Title: Joshua and Judges: Crossing the Jordan - Obeying God's delegated authority, part 4. JOS 1:16-18; 1Pe 3.
We get one shot at this spiritual life. In heaven, everything is different. There is nothing in this world that is worth diminishing it.
1PE 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own [unbelieving] husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,
1PE 3:2 as they observe your chaste [pure] and respectful behavior.
Chaste is the Greek word hagnos, from the root word hagios which means sanctified or saint and so it means a behavior that is set apart from the world's view of as wife under less than inspiring leadership in her husband, in this case the unbelieving husband.
"chaste" - a`gno,j[hagnos] = pure from defilement, not contaminated, holy.
This will be observed by the husband in the perfect timing of God. Coming up (vs. 6) in this passage the woman will be commanded not to fear. The fear is that it won't work, it won't work out for me, I won't be delivered, or that he'll never see it or notice, is all irrational fear in the face of God's instruction. Does He not promise that all things will work together for good to those who love Him and that eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has entered into the heart of man all the things that God has prepared to those that love Him?
1PE 3:3 And let not your adornment be merely external — braiding the hair [elaborate hairdo], and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses [apparel];
1PE 3:4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
Peter is not asking them to dress plainly without makeup or jewelry and never doing their hair, but to make their adornment truly of the heart.
The word "merely" is not in the original, but added by the translators. Yet this still does not command dressing like an inmate. It emphasizes that the true adornment of the Christian woman is within her heart and she doesn't depend upon overt appearance for her beauty, yet she doesn't run over to the other extreme, being disheveled or unkempt.
The woman prior to salvation had only the world's way of adornment which is overt only. And, as such, she becomes a slave to the fashion of the time and culture and so conforms to the world's definition of beauty. This interpretation is even more obvious when we note that the Greek word for adornment is kosmos, which was used in classical Greek for the ornaments worn by women.
The reason kosmos is used for adornment as well as the world system is that the word originally meant order as opposed to chaos. It is used in the NT for the original, perfect creation.
"adornment" - ko,smoj[kosmos] = a harmonious arrangement or order. The order of the world system and the order of Christ. The Christian woman is changed from one order to the other.
The word still applies to her as a believer, for before salvation she was a creature of the world and so she ordered herself in conformity of the world and what the world thought was beautiful, yet now she is no longer of the world but of Christ, and the order of herself, her adornment, must come from that kingdom. What does the kingdom of God consider beautiful and ordered? The answer is clearly stated as a way of life and conduct that arises directly from the word of God and the filling of the Holy Spirit as she walks in the light, in fellowship with God.
Peter is reminding these Christian wives that they have something much more beautiful now that they are in Christ, and that is Christ in them.
First, Peter mentions the braiding of hair. This does not mean that Christian women shouldn't braid their hair. The Greek word means an elaborate gathering of the hair in knots.
In the Roman world the adornment of women was significantly connected to her status and person.
Juvenal (a Roman poet from the late first century) says, "The attendants will vote on the dressing of the hair as if a question of reputation or of life were at stake, so great is the trouble she takes in quest of beauty; with so many tiers does she load, with so many continuous stories does she build up on high her hair. She is as tall as Andromache in front, and behind she is shorter. You would think her another person."
Clement of Alexandria comments on this same thing when he says that the women do not even touch their own heads for fear of disturbing their hair, and sleep comes to them with terror lest they should unawares spoil their coiffures.
The building of the hair into monolithic towers that can be seen for miles is synonymous with vanity. Vanity means insecurity.
1TI 2:9 Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly [humility] and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments;
1TI 2:10 but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness.
Likewise or in like manner means that Paul in this passage is still instructing Timothy on the public assembly for worship.
The word sophresune is translated "discreetly" when it actually means a person who has self-control or a person who is commanded by God.
Balancing the free will and the sovereign will of God, the Christian is a free moral agent, not a machine, and is expected by God to exercise self-control by a free act of his will, doing this however in the energy which the Holy Spirit supplies to the yielded Christian. It is a happy combination and inter-working of the free will of the believer and the grace of God.
Modest apparel is associated with humility and self-control.
Humility and self-control are conditions of the heart and so adornment, of both Christian men and women, really originate from divine virtue within.
It is the principle that governs the kind of adornment, which is in Paul's mind here, namely, the Christian woman is to depend for her adornment upon a Christian character, good works. When she does this her apparel will be in keeping with her Christian character.
1TI 2:11 Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.
1TI 2:12 But I do not allow a woman to teach [to be a teacher with the authority of instruction and interpretation within the church] or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet [during the message].
Apparently the women were asking others during the service about the message or the meaning of the message. More often they were asking their husbands during the message and so disturbing others who were trying to concentrate. This is why Paul instructed them to ask their husbands "at home" (1CO 14:34-35).
Therefore, it's not just the women who receive instruction in quiet submissiveness during the message, everyone was required to do this. It was just that the women, curious creatures that they are, were frequently verbally asking questions during service. This passage in no way implies that the women couldn't speak and take part in the functions of the church before and after the message.
"to teach" - present infinitive: refers to being a teacher who has authority in instruction and interpretation. This does not include the teaching of classes to other women or children.
If it were an aorist infinitive it would mean that they cannot teach at all, but the Greek here is clear, she cannot be a pastor or a seminary instructor.
This is certainly not a popular way that is esteemed in our society, but God's word doesn't bend or compromise with current worldly standards.
Should a Christian woman adorn herself in such a way as to elicit the attention of worldly men so as to win them to the Lord? Should she draw upon the lusts of the world in the hope of giving the gospel when she has the attention of the worldly unbeliever? God doesn't need worldly gimmicks to spread the gospel like the advertising industry.
God seeks to glorify Himself in the personality and the life of the believer. Neither the believer nor the church is to practice worldly ways in order to draw in potential converts and neither is the believing wife to do so to her unbelieving husband.
The same applies to the wearing of jewelry and putting on dresses. These things are not forbidden, but the use of them for an adornment that is used to attract the worldly is forbidden. Extravagant jewelry and extravagant garments were worn by those who could afford to in the Roman world in order to impress others in the world. Apparently some Christian women thought this would attract others and their unbelieving husbands to the gospel. I can only imagine that this was a self-justification for continuing this way as the women had grown used to the attention.
1PE 3:3 And let not your adornment be merely external — braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;
1PE 3:4 but let it be the hidden person [man; masculine] of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
The Christian woman should depend upon an adornment that proceeds from within her inner spiritual being and is truly representative of that inner spiritual life. The words, "the hidden person [man] of the heart" refer to the personality of the Christian woman as made beautiful by the ministry of the Holy Spirit in glorifying the Lord Jesus and manifesting Him in and through her life. Peter uses the masculine of anthropos, "person", most likely to make sure all readers know that the incorruptible quality of the heart applies to both men and women. Gentle and quiet sound feminine, but they are not. If you recall, gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit and commanded of all believers and the word quiet is better rendered "inner peace" or "inner tranquility" of heart which is commanded of all believers in 1TI 2:2.
Hidden person of the heart is used in contrast to the overt adornment. One can adorn a mannequin. A person ought to be bigger than any consideration of outward decoration.
Peter describes that personality, briefly in the case of these wives, as a meek and quiet spirit which is in the sight of God of great price.
This doesn't mean that she doesn't talk or has no opinions, but these are words that are used to describe the personality of Christ and from that we can gather their reality.
"Imperishable quality" - av,fqartoj[apthartos] = not liable to corruption or decay.
This is an incorruptible quality. Overt adorning gets taken off at night and reapplied the next day, but humility and self-control are permanent qualities that cannot be corrupted by cosmic ways, lust, or trends.
"gentle" - prau?,j[praus] = meek or mild, a character of TLJC:
"Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle [praus] and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.
"Say to the daughter of Zion,
'Behold your King is coming to you,
Gentle, and mounted on a donkey,
"Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
They won't inherit it in our day and age, but they will in the age to come, as was and is true of Christ. Think of the person of Christ and you find the proper way of gentleness or meekness.
But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness [meekness].
"quiet" - h`su,cioj[hesuchios] = inner tranquility and peace.
While eirene, used in GAL 5:22 and translated "peace" as one of the fruit of the Spirit has more of a nuance of soul prosperity as peace is the absence of war, chaos, and turmoil, whereas hesuchios has more of a nuance of inner quietness and tranquility that results from such a soul.