09 Our Leaders and Ourselves 1 Pet 5:1-14 – Study NotesFireproof Faith
For our faith to survive when it is put through the fire, what must we do? Leaders must lead! Sheep must follow! All must be humble, resisting the devil, focusing on God’s grace and glory, and standing firm. We must show each other genuine affection, extending to each other the peace that only God can provide.
5:1-4 Elders, Shepherd the Flock!
5:1 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,
“Therefore …” How does that follow and build on 1 Pte 4:12-19?
Exhort: plead, implore, beseech, even beg. Why such a strong word?
Did Peter write as a Pope or Papa, the “Holy Father” as many claim?
Does “fellow elder” imply he was a peer, an equal, to other elders?
Was Peter celibate, as the “Pope” must be?
How does eyewitness testimony establish the Bible’s credibility?
What had Peter witnessed in particular, that he notes here?
Trace “glory” through this letter, starting with 1 Pet 1:10-13.
5:2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;
Shepherd means “pastor!” The elders are the pastors in each local church.
“Among” – Shepherds are with the sheep and “smell like sheep.”
Oversight – The overseers are the elders, the pastors of the church.
Acts 20:17, 28. The elders are called overseers, to shepherd (pastor).
The local preacher is an evangelist, not “the pastor.”
Note the what: shepherd, oversee.
Note the how: not under compulsion, but voluntarily, as God wants.
Note the why: not for financial profit, but eagerly.
5:3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.
Again note the how: not domineering, but demonstrating.
Read Mark 10:35-45.
Shepherds (pastors, elders, overseers) are sheep, too!
“I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.”
5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
Shepherds are subordinate to Jesus Christ.
Ps 23 The LORD is my shepherd …
Jn 10 The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
It’s biblical, not selfish, to anticipate receiving an unfading crown.
Here’s another reference to future glory. A powerful incentive!
Five crowns in the NT: the Crown of Glory (1 Pet 5:4), the Victor’s Crown (1 Cor 9:25-27), the Crown of Rejoicing (1 Th 2:19), the Crown of Righteousness (2 Tim 4:8), the Crown of Life (Jas 1:12; Rev 2:10).
5:5a Younger Ones, Submit to Your Elders!
5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders;
“Younger men / ones” – Term not necessarily re: males only (ESV, etc.)
“Likewise” – in keeping with the admonition to elders.
To government authorities: 1 Pet 2:13-14.
To earthly masters: 1 Pet 2:18.
To husbands: 1 Pet 3:1.
To elders: 1 Pet 5:5.
5:5b-7 Everyone, Be Humble!
5:5 … and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
Humility is related to subjection. It’s yielding to another above self.
To one another. 1 Pet 5:5. To God: 1 Pet 5:6.
Pride: one full of himself cannot surrender to God but instead defies him.
Humility: placing oneself under God’s mighty hand. That is the only position from which God can lift one up.
This passage and Jas 4:6-10 both quote Prov 3:34.
Phil 2:5-11 Jesus the example. Emptied, now exalted.
In God’s time, in God’s will, in God’s way – He will exalt the humble.
5:7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
Mt 6:25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? … 33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Php 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Hymns: “Does Jesus Care?” “Do You Know My Jesus?”
5:8-9 Resist the Devil!
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.
Sober: cf. 4:7. Alert, awake, and aware. Not dulled by alcohol or anything!
The devil: God’s opposite, but not his equal. Jas 4:7; Eph 6:11, 16.
Yet deadly, destructive, bent on one thing: eating you alive.
The firmer our faith, the more effective our resistance. Get tough!
The faithful suffering of others strengthens us in our own.
Interesting thought: suffering is what Christians accomplish. The Greek term means to complete, finish, or attain a goal. Rom 15:28; Gal 3:3.
5:10-11 Focus on God’s Present Grace and Future Glory!
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.
“A little while:” compared to eternity. Read 2 Cor 4:17-18.
As we often say, “God’s got this!”
As surely as he called you, he will confirm you, all the way to glory.
That truth powerfully evokes praise for God’s everlasting sovereignty.
5:12-13 Stand Strong in God’s Truth!
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.
Silvanus (Silas): likely derived from “Saul.”
With Paul on second journey. Acts 16:19, 25, 29; 17:4, 10, 14, 15; 18:5.
Now with Peter, as his scribe writing this letter.
As Peter exhorted the elders in 5:1, now he exhorts all. Stand firm!
“Babylon” may be a cryptic reference to Rome, its NT counterpart.
“She” may refer to the church in Rome. Cf. 2 Jn 1:1, 5, 13.
Mark (John Mark): Barnabas’ cousin, began Paul’s first journey with them. Now a close associate (“son”) of Peter. Wrote the Gospel of Mark.
5:14 Show Some Affection!
14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ.
The holy kiss of love: Rom 16:16; 1 Cor 16:20; 2 Cor 13:12; 1 Th 5:26.
“The sacred kiss as an affectionate greeting conveyed an evidence of mutual love, respect, honor, and equality, and was evidently used by Christ and the apostles themselves, hence the odium that attached to Judas’ use of such a greeting to betray the Son of God.” — Coffman
Written by Cory Collins
Cory Collins is a Bible teacher and a minister of the gospel. He serves with Keller church of Christ in Keller, Texas. He and his wife, Tanya, have been married since 1977. They have two children and one grandchild.