"LIVING WITH A HUSBAND WHO DOES NOT OBEY THE WORD" (Part 2)
In Part 1 of our study, we were looking at the passage written to wives in I Peter 3.
I Peter 3:1 & 2 tells us:
1 "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
2 "While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear."
So that there will be no misunderstanding of the subject of winning one's husband to the Lord, we will look at this subject in more detail. What is it that saves a lost person and what does the passage mean when it says, "they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives..."
While we most certainly can draw a spiritual application from this passage, (and that is that we can have a great influence on our husbands), we must be carefuI not to imply that a woman's husband can be saved by the life she lives. We will see this in the following verses.
WE MUST "RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF TRUTH"
We are told in II Timothy 2:15:
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
We see in II Timothy 2:15 that we must study the Word of God, while "rightly dividing" it, or our doctrine will be confused with the doctrine given to others in a different dispensation. We then would have "doctrine soup". The Lord does not intend for us to mix doctrines together like soup, but rather to divide them out, to divide what is written to us, from that which is not written to us.
While all scripture is not "to us", all scripture is definitely "for us", that is, for our admonition and learning.
We are told in II Timothy 3:16-17,
16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 "That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."
While we may learn from the doctrines of other dispensations, we are only to apply the doctrines that are written to us, specifically.
In Ephesians we find one of the passages that tells us that the
doctrine that we are to apply today, is that given to us by the
apostle Paul. Paul says he was given the "dispensation of the
grace of God" to give to us. In Ephesians.
3:1-2 he says,
1 "For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
2 "If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward..."
We see in the passage that our doctrine, that we are to apply today, is found in the books that Paul wrote to us. We must always keep this truth in mind when learning from other books outside of the Pauline epistles.
Paul says in II Tim. 2:7: "Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things."
Paul says when we consider what he says, to compare all things with what he has told us, that we will have understanding in all things. We will then be able to understand all of the Bible.
HOW IS A PERSON SAVED TODAY?
When we understand the principles of "rightly dividing the word of truth", we can then see that the doctrine about our salvation, that is, how people are saved in this day and age, is the gospel (the good news) that was delivered to us by the apostle Paul. It is only found in his epistles. People today can only be saved by the preaching of this gospel. We are told this by the apostle Paul in several different passages. We will read and discuss some of these.
I Corinthians 1:21 says,
21 "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."
Rom. 1:16 tells us,
16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
This gospel is the power that convicts and saves.
I Corinthians 1:18 also says:
18 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."
WHAT IS THIS GOSPEL?
I Corinthians 15:1-4 plainly states what
this gospel is:
1 "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 "By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 "And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"
In these verses we see that Christ died to pay the penalty for our sins, and that he was buried and rose again the third day. The purpose of His death is explained in the gospel and no one can be saved without having heard this gospel first. Knowing what Christ has done for us, that he has paid the price in our stead, enables us to trust Him! The scriptures teach that a person who believes the gospel will then be able to trust in Christ. This is affirmed in II Corinthians 5:19-21 and Ephesians, chapter 1.
II Corinthians 5:19-21
19 "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation...
21 "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
13 "...who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise..."
Paul also states that this gospel that he preached was given to him by a direct revelation from the Lord Himself. It is a separate and distinct gospel and was not preached by anyone until it was revealed by the apostle Paul.
Galatians 1:11-12 says,
11 "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 "For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."
In I Cor. 14:37, Paul also affirms this
37 "If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord."
All of these scriptures teach us that a person is only saved today by the gospel, delivered to us by the apostle Paul.
We can learn from the passage in I Peter 3 that a woman can have a great influence on her husband. She can "win" him in the sense that she can cause him to want to know more about the Lord, or to see his own need of a saviour. Or she may "win" the saved, yet unspiritual husband to want to be more of what he should be for Christ's sake. Her submission to her husband is a part of her "chaste" behavior. The life a wife lives does make a difference!
We conclude, then, that the "chaste" behavior of a wife will have a great and powerful influence on her husband. But, ultimately, we must understand that our husbands are "won" to Christ by the preaching of the cross of Christ. We know that they can only be saved by trusting in what Christ has done for them!
Praise God today that a person is not saved by what he observes in someone else, for we will fail. Praise God that ultimately, salvation is not of us, but of our wonderful, all powerful, and all knowing God. All praise is to HIM! We can only glory in the cross!
"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ..." (Gal. 6:14)