Thursday in Easter Week

1 Peter 3:1-17; John 20:1-31

We’re Only Visiting This Planet – Continued

We continue with yesterday’s thought along the lines of being aliens and sojourners, pilgrims and exiles, who are just passing through this earthly habitation.  This is not our home, nor should we become too enamored with it, for we are “looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

Following yesterday’s instructions regarding rulers and masters, today we begin with household matters and relations between husbands and wives, for a husband is the head of his household, which is a wonderful thing if he be a man of God.  But we mustn’t deduce from the order from which Peter proceeds that family relations are second to matters concerning rulers or masters, for the family was first ordained in creation, and the sacred relations between husband and wife and parents and children are grounded in the divine order given in creation.  But Christ further sanctifies what was a holy arrangement already, and now husband and wife love and serve one another through him.  They, too, are passing through, and their one flesh union will one day be broken.  So, for the sake of the other, each must put Christ first, “that your prayers may not be hindered,” the husband tenderly loving, the wife respectfully submitting.  In so doing, they prepare for the next world, for which they are both striving.  The moment one or the other gets the order mixed up, they will cease to strive for heaven, and instead strive with one another.

Peter rounds this section out with a call to the church to unity, sympathy, brotherly love, tenderness, and humility.  He cites the prayer book of the Church (the Psalms) for his proof text of the sincere and pure lives Christians are commanded to live (Psalm 34:12-16).  And then he gives a further call to embrace suffering if that is what God so calls us to do.  He instructs us to “have no fear of them,” that is those who would revile and persecute us.  He said the same thing to wives, telling them they were Sarah’s daughters “if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.”  The Bible asserts that fear is completely unbecoming for the Christian.  As an alien, his hope is elsewhere, so what is there to fear?  If he seeks the Lord and does good, he shall have a clear conscience.  And if he is growing in grace and love, then “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).  This is important, for that which we fear, we tend to worship, either in adoration and praise, or fear and dread.  Thus, we are to fear God and Him alone.  So let us shed every attachment to this world, that we may live this life with godly honor.

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