Bible Study from Calvary Chapel Newberg

with Tom Fuller


The Battle Of The Sexes

1Peter 3:1-22

Introduction\r
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The Bible is often accused of promoting male chauvinism. And to be honest, many have used Bible verses to put women in their place, telling them when to talk, what to wear, and when to obey. \r
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This battle between the sexes has been the source of much humor ? including these ways to drive a man crazy:\r
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~ Take the batteries out of all the remotes in the house.\r
~ Organize his workshop, bedroom, or other special place.\r
~ Bribe his faithful dog away from him with a steady diet of Ring Dings.\r
~ Shrink his underwear in the dryer and when he complains, innocently\r
suggest that he's gained a few pounds.\r
~ Stare at his forehead and when he notices, casually ask if there is any\r
history of male pattern baldness on his mother's side.\r
~ "Accidentally" fill the gas tank of his new Porsche with diesel.\r
~ Repeatedly misplace the cordless phone, preferably in a different room\r
each time.\r
~ Repeatedly lose his cellular phone in restaurants around town.\r
~ Insist upon a lot of "meaningful conversations."\r
~ Reverse his contact lenses in their case.\r
~ Snip a small hole in his fishing waders, then follow him with a camera to capture his "sinking" on film.\r
~ Superglue the corners of the pages of his Sport Illustrated magazine\r
together.\r
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And, of course, women do not escape their share of barbs as well:\r
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"Signs Found in the Kitchen"\r
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So this isn't Home Sweet Home ... Adjust!\r
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Martha Stewart doesn't live here!!\r
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Ring bell for maid service. If no answer, do it yourself!\r
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I clean house every other day. Today is the other day.\r
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If you write in the dust, please don't date it!\r
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I would cook dinner but I can't find the can opener!\r
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My house was clean last week, too bad you missed it!\r
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I came, I saw, I decided to order take out.\r
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If you don't like my standards of cooking ...lower your standards.\r
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A messy kitchen is a happy kitchen, and this kitchen is delirious.\r
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Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they shall never\r
cease to be amused.\r
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Countless number of people have eaten in this kitchen and gone on to\r
lead normal lives.\r
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My next house will have no kitchen ... just vending machines.\r
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I'd live life in the fast lane, but I am married to a speed bump.\r
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So, obviously there is just enough truth in all of these to make us laugh. But when it comes to God?s Word we can?t settle for just a little bit of truth ? we must fully understand what?s happening in one of the sections that is greatly misunderstood.\r
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1) Wives of Unsaved Husbands (1-6)\r
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Verse 1 is talking to a specific group of women ? wives of unsaved husbands\r
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It shows us that behavior can be as effective a witness as speech\r
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To ?submit? here is the same word used in Chapter 2, verses 13 and 18. It means to order yourself under. We have a framework of laws, a framework of employee expectations, and a framework of marriage. It doesn?t mean to blindly obey ? it means to figure out your circumstances, then create order for yourself within that framework. You wouldn?t want to live in a separate house than your husband, would you? You wouldn?t want to be so demanding that you would make life miserable for him, would you? Of course not. \r
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And just as we do follow man?s laws when they contradict God?s, so too women are not bound to submit to their husbands when they do or say something that is contrary to God?s Word.\r
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Verse 3 is not talking about hair braids, gold, and buying good clothing\r
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It?s okay to be beautiful, but don?t make your outward appearance the source of your beauty. \r
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Verse 4 - 5\r
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These words are appropriate for everyone ? male and female, married or single ? the inner beauty of a spirit cleansed by the Spirit of God is more important than looking good. \r
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You don?t win any contest for being the best looking corpse. \r
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Verse 6\r
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The NIV says: ?Don?t give way to fear? but I like the rendering of the Message: ?unanxious and unintimidated? The idea isn?t that women should put up with whatever their husbands do to them ? but that they shouldn?t let their husbands blusterings about religion and Jesus and the church stop them from living lives fully and openly for Christ.\r
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And more generally, some commentators (Jamesson) suggest that this means women are not to fear the angry outbursts of a man.\r
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2) All Husbands (7)\r
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Verse 7 is not a proof text for male chauvinists. \r
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I want to point out that in verse 1 it says ?in the same way? directed to wives, then in verse 7 it says ?Husbands in the same way?? What does this refer to? I think it refers back to Chapter 2. At the end of chapter 2 what we learn is that Jesus, though he suffered unjustly, didn?t strike back, but submitted Himself to the Father. There is a flow here ? Jesus submitted to the Father, husbands submit to Jesus, wives submit to their husbands ? as responsible for protection and nurturing. \r
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The point is we all need help ? all of us. God wants us to watch out for each other and submit one to another.\r
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Here in verse 7 he tells husbands to do two things:\r
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?be considerate?: it comes from ?to know?. \r
?respect?: it means to ?value? ? as the weaker (physically) and a fellow heir\r
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Husbands ? you need to know your wife, know her values, her thoughts, her desires, her dreams, her weaknesses ? don?t just act on your own ideas of what a woman should be like ? know this woman God has given you.\r
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Then respect her ? treat her as something of value, something to be protected and nurtured. Value her physically. She is weaker physically ? men have 40% more upper body strength than a woman and so we have to take that into respect. Also value her position. She is equal with you in the sight of God ? don?t put her down or treat her badly or guess what ? God will treat you the same way.\r
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3) Everyone (8-22)\r
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8\r
Peter gives 5 qualities that make up a person who lives like Christ:\r
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? Harmony (like-minded)\r
? Sympathy (like-feeling)\r
? Family (love like you are related)\r
? Empathy (from ?Spleen? ? ?from the gut? not just like feeling, deeper)\r
? Humility (word occurs only here ? lowly minded)\r
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If we try to live this way, we will fulfill everything he?s been saying all along.\r
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9-12 \r
Peter then zeros in on a particular aspect of how our inner feelings are expressed ? using our mouths. When we get to James we?ll talk a lot about the things we say ? but here it?s about Reactive speech. The word is: don?t. Bless ? don?t react.\r
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13 ? 17\r
The basic word here is: don?t let anyone bully you into not defending or speaking about your faith in Christ. Remember ? those that don?t know him will face something so fearful that it would make any person quake. You don?t have that fear ? so don?t react with anger, even when mistreated, remember that your job is to go to heaven and bring as many people with you as possible.\r
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18 ? 22\r
There are basically three views as to what this section refers to:\r
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1- Jesus went to hell after He died, preached to angels or those who died before the flood, then offered salvation to those who never had that opportunity.\r
2- This could refer to the pre-existent Christ (ie the Angel of the Lord). Jesus then is in the person of Noah ? the ?spirits? are Noah?s contemporaries who needed to hear the gospel ? the prison is a metaphor for sin and ignorance.\r
3- That Jesus openly proclaimed His triumph over death. Jesus, in some spiritual existence after death, went to proclaim to the fallen angels that He had triumphed over death. The idea here then is that if we maintain faithful, we too will be vindicated over our adversaries.\r
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Conclusion\r
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? Opposition should be expected, whether at home, at work, or at play ? but blessing, rather than retaliation, should be our response\r
? Harmony doesn?t mean everyone has to sing the same note ? but we should compliment, rather than fight against each other\r
? Suffering is to be endured, not feared. \r
? Live lightly, love deeply, give freely