felt that was a violation of Scripture. But the intent here is not OUTWARD but INWARD. And an INWARD holy character can be cultivated daily in a daily walk with the Lord.
(3) An helped wife (vs. 5-6) – Note the example from the past. Holy women of old were surrendered to the Lord and to their spouses. Sarah called Abraham “lord”. Expanded Bible: “master, lord”. The Message: “my dear husband”. Amplified Bible: “master, leader, authority”. Thus it wasn’t a military term, but a term of intimacy, the security Sarah had with Abraham. Do you have that with your spouse, with your God?

b. Marriage is a ministry (v. 7)
(1) The same ministry. The relation of the husband to his wife is to be the same as the Lord Jesus displayed in 1 Peter 2 – one of surrender and sacrifice. The husband is not the head of his castle; rather he is a servant of the King of kings representing the Lord Jesus within the intimacy of the marriage.
(2) “The weaker partner”. WHAT does that mean? The Expanded Bible gives an insight: in Greco-Roman and Jewish society (of Peter’s day), the woman had less power and authority. They were thus the weaker vessel. BUT IN CHRIST she is elevated to being EQUAL heirs of the gracious gift of life!
(3) The prayer life. The fruit of a husband’s surrender to his Savior and his oneness with his wife will be an intimate daily walk with the Lord – as evidenced in an active and effective prayer life.

CONCLUSION
What is true love? Dr. Jim Gibson of Andersonville Theological Seminary defines it this way: “true love in the Bible is always an active thing – it is never a feeling or simply an emotion. It is always a commitment, demonstrated in action.”
The Lord Jesus demonstrated true love when He was surrendered to His Father and went to the cross.
The bride and groom demonstrate true love when they are first surrendered to the Lord Jesus as Savior. And then they are surrendered to each other! And then? The husband loves his wife as the Savior loves the church and gave Himself for her. And the wife loves her husband as the church loves the Savior.
SURRENDER is the word for the day!
Have you surrendered to the greatest surrender ever known in history, the surrender of the Lord Jesus to the cross?
Have you surrendered your marriage to the Savior?
PRAYER

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