PHBC February 22, March 1, 1998
Series: First Peter, Ser. #42
LIKEWISE YE HUSBANDS
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 5:21-33
TEXT: 1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, 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.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.
Ephesians 5:28-29 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.
INTRO: The more society accepts the theory of evolution, the less importance they attach to the institution of marriage. The people who are convinced that men and women are creations of God and that God established the institution of marriage, the more importance they place on marriage. While this is not going to be a message on the general theme of marriage, I felt it important to mention these things in the light of the fact that more marriages are probably destroyed by the actions of men than by the actions of men.
If a man recognizes that his marriage is an institution of Godís ordinance, and that God has blessed him in giving him a wife, he is more likely to be careful to maintain a right attitude toward marriage and toward his wife.
I. THE ORIGINAL ORDER FOR THE HUSBAND IS ORDAINED BY GOD
A. God gave the man a wife out of his own concern for us. Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
B. God made woman as a help for man. Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
1. The word that is translated help in this verse certainly does not suggest that the woman is to be a doormat for her husband.
2. The word comes from a Hebrew word EZER which in turn came from the word AWZAR; these words have the meaning of help, to help, to succor, to surround and protect or aid.
3. The word meet is supplied by the translators because the word EZER has in it the idea of a helper who is a counterpart, a mate, one who complements, rounds out, and completes her husband, who draws out his best side and helps him to reach his greatest potential by her presence and action.
4. The truth is, brethren, we need our wives as much or more than they need us for we are not complete without them; this is one reason a woman who is widowed and financially secure is less likely to remarry than a man.
C. The woman was taken out of man and he must cleave to his wife to be complete. Genesis 2:20-24 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. 21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
1. The Hebrew word translated rib is translated variouslyóside 19 times, chamber 11 times, boards 2 times, corners 2 times, rib 2 times, another 1 time, beams 1 time, halting 1 time, leaves 1 time, planks 1 time; 41.
2. As used here it does not necessarily mean that God literally cut out one of Adamís ribs and made woman out of that rib but it does mean that he took some part of Adam, something out of his side, and from that he made woman.
3. The point made in Godís word is that the woman was made from the man and the man who does not love his wife and honor her does not love himself nor honor himself. Ephesians 5:28-31 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
4. Jesus used this original order in his discussion on marriage and divorce. Matthew 19:3-9 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
5. The permanence of the original order for marriage, the husband cleaving to his wife and holding her in proper honor, is evident from the fact that the first marriage survived the fall of man.
a. Adam could have put Eve away because of her sin and disobedience; she was not surrounding and protecting him as she was created to do.
b. Instead, Adam willingly cast his lot with her by also eating of the forbidden fruit, placing her even above his obedience to Godís command and the welfare of the race.
(1) Adam was wrong to disobey God.
(2) Adam was right in so deeply loving his wife that he was willing to do what he did.
6. Paul refers back to this original order in a letter to Timothy. 1 Timothy 2:13-14 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
7. Husbands, it is evident that our commitment to our marriage and to our wife should only rank second to our commitment to God.
a. Our wife should come before our father and mother. Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Mark 10:7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife. Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
II. HUSBANDS TO DWELL WITH THEIR WIVES ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGE
A. At the time that Peter was writing this men would put away their wives for trivial reasons as is reflected in the question of the Pharisees reflects. Matthew 19:3-6 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
1. Jesus reminded them that this was not so from the beginning but that the original order was for a man to dwell with his wife in a permanent marriage arrangement for as long as both were alive. 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
2. When men divorced their wives they were putting asunder that which God had joined together.6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
B. Paul also teaches the permanence of the marriage relationship and for even Christian husbands to not put away their unsaved wives though he does allow for divorce if the unbeliever departs from the marriage. 1 Corinthians 7:10-15 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. 12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
C. The husband is to dwell with his wife according to knowledge.
1. Peter uses knowledge elsewhere in his writing and that will give us the key to what he means here.
a. He uses it several times in the first chapter of his second epistle. 2 Peter 1:3-6 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness.
b. Again in the third chapter of that second epistle he uses the word knowledge. 2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
c. Every time the word ďknowledgeĒ is used in the New Testament in a good sense, or in reference to the knowledge of Christians it has to do with the knowledge of God, of his word, and/or of his Son, i.e., spiritual knowledge.
(1) It is used of the knowledge of salvation. Luke 1:77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins.
(2) It is used of the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
(3) It is used of the knowledge of the correct way to come to God. Romans 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
(4) It has to do with the depth of the knowledge of God. Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 1 Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
(5) It has to do with the knowledge of spiritual things. Romans 15:14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. 1 Corinthians 1:5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge.
(6) It refers to the spiritual gift of knowledge. 1 Corinthians 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit.
(7) It refers to the knowledge of the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
(8) It is knowledge in the mystery of Christ. Ephesians 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ.
(9) It refers to the knowledge of the Son of God. John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
(10) It refers to the knowledge of Godís will. Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
(11) It refers to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
2. It is evident that Peter has in mind here a knowledge of the word and will of God for marriage.
D. Peter is admonishing husbands to not let the ease with which they could obtain a divorce cause them to divorce their wives as was common but to dwell with them according to the knowledge they had of the will of God in this matter.
1. Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
2. Matthew 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
E. Paul uses Christís everlasting love for his church as an example of the love the husband should have for his wife. Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. Ephesians 5:28-33 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
F. We should live with our wives in the knowledge that we are to subordinate our own selfish desires for the benefit and blessing of our wives as Christ did his for us. 2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
G. We must realize that all the submission in a marriage is not that of the wife but that there is a mutual submission in some things. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
1. The husband does have authority over his wifeís body.
2. But, the wife has authority over the husbandís body also.
III. HUSBANDS ARE TO HONOR THEIR WIVES
A. Our text is very explicit about the husbands attitude toward his wife. 1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, 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.
1. The word honour in this verse has two ideas within it and both ideas apply.
2. First, it has the idea of something this is of great price or value.
a. The man should look upon his wife as being very precious, or of great value, priceless. Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
b. We should look upon our wives as gifts from God. Proverbs 19:14 House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.
c. We should realize that God has especially favored us in giving us wives. Proverbs 18:22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
d. Let us remember that a good wife is a crown to us. Proverbs 12:4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.
3. Second, the word honour has the idea of giving deference or reverence.
a. In Ephesians Paul admonishes wives to reverence their husbands.
b. The word there is not the same as that found in this verse and translated honor.
c. Yet, our word, honour, has the idea of deference or reverence and speaks of the great love one should have for his wife, even to the point of reverencing her.
B. Husbands should honor their wives as the weaker vessel.
1. The term weaker vessel does not necessarily refer to the physical weakness of the woman.
2. In the context it probably has reference to the role the wife assumes in submitting to her husband and exhibiting a meek and quiet spirit as the godly wife does.
3. In the eyes of the world this appears as weakness, especially in this day of radical feminism.
4. Consider these texts which seem to convey the same idea of weakness.
a. 1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.
b. 1 Corinthians 12:21-24 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.
c. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
d. 2 Corinthians 10:10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.
e. Just as God has tempered the body together so that more abundant honor is given to the weaker parts, so he has ordained that men should honor their wives highly because of the submissive role they assume as godly Christian wives. 1 Corinthians 12:24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.
(1) The husband of the virtuous wife is known in the gates of the city because of his wife. Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Proverbs 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
(2) It seems that her husband must speak of her value to him in the gates of the city. Proverbs 31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
C. Husbands should honor their wives as fellow heirs of the grace of life. 1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, 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.
1. In this blessing of spiritual life the husband and wife are equals. Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
2. In this life the wife is to be submissive to her husband but in heaven in will not be so. Matthew 22:29-30 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
3. Marriage is for time, not eternity, and as the form of this world passes away and we enter into our eternal presence with Jesus Christ, wives and husbands will be absolutely equal. Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
IV. HUSBANDS SHOULD DWELL WITH AND HONOR THEIR WIVES SO THAT THEIR PRAYERS WILL NOT BE HINDERED
A. The goal for the Christian husbandís conduct in relation to his wife is unhindered prayer.
1. In I Pet. 2:21-25 we saw the goal of Christís suffering to be the salvation of his people.
2. In I Pet. 3:1-6 we saw that the goal of the wifeís godly submission to her husband was his salvation.
3. In our text we see that the goal of the husbands conduct in relation to his wife is unhindered prayer. 1 Peter 3:7 That your prayers be not hindered.
a. A wife who is domineering, who is contentious with her husband, who does not submit to her husband in the godly manner, cannot expect to have and effectual prayer life.
b. A husband who does not honor his wife and dwell with her as prescribed in the word of God, cannot expect to have an effectual prayer life.
c. The husband and wife who are not in the right relationship in their marriage cannot expect their joint and mutual prayers to be effectual. 1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except [it be] with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
d. Our relationship with others will certainly affect our prayer life. Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
e. Where there is conflict there will be hindered prayers. James 4:1-4 From whence [come] wars and fightings among you? [come they] not hence, [even] of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts. 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
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