Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem.
A stained glass window sparkles and shines when the sun is out. But in dark times, beauty is seen only if there is light within. Our culture places a heavy burden on women when it comes to outward appearance, but God's Word calls us to focus more of our attention on the imperishable beauty of the heart. Are we cultivating a heart ruled by trust in our Lord? Are we allowing God's grace to transform our attitudes and affections? Christ frees us from the chains of impossible beauty standards so we can live for an audience of one, Christ Himself.
Rich unpacks 1 Peter 3, 1-6. Today is the final part of the message, Admirable Women, first preached on September 11, 2022. But also the second verb is respect, to teach older women, teach the younger women to respect.
And here's what it looks like, and this is going back to verse 1. Be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be one without a word by the conduct of their wives. In this respect, you demonstrate your trust in God by functioning in His ordained design, in the order of His ordained design.
That's how you demonstrate your trust in God, cosmos, and specifically within the unit of marriage. This is not a general broad statement contrasting men and women, this is specifically within the unit of marriage. God designed men and women differently, Western culture notwithstanding today, doesn't mean a lack of equality. We are equal, but we are not the same.
And I make that very clear. We are equal, but we are not the same. God designed us for a diversity of functions. And I like to use the example of, because I believe God designed the husband to be an initiator, He designed a man to be an initiator, and He designed a woman, generally, to be a responder.
And that's what works so beautifully in the marriage relationship. And men, listen to me, we're focusing on the women today, next Sunday we're focusing on the men. So men, I'm taking attendance, all right? If you're not here next Sunday, you will be initiated into church discipline. I'm just kidding.
I'm going to be hard on you guys, so just be prepared for that. But I like to use, understanding that God created men to be more initiators and women responders, I like to use the example of pairs figure skating. It's a beautiful thing. It's the only reason I watch the Winter Olympics. Not really, I'm just kidding.
I don't watch them. But this truly is a beautiful thing. And as I was watching, I will never forget as I was watching the Olympics one time, and I was listening to a commentator, and this is a person who had been a figure skater. The commentator said, the man initiates and the woman responds. He said those words.
I'm like, that is a beautiful picture of marriage. Now let me ask you something. Does that make one superior over the other? Absolutely not. They are equal. And there is a beauty there on both parts, but it's a different kind of beauty. And the man is the initiator of the moves, and the anchor and the strength, and the woman is the beauty and the grace and the responder, and yet through it all it requires an incredible strength and discipline on her part. And yeah, there has to be trust.
Trusting that he is also strong and disciplined. I think it's a beautiful picture. But considering the woman in this, and she is by far externally the much more attractive of the two, right?
God's design. But what would be the point of her beauty without her core strength and her discipline? What would this be if her only concern was how she looked externally? No. You realize how much discipline goes into doing this and all of it has to do with what's going on inside. Yeah, physical discipline. Absolutely.
But there also has to be a significant internal discipline as well. I think that's a beautiful picture of what God designed for marriage. And then thirdly, the third verb is that the older women teach the younger women to serve.
I think it comes much more naturally for women. But the reason why it is mentioned is because service for a woman becomes a godly replacement for being obsessed with appearance or being preoccupied with anxiety, which could be very natural tendencies for women. But to serve others reflecting the mind of Christ, that's the inner person manifesting itself outward, and the mind of Christ is what? To consider others more important than yourself.
And we're following his example. Ladies, by doing this, you're following Christ's example in submitting himself to his own father. Equal, but that equality with God was not something he felt he had to mine.
He didn't have to do that. He was secure in that, and yet he submitted himself to his father. The second person of the Trinity submitted himself to the first person of the Trinity. Equal, but different.
Different functions. So you are reflecting the mind of Christ and you are following the example of Christ. Going back to what I said at the beginning, what Peter is giving us here is anchored in the cross of Jesus Christ, so don't lose sight of that. Final word here to you women in this congregation. You are the most beautiful part of God's creation. I am in awe of what women can endure.
I am. Let me just give you an example. Women can have babies, carry them for nine months, birth the baby in excruciating pain. Do you realize what would happen if having babies were left up to us men? We'd find some way to fix it, right?
We wouldn't put up with it. This world would have a serious underpopulation problem if having babies were up to us men. But I truly am in awe of what women can endure. I mean, when he says in verse seven, husbands live with your wives in an understanding way showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel.
I think he's speaking physically there. I also realize that some of you have or even are now currently living in great difficulty. I want you to know if that is the case, that you do have resource and recourse in the church.
Now see, Rich, what do you mean by that? That means we need to have a personal conversation, okay? That's not the topic of this morning's sermon, but I want you to know if you are a sister in Christ and you are living in a very difficult marital situation, you have resource and recourse in the church with biblical authority.
I want you to know that. That does not mean that you come to us and complain because your husband isn't doing what you tell him to do, okay? But for those of you who are, and I know some of you who are, blessings upon you for not immediately running to find exceptions to these precepts this morning because many women do. Some people think Peter is just speaking ideally.
No, he's not. This is not just a biblical ideal. These are biblical precepts and they are to be brought to bear upon our lives.
Ladies, I want you to know that you are loved. And for those of you who are free in Christ, are sisters in Christ, you are co-heirs of his grace. You are valuable partners in the life and mission of this church.
And let me just end by saying this, women, you have a unique capacity to adorn the gospel of Christ. Father, your word is truth. I pray, Father, that you would sanctify us by your truth. As we measure our lives against the standard, the precepts, the call of your self-disclosure, Father, do a work among us, I pray, Lord, that indeed we will be a beautiful people because we are the church following Christ, resting in his goodness, in his righteousness. So, Father, as we are surrounded by the troubled waters and ocean of confusion and chaos, find us to be anchored in the rock that does not move, to be focused on the one who is faithful and true, the one who is good, the one who is unfailingly good. Teach us this morning, I pray, Father, thank you for the work that your Spirit is doing in us and among us, what you have done and what you will do. In Jesus' name, amen. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-17 15:11:07 / 2023-05-17 15:15:13 / 4