Well I am to the final Chapter of 1 Peter, and I have loved every minute of this study so far! At the end of this post I will give a brief summary of what I believe is the key issue Peter is addressing in 1 Peter. I hope that these posts have blessed you and caused you to examine 1st of all the Holy Scriptures, and 2nd of all to examine yourself in light of them. I know I have, and have come up wanting.
I. Verses 5: 1-4 ~ Peter instructs the elders on their role as shepherds.
- This portion of scripture is so important to the life and ministry of "the Church". It speaks to the leadership. I am convicted by this passage of scripture and the passages that describe the qualifications of those who are eligible for leadership in 1 Timothy 3, and Titus 1. Why you may ask? Because I have never really taken my job as a member of the congregation seriously in nominating or voting on members of Consistory. Now I myself have a lot of questions for those who feel called to this office.
- Also I think it needs to be noted here that the office of "elder" also includes the pastor. In other scripture he (the pastor) is called "shepherd" (Eph 4:11).
- It is of the UTMOST importance to have men in leadership that fully embody the descriptions in these passages! To many churches reputations and effectiveness for the Kingdom are destroyed because of lack of integrity or knowledge on the part of leadership. As "the flock" we should be in much prayer and discernment when electing officers and when choosing who will "pastor" the flock!
II. Verses 5-7 ~ Peter instructs the youth and all the church in humility.
- It is right for the youth to show proper respect to those older and in authority over them. That and so much more are said in these short verses. Once leadership is established, it is up to "the flock" to "be subject" to that leadership. NOW I do have to ask, what if leadership is stepping out of God's will? Well here are "my" thoughts: God has given us clear instructions in how to resolve conflict. Matthew 18 comes to mind as one. Also in Timothy where it talks about the Bible being useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training (2 Tim 3:16). What we need to remember though is that we do so in a manner that is pleasing to God and God honoring.
- There is one word that is so key in all of this! HUMILITY!! Here Peter addresses "all of you", meaning the elders and the youth. The whole church! "Clothe yourselves, ALL OF YOU, with humility toward one another for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the HUMBLE."
III. Verses 8-14 ~ Peter gives instruction on how to prepare for the attacks of our adversary.
- Again we are given instructions of how we should be living in order to resist the certain attacks that WILL come:
- to be calm and collected in spirit
- to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect
- to watch
- metaph. give strict attention to, be cautious, active
- to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one
*Resist him FIRM in the faith, KNOWING that the same kinds of sufferings are being experienced by fellow Christians.
And now here's the really cool part! After you've suffered "a little while" the " the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, WILL HIMSELF:
- and ESTABLISH
Subject Sentence ~
Humility is required to lead, and to resist satan's attacks.
To cause the audience to examine themselves and their God given roles in the church. To understand that power to resist & restoration begin with humility.
I. Where has God called you to lead by example? Church, work, home? Are you leading with integrity?
II. Where is God calling you to submit to authority? Has your heart been humble in confrontation?
III. Has satan been attacking you lately? Where? If so were you able to resist? If not, why not?
One last question: Do you realize that God WILL himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you?!
Final summation of 1 Peter:
SURRENDER AND SUFFERING are our calling! God's POWER is our tool!
God's glory is our goal!