1 Peter 5:1-14
By: Jim Eschenbacher
This past Sunday, we heard a lesson by Pastor Drew, speaking from 1 peter 5. He entitled this series from Peter as… “Essentials for living” The points ministered to the people back then as well as the people now. That is one of the beauties of the Bible. It transcends cultures and times. Who would have written something in AD 75 that would still apply to people in AD 2018? Who could know? Only God. Don’t devalue the origin and the continual relevance of the Bible.
Verse 1… I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.
Drew asked the elders to stand and then he exhorted them with the words of Peter, but he did not leave it in that realm; he told us in the congregation to embrace the oversight or the elder and grow in it.
The role of leadership in the body is to equip the body to do the work of the ministry. How different that is from the popular model that leaders are to do the work? The congregation is being trained to do the ministry. Elders train by example and leading; they do not train by pressure. God’s economy is not just different from the world’s, it is opposite. Jesus taught that leaders were to be servants. Servants, in that day, were lesser beings than non-servants. The disciples did not relate to, and possibly didn’t like, Jesus’ teaching. Even today, there is a stigma attached to the word “servant”.
Verse 5b… Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.
Peter leaves no room for dissention here… “all of you” We are all included in this warning… elders, congregation, ushers, pew sitters, singers, cake eaters and cake makers, teachers and hearers. We are to all be humble. We can humble ourselves or God will humble us. We have learned, from Peter, that we will suffer and struggle and be humble, but we also learn that we will be exalted.
Verse 6… Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time, he may exalt you.
The “Mighty hand of God” may seem stifling at times. After all He is all powerful… He has all power. Do you sometimes fell crushed by the weight of life? Decisions, alone, can bury us. We are told to cast all our cares on Jesus, but before we know a care is a care, we carry it. And, often, we struggle with giving them to Jesus. One potential reaction is to rise up inside and thin we can handle it. Another reaction, and the one that is encouraged here, is to humble one’s self. If you are willing to humbly admit that you need God, He will one day exalt you. We don’t know what that will look like, but assume you will like it.
In the course of the sermon, he invited us to read Ephesians 6:10-20, and Philippians 2. To put everything in perspective, I suggest listening to the sermon on line at the church web site. Peter closes his letter with mention of certain people in his life, a further reminder that the Christian life is not, indeed cannot be, lived in seclusion. We are part to the body of Christ and so… part of Christ.