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How the Church Functions Under Suffering

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This is a great passage on humility. Humility is one of the very first duties of the believer. Some people shrink back when they hear the word humility mentioned. When they think of humility, they picture a shy, weak, unimpressive type of person. But this is not what God means by humility. The humility demanded by God strengthens a person and makes him one of the most striking and impressive persons around.



Duties of the Believer

1.) Be Subject to the Elders v.5

Humility word subject (hopotagete) means to submit and to place oneself under the authority and leadership of elder or minister. The minister is the leader of the church. God has chosen and ordained the minister to be the leader among the flock of God. Therefore his leadership is to be… esteemed, recognized, acknowledged, honored, followed, obeyed, and subject to.
But remember the minister is not to be a lord over God’s heritage, but an example to the flock v.3. Note the word younger is used to describe the laity (or believer in the church) the idea is that we are to be in subjection. This shows the importance from God, so important He terms its believers as the younger. Simply put we are to be subject to the minister as the parent of the Church, its the parent who feeds us the Word of God and takes oversight of our welfare. v.2-3
v.16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth. 1 Corinthians 16:16
v.12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; v.13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
v.17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 1 Timothy 5:17
v.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. Hebrews 13:7

2.) Be Subject To One Another v.5

Be subject to one another and be clothed with humility. Not only subject to our minister, but we are to subject ourselves to one another. Note the word all means every one of us, all ages, sexes, and classes. Look at what (A.T Robinson says; no person is exempt. All of us are to subject ourselves to all believers no matter who we may be: male or female, poor or rich, young or old.)
Thought - subjection takes concentration and effort. It takes a deliberate decision to subject to someone else. But this is just what Scripture is demanding . Every believer is unique to God and has a very special gift and contribution to make to the world and to the church. All believers are to subject themselves to one another, to each ones uniqueness and gift. All believers are to acknowledge, respect, and honor, one another, all because of who each one is and because of the gift God has given each one of us.
Note: to subject to one another is not enough, not for God. Scripture says that we must also “be clothed with humility” The phrase “be clothed” (egkomosasthe) means to gird (prepare oneself for action) with a apron. It is a picture of what Jesus did in the upper room when He girded Himself with an apron and assumed to role of a servant and washed the feet of the disciples. Jesus the Son o God and Sovereign Majesty of the universe, actually clothed Himself with an apron of humility and served the disciples. Think about that for a moment.
And, when He finished, He said. v.13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. v.14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. v.15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you John 13:13-15
Alan Stibbs who wrote the book “The first Epistle of Peter” states it well: “The exhortation her is not to feel humble, nor to pray for humility, but to act it”
The word Humility (tapeinophrosunen) means to offer oneself as a lowly and submissive; to walk in a Sprit of lowliness, to present oneself as lowly, to act of low degree in rank. It is the opposite of high-minded, above and better than others, prideful, arrogant, superior haughty, and self-assertive. The believer many have a high position, power, wealth, fame, and much more; but he is to carry himself in a Spirit of lowliness and submission. He is to deny himself for the sake of Christ and in order to help others. 1 Peter 3:8 and Philippians 2:3
Now why we are to subject to one another and to clothe ourselves ith humility: because God resists the proud and give Grace to the humble. Proverbs 3:34 - He stands against all who look down upon others , who feel superior to others, who discriminate against others, who are prejudiced, who are boastful, and who are haughty.
Go opposes the proud - all who oppress others - no matter who they are. The word “resist” (antitassetai) is a strong word. It is the picture of an army being set and arrayed against the enemy . Marvin Vincent says it this way that “pride calls out God’s armies”. No wonder, therefore, that it goeth before destruction. Those who walk upon this earth exalting themselves above all others shall be destroyed by God Himself.
God gives Grace to the humble. Grace means the favor and blessings of God. The person who walks humbly before God, recognizing and acknowledging the value of others, shall receive the favor and blessing of God. He shall be highly favored and blessed - rewarded beyond all imagination. The humble person shall bear fruit of God’s Spirit in this life… love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self control. In addition, the humble person has the full assurance of being cared for and looked after by God, that God will work all things out for His good while He is on earth. And then in the future , when Christ returns, the humble person will be abundantly rewarded with the glorious privilege of living and reigning with Christ forever and ever.
v.29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matthew 11:29
v.3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven Matthew 18:3-4
v.12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:12
v.16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Romans 12:16
v.​1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Ephesians 4:1-2

3.) Humble Yourself v.6-7

Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God. There are thee reasons for this.
God id to be feared, for He resists and stands opposed to the proud. The very things we do not want to be is prideful. The only way to escape the judgement of God’s hand is to humble ourselves under His mighty hand. If we stand up to His hand, we shall be stricken down, but if we humble ourselves under His hand, we shall be protected and lifted up, exalted forever and ever. The picture of God’s mighty hand is a different picture for the proud and the humble.
Humble is strength and power, sovereignty and control, salvation and security, care and protection, and assurance and confidence.
Proud strength and power, sovereignty and control, warning and fear, anger and wrath, judgement and condemnation.
Note God’s hand provided two entirely different things for the humble and the proud. Right now the hand of God stand over the world in all of its strength and power and its sovereignty and control. God’s hand stands to save everyone, even the proud if he will only humble himself. But if he refuses to humble himself, then the hand of God stands for something entirely different than salvation: The mighty hand of God stands as a warning and a threat, in anger an wrath, in judgement and condemnation. This is the reason we should humble ourselves.
v.9 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand John 10:29
v.25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, Romans 16:25
v.24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever. Joshua 4:24
v.​1 O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory. Psalms 98:1
v.15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. v.16 The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. v.17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. Psalms 118:15-17
v.​1 Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: Isaiah 59:1
2. We should humble ourselves under God’s might hand because He is going to exalt the humble. Note the humble are not just exalted. But in due time they will be. The day is coming when they shall be exalted in all the glory and majesty of Christ. They shall be exalted to love with Christ and rule and reign with Him and to serve Him throughout the universe. They shall be with Christ, worshipping and serving Him forever and ever - all to His glory and praise, honor, and grace.
3. We should humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God because God cares for us; He cares about all our anxiety. Remember believers of Peters day were suffering terrible persecution. They had been forced to flee for their lives, leaving everything behind: homes, jobs, and possessions. They had only what they could carry by hand, and fled to whatever places they felt were safe. They were, so to speak an underground people, having to live, work, and worship in secret and to find housing and food wherever they could. They never knew when they would be discovered and forced to flee again. The point is this imagine the anxiety, the pressure, tension, and stress being experienced by the the believers. Yet there was great help; God was available to help them. Note the exhortation is not only clearly stated: it is a command, “cast all your care [Greek, merimna, anxiety] upon Hom, for He cares for you. “God’s mighty hand will” save and deliver you, look after and care for you, strengthen and secure you, provide and protect you, give you assurance and confidence.
v.6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me Hebrews 13:6
v.17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God. Psalms 40:17
v.23 But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee. Psalms 55:23
v.10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10
v.25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Matthew 6:25
v.33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
v.7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows Luke 12:7
v.34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. Luke 21:34
v.28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
v.35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. v.37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39
v.6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6
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