Submission and Grace

Grace

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.  —1 Peter 3:1-2

Men, Peter tells the wives among his readers to be subject to their husbands just as servants are subject to their authorities. In like manner, some may come to the knowledge of Christ without a word spoken but by their life when pure, chaste, and reverent conduct are observed.

I’m not sure we fully grasp this as men. How many times have we heard, or said of our wives? “I don’t know how she puts up with me.” Or, “I was rotten, and she stuck by me through it all.” I suspect every husband alive has had some bone headed time where our wife amazed us by their strength to endure our periodic struggle to be decent humans.

As we have borne witness from our wives, we also should be a display to the world’s leaders. Endure, knowing that God is working all things out. That doesn’t mean we don’t give honest answers when asked, or apply accountability where our position allows, but instead of inciting greater trouble, bring peace and understanding. Bring something that the world doesn’t have. Bring enduring grace and wisdom. Bring your light, the light of our own testimony into our circumstances.

We all fall short, and the same grace extended to us by our Savior is available to even the worst of humanity. Jesus forgives. Jesus loves. Jesus reconciles. Jesus redeems. Our hearts need reminding of this sometimes so that we can include grace in our own conduct toward others. Move forward men, as Christ endures, and our wives endure, we also should endure this world, hoping for Christ to be revealed to hearts around us.

Peter says “In the same way, wives be subject…” If we were acting like the person in front of us, how would we hope our wives would deal with us? Apply that expectation to our own conduct and ask the Father to bless the occasion. I don’t expect this to be any easier for you than it is for me. But Peter is teaching the truth of Christ’s “way”.

Vance Durrance

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Honor

HonorHonor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. –1 Peter 2:17

Peter tells all readers to “honor all people, love the family of believers, fear God, and honor the king”. Did you catch that first part? We all have someone who we have a hard time honoring. Someone who has wronged us, or a people group who doesn’t fit in our way of thinking. Peter says to “honor all people”. It is not Americans, or any single race that bears the image of God. Humanity shares in being created in His image. Sin has warped His image on us, and we fail to recognize each other’s value by Him, but the price was paid for us all who will believe. We are to love those who come to Him.

As adopted heirs, we become family of one Holy Father. Calling each other brother or sister as we become closer should be natural. To fear God is to revere Him more and more as we grow in knowledge of Him. Who is He to you?

Take a moment and list it out. We don’t have a monarchy over us, but we do have elected governance, and managerial leadership. Good leadership is in short supply too often. Perhaps because we don’t understand the “servanthood” which we have been called into. If we understood better how to honor all people and love the believers, we would do better as leaders. Until then fear God in reverence while we submit to the authorities God has placed us under.

Move forward men, free in Christ from sin and death. Engage each other as servants, loving one another as Jesus would. Jesus knew all our sin, yet casted no stones. Jesus could have commanded legions of angels to rescue Him from Pilate and the cross but submitted to it to save us. Revere God who coordinated all these things for our good and respect the leadership which He has placed you under.

Vance Durrance

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Love in Truth

Truth-and-Love

To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth, because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever:  Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. –2 John 1-3

John addresses this brief one-chapter letter to “the elect lady and her children”. Two interpretations are valid: this could be a specific woman and her children, or this could be addressed to a local church and the congregants who came to the truth from there. John then links love for “her” in truth.

Love in truth often refers to “tough love” but even so, it’s no less sincere. John says “not only I but those who have known the truth” referring to the other apostles. John’s love for “her” is not random but born out of the truth which abides in him and will be with him forever. Look closely at the first few verses in your Bible and count the times “truth” is used. John is referring to Jesus which has been taught to them accurately.

Again, false teachers have come to confuse the work of the apostles. Truth will again be a focus of attention as John deals with false teachings. Brothers, though it may sound redundant. False teaching was, is, and will continue to be an issue we must personally combat. Some teachers in our own time question the authenticity of the Word. Some question Jesus’s existence while others simply question His deity. Others come on screen to tell us Jesus wants us to be rich, so we can send in large donation checks to fund their travels on private jets. Too often messages of hyper-grace, or on the other end, legalism come from the pulpit. John brings an immediate focus on “truth”. John sends his greeting to “the elect lady” with grace, mercy, and peace which comes from God the Father and the Son in truth and love.

As we again dive into correcting the erosion of truth by deceivers, move forward men, evaluating your personal perspectives and beliefs against the truth of His precious Word. Our Father loves you and I and gave us an immovable standard for the ages to anchor our hearts to, so that deceptions do not cast us adrift from His heart.

Vance Durrance

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