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The Beauty and Power of Reciprocity

By Joe Boot/ October 19, 2014

Series  1 Peter: Standing Firm in our Hope

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Marriage

Scripture  1 Peter 3:1-7; Ephesians 5:22-30; Colossians 3:18-25

In the joyful reciprocity within Christian marriage, the beauty and power of the gospel is made manifest to the world.

Scripture:  1 Peter 3:1-7

Sermon Notes:

  1. As God’s holy people, we are to find our joy in giving and receiving generously and in mutual reciprocity.
  2. Submission requires that we honour the authorities God has established.  But it is God who establishes good and evil, so we are not required to submit to ungodly commands.
  3. God’s salvation frees men and women from slavery to sin to become servants of God.
  4. Service and submission to God is an expression of true freedom. If we see service to God as slavery, then we are slaves to sin. 
  5. We have a crisis in masculinity and femininity today: men are increasingly irresponsible as women seek independence.
  6. Christian marriage is a liberating force in history, delivering women from arbitrary servitude and inferior treatment.
  7. In the Godhead, all three persons of the Trinity are equal in divine being, and yet there is an economy of function: the Son submits to the Father, the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.
  8. The being of God is a pattern for His created order, and it is reflected in the order of marriage.
  9. Scripturally, men and women are equal in their beings, and yet God has ordained a functional hierarchy. 
  10. The good conduct of a godly wife can be a powerful converting influence upon an unbelieving husband.
  11. Wives are to be submissive to their own husbands, as to the Lord, but, since the Fall, wives have tried to control their husbands and husbands have been harsh.
  12. Our relationship within marriage should reflect non-threatening ministering service.
  13. We need to get our eyes off ourselves and onto Christ, so that concern for our own needs and importance may be replaced by service to others.
  14. True beauty is the beauty of holiness, manifest in a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3.4; cf. Col. 3:18-25).  Like Sarah, women are to be strong but submissive to God’s functional order.
  15.  Peter does not forbid feminine beauty or outward adornment per se, but teaches that 1) the inner condition of the heart should be the source of a woman’s attractiveness (cf. Pr. 31:30) and 2) women should avoid ostentatious and immodest displays.
  16. Marriage is a privilege, not a burden.  Men ought to commit to marriage and avoid undue delay.
  17. Men are to provide for and protect their wives (Eph. 5:22-30).  Serving his wife is central to a husband’s calling.
  18. In the reciprocity of our marriages, the beauty and power of the gospel is made manifest to the world.

Application Questions:

  1. Describe the mutual reciprocity within the Trinity.
  2. What are God’s purposes for the functional order He has ordained within marriage and the family?
  3. What are practical ways men can sacrifice their lives for their wives as Christ did for the church (Eph. 5:25)?
  4. How can women demonstrate a gentle and submissive spirit that adorns the gospel?
  5. Where in our lives do we need to shift from self-service to serving others?
  6. What should be the primary source of feminine attractiveness?
  7. What is the impact of Christian marriage upon the world?

Sermon Notes