Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 1 Study # 4
March 7, 2010
3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
1901 ASV Translation:
3 Whose adorning let it not be the outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on apparel;
4 but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
5 For after this manner aforetime the holy women also, who hoped in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands:
6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose children ye now are, if ye do well, and are not put in fear by any terror.
- I. Peter's Third Step Into the Particulars.
- A. The issue: maintaining a legitimate demonstration of the true character of God (2:9, 12).
- B. The most fundamental "attitude": submission (2:13, 18; 3:1, 5).
- C. The most fundamental "difficulty": fear (3:6, 14).
- D. The most fundamental "relationships": believers/God and husbands/wives.
- 1. The potential.
- 2. The required "cause-streams".
- 3. The focus is upon the "wife's" "adorning".
- a. The word translated "adorning" is a word that is used in the New Testament 187 times in 152 verses and was translated by the translators of the Authorized Version "world" 186 of those times. This means that the choice to use "adorning" was completely unique. This was even so for Peter. He used the word 8 times in 7 verses in First and Second Peter and used it in ways that allowed the translators to feel comfortable with "world" seven of those times (1 Peter 1:20; 3:3; 5:9; and 2 Peter 1:4; 2:5; 2:20; and 3:6).
- 1) That the way Peter used it in this verse has something to do with the way the wives presented themselves to the "outer" world is pretty much established by the contrast between the way they wore their hair, rings, and clothing and the way they made their "spirit" manifest in what the translators call "meekness" and "quietness".
- a) This is in harmony with Peter's use of the verb form of this term. He only used the verb form once, but it is in this same paragraph (3:5) and it is used directly as a further explanation of his meaning.
- b) This is also in harmony with Paul's use of the verb form in 1 Timothy 2:9 where he deals with the same issue with some of the same details and in Titus 2:10 where the same theme is addressed.
- 2) The issue is not that Peter seems to have "reached" when he used this word in a way that appears unique: the issue, rather, is "why" he did this.
- 3) To address this issue, we will begin by looking at the way he used the term in his letters.
- a) 1 Peter 1:20 -- Christ, as the Lamb Whose blood redeems, was "foreordained before the foundation of the world (anartharous), but was manifest in these last times...". In this statement, Peter is clearly presenting "the foundation of the world" in respect to "time" as a contrast to "these last times" so that Christ's "foreordination" can be contrasted with His "manifestation". This is a deliberate attempt to exalt that which is enduringly true as an object of faith along the lines of 2 Peter 1:19-21. Thus, the use of "world" is involved in attempting to give the impression of a "long enduring" entity that has the impact of arguing for a certain kind of "reality" that is deceptive. It is against that deceptive appearance of enduring "truth" that "foreordination" in the face of "these last times" is set. Therefore, we can say this about Peter's use of "world" in this text: it shares a commonality with 3:3 in that there is an "outward" appearance in contrast with the "inward", and incorruptible, one.
- b) 1 Peter 3:3 -- our current text.
- c) 1 Peter 5:9 -- There is a major problem that challenges "faith": the experience of "afflictions" from which the "brethren" remain, for a while, "undelivered". The duration of this absence of deliverance is tied to being "in the world" and is contrasted with the gracious God's intent to "perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle" after a period of "suffering". This text has at least three common themes with our text: first, there is the issue of having difficulties to endure (a wife with a disobedient husband/the common afflictions of the brethren in the world); second, there is the "problem" of deciding what is really true in a setting wherein there are competing presentations of "truth" so that "faith" takes a dominant place; and third, there is the contrast between what is happening "in the world" that is creating a certain impression, and what is really true in the realm of the "eternal glory".
- d) 2 Peter 1:4 -- There are "exceeding great and precious" promises given to us so that we may actually enter into a participation in the divine nature on the foundation of a deliverance from the "corruption" that is "in the world".
- e) 2 Peter 2:5 -- The "old world" turned out to be not so "enduring" after all, in spite of its deceptive appearances.
- f) 2 Peter 2:20 -- The "world" is "polluted" and can seriously "entangle" a person unless the "knowledge" of the Lord and Savior is maintained by "faith".
- g) 2 Peter 3:6 -- The "world that then was" perished by the flood. Thus, its appearance of "enduring truth" is a delusion. In 3:11 Peter actually says "all these things shall be dissolved" and that means that we have to decide what the "truth" really is.
- 4) Our conclusions.
- a) Our text presents two "worlds": one is dominated by "outward" appearances that are subject to corruption; the other is "inward" and is not subject to such.
- b) As "worlds" these entities are "arguments for what is true". This seems to be the point of Peter's use of "world". A "world" is a "system" that contains elements that make certain "arguments" for that "world's" reality so that those who are impressed by them can "believe".