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A Charge to the Church

I Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Peter's final charge to the church as a community if they are to remain faithful in sufferings.

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Peter has primarily been addressing individual believers in their struggles with suffering and trials. He has spent the letter encouraging Christians to continue faithfully following Christ, even in suffering, because of glory that is to come. Now, at the end of his letter, Peter addresses the church as a whole. What things need to be observed as a church community in light of their trials and sufferings?
The summation or conclusion to Peter’s letter began back in chapter 4. Peter summarized his message of encouragement by imploring these believers to arm themselves with the same way of thinking as Christ did when He suffered in the flesh.
1 Peter 4:1 KJV 1900
1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
Then in v. 7 Peter once again draws their attention to the end times, challenging the believers to live as if the return of Christ was imminent.
1 Peter 4:7 KJV 1900
7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
Now in chapter 5 Peter addresses concerns within the church.
He instructs the church with key imperatives that must be followed if they are to remain faithful in trials.
So we too as a biblical church must heed these imperatives if we are to remain faithful in the trials that God allows into our lives.
What imperatives must we observe?

I. The church must have a pastor who fulfills the biblical role of his office (vv. 1-4)

If the people that form a local church are going to remain faithful to Christ through fiery trials, then the church must have a godly pastor who functions they way that God intended him to function.

A. Peter’s qualifications (v. 1)

1 Peter 5:1 KJV 1900
1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
Peter first turns his attention to the elders or the pastors of the church. In the Greek text, the word “therefore” links 5:1 to the preceeding context of suffering and persecution. This suffering and persecution of individual believers would put a strain on the entire church. Therefore, Peter begins his message to the local churches by exhorting the pastors.
Peter begins by giving a three fold qualification for the imperatives he is about to state.
Peter calls himself a “fellow elder”
Rather than stress his superior role as an apostle, Peter includes himself among the group of elders/pastors of these local church in Asia Minor. Probably because his roles as an apostle, like Paul, would give Peter concern for all the churches with which he has worked.
2 Corinthians 11:28 KJV 1900
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
So in this sense Peter identifies himself with the rest of the pastors and refers to himself as a fellow elder.
2. Peter calls himself a “witness of the sufferings of Christ”
Does this statement raise any questions in your mind? Where was Peter when Christ was being crucified? Could Peter call himself an eyewitness when he fled the scene?
The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude (1) Exhortations for Elders and Younger Ones (5:1–5)

Peter did actually observe Christ in his ministry, saw the opposition mount against him, was present when he was arrested, and may have found his way to the cross after denying him. Even if he was not present at the crucifixion, he would have received the tradition incredibly early from John the Apostle, the Lord’s mother, and other witnesses.

Schreiner
3. Finally Peter call himself, “a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed.”
Notice Peter again identifies himself with the pastors of these churches by saying he would also be a partaker of the glory.
The glory that shall be revealed I believe is a reference to the second coming of Christ. All through the letter Peter has been encouraging believers to endure trials because of the glory that awaits them when Christ appears.
1 Peter 1:7 KJV 1900
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1 Peter 1:13 KJV 1900
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Peter 4:13 KJV 1900
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
So here Peter specifically encourages the elders to follow after Christ, enduring suffering and trials here an now, so that they may share in Christ’s glory when He appears.

B. The Pastor’s Role (vv. 2-3)

1 Peter 5:2–3 KJV 1900
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

1. His Function (vv. 1-2a)

Peter uses three terms that I believe describe the function of the pastor of a NT church.
a). Elder- (v. 1)
1 Peter 5:1 KJV 1900
1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
πρεσβύτερος- Elder, speaks of maturity and dignity primarily in terms of his spiritual life. A pastor must exhibit spiritual maturity, He must not be a novice (age does not mean maturity). The term stresses the importance of experience and training and it suggests that a pastor should have character above reproach.
b). Shepherd- (v. 2)
1 Peter 5:2 KJV 1900
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
ποιμnv / ποιμαίνω- Shepherd, Pastor, indicates he is responsible for feeding the flock. Notice the flock (church) is God’s flock and the pastor has been given the responsibility to Shepherd or feed it- primarily done through the Word.
Acts 20:28 KJV 1900
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Acts 20:27–28 KJV 1900
27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Acts
A Pastor is to provide spiritual guidance for a congregation, oversight and protection. He is responsible for the spiritual feeding of the Word. He is to render individual care and concern. He is to Shepherd the flock of God.
John 21:15–17 KJV 1900
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
A Pastor is to provide spiritual guidance for a congregation, oversight and protection.
This is exactly what Peter is doing in writing this letter- He is feeding the flock of God. Pastor’s are given the same function.
c.) Overseer- (v. 2)
1 Peter 5:2 KJV 1900
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
I Pet
ἐπισκοπns / ἐπισκοπέω- Bishop, overseer, chief administrator, ruler. His assigned work is that of planning, guiding, giving direction, employing foresight. He is responsible for the smooth operation of a working force. He is responsible for ruling, for taking care in a local church.
1 Timothy 3:4–5 KJV 1900
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
Titus 1:7 KJV 1900
7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
This words describe the Pastor’s function. Some would argue that each of these words is not simply the function of one office, but each its own office. In other words there should be pastors, elders, and bishops in a church. I think it is helpful to understand passages like , where Peter uses all three terms clearly in reference to one office. All three terms- Elder, Pastor, Overseer are descriptive of the function of one office, the office of the NT Pastor.
1 Peter 5:1–2 KJV 1900
1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
Acts 20:17 KJV 1900
17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
Acts 20:28 KJV 1900
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Again, in all three terms are clearly used of one office- that of the NT pastor. This is why we have only two offices here at Faith- the pastor and the deacon. I believe that Scripture only teaches two.

2. His Methods (vv. 2b-3)

The pastor’s function describe what he should be doing in a local church- He is to function as an elder, he is to shepherd, and he is to oversee. In the last part of verse 2 and into verse three Peter describes the methods of the pastor, or how he should carry out his function.
1 Peter 5:2–3 KJV 1900
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
a). Not under compulsion but with a whole-hearted desire, which is God’s will for them.
not by constraint, but willingly
Most early manuscripts have willingly, according to God (according to the will of God)
Those who serve only because they feel they must will lose their joy, and the church will suffer as a consequence.
Thomas R. Schreiner, 1, 2 Peter, Jude, vol. 37, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003), 234.
The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude (1) Exhortations for Elders and Younger Ones (5:1–5)

Those who serve only because they feel they must will lose their joy, and the church will suffer as a consequence.

The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude (1) Exhortations for Elders and Younger Ones (5:1–5)

elders would presumably work long hours and be the first targets of persecution, both of which could quench their desire to continue.

b). A pastor must not serve in a leadership position out of greed.
not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
Titus 1:7 KJV 1900
7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
Instead they are to serve out of a ready mind / being eager to be of service, willingly, eagerly, freely. Pastors are to be eager to meet the needs of others rather than seeking gain for themselves.
Illustration:
An evangelist famous for preaching the "prosperity gospel" wants donations so he can buy a $54 million private jet. He claims to have been given this edict from the heavens above.
According to MSN, "Louisiana-based televangelist Jesse Duplantis raised eyebrows Tuesday when he said God told him he needs a new jet." Duplantis then asked his followers from around the globe to send him donations for this divinely-inspired jet that costs more than just a widow's offering.
Mr. Duplantis also cited Scripture to justify this heavenly jet, saying that if Jesus were on Earth today, he'd trade out the donkey for his one of those Falcon 7Xs. "He’d be in an airplane preaching the gospel flying all over the world," he said.
Duplantis told his followers that God whispered unto his disbelieving ears, "I want you to believe in me for a Falcon 7X."
Naturally, Duplantis worried about the price, but God reprimanded him, saying, "Jesse, I didn’t ask you to pay for it, I asked you to believe for it." And by believe for it, God surely meant for Mr. Duplantis to ask his followers for donations. He has done this as many as three times "for God."
"I like all people to know exactly what I'm doing in this ministry; we don't hide nothing whatsoever at all. … I can't live long enough to travel by car, or by ship, or by train, but I can do it by an airplane. ... I don't want to learn how to fly it, I'm not interested in that. I'm interested in preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ."
The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude (1) Exhortations for Elders and Younger Ones (5:1–5)

The leaders of God’s flock do not serve because they have to, as if it were simply another job, nor do they serve to skim off money for themselves.

c). A Pastor must not use his authority as an opportunity to oppress those under him.
Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock
He is not to carry out his function as one who would oppress others, rather he is to lead and use his authority by being an example to the flock.
Mark 10:42–43 KJV 1900
42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. 43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude (1) Exhortations for Elders and Younger Ones (5:1–5)

Elders are not to enter the ministry so they can boss others around but so they can exemplify the character of Christ to those under their charge.

The NT church is governed by the congregation as a whole. The Pastor is a leader of the congregation, but his rule, his authority, is not one of force. Instead his rule is carried out in other ways.
1). Preaching and teaching
1 Timothy 5:17 KJV 1900
17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
The rule of an elder/pastor is bound up in preaching and teaching- in labouring in the word and in doctrine.
1 Timothy 3:4–5 KJV 1900
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
Rule- idea of leading or guiding, not governing.
When my children are young it is possible to rule over them by “cracking the whip” so to speak. The older my kids get, even into adulthood, I can not longer just “crack the whip,” instead I have to be able to lead and guide them. Paul seems to be saying in v. 5 ruling over the church is much more difficult than ruling over your children, because the pastor doesn’t have “spanking” ability. He cannot rule by means of force.
Hebrews 13:7 KJV 1900
7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Here the those that have the rule over you do so through speaking the Word of God.
Hebrews 13:17 KJV 1900
17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
In this context then, to obey them that have the rule over you, means to listen to the Word of God that they speak to you- follow / obey that leadership.
2). Example
Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock
Hebrews 13:7 KJV 1900
7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Pastor’s also lead by example (whose faith follow), also notice the connection between preaching and teaching (core of the pastor’s leadership), and setting an example (taking the teaching and preaching and putting it into practice).

C. The Pastor’s Motivation (v. 4)

1 Peter 5:4 KJV 1900
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
First, notice the title given to our Lord- Jesus is called the “Chief-Shepherd.” The pastor must see himself as an under-shepherd responsible to the Chief-Shepherd.
The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude (1) Exhortations for Elders and Younger Ones (5:1–5)

The designation of Jesus as the Chief Shepherd reminds the leaders that they are fundamentally servants, not autocrats. Their positions of leadership are a responsibility, not a privilege by which they advance their own status. As shepherds they serve under the authority of the Chief Shepherd, doing his will rather than theirs.

So the pastor’s first motivation is to serve the Chief-Shepherd by doing His will rather than their own.
Second, when Jesus, the Chief-Shepherd, appears those men who served Jesus by doing His will in the church will receive a crown of glory that does not fade away.
The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude (1) Exhortations for Elders and Younger Ones (5:1–5)

Peter contrasted the crown elders will receive with the leafy crowns bestowed in the Greco-Roman world. Such crowns were given after athletic victories or military conquests (Martial, Epig. 2.2; Pliny, Hist. nat. 15.5; Dio Chrysostom, Or. 8.15). Such crowns faded as time elapsed, but the crown given by God (cf. 1 Pet 5:10) will never fade.

Peter consistently uses this theme to encourage believers who are suffering from trials and persecutions. This theme is no different for pastors. These men probably were at the forefront of suffering being the leaders of the church. I think of men like Phillip or River, being persecuted in Central Asia (house broken into and bibles destroyed, chicken business shut down)- What is Peter’s message to these men who are at the forefront of persecution? Keep Shepherding the flock, provide spiritual oversight, be a godly example, feed the flock with the Word of God. Don’t do it for the wrong reasons, do it whole-heatedly (not forced), do it eagerly (not out of greed), lead by example (do not be dictators). Why? Because when your Chief-Shepherd appears, He will reward you with a crown of glory, Christ will honor you for your work, and that will never fade away. Live for that day!
The First Epistle of Peter B. The Inner-Church Response to Suffering (5:1–5)

They may be despised on earth (and indeed rejected by their own neighbors), but they will be honored in heaven. And that is something well worth working and suffering for.

Davids
Peter instructs the church with key imperatives that must be followed if they are to remain faithful in trials.
So we too as a biblical church must heed these imperatives if we are to remain faithful in the trials that God allows into our lives.
What are those imperatives?
I. The church must have a pastor who fulfills the biblical role of his office (vv. 1-4)

II. The church must have people who fulfill the biblical mandate of humility (vv. 5-7)

If the people that form a local church are going to remain faithful to Christ through fiery trials, then the church must have a congregation who function humbly with each other and towards God.

A. Humility toward one another (v. 5)

1 Peter 5:5 KJV 1900
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
1). Categories of humility
a). Younger to elder
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.
There are several different ways that people understand this part of the text.
Some think that Peter shifts his usage of the word elder, to mean people who are elder in terms of their age. So the younger aged people in the church should submit to the elder aged people in the church.
I believe that Peter continues on with the same meaning of the term elder as he used it in vv. 1-4. Here elder means pastor. So the younger are to submit themselves to the elders or to their pastors.
To whom is Peter referring to when he speaks to the younger? Again, there is a differing of opinion on this.
Some think this means those who are young in the faith, those who are new to their Christian walk.
Some think the term younger applies to lower clergy in the church, for example to deacons. The deacons are serving like the elders, but they are to be subject to them.
Some think that the term younger applies to all those in the church who are not elders
Some believe the term younger is applied to a particular class or group in the church who are literally younger (under the age of 30 if we take into account Jewish reckoning into account). Perhaps because Peter assumed that the younger would have a harder time enduring the suffering and the trials and would be more apt to act rashly (putting the rest of the church in danger), or to act out in rebellion. This last view is the one I think is correct.
Again, the idea of submitting to the pastor does not mean that the pastor says “jump” and they say “how high.” That is not the way the pastor leads remember. How does a pastor lead? By preaching and teaching and by example.
So young people when one of your pastors (there are three of them here at Faith), approaches you and using the Word of God as their authority and leading by example, they encourage you or exhort you in some way in your life- God specifically states in His Word that you are to submit yourself to that kind of leadership- you are to show humility and deference to your pastor when he interacts with you in a biblical leadership capacity.
b). To one another
Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility
Here Peter turn his attention from the younger members of the church to everyone. All of you be subject to one another- by clothing yourselves with humility (imperative- to clothe)
Colossians 3:12 KJV 1900
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Here Peter commands every member of the church to clothe themselves with humility toward one another.
What does that mean?
Philippians 2:3–4 KJV 1900
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
When we are going through trials and sufferings and hard times what is our immediate inclination? To focus on myself! I am hurting, I am suffering, it is all about me. But here Peter tells these members in these church who are going through fiery trials, if you want to remain faithful to Christ through the trial, then as a church, you must all of you clothe yourselves with humility. You must all of you esteem other as better than yourselves. You must all of you look not on your own things, but you must look on the things of others. Isn’t that incredible? That is the very heart, the very character of our Lord.
1 Peter 4:8 KJV 1900
8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
I Pet 4.8
Keeping loving one another, keep ministering to one another, put on humility toward one another- be Christlike toward one another even in fiery trials.
2). Reasons for humility
For God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Proverbs 3:34 KJV 1900
34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: But he giveth grace unto the lowly.
Above all what does a church of believers who are going through fiery trials need from God? His grace! Without the grace of God where would we be?
2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV 1900
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
If we act in pride toward one another as a church, if we fail to love one another and minister to one another, if we are focused on solely our own needs instead of the needs of others- God will resist us! What about Faith Baptist Church? Do we love and minister and put others needs ahead of our own. When is the last time you looked upon the things of others rather than the things of yourself? Without God’s grace we are nothing, and He will not give it to a church that is full of pride.

B. Humility toward God (vv. 6-7)

1 Peter 5:6–7 KJV 1900
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Since God resists those who live as is they have no need of Him, and since God does bestow his grace upon those who humbly acknowledge their own need of Him- therefore humble yourselves (command) under the mighty hand of God.
The term “mighty hand of God” is a phrase that is associated in the OT with God’s delivering Israel out of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 7:8 KJV 1900
8 But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Peter’s use of this phrase is strategic- just as the Lord delivered His people from Egypt, so He will vindicate His people in Asian minor who were enduring suffering.
Peter gives the command- humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God! Why? So that He may exalt you! When? (This is the question we all really want answered isn’t it?) When will God exalt me? Answer: in due time or at the proper time.
When is that? How long did God choose to let the nation of Israel remain in bondage in Egypt? Hundreds of years! But, God, in His own perfect / proper time, did exalt them didn’t He?
When will God properly exalt us? Not during this lifetime. That is not to say that we will not experience God’s blessing in this lifetime, but the primary timing of God’s exaltation for us isn’t during this age- it is in the age to come. Peter has been stressing this all along.
1 Peter 1:3–4 KJV 1900
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1 Peter 1:6–7 KJV 1900
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1 Peter 1:13 KJV 1900
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Peter 2:11 KJV 1900
11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
1 Peter 3:9 KJV 1900
9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 4:7 KJV 1900
7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
1 Peter 4:12–13 KJV 1900
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1 Peter 5:1 KJV 1900
1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
1 Peter 5:4 KJV 1900
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
I Pet 5.
1 Peter 5:6 KJV 1900
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Humble yourselves and patiently wait under God’s mighty hand, for He will exalt you at the proper moment. Even if it takes all your life long- humble yourself under God’s mighty hand.
Pastor Jon, that sounds really hard! How can I do that for an entire lifetime?
1 Peter 5:7 KJV 1900
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Now, get I want you to get this- this is really important. This verse- casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you- is not an isolated statement! We often quote this verse, and only this verse. Sometimes, we can do great harm to the meaning of a verse when we take it out of its context. The idea of casting your cares, is syntactically tied to the idea of humbling yourself under God’s mighty hand. In other words one of the ways that you humble yourself is by casting all your cares upon God.
Remember that Peter commands us to humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand, and the force of that command carries over to the idea of casting all your care upon God. Do you know what that means? That means when we do not cast all our cares or our anxieties upon God, then we are violating the Biblical command to humble ourselves. In other words if you are unwilling to cast your anxieties upon God then you are living in sin.
Now, I am not saying that having cares or having anxieties is a sin. Every single person at some point in their life will experience anxieties. To have them is not a sin. To keep them to ourselves is a sin. Failing to cast them upon God is what is sinful. Why is that? Because it is a form of pride.
If one of the ways to humble ourselves is to cast our cares or our anxieties upon God, then by not casting them upon Him we are remaining in a state of pride. When we hold on to our anxieties or our cares we are in effect saying to God- “God I don’t think you can handle all of these cares without me.” Or, “God I don’t trust you to really handle all of my problems.” We are living in pride, we are living as if we have no need of God. This is a foolish thing to do! The truth is we desperately need God. The truth is we can’t handle even the smallest problems in our life without the help of God.
Jesus said it this way...
Luke 12:25–26 KJV 1900
25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
Luke 12.25-26
What Jesus is saying is this, which one of you by worrying can add even a single hour to your life span? Answer, no of us can. If you can’t do even a very little thing, like ensure that we will live past this very hour, then why do you worry about other matters?
Instead of worrying, instead of keeping a hold on our anxieties, we must instead cast them upon God, for He cares for you. God cares for you more than you can even begin to imagine! He sent His own Son to die for you.
Paul said it this way.
Romans 8:31–32 KJV 1900
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Rom 8.
God cares for you more than you know, and with His mighty hand, at the exact right time, He will exalt you. So don’t live in sin by holding on to your worries, instead live in humility, humbly admit your daily need of God, by casting your cares upon Him. For failure to do so is sin. Living with worries, living with anxieties, is akin to the sin of pride.
Illustration:
Do you know where I struggle with this? Where probably a lot of pastors struggle with this? Every Sunday, when I get the record of the offering for the week. Every time when we have a lower offering, I am attacked with cares, with anxieties. Or every time we have a low attendance for a service I am attacked with cares, with anxieties. Why? Because I feel like I am a failure, or how can we possibly build a new building with that kind of offering. Those thoughts are real, as much as I wish they were not real, they are real. Sometimes, I live in sin because I carry those anxieties around on my shoulders for a while. God has been teaching me that I really do have a lot of pride in my life. He has been showing me that over and over again I have to cast those cares upon Him. And it doesn’t necessarily go away, week after week I must constantly cast those cares on God. I must humble myself under God’s might hand. If this church is going to grow and be genuinely successful (not the world’s definition, but God’s) then who is the One who is going to be responsible for that kind of growth? God is.
Refutation:
Now I am not saying that we don’t play a part. The idea is not let go and let God handle it. No, that is not it at all.
1 Peter 4:19 KJV 1900
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
We still need to continue on in well doing- in doing good. We have to do our part. But as we labor for the will of God, we must constantly humble ourselves under His mighty hand.
Application:
What cares are you carrying around right now? What anxieties are you holding on to, refusing to cast upon God. Do you understand that refusing to cast is a sin of pride? Do you find yourself constantly worrying about circumstances in your life? Or do you find yourself constantly depending on God about circumstances in your life? Self-employed guys that have to wait upon the Lord on a day by day basis. Don’t carry your cares, cast them. Parents struggling with your kids, don’t carry your cares, get on your knees, humbly admit your desperate need of God, and cast them upon Him. For God really does care for you.
Peter instructs the church with key imperatives that must be followed if they are to remain faithful in trials.
So we too as a biblical church must heed these imperatives if we are to remain faithful in the trials that God allows into our lives.
What are those imperatives?
I. The church must have a pastor who fulfills the biblical role of his office (vv. 1-4)
II. The church must have people who fulfill the biblical mandate of humility (vv. 5-7)

III. The church must have people who fulfill the biblical description of readiness (vv. 8-11)

In this closing section of his letter, Peter describes our real enemy. We have an adversary, the devil, and if we are not in a constant state of readiness we will be devoured.

A. Be Ready (v. 8a)

1 Peter 5:8 KJV 1900
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Peter’s command to be ready is given in the form of two commands.
1). Be Sober-
This is the third time Peter has commanded this of these believers.
1 Peter 1:13 KJV 1900
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Peter 4:7 KJV 1900
7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
1 Peter 5:8 KJV 1900
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
(figurative expression of sobriety- be free from every form of mental and spiritual “drunkenness”- free from excess, passion, rashness, confusion- to be well balanced or self-controlled)
Illustration: My kids don’t get to watch much TV, so when someone turns on the the TV it is like their brains go to mush. They become mental zombies, completely under the mental influence and control of whatever is on the TV. I am pretty sure you could light the house on fire, and as long as the TV was on they would perish in the blaze. Mentally they are “under the influence” of the TV. They are not sober minded. They are not mentally alert.
Ephesians 5:18 KJV 1900
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Colossians 3:16 KJV 1900
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
As believers if we are to be ready to face our adversary we must have our minds under the influence of the HS, and that is accomplished by having our thinking under the influence of the Word of Christ.
Folks are you really mentally and spiritually sober minded? There is a trend now-a-days that if ever you have even a moment of your day where there is nothing to do, what is our instant response? We whip out the smart phone. How many times do we allow Facebook, or the latest game, or some other social media app to be our mental and spiritual intoxication?
Now, I am not saying it is always wrong to be on our smart phones, but to always allow your thinking to be under the influence of something other than the HS is dangerous. Why? Because then we are not ready, we are not mentally alert.
What is your mental and spiritual influencer? Are you sober/serious minded?
2). Be Vigilant- to be watchful, to stay awake, to be in a constant state of readiness, to be on the alert.
What does Peter mean here? Does he mean we should on guard duty 24/7? How are we to do that? What does it mean to be spiritually vigilant?
1 Thessalonians 1:1–2 KJV 1900
1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
1 Thessalonians 5:1–2 KJV 1900
1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
Day of the Lord = Rapture / Tribulation
1 Thessalonians 5:3–4 KJV 1900
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
Key concept darkness- what does he mean that we (believers) are not in darkness?
1 Thessalonians 5:5 KJV 1900
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
I Thess 5.
We are children of the light and children of the day. What does this mean? I think this means that we have been saved from permanently living in the darkness of sin, instead we are now children of light and of the day so we can now do good works which are of the light. We are no longer of the night nor of the darkness.
Light / Day = good works / righteous deeds
Night/ Darkness = sin / wickedness
1 Thessalonians 5:6 KJV 1900
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
Sleep = night and darkness. To sleep is to live in sin, to live in wickedness. A believer who is asleep is one who is living a morally sinful life. We are commanded not to sleep, but instead to watch and be sober. Same word as I Peter- watch. The idea to watch and be sober is in direct contrast to the idea of sleeping. So if sleeping is equated with living a morally sinful life, what would we equated watching with? Living a morally pure life. In other words we watch by living out our lives in righteousness. For is we are living in righteousness and Jesus returns we will be what? We will be ready for His return. That is the whole idea of being watchful. We watch so we can be ready, and we are ready if we are living out morally good deeds.
1 Thessalonians 5:7–11 KJV 1900
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
1 Thessalonians 5:7 KJV 1900
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
.
By the way- v. 9 is a direct statement that God will rapture His church before the wrath of the tribulation.
V. 10- whether we wake or sleep we will be saved from wrath. I would sure rather be awake would you?
So believer, where are you at in your watchfulness? Are you living as if you are awake or are you living as if you are asleep?
If you are to be ready then you must be mentally alert, and morally awake.
If you are mentally intoxicated, then inevitably you will become morally asleep.
Believer, you must be ready!
Illustration:
The other day I was out bow hunting, and I had my bow off to the side, and I had by phone out and I was reading a book on my phone. Four does come out of the woods suddenly and there I was unprepared. They were in the field for about 30 seconds. I had a perfect 20 yard broad side shot, but I wasn’t ready and I never even got off a shot. How many of us are living our spiritual lives in that same kind of state. We aren’t ready, we are no where near ready, and then trials come into our life suddenly and guess what happens when we are not prepared?

B. Be Resolute (v. 8b-9)

1 Peter 5:8–9 KJV 1900
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
First of all, we have an adversary. And our adversary is not the people who are causing the trials in our lives. It is not the people who are speaking evil of these believers in Central Asia because of their faith- they are not the enemy. Satan is our enemy. And if we are not mentally alert and morally awake, he will, like a roaring lion, devour us. Peter is someone who is very familiar with what it feels like to be unaware and unready and to be devoured.
Matt 26.
Matthew 26:73–75 KJV 1900
73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. 74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
This is Satan’s goal, he wants you fall and fail and to be unfaithful to Christ. He wants to devour you.
What do we do about it?
1 Peter 5:9 KJV 1900
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
Peter commands us to resist him. Resist the devil.
There is a popular trend in evangelical Christianity in this idea of resisting the devil.
The movie War Room one of the main protagonists, Elizabeth, discovers the power of prayer by daily retreating to her closet, her “war room.” One of the scenes in the movie has her walking around her house shouting at the devil, commanding him to leave her and her family alone. It is the producer’s idea of what it means to resist the devil.
I don’t see that in Scripture anywhere. Yes we are commanded to resist the devil, but how are we to do it?
Steadfast or firm in the faith. We don’t resist the devil by shouting at him. We resist him by becoming firm in the faith. Being mentally alert and morally awake and growing in Christ, being rooted and grounded in the faith. The closer we draw to Christ, the more Christ gives us the ability to resist our adversary.
Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
We resist by becoming firm in the faith, and we understand that the suffering and affliction that God has allowed into our lives, are the same kinds of suffering and afflictions that God allows in the lives of believers all around the world.
It is interesting, suffering is allowed according to the will of God.
1 Peter 4:19 KJV 1900
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
Yet here the suffering of believers around the world is connected to Satan’s attempt to devour us. Satan was attempting to devour these believers through suffering. He was the cause of their suffering. Suffering never comes from God- He is not the cause. Yet God does allow us to suffer according to His will (this reminds me of the book of Job).
We also know that God will never allow us to be tempted above that we are able. God will never put us in a position where we cannot resist Satan devouring us if we we stand firm in the faith, if we live in a state of readiness.

C. Be Reliant (vv. 10-11)

1 Peter 5:10–11 KJV 1900
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Resist Satan, firm in the faith, and when you do the God of all grace, the One who has called you unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus (again returning to the theme of future glory), after you have suffered for a while or a little while (comparatively speaking), will Himself accomplish tremendous things in you.
Perfect- complete, Put into proper condition (cp. Epict. 3, 20, 10 of a trainer who adjusts parts of the body), adjust, complete, make complete
1 Thessalonians 3:10 KJV 1900
10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
1 Timothy 3:10 KJV 1900
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
idea: to fix up any deficiencies in your faith or to complete what is lacking in your faith
Hebrews 13:21 KJV 1900
21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
idea: make you complete in every good thing
Stablish- to cause to be inwardly firm or committed, confirm, establish, strengthen
Strengthen- make you strong
William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 945.
Settle you- to provide a secure basis for the inner life and its resources, establish, strengthen
Ephesians 3:17 KJV 1900
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Colossians 1:23 KJV 1900
23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
All this and more God is working in you through your trials and tests. Put your dependence on Him!
1 Peter 4:19 KJV 1900
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
And then Peter ends with a doxology in v. 11
1 Peter 5:11 KJV 1900
11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Put your dependence in the one to whom belongs all glory and dominion for ever and ever. Even though it seems like things are out of control, especially when God allows us to suffer, rely on the One to whom all dominion belongs. Both now and forever. No one can, or nothing is outside of God’s control. No trial, no test, no persecution is outside of the dominion of God. God rules supreme from His throne in heaven. So put your trust in Him.
Conclusion:
Peter instructs the church with key imperatives that must be followed if they are to remain faithful in trials.
So we too as a biblical church must heed these imperatives if we are to remain faithful in the trials that God allows into our lives.
What are those imperatives?
I. The church must have a pastor who fulfills the biblical role of his office (vv. 1-4)
II. The church must have people who fulfill the biblical mandate of humility (vv. 5-7)
III. The church must have people who fulfill the biblical description of readiness (vv. 8-11)
Faith Baptist Church how well are we equipped to handle sufferings, trials, and tests?
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