Tag Archives: heirs together

HUSBAND, BE A REAL MAN

HUSBAND, BE A REAL MAN

Husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. (1 Peter 3:7)

The Bible teaches God’s people to live their lives from a different perspective from those who will have nothing to do with God. The worldly attitude is: exploit the weak because they cannot defend themselves so you can take advantage of them and get what you want. Isn’t that the attitude behind abortion?

A defenseless child, living in the environment which should be the safest place on earth for that period of its life, is torn apart and thrown out with the trash at the whim of the mother because it has no power to defend itself. Small children are abducted, raped and murdered by ruthless men, and their cries of terror go unheeded. A wife is abused, beaten and traumatised unmercifully because she is the weaker partner and cannot defend herself against a bully.

God’s ways are just the opposite. The strong are to protect the weak, not to abuse them because they can. God is the protector of the widow, the orphan, the poor and needy. He is a Father to the fatherless and a husband to the widow. Jesus looked out for the defenceless and came to their aid – He healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the hungry, comforted the sorrowing and forgave the sinner. His attention and love were always focused on the most vulnerable people in society and He fiercely defended them against spiritual bullies.

It is the role of a husband, then, as his wife’s partner, to use his strength not to exploit her but to protect her. She is the weaker partner, not in mind and intelligence but in physical strength. Unlike some sections of society who saw their wives as their property or as lesser beings to be used and abused at will, a husband was to respect his wife as an equal partner with him, a person created in the image of God. She had the right to dignity and respect in the same way as any other human being.

Of course, there is a higher reason for a husband to harness his strength to protect his wife and not to abuse and exploit her (and his children for that matter). They are equal partners in a gift that can only comes from God – the gift of eternal life. Every believer in Jesus is a son or daughter of God. They are equally precious to Him as His family members. Any attitude of superiority is abhorrent to Him and alienates that one from Him.

Every son and daughter has a role to play in His kingdom. Each one is a co-ruler with Christ, seated with Him in the heavenly realms and co-operating with Him to carry out His will on earth. Prayer is one of God’s ways of strengthening the relationship with His son or daughter so that His will will be done through him or her. A superior attitude and unacceptable behaviour cuts a person off from fellowship with God. Prayers are hindered and God’s will consequently not done in that life.

Both godly and ungodly behaviour sets off a chain reaction in the world. In the midst of an ungodly society, Peter explained to his readers that God’s way is the way of restraint and self-control. Just as selfishness degrades and destroys, so unselfishness promotes the health and wellbeing of one another. By taking care of one another’s needs, they benefit themselves and the whole family.

What a witness to a world that does not know God when a husband loves his wife and treats her with consideration and respect! How refreshing to witness a wife living in unresisting submission to her husband so that their partnership is one of unity and harmony instead of constant bickering and conflict.

Marriages fall apart when one or both partners are so self-centred that they are willing to destroy their home rather than put their spouse’s interests above their own. The miracle of the new life Jesus gives is that once selfish and self-centred human beings are able to set themselves and their wants aside for the wellbeing of the other.

When each one seeks to build unity rather than self-satisfaction, fulfilling his or her role as God intended, marriage becomes a picture of the unity in the Godhead and the unity in the universe that reflects the nature of God. God’s intention for marriage is that, through mutual submission, harmony in the home and the sexual union of marriage partners, His glory would be mirrored to the world.

Husbands and wives, play your part in the power of the Holy Spirit and you will undoubtedly be putting God’s glory on display!

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST REVEALED

THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST REVEALED

For this reason, I Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles – Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that, through the gospel, the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus  (Eph. 3: 1-6).

The secret is out! The Gentiles, who thought they were excluded, are in on God’s master plan to bless the whole world, Jew and Gentile alike, with the spiritual blessings Paul declared in the opening paragraphs of his letter. The children of Israel were the initial recipients of God’s magnificent array of benefits – if they had only understood and co-operated with God to receive the favour He promised them. However, they were only the prototype of what God had planned for the whole world.

Israel was the nation God chose to coach to walk in His ways as a visual aid for the rest of the world, so that all the nations would understand what God had for them and what He wanted from them.

God entrusted to Paul and to his fellow apostles His plan to open the door of faith to the whole world. He placed in Paul’s spirit, through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, the understanding of this “mystery” – not something too difficult to understand but something hidden from human beings until the moment He made the truth known to His apostles. He entrusted to them the task of administering His grace to the previously excluded peoples so that they would have an equal share in everything He has promised to the Jews.

However, the Jews would have none of it. They believed that the covenant and the promises belonged to them, and to them alone. They hated and despised the Gentiles, believing that God’s prohibition to mix with them had to do with their worth as human beings. They failed to understand that the evil influence the pagan beliefs and practices had on His people was what God hated. After all they had suffered as a people because of their idolatry, they wanted nothing to do with Gentiles. They treated them as scum and called them “dogs”.

Paul and his fellow apostles suffered greatly at the hands of the Jews because they refused to participate in their prejudice. Jesus had given them a commission to take His message to the whole world. They were committed to go to the ends of the earth regardless of the way they were treated. The gospel of God’s grace was the dividing line which cut across all the divisions of race, colour, language and culture and created a new culture and a new race of people whose citizenship was not primarily in this world.

It was Paul’s task to administer this message and the grace God offered to those who received it, regardless of their human condition. It was a sacred commission from the throne room of heaven. Paul accepted and carried out the commission with integrity and commitment to his dying day, not counting his life worth anything unless he obeyed his Master.

Imagine the joy of those who had previously believed that they were excluded from the benefits of the bond that God had created between Himself and His chosen people. The Jews were the privileged ones, and everyone else was regarded as trash – until Paul came to them with the good news that they, too, had equal shares with the Jews in the favour of God. God’s mysterious ways had become clear. He was not mad with the Gentiles, consigning them to hell, as they once believed. It was His plan, all along, to pour out His grace on them through the Jews who were the recipients and custodians of His covenant.

There are many references to God’s plan for the Gentiles in the Old Testament which His people could have understood, had they chosen to believe the prophecies. God did not hate them. Yes, He hated their practices but, through the cross, He also forgave their sin and gave them an opportunity to turn from their wickedness and put their trust in the Son of God.

What Paul had to share with the people of Asia Minor and Europe, regardless of their nationality and religious affiliation, was truly good news. God had given them the opportunity to turn away from the sins that tore their lives apart, to start again with a new life which He created within them, to bring them back from spiritual death to life and to set their feet on a path of obedience to God and His Word.

Through Christ, God had made a new race out of Jew and Gentile, belonging to His kingdom, under His authority and participators in His nature. All God’s promises were theirs as well. They had the hope of eternal life with those of the Jewish people who believed in and received Jesus as their Messiah. This was truly good news.

Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3,                                                                              eBook 978-4828-0511-6

Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or Kindle version, on www.takealot.com  or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), a companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.