1 Peter 3:1-7
Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word…
I. IT REMINDS US THAT IT IS THE INWARD LIFE THAT MAKES THE MAN. The "hidden man" is not what first meets the eye that constitutes a person's individuality. It is what his will — led, taught yet ignorant, prejudiced yet biassed, free yet trammelled, great yet little — determines.
II. WE ARE REMINDED THAT THIS INWARD MAN FAR EXCEEDS THAT WHICH IS OUTWARD AND VISIBLE.
1. It exceeds it in value. A man would not take the kingdom for his body. Youth or age, beauty or vileness, do not alter the intrinsic nature of the man. Often indeed do we see the noblest spirits inhabit the most unseemly bodies, while those who possess outward beauty are infamous in their lives. As to the stupendous contrast, in value, of the soul over the body, it is impossible to define any just description. A priceless jewel wrapped in a worthless piece of paper is only a faint representation of the contrast which exists between them.
2. The inner man again is the responsible part of our human nature. The body is but the agent.
3. Compare again for one moment the elements of which they are severally composed. The outward, visible man is dust. The soul or living essence is the breath of the living God. Its influence at once exalts the body to the highest step of material creation.
III. WE MAY CONSIDER THAT THIS INWARD LIFE IS AS THE TEXT DESCRIBES IT — A "HIDDEN" LIFE. No human eyes can penetrate the veil which hides it from view. It is in our own hearts we live, in our souls we exist, and in our own hearts we must die. It would be mockery to bring the outside world into our inside existence. It would be bad for us, and bad for the world, if we did not live in a hidden world. Thank God that even our sins are hid.
IV. WE WOULD WARN YOU THAT THIS HIDDEN LIFE IS NO SECRET FROM GOD.
V. THAT THIS INNER MAN DESERVES AND DEMANDS MORE CAREFUL CULTIVATION THAN IT GENERALLY RECEIVES. Now, in order to effectually cultivate the heart, there must be —
1. A continuous course of introspection.
2. There must be self-communion.
3. There must be the admission of Christ as a guest. It is in the heart that Christ must dwell.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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;