The Hidden Man

1Peter 3:4-7 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. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters you are, as long as you do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Likewise, you 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. 

‘Hidden man of the heart’ this is the inner man of Romans 7:22; 2Corinthians 4:16 and Ephesians 3:16 where it refers to the spirit of man which knows (1Cor. 2:11; 2Cor. 4:16; Eph. 3:16) and which is immortal (3:4). It also takes in the soul, that is, the seat of the feelings, emotions, and desires, for Paul not only knew and willed to do the will of God, but he delighted in it (cp. Ps. 1:2).

‘Is not corruptible’ [Greek: aphthartos] translated “not corruptible” of man’s soul and spirit (3:4); “incorruptible” of man’s crown (1Cor. 9:25), of the future resurrected body (1Cor. 15:52), of our heavenly inheritance (1:4), and of the Word of God (1:23); “uncorruptible” of God (Rom. 1:23); and “immortal” of God (1Tim. 1:17). Thus, we have definite proof that the inner man is just as immortal as God. People have immortality of soul and spirit and will have immortality in body in the resurrection (1Cor. 15:51-58).

Twenty-five proofs are given in Scripture of the immortality of man’s soul as we can see from the following quotes: the hidden man of the heart is not corruptible (is immortal, 1Pet. 3:4). Hell from beneath is moved to meet thee at thy coming (Isa. 14:9-11). They have eternal life (John 3:15-16; 6:54, 58; 17:2-3). They are passed from death unto life (John 5:24; 6:40, 47). He shall live forever (John 6:51) and they shall never perish (John 10:28). They shall never die (John 11:25-26). Man is not able to kill the soul (Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:5). There appeared Moses talking with Him (Matt. 17:3; cp. Deut. 34:6). Their worm dies not (Mark 9:43-49). In hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments (Luke 16:19-31). All live unto Him (Luke 20:37-38). Though our outward man perishes, yet the inward man is renewed day by day … The things which are not seen (the soul and spirit) are eternal (2Cor. 4:16-18). To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2Cor. 5:8). To depart (die, the inner man leaving the body, Jas. 2:26) is to be with Christ (Php. 1:21-24). Whether we wake (live) or sleep (die), we shall live with Him (1Thess. 5:10). You are come unto the spirits of just men and made perfect (Heb. 12:22-23). The souls of the dead live according to God in the spirit (1Pet. 4:6). He that does the will of God abides forever (1Jn. 2:17). We know we have passed from death unto life because we love (1Jn. 3:14-15). God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son (1Jn. 5:11). He that has the Son has life (1Jn. 2:24-25; 5:12). Your heart shall live forever (Ps. 22:26). The path of the just shines more and more unto the perfect day (Pro. 4:18). I saw under the altar the souls . . . they cried, saying (Rev. 6:9-11).

‘Even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit’ meekness so as not to be provoked by others and a quiet spirit so as not to provoke others. ‘Of great price’ all the ornaments placed on the heads of all females are of no value compared to the meek and quiet spirit. One is passing; the other is eternal. Proverbs 11:22 states: As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. a jewel in the swine’s snout is as becoming as a beautiful woman who lacks moral discretion.

‘Whose daughters you are, as long as you do well’ as Abraham is the father of all that believe (Rom. 4:12, 16), so Sarah is here spoken of as being the mother of many daughters who walk in her footsteps. ‘Afraid with any amazement’ fear of detection for infidelity. If you do well, being faithful wives, as Sarah, you will not live under fear of being found guilty of infidelities.

‘Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife’ two commands are given here for husbands: Likewise – be just as faithful to your wives, as you want them to be to you; give them no excuse for sin and give honour to the wife, using your superior strength in protecting her and as being heirs together of life.

‘Weaker vessel’ even though more beautiful, they are delicate and frail.

‘That your prayers be not hindered’ many prayers are hindered because of the unfaithfulness of husbands and wives. Husbands must make sure they honour their own wives by giving them the necessary honour and support as to not being cut off from above (Isa. 59:1-2).

Chaste Conversation

1Peter 3:1-3 Likewise, you 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; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel

‘Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands’ wives are to be in submission to their husbands, (not to all men alike as some people like to misquote) like Christians submitting to rulers (2:13) and servants submitting to their masters (2:18).

‘Without the word be won’ if husbands will not hear preaching of the gospel, they will hear the preaching of the chaste behaviour of the wives. If the wife will conduct herself chastely, in reverence to her husband and in the fear of God, her husband may be won (3:2-3).

Eight ways to win a husband to God (3:1-6): Submit to and obey the husband [always in the Lord] (3:1, 5-6). Obey the Word (3:1). Have chaste conversation (3:2). Let not the outward adorning be the chief aim in life (3:3) no shameless attire. Let the inner man be adorned more than the outward man (3:3-4). Trust in God (3:5). Do well (3:6). Live faithful to the husband, so there will be no fear of being found guilty of infidelity (3:6). These are not only duties of a wife, but are the eight things which make a model wife. How can one who is constantly breaking these laws win a husband or anyone else?

‘Conversation’ [Greek: anastrophe] behaviour or manner of life; the whole conduct of life in domestic and public relations. Always translated “conversation” (1:15, 18; 2:12; 3:1, 2, 16; Gal. 1:13; Eph. 4:22; 1Tim. 4:12; Heb. 13:7; Jas. 3:13; 2Pet. 2:7; 3:11).

‘Adorning’ [Greek: kosmos] behaviour; fashion; ornament; decoration. ‘Let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel’ outward adorning consists here of hairstyle, wearing gold and wearing apparel. It is not the total condemnation of these three things that Peter intends here, but rather he’s stressing the importance of inner adorning over outward adorning. Many go to extremes classing as sin all wearing of rings, bracelets, and other ornaments, but this is not the purpose of the passage. It says nothing of any one of these things being sinful or unbecoming to Christians, and in this respect is in perfect accord with Paul who rebukes extravagance in ornaments and garments when women adorn themselves to bring any form of attention to their bodies or themselves.

We are to pay more attention to the inward man than to the outer man (3:4). Peter here gives the examples of holy women of old who adorned the inner man by being quiet and meek before their husbands, but who wore jewellery and outward adorning (3:5-6; Gen. 24:22, 30, 47, 53). All these came from Abraham and Sarah who were rich in silver and gold (Gen. 24:35).