On Second Thought
Salvation Brings an Affection for the Wife as the Weaker Vessel
“Likewise ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife as unto the weaker vessel” (3:7). The salvation which we share affects my home life. The expression, according to knowledge, evidently refers to the husbands possessing some understanding of the psychology of the female as opposed to that of the male, in order that he may understand her in her feelings, sensitivities, and aspirations. The wife is to be treated with honor. She is to be respected for the heart of her husband doth safely trust in her Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also and he praiseth her (Prov 31:11, 28). Paul, when exhorting men to love their wives, set a high standard for the husband when he used the expression, even as Christ. The picture is that of Christ and the Church (Eph 5:25).
Salvation Brings an Ability for a Work for God
“Let him do it as of the ability which God giveth, that God in all things may be glorified…” (4:11). It is grace that saved lost sinners. Peter now discusses the grace that serves in the local church. We learn that every believer has received at least one gift of grace, and these gifts are a manifestation of the manifold grace of God. Further, we are stewards of these gifts of grace and it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful (1Cor 4:2). The person with the gift is to use it as of the ability that God gives and as of the strength that God supplies. One of the purposes of the gifts is that we may serve one another – it is not for personal aggrandizement. The overall purpose is that God may be glorified as His people are encouraged and edified and as the gospel is carried to the world. Have you determined what your gift is? Is your gift being developed? Are you fulfilling your stewardship?
Salvation Brings Afflictions in the World
“Knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (5:9). These afflictions were a new experience to the believers. Prior to conversion they were not only in the world but were of the world, and shared the ambitions, aspirations, and appetites of the world. They had run with the world to the same excess of riot (4:3-5). It all changed at conversion, for now they had an adversary, the devil, whose hand was behind the hands that were afflicting them. Peter introduced his readers to an internal enemy, the flesh, in 2:11. Here he introduces them to two additional foes: the world, which is an external foe, and the devil, who is an infernal foe. The devil, however, is a defeated foe. The Lord Jesus demonstrated on the Mount of Temptation that Satan cannot resist the power of the unfurled Word of God (Matt 4:1-12). No doubt this is one of the reasons why Peter in his epistle quotes so extensively from the Old Testament writings.
Jude wrote a delightful little epistle outlining a prescription for preservation in the face of apostasy. How wonderful it is when God frustrates us in our purposes and then fulfills His will. A mans heart deviseth his way but the Lord directeth his steps (Prov 16:9).