by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
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 (1 Peter 3:4).
1 Peter 3:
1Likewise, 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;
2While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
3Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4But 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.
5For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
6Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
7Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
8Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
9Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
10For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
11Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
12For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
13And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
14But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
16Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
17For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
18For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
19By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
20Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
21The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
22Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
The apostle is here giving instruction to wives. The true worth of a woman is not determined by outward ornaments she may put on herself, such as the arrangement of her hair, or adorning herself with costly jewelry, or wearing costly garments, but by the hidden man of the heart, by what she is inwardly, by her personality of the heart, that manifests itself in a quiet and meek spirit. This ornament is imperishable, and it is very precious in the sight of God.
Not only with wives, but with all the children of God, it is not the outward appearance that counts with God, but the inward condition of the heart. Not he is a Jew who "is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." What does it matter if the outward man perishes; just so the inward man is renewed day by day. We must remember, "the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance but the Lord looketh on the heart."
But when God grants us, "according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man," then we shall do good works. Men shall see them, and glorify our Father which is in heaven.
Our Father, we pray Thee be gracious unto us. We confess before Thee, that we like to be something in the eyes of men. We love to be honored by men, and we do deeds to be seen of men. Forgive us, we pray. Help us to live with an eye single to Thy glory. Cleanse Thou us from secret faults. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Rom. 2:28, 29; 2 Cor. 4:16; 1 Sam. 16:7; Eph. 3:16; Matt. 5:16.
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