Holy Women Are Fueled by Hope

1 Peter 3:1–6, Part 4

Underneath a wife’s submission to her husband must be the anchor of fearless hope in God. Where does that come from and where do we see it? In this lab, John Piper looks at a pathway to faithful submission and examines one example in the Bible.

Principle for Bible Reading

When the New Testament mentions an allusion to particular people or stories in the Old Testament, turn back to those places in the Old Testament and remind yourselves of what we know about that person or event. What specific event might the New Testament author have in mind, for instance, when he offers Sarah as an example of submission?

Study Questions

  1. Why does Peter turn to the “holy women” (1 Peter 3:5) at this point in his argument about submission (1 Peter 3:1–6)? What is he attempting to do?
  2. Take the ideas of hope, holiness, fearlessness, good deeds, and submission from 1 Peter 3:1–6, and arrange them in some logical order. How might they progress or relate to one another in Peter’s mind?
  3. Why would Peter use Sarah as an example? Based on what we’ve learned about submission in 1 Peter, what might Peter have said about the incident when Abraham told Sarah to lie about being his wife in Egypt (Genesis 12:10–20)?

Introduction/Prayer (00:00–02:03)

Daughters of Sarah (02:03–04:43)

  • Where will Peter go to provide foundation and argument for what he has said about believing wives with unbelieving husbands? (1 Peter 3:1–4)
  • He turns to the example of holy women named in Scripture, specifically to Sarah. (1 Peter 3:5–6)
  • These women adorned themselves (with a gentle and quiet spirit) by submitting to their husbands. (1 Peter 3:5)
  • Women of faith today are children of Sarah or heirs of the covenant, “if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.” (1 Peter 3:6)

A Pathway to Submission (04:43–07:37)

  • Hope in God in the root of everything else for the woman of faith. (1 Peter 3:5)
  • Their hope sets them apart for God in holiness. (1 Peter 3:5)
  • Their hope also frees them to be fearless, which makes them inexplicable to the world. (1 Peter 3:6)
  • Her life overflows with good deeds, which provides a consistent testimony to her hope. (1 Peter 3:6)
  • Finally, she submits to her husband in reverence to God. (1 Peter 3:5)

One Example of Submission (07:37–12:20)

  • Peter mentions Sarah submission to Abraham. (1 Peter 3:6)
  • What about when Abraham led Sarah into Egypt, and told her to lie about being his wife to protect himself? Is Peter commending that?
  • Peter probably hated how Abraham acted in that case, and is not commending Sarah’s submission in that particular situation, because Peter does not want anyone to submit to anyone leading them into sin. He calls them to submit “for the Lord’s sake.” (1 Peter 2:13)
  • So what is Peter talking about? Sarah calls Abraham “my lord” in Genesis 18:12. (1 Peter 3:6)
  • I think Sarah is an example of submission because her default disposition was to speak respectfully of her husband, calling him “my lord.”