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A Vital Personal Experience with Christ

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A Vital Personal Experience with Christ (1 Peter 5:1)

Peter introduces himself in this letter as an elder. He did mention the fact that he had personally witnessed Christ’s sufferings (see Matt. 26:36ff).

1 Peter 5 testifies to Peter’s personal experiences with Christ.

  • 1 Peter 5:1 takes us to Gethsemane and Calvary. “The glory that shall be revealed” reminds us of Peter’s experience with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1–5).

  • 1 Peter 5:2 on the shepherd and the sheep certainly brings to mind our Lord’s admonition to Peter in John 21:15–17.

  • 1 Peter 5:3  warns about “lording it over” the saints reminds us of Christ’s lesson about true greatness in Luke 22:24–30,

  • 1 Peter 5:5, “Be clothed with humility,” takes us back to the Upper Room where Jesus put on the towel and washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:1–17).

  • 1 Peter 5:8 parallels our Lord’s warning to Peter that Satan was going to “sift” him and the other Apostles (Luke 22:31). Peter did not heed that warning, and he ended up denying his Lord three times.

  • 1 Peter 5:10,  “make you perfect”  is translated “mending their nets” in Matthew 4:21, the account of the call of the four fishermen into the Lord’s service.

Peter wrote these words, inspired by God, out of his own personal experience with Jesus Christ. He had a vital and growing relationship with Christ, and this made it possible for him to minister effectively to God’s people.

In other words, Peter didn’t:

·         Just know, HE KNEW.  

·         Just perceive, HE PARTICIPATED. 

·         Just say it, HE SHOWED IT.  

·         Just talk about it, HE TRAVELED THE ROAD HE TALKED ABOUT.

·         Just ‘exegete’, HE EXPERIENCED.







Paul would have said it this way:

·         1 Cor 2:2 

·         Phil 3:8-11

The counsel for God’s shepherds today,

  • Cultivate a growing relationship with Jesus Christ,
  • Share what He gives with your people. 
  • We will grow, and they will grow with us.


Some things the Bible shows us about sheep: (see Pss. 23; 100:4; Isa. 40:11; Luke 15:4–6;  Acts 20:28;. We were once stray sheep, wandering toward ruin; but the Good Shepherd found us and restored us to the fold. (Isa.53:6a)

Sheep are clean animals, unlike dogs and pigs (2 Peter 2:20–22).

Sheep tend to flock together, and God’s people need to be together.

Sheep are notoriously ignorant and prone to wander away if they do not follow the shepherd.

Sheep are defenseless, for the most part, and need their shepherd to protect them (Ps. 23:4).

Sheep are very useful animals. Jewish shepherds tended their sheep, not for the meat (which would have been costly) but for the wool, milk, and lambs. God’s people should be useful to Him and certainly ought to “reproduce” themselves by bringing others to Christ.

Sheep were used for the sacrifices, and we ought to be “living sacrifices,” doing the will of God (Rom. 12:1–2).




The Shepherd’s God-given responsibilities.

Feed the flock of God (v. 2). The word feed means “shepherd, care for.” The shepherd had many tasks to perform in caring for the flock.

  • He had to protect the sheep from thieves and marauders, and the pastor must protect God’s people from those who want to spoil the flock (Acts 20:28–35). Sometimes the sheep do not like it when their shepherd rebukes or warns them, but this ministry is for their own good.

  • He also led the sheep from pasture to pasture. so that they might be adequately fed. The shepherd always went before the flock . He would check for snakes, pits, poisonous plants, and dangerous animals. How important it is for pastors to lead their people into the green pastures of the Word of God so that they might feed themselves and grow.

  • He had to seek out a wayward sheep and give it personal attention. Some pastors today are interested only in the crowds; they have no time for individuals.

  •  If a sheep is too rebellious, the shepherd may have to discipline him in some way.

  • If a sheep has a special need, the shepherd might carry it in his arms, next to his heart.

It is not an easy thing to be a faithful shepherd of God’s sheep! It is a task that never ends and that demands the supernatural power of God if it is to be done correctly. What makes it even more challenging is the fact that the flock is not the shepherd’s; it is God’s. (Acts 20:28). We pastors must be careful how we minister to God’s sheep, because one day we will have to give an account of our ministry. But the sheep will also one day give an account of how they have obeyed their spiritual leaders (Heb. 13:17), so both shepherds and sheep have a great responsibility to each other.

Take the oversight (v. 2). The word bishop means “overseer, one who looks over for the purpose of leading.” You will notice that the shepherd is both “among” and “over,”  He is one of the sheep, the pastor is “among” the members of the flock. But because he is called to be a leader, the pastor is “over” the flock. Some people try to emphasize the “among” relationship and refuse to follow the authority of the shepherd.. He is a shepherd who knows his people and seeks to help them through the Word.

Being the spiritual leader of a flock has its dangers,.

  1. Laziness—“not by constraint but willingly.” His ministry must not be a job that he has to perform. He should do God’s will from his heart . If a man has no conscience, the ministry is a good place to be lazy.
  2. Covetousness—“not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.” It is perfectly proper for the church to pay the pastor (1 Cor. 9; 1 Tim. 5:17–18), and they ought to be as fair and generous as possible. But making money must not be the main motive for his ministry. Paul stresses this in his qualifications for an elder: “not greedy of filthy lucre” (1 Tim. 3:3); “not given to filthy lucre” (Titus 1:7). He must not be a lover of money nor devote himself to pursuing money.

Be an example to the flock (v. 3). The contrast is between dictatorship and leadership. You cannot drive sheep; you must go before them and lead them. It has been well said that the church needs leaders who serve and servants who lead. A Christian leader said to me, “The trouble today is that we have too many celebrities and not enough servants.”

It is by being an example that the shepherd solves the tension between being “among” the sheep and “over” the sheep. People are willing to follow a leader who practices what he preaches and gives them a good example to imitate.

Peter was not changing the image when he called the church “God’s heritage.” The people of God are certainly His priceless possession (Deut. 32:9; Ps. 33:12). This word means “to be chosen by lot,” as the dividing up of land (Num. 26:55). Each elder has his own flock to care for, but the sheep all belong to the one flock of which Jesus Christ is the Chief Shepherd. The Lord assigns His workers to the places of His choosing, and we must all be submissive to Him. There is no competition in the work of God when you are serving in the will of God. Therefore, nobody has to act important and “lord it over” God’s people. Pastors are to be “overseers” and not “overlords.”


The promise of the Lord’s return. His coming is an encouragement in suffering,  and a motivation for faithful service. If a pastor ministers to please himself, or to please people, he will have a disappointing and difficult ministry. “It must be hard to keep all these people happy,” a visitor said to me after a church service. “I don’t even try to keep them happy,” I replied with a smile. “I try to please the Lord, and I let Him take care of the rest.”

Jesus Christ is

  • The Good Shepherd who died for the sheep (John 10:11),
  • The Great Shepherd who lives for the sheep (Heb. 13:20–21), and
  • The Chief Shepherd who comes for the sheep (1 Peter 5:4).

As the Chief Shepherd, He alone can assess a man’s ministry and give him the proper reward. Some who appear to be first may end up last when the Lord examines each man’s ministry. (1Cor.3:11-15)

There were several kinds of “crowns” in those days.  The faithful pastor’s crown is a crown of glory, a perfect reward for an inheritance that will never fade away (1 Peter 1:4).

Today a Christian worker may labor for many different kinds of rewards. Some work hard to build personal empires; others strive for the applause of men; still others seek promotion in their denomination. All of these things will fade one day. The only reward we ought to strive for is the “Well done!” of the Saviour and the unfading crown of glory that goes with it.



5:1 elders … I exhort. Times of suffering and persecution in the church call for the noblest leadership. The “elder” is the same leader as the “shepherd” (i.e., pastor, v. 2), and “overseer” (i.e., bishop, v. 2; see note on Acts 20:28). The word “elder” emphasizes their spiritual maturity. As in almost all other uses of the word (with the exception of Peter’s reference to himself here and John’s in 2 John 1 and 3 John 1), Peter wrote in the plural, indicating it was usual to have a plurality of godly leaders who oversaw and fed the flock. fellow elder and a witness … and … partaker of the glory. Peter loaded this exhortation to the elders with some rich motivation. First, there was motivation by identification with Peter, who refers to himself as a fellow-elder. As such, he could give relevant exhortation to the spiritual leaders. Second, there was motivation by authority. By noting that he had been an eyewitness of Christ’s suffering, Peter was affirming his apostleship (cf. Luke 24:45; Acts 1:21,22). Third, there was the motivation by anticipation. The fact that Christian leaders will one day receive from the hand of Christ a reward for their service should be a stimulant to faithful duty. The basis of this anticipation was Peter’s experience in observing the transfiguration of Christ (cf. Matt. 17:1–8; 2 Pet. 1:16). At that momentous event, he did partake of the Lord’s glory.[1]

Maybe this is part of the problem we are seeing today.  If spiritual maturity is called for (1 Tim.3...not a novice), then what we see today are BABY PREACHERS TRYING TO LEAD BABY CHRISTIANS. 

There are some men who think that since God has called them to the ministry, that they should just jump right into pastoring.  BIG MISTAKE.  If God has issued a call to preach, let him also issue the call to pastor.  Every called preacher is not called to pastor.  (List some of the responsibilties of pastoring).

Some go forth trying to FEED the flock of God but don't understand what they are to feed them with.  NOTHING CAN REPLACE THE WORD OF GOD.

·                     5:2 Shepherd the flock of God. After the motivation (v. 1) comes the exhortation (vv. 2–4). Since the primary objective of shepherding is feeding; that is, teaching, every elder must be able to teach (cf. John 21:15–17; see notes on 1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:9). Involved with the feeding of the flock is also protecting the flock (cf. Acts 20:28–30). In both duties, it must be remembered that the flock belongs to God, not to the pastor. God entrusts some of His flock to the pastor of a church to lead, care for, and feed[2] (V3)

·                     not by compulsion but willingly. Specifically, Peter may be warning the elders against a first danger—laziness. The divine calling (cf. 1 Cor. 9:16), along with the urgency of the task (Rom. 1:15), should prevent laziness and indifference. Cf. 2 Cor. 9:7.[3]

·                     not for dishonest gain. False teachers are always motivated by a second danger, money, and use their power and position to rob people of their own wealth (see notes on 2 Pet. 2:1–3). Scripture is clear that churches should pay their shepherds well (1 Cor. 9:7–14; 1 Tim. 5:17,18); but a desire for undeserved money must never be a motive for ministers to serve (cf. 1 Tim. 3:3; 6:9–11; 2 Tim. 2:4; Titus 1:7; 2 Pet. 2:3; see also Jer. 6:13; 8:10; Mic. 3:11; Mal. 1:10).

·                     5:3 nor as being lords. This is the third major temptation for a pastor: 1) laziness (v. 2); 2) dishonest finances (v. 2); and 3) demagoguery. In this context, “lords” means to dominate someone or some situation. It implies leadership by manipulation and intimidation. See notes on Matt. 20:25–28. Rather, true spiritual leadership is by example (see 1 Tim. 4:12).[4]

These things we must remember:

  1. We are called to the greatest work in the world.  The government is stedily passing laws trying to do something about man and his bahavior.  But nothing can bring about a change like the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  2. We are commissioned by the greatest authority in all of creation.  I know the Bush thinks he has power.  I know that Kerry desires that power.  The fact is, none of them will ever have the power and authority under which we work. Jesus has all power in heaven AND earth in his hands.
  3. We are challenged to remain committed at all times.
    • In season and out...(  Tim.....  )
    • Steadfast and immovable (1 Cor. 15:58)
    • Faithful unto death (Rev.    )




·         And when the chief Shepherd .....

·         Shall appear... (V4)


·         ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.


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