(week 15/11)

1Peter 3:1-4 MKJV:  Likewise, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands, so that if any do not obey the Word, they may also be won without the Word by the conduct of the wives, (2) having witnessed your chaste behaviour in the fear of God.  (3)  Of whom let not be the adorning of garments, or outward braiding of hair and wearing of gold, or of putting on clothing,  (4)  but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, the meek and quiet spirit, which is of great price in the sight of God.

Here, Peter by the Holy Spirit tells us (this applies to all Christians and not only to wives and husbands) to adorn our outward conduct with the inner nature and character of God in the hidden recreated born-again spirit—the hidden man of the heart.

It is hidden: covered by the physical body because spiritual things are invisible or imperceptible to our physical senses and the inner man is spiritual.

2Corinthians 5:17 NIV: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Ephesians 4:24 AMP: And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.

Colossians 3:10 NKJV: and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

We are to ‘put off’ the sin nature that used to be in our spirits and is still in our souls: minds, wills and emotions and bodies; and ‘put on’ the new godly nature that is now in our spirits.

Romans 7:22-23 MKJV:  For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man;  (23)  but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin being in my members.

Galatians 5:13-18 NIV:  You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.  (14)  The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  (15)  If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.  (16)  So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.  (17)  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.  (18)  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

This can be likened to putting on and putting off our physical clothes daily: we launder our clothes and then put them on afresh each day.

Similarly, daily, we clean our hearts with the blood of Jesus by confessing our sins (‘drinking His blood’) and ‘put on’ the divine nature by  releasing God’s wisdom and power into our souls: wills, minds and emotions and bodies by speaking God’s Word and praying in the Spirit with tongues and travail (‘eating His flesh’).

John 6:56 NKJV: He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

This abiding in Christ is abiding actively in Him and He is abiding actively in you by this regular flow of His blood and life in your heart: from your spirit into your soul. It is possible to be dormant and not active in Christ!

Revelation 3:1-2 NIV: “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. (2)  Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.

This church in Sardis was dormant in Christ: they were not adorning their conduct with the nature of the inner man by the blood, Word and the Spirit and so were functionally dead!

So by doing this, ‘drinking His blood’ and ‘eating His flesh’, we are also simultaneously and equivalently keeping His commandments and dwelling or abiding actively in the love of God.

1John 3:23-24 NIV: And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.  (24)  Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

1John 4:15-18 MKJV: Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him and he in God.  (16)  And we have known and believed the love that God has in us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. (17) In this is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, that as He is, so also we are in this world.  (18)  There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love.

So, as we actively abide in Christ and so perfect His love in us by His blood, Word and Spirit, we will daily adorn our conduct with His nature and character of love and so draw men to Him by the Spirit, even without preaching the Word to them.