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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Joint Heirs of the Grace of life by Zac Poonen

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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Joint Heirs of the Grace of life by Zac Poonen

In 1 Peter 3:1, Peter points out the example of Christ who suffered unjustly to wives who suffer unjustly. “Do you have a husband who is unreasonable and does not obey God’s word?” Submit to him, just like Jesus submitted to unreasonable people. “In the same way” in 3:1, means “in the same way as Jesus submitted” (1 Peter 2:21). Wives who have unreasonable husbands have a great opportunity to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. When Jesus suffered injustice without complaining on the cross, a Roman centurion, who had crucified many people, had never seen anything like this. And he said, “This is the Son of God” and was converted instantaneously. A thief hanging next to Jesus also had never seen anything like this. He also believed that Jesus was the Son of God and said, “Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingdom”. He also was converted. And when your unreasonable husband sees your Christlike conduct, he also will get converted. Peter says, “You will be able to win him without preaching one word to him” (3:1). Many Christian wives try to convert their husbands by preaching to them. But the more they preach to them, the more their husbands turn away from the Lord. Try the submission-method in future and stop your preaching.

Then Peter teaches women how to adorn themselves. Not with fancy hairstyles or gold jewellery or expensive dresses, but with the inner beauty of “a gentle, quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4). That beauty will never fade away and never perish. That is the hidden beauty that God is looking for. It is very precious in His sight. Most men in this world are blind to this real beauty, because they do not know God.

When young men ask me for advice on the type of sister they should marry, I ask them: “Do you want to marry a sister who is precious in God’s sight?” Then I point them to this verse and tell them, “Look for a sister who has the imperishable beauty of a gentle, quiet spirit.” This is not referring to silence in speech but to silence in her spirit. It is not a question of how much she talks, but rather how she talks and conducts herself. Peter says that this was how godly sisters (in the past) like Sarah were, who obeyed Abraham (1 Peter 3:5, 6). We can know that a sister has received “the true grace of God”, if she manifests a gentle, quiet spirit.

How can we know if a husband has experienced “the true grace of God”? Peter says that it is by his living in an understanding way with his wife, respecting her as a weaker vessel. Such a husband will never put burdens on his wife that he should be carrying himself. For example, if you and your wife are travelling with two suitcases – one big and one small – you will definitely carry the big suitcase yourself and give her the small one. It must be the same with burdens in the home as well. There are many burdens that wives carry in a home that are much heavier than suitcases, and many husbands don’t even lift a finger to help them. For example, a wife may be struggling in the morning cooking breakfast, looking after the baby and getting the older children ready for school. Her husband may be sitting quietly, reading his Bible and asking God to speak to him and give him some new revelation! If he has ears to hear, he will hear God saying, “Close your Bible and go and help your wife”! A husband who obeys that voice has understood “the true grace of God”. If a husband and wife live like that, they will be “joint-heirs” – a king and a queen together – of the grace of life.” What a powerful testimony for Christ such a home will be, in this evil world!


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