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Be Sober and Alert (Pt.1)

1 Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:06:04
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How do we resist the devil? Do we use some kind of formula? Join Pastor Steve as he looks at 1 Peter 5:8-9.

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Today we are concluding our study of 1 Peter
Please take your Bibles and turn with me to the last section that is found in 1 Peter 5:8-14.
Peter gives 4 final exhortations for suffering believers to follow
Listen to what he says beginning at verse 8
1 Peter 5:8–14 NASB95
8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. 12 Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it! 13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ.
Peter returns to his theme of suffering as he brings this letter to a conclusion
But as he concludes, he gives 3 commands for them to follow as they suffer
He also gives a wonderful reminder in verse 10 that we will look at in a few minutes
As we have been learning from this letter, suffering is the will of God
That’s why Paul echoed Peter’s words in Philippians 1:29-30, “29 For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.”
Since all the disciples suffered some form of persecution, so will you
None of us are exempt
Peter identified from the beginning the purpose of ours and their suffering
He said in 1 Peter 1:6-7, “6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”
Our suffering has a wonderful purpose
It aids in revealing the genuineness or strength of our faith
So now Peter wants his final words to be words of encouragement and words of action
Notice the first exhortation and command in verse 8...
I. Be Sober (v.8a)
Peter used this word in 1:13 and 4:7
It’s the Greek word nepho (aor.act.imp.)
It occurs 6 times in the NT, of which 3 times are in 1 Peter
In Classical Greek the word originally meant “one who was completely unaffected by wine, i.e., one who avoided intoxication” (LFB)
Later it came to refer to “a sober manner of living demonstrated by self-control” (LFB)
Therefore this is a call for “a balance in disposition, thought, and action” (Lenski)
It “includes the ideas of steadfastness, self-control, clarity of mind, and moral decisiveness” (MacArthur)
Sober characterizes the individual marked by self-control; of sound moral judgment.
Sober Christians deny themselves worldly pleasures. This allows them to be always alert, able to guard against Satan’s attacks (1Pet 5:8) and ready to receive the revelation of Christ (Youngblood, R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary )
Charles Spurgeon said...
1 Peter Exposition

When we think we have no occasion for our sword, we begin to unbuckle it from our side. We strip off our armor piece by piece, and then it is that we become most exposed to the attack of our enemies.

We must make sure we are sober minded. They also needed to...
II. Be Alert (v.8b)
This is a command to “wake up” (gregoreo, aor.act.imp.)
“It is a call to be wakefully active, morally and spiritually” (Hiebert)
It indicates “spiritual alertness, with…an emphasis on one’s focus of attention” (‘watching’ for sin, for attacks of evil’) (Grudem)
It’s a call to be “alert” “against the assaults of sin and Satan” (Hiebert)
There are two reasons to be sober and alert...
Because of your adversary the devil
The devil is a real angelic creature but sinned
He was called the “star of the morning, [the] son of the dawn” (Isa.14:12)
He was “the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezek.28:12)
He was “in Eden, the garden of God” (Ezek.28:13)
He was an “anointed cherub” (Ezek.28:14)
He was “on the mountain of God” (Ezek.28:14)
He was “blameless in [his] ways from the day [he] was created until unrighteousness was found in [him] (Ezek.28:15)
God initially judged him for his “unrighteousness” and “sin” which Paul refers to as a form of pride in 1 Timothy 3:6.
Isaiah records his pride in Isaiah 14:13-14, “13 “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. 14 ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’”
Ezekiel 28:17, states “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, That they may see you.”
Verse 16 says “I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God” (Ezek.28:16)
That happened after he sinned, God also promises that he “will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit” (Isa.14:15) in the future
When Jesus comes back He will cast the beast and the false prophet “alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone” (Rev.19:20)
Then he will send an “angel” who has “the key to the abyss” (Rev.20:1) to take “hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years” (Rev.20:3)
At the end of the thousand years, Revelation 20:7-10, “7 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
This is the fate of our accuser who is called our “adversary” (Gr. antidikos, n, nom) which means, “one who accuses at court” (Wiersbe)
Satan accuses us before God
He did that to Job in Job 1:6-12, “6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” 8 The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 “Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 “But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” 12 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.”
He did it again in Job 2:1-6, “1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” 3 The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause.” 4 Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5 “However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face.” 6 So the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.””
Revelation 12:10, “...for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.”
The second reason to be sober and alert is...
Because our adversary is like a lion hunting his prey
He is described as a “roaring lion”
A lion will stalk its prey for about 30-40 yards away, then quietly creeps up on his target. Then when close enough, the lion will let out a mighty roar. That powerful roar confuses the animal and strikes fear into the lion’s prey. The prey cannot think correctly, is paralyzed with fear, and ends up trapped and caught by the lion.
That’s exactly what the enemy does, just like Peter describes. He prowls his territory (I John 5:19) seeking the lonely and weakest, quietly sneaks up on his prey-his victim-instills fear, causes confusion, then attacks. (
The metaphor is apt, for a prowling lion attacks suddenly, viciously, and often when its unsuspecting victim is engaged in routine activities.
He is also seeking to devour his prey
“devour” (katapino, aor.act.inf.) from kata, “down” and pino, “to drink”
Lit. “to drink down, and so to swallow and to swallow up completely”
Peter may have had in mind a “bloody bath” (Lenski)
Charles Spurgeon said...
1 Peter Exposition

Satan can never be content till he sees the believer utterly devoured. He would rend him in pieces and break his bones and utterly destroy him, if he could. Do not, therefore, indulge the thought that the main purpose of Satan is to make you miserable. He is pleased with that, but that is not his ultimate end. Sometimes he may even make you happy, for he has dainty poisons sweet to the taste that he administers to God’s people. If he feels that our destruction can be more readily achieved by sweets than by bitters, he certainly would prefer that which would best effect his end.

Martin Luther said...

He does not pass before your eyes, when you are armed against him, but looks out before and behind you, within and without, where he may attack you. If he now meets you here, he will quickly return there, and attack you in another place; he changes from one side to the other, and employs every kind of cunning and art that he may bring you to fall; and if you are well prepared in one place, he will quickly fall in upon another; and if he cannot overthrow you there, then he assaults you somewhere else, and so never gives it up, but goes round and round, and leaves no rest to any one. If we then are fools and do not regard it, but go on and take no heed, then has he as good as seized upon us.

This is why we must...
III. Be Firm (v.9)
He says we are to...
Resist the Devil (v.9a)
“resist” (anthistemi, aor.act.imp.)
It means to “resist, oppose, rebel, withstand” or “stand up against”
Paul said in Ephesians 4:27, “and do not give the devil an opportunity.”
James also says to resist him in James 4:7 but first you have to “Submit therefore to God." Once you do that “he will flee from you.”
Jesus shows us how this is done in Matthew 4:1-11.
This is what it means Ephesians 6:11-13 means, “11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”
You have to “resist him, firm in your faith”
That means you have to...
Trust God (v.9b)
The way you resist him is by having yourself “deeply rooted in the content of the Christian faith or doctrine” (Sproul)
“Doctrine has to do with God’s revealed truth, and those who master the doctrine of the Word of God have a solid foundation by which they are empowered to resist the devouring enemy” (Sproul)
It’s not done with “special formulas, or words directed at him and his demons, but by remaining firm in the Christian faith...As the believer knows sound doctrine and obeys God’s truth, Satan is withstood” (MacArthur)
Remember Satan tempts and attacks all believers
“knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world”
Jesus said you will have tribulation - John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
Paul said this is common for all believers - 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
Charles Swindoll writes...
Apart from God’s help, we would be devoured by him (1 Pet. 5:8). In God’s strength, however, we can resist him (5:9) and “stand firm” against him (Eph. 6:11). As discussed elsewhere in this book, Satan is a defeated foe. The Lord Jesus Christ defeated him at Calvary. Proof of that is the open tomb. Christ arose triumphantly over Satan and death. The finished work of Christ is our source of victory over every snare of Satan. Therefore we need to claim victory by faith (Ed: And not just with our lips but our heart, walking in obedience which acts as a shield against the devil's deceitful slings and arrows! In other words if you "claim victory" with your lips and practice sin with your life, you will not experience victory. Faith that "works" is faith that obeys and Spirit enabled obedience will give us victory over our defeated foe.)....Never should a believer “give the devil an opportunity” (Eph. 4:27). In the immediate context of this command, anger, lying, stealing, and unwholesome talk among Christians are discussed, thereby suggesting that through these sins Satan is given opportunity to do his dirty work. (Understanding Christian theology)
That’s why you have to be awake and alert and...
IV. Be Patient (vv.10-11)
“After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Suffering is “for a little while” (v.10a)
Peter returns to the theme of the letter (suffering)
He reminds them...
Suffering is temporary
“a little while” (oligon, adj) refers “to either the duration or degree of suffering” (Hiebert). It most likely includes both
1 Peter 1:6, “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,”
Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
2 Corinthians 4:17, “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison”
The suffering…stands in strong contrast to the eternal glory that will follow” (Hiebert)
Our comfort in our suffering comes from God who is the...
God is “the God of all grace” (v.10b)
This title only appears only here in the NT
He is also called “the God of all comfort” in 2 Corinthians 1:3.
“the God of peace” in Hebrews 13:20.
And “the God of hope” in Romans 15:13.
Peter says...
God is the source and giver of all grace
We see all the way back in Genesis 3 when God didn’t give Adam and Eve what they deserved when they disobeyed Him and took of the forbidden fruit
Just hearing His tender voice in Genesis 3:9, revealed His grace to them when it says, “Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?””
God didn’t blast them He banished them from the Garden He created for them and made their provisions something they would spend the rest of their lives toiling for but even in this, He provided for them---that’s grace!
He provided them with children (Gen.4:1-2, 25)
He provided them with food by giving them “flocks” (Gen.4:2) and the fruit of the ground (Gen.4:3)
But most importantly He gave them Christ and applied the future work of Christ to them - Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.””
There were consequences for their sin (banishment from the garden, pain in child bearing, pain in working the ground) but He did not cause them to die for 930 years (Gen.5:5). That is grace!
Think about your life. We should have never been born because we have been sinners from the womb - Psalm 58:3, “The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth.”
“All the underserved favor bestowed upon us in our unworthiness” (Hiebert)
Peter says that God is the giver of “all grace”
“all grace” points “to the great variety of His gracious help for every need and occasion” (Hiebert). There is grace for every need we have
You especially see it when Peter says...
God has “called you to His eternal glory in Christ” (v.10c)
Salvation is a gracious call from God
The Christian’s holy calling is described in some detail in Ephesians 1-3, especially Ephesians 1:3-14 where we see the truths that saints are chosen (Ephesians 1:4), predestined (Ephesians 1:5), adopted as sons (Ephesians 1:5), accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6), redeemed through His blood (Ephesians 1:7), forgiven (Ephesians 1:7), sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13) and given the earnest of our inheritance (Ephesians 1:14). In addition to a holy calling, saints also have a high ("upward") calling (Philippians 3:14) and a heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1).
It is a call “to His eternal glory in Christ”
This indicates His ultimate purpose of His call—that we might “share in the eternal glory that is His” (Mounce)
“His eternal glory” “is the last of repeated references to God’s glory in the epistle (cf. 1:7, 11, 21; 4:11; 5:1) and brings the theme to its glorious eschatological climax (Hiebert)
“The expression here summarizes all that God still has in store for His saints” (Hiebert)
Peter’s final words give us the purpose of our suffering
He says, “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”
First God “Himself” (personally involved) will do 4 things: All 4 are future tense verbs stated in the active as a fact (indicative)
First, God will...
Perfect (v.10d)
katartizo (fut.act.ind.) means “to fit or join together and so to mend or repair (PA)
It “has in it the idea of equipping something or preparing it for future use” (Wuest)
“When this word is applied to that which is weak and defective, it denotes setting right what has gone wrong, to restore to a former condition, whether mending broken nets or setting broken bones” (PA)
Peter is saying “God promises to repair the damage that sin and suffering have wrought” (PA)
“Like a doctor setting a broken bone, God will mend our broken lives and make us whole” (Barclay)
Confirm (v.10e)
sterizo (fut.act.ind.) means “to make firm or solid, to set fast, to fix firmly in a place, to establish (make firm or stable), to cause to be inwardly firm or committed, to strengthen. The basic idea is that of stabilizing something by providing a support” (PA)
In the present verse, stērízō refers to a divine promise that amid their sufferings, God will give the believers the needed fixity and immobility, and thus the inner strength and resolve to continue to resist the onslaughts of their adversary, the devil, and stand fast in their faith. (PA)
In other words, God will "confirm" you. He will make you as solid as granite and enable you to stand against the fiery ordeal and the storms of life. (Ritchie)
Strengthen (v.10f)
sthenoo (fut.act.ind.) means “to fill with strength” (PA)
Psalm 138:7, “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.”
“Persecution is intended by Satan to weaken and wear out believers, but it has the opposite effect. It strengthens them to endure” (MacDonald)
Establish (v.10g)
themelioo (fut.act.ind.) means “to lay a foundation or provide with a foundation, to place on a firm, secure foundation” (PA)
Vincent says, “The radical notion of (themelioo) is, therefore, to ground securely”
Christ is our firm foundation - “On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand”
A Living Hope: A Commentary on 1 and 2 Peter Some Final Exhortations (5:1–11)

The net effect of these four positive verbs is that God intends to restore and establish securely those who are now suffering on his behalf.

Wayne Grudem writes...
1 Peter: An Introduction and Commentary 3. God Will Restore You after You Have Suffered (5:10–11)

the God of all grace will restore them or ‘make them fully prepared and complete’ with respect to any resource or ability which they have lost through this suffering. He will establish them firmly in any position, rightful privilege, or responsibility which this suffering has taken from them. He will strengthen them for any weakness they have been made to suffer, any inadequacy for overcoming evil which they may have known. And we should add (with RSV MG., SIMILARLY NIV, NASB) that he will settle (or: found, establish, firmly place) them in any rightful place from which the suffering has wrongfully removed them. In sum: all loss will soon be made right, and that for eternity.

The praise that comes from suffering (v.11)
“To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
This is a confession and acknowledgment
It is, indeed, His “dominion”
He is the “God of all grace” who has “called you” who “Himself” will “perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you”
The word “dominion” (kratos) signifies strength. Here it “denotes God’s ability to dominate, to have everything in the universe under His sovereign and unassailable control” (MacArthur)
Psalm 103:19, “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.”
Jeremiah 23:24, “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.”
Peter mentions “the glory and dominion” of Christ in 1 Peter 4:11 putting Him equal with God the Father. It too ends with “Amen”
So let it be with God and with Christ!
The letter ends with several things:
Peter affirms the veracity of his letter in verse 12 by “exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!”
He reminds them that “she who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark” (v.13)
Many believe the name Babylon is used here figuratively and was a “cryptic designation for the city of Rome” (Hiebert)
“That was the earliest known view in church history. It is favored by the majority of scholars today” (Hiebert)
Peter was careful not to endanger the Roman Christians
“Having written this letter from Rome, Peter did not want his manuscript discovered and the church to be persecuted even more. Therefore he made no mention of Rome, leaving any curious and hostile authorities ignorant that this letter originated in their imperial capital” (MacArthur)
He also encourages them to “Greet one another with a kiss of love” (v.14) which was a form or greeting like that of a handshake
His final words are for “Peace be to you all who are in Christ” (v.14)
The letter begins with grace (1:2) and ends with grace (5:10) and peace (5:14)
Suffering and persecution are hard to endure at times but it doesn’t compare to being persecuted and suffering alone
The worst kind of suffering is being without Christ for all eternity while being punished in hell for your sin
Those two realities are forever
But for the follower of Jesus Christ it is much different
God is with you in your suffering
You are not alone
Hebrews 13:5-6, “5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” 6 so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?””
Jesus fully knows what it is like to be persecuted and suffer
Hebrews 2:17-18, “17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”
Are you being persecuted for your faith in Christ?
If so, rejoice! You are sharing “in the sufferings of Christ” (1 Pet.4:14)
If you’re not in Christ, the suffering you are experiencing in this world will not compare to the suffering that is to come
To escape it is to come to Christ!
Repent and turn to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins
The Bible says in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Because all have sinned everyone is under the fear of the second death, which is hell - Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Come to Christ and have all your sins washed away
Let’s pray
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