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1 Peter 5:1-14 - Under Godly Leadership

Unshakeable (1 Peter)  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction: We’ve come to the end of our study of 1 Peter. Peter has reminded us throughout this letter that we can have unshakeable faith when we fully devote ourselves to God.
Transition to the Text: Turn with me in your Bibles to 1 Peter 5:1-14. We’ve come to the end of our study of this amazing letter. And in the final part of any book, you usually get one of the most important aspects that the writer wants to get across. And Peter is going to tell us about God’s plan for the church.
The local church is most important organization in the world. And God has a way that He wants it led. And we would do well to do things His way.
Especially, since as has been a theme throughout this letter, the world is watching.
1 Peter 5:1–14 ESV
1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. 13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Big Idea: Let the church be as Jesus intended.

1. Lead when called to lead. (1 Peter 5:1-4)

Explanation: At the time Peter was writing this, there was a major shift in the leadership of the church. The generation of the apostles were slowly but surely being killed for their faith. A new generation of leaders was being raised up to shepherd God’s people. These people were called elders.
And probably not what you think. We read elder and we think they are old.
But let’s look at statistics, the average lifespan of a normal everyday person in first century Israel was 48 years. And Christians were systematically being rounded up and killed for their faith in Jesus. Pastors on the other hand were even bigger targets because they were the one doing the speaking. So the average age of pastor when he was killed was likely around 30. So elder had nothing to do with age and had more to do with maturity.
But notice how Peter encourages these people tasked with taking on the leadership of the church after the apostles are gone. He doesn’t appeal to his authority. He doesn’t look down on them. He doesn’t even bring himself down to their level. He elevates them as equals: I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder.”
And he bares his heart. The most important thing that an elder can do is lead. Exercise oversight over God’s people.
Application: But Peter adds a couple things. Do it willingly. And do it eagerly.
God is not in the mood for reluctant leaders. Because reluctant leaders make reluctant decision makers.
But at the same time, check your motives.
Are you int for shameful gain? Do you like being in charge and bossing people around and getting your way?
This church leadership is not for you.
Elders are to look forward to reward after this life is over.

2. Follow when called to follow. (1 Peter 5:5-9)

Explanation: Perhaps it goes without saying, great leaders must first be great followers. Even Peter who was the defacto leader of the disciples first followed Jesus…albeit very imperfectly.
So Peter instructs “the younger” to be subject to the elders of the church. The word for younger here speaks less about age and more about the newness of their faith. Those who are “newer” ought to be subject. This lines up with Paul’s instructions not to allow new Christians to be elders (1 Timothy 3:6).
Peter goes on to say that these new Christians must be willing to allow some degree of pastoral authority over them. We of course struggle with this in today’s world where everything is about democracy.
But the idea of church members submitting to elders is a consistent message in the New Testament.
Hebrews 13:17 ESV
17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
What does this idea of subjection look like?
For one it’s about humility. I love how often the Bible uses the metaphor of putting on humility like you would your clothes.
Illustration: One of my biggest anxieties in life is matching my outfit to the occasion. I’m as anxious about being overdressed as I am of being underdressed. Because in either case you are going to stick out.
Pretty much why I always keep a sport coat at the office.
Application: When it comes to humility, which is not often the natural response to others, the transformation looks a lot like changing your clothes.
Notice that Peter gives a reason why: God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. And your humility starts with how you treat the authority He has put over you.
To be in subjection to God’s leadership in the church is a matter of humility.
Peter then says that humbling yourself under God’s appointed leaders is the same as humbling yourself under God’s leadership.
Throughout the Bible, submission to God’s appointed leaders, as in Prophets, Priests and Kings is the same as submission to God. Rejecting that leadership is the same as rejecting God.
But then Pastors are there to serve as God’s representatives as well.
Peter says to cast our anxieties on God because He cares for you. And one of the evidences of that care is the appointing of godly leaders to serve as his representatives on this earth.
But be careful because devil is bent on destroying the church.
And the devil won’t attack the church from the outside. He’ll come in and try to corrupt the church. Sometimes that is through bad leadership. Other times it’s through bad church members.
We must be on our guard but also find solace in our connection to Christians around the world. We are not alone.
But we must also...

3. Remember this life is only temporary (1 Peter 5:10-14)

Explanation: Throughout Peter’s letter, the idea of Christians enduring suffering with patience and grace is a major theme. But here Peter gives a promise that this suffering is only temporary.
Now we know that even in this world, it doesn’t rain every day. That life is full of ups and downs. Even in times of great suffering there is still joy.
But for Christians suffering is only temporary because this life is only temporary. We have something amazing waiting for us in heaven.
Illustration: I know what you’re thinking. People say that all the time. It will be over soon. It will just hurt for a moment. Sometimes it’s about the pain. Other times its about youth. We can’t wait to grow up.
Application: We must remember that no matter what we face here, we must be living for eternity and not for now.
Perhaps that’s easiest when things aren’t good. But of course the most dangerous are when things are going great. When we have no need for God.
If you can believe it, suffering in this world is by the Grace of God because it calls us to Him that we might find our hope in God.
People always wonder why when Adam and Eve sinned, God didn’t just punish them, but also cursed the ground and made living in this world more difficult.
The truth is the only thing worse than fallen people living in a fallen world is fallen people living in a perfect world because they would never have had any need for God.
Suffering came into this world to point us to our need for a savior.
But he did not leave us without his grace and mercy. And good leaders remind us daily of all that God has done for us. Following good leaders means that we reject what the world says and accept what God and His word says.

Response: Are you leading in areas you are called to lead and following in areas you are called to follow?

Conclusion: As we have traveled through this amazing letter of 1 Peter, we have come across some pretty important truths.
The world is not your friend. Almost everything the world stands for stands against Christ. So be vigilant.
In this life you will face trouble. Pain in the Christian life is not a possibility but an inevitability. So stay holy anyway.
Know who you are and whose you are.
Have integrity even when the world doesn’t.
Focus on your family.
Be counter-cultural. Everything Jesus stands for is counter cultural. Be like Jesus.
Make church a priority.
Endure suffering with Grace and God’s mercy.
Do things God’s way.
So do things God’s way. Start with your self. Have you embraced Jesus as your Lord and savior for the forgiveness of your sins based on what He did on the cross?
If not, start there.
If you have embraced Jesus, are you living for Him as Lord of your life. Do you draw your guiding principles from His word?
Whatever you do, live an unshakeable faith in a world gone crazy!
Let’s pray.
Week 9 of 2022 Summer Sermon Series: Unshakeable: Under Godly Leadership
Big Idea: Let the CHURCH be as Jesus intended.
LEAD when called to LEAD. (1 Peter 5:1-4)
FOLLOW when called to FOLLOW. (1 Peter 5:5-10)
REMEMBER this life is only TEMPORARY (1 Peter 5:11-14)
Response: Are you LEADING in areas you are called to lead and FOLLOWING in areas you are called to follow?
Opening Discussion:
What comes to mind when you think of godly church leadership? Do you think that God cares about a church’s organizational structure? Why or why not?
What is an elder in the church? Why is our understanding of biblical eldership so important?
What does Peter charge the elders to do? Why is character so important for prospective elders?
When will an elder gain his reward? Why is this so important for them to understand?
What is Peter’s charge to the younger people in the church? Why is submission to elders so important? Why might the idea of submission to elders be so controversial today?
How does godly leadership help to resist the works of the devil?
Who are the North Hills elders? What is your role with regard to their leadership?
What does it look like for an elder to lead God’s church in today’s culture? What happens when elders don’t fulfill their responsibilities?
How can the church better support and submit to it’s elders?
How can the church keep satan out of the church?
What is one step you can take to better help God’s church be under godly leadership?
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