In our study of 1 Peter chapter five, we look at our call to glory and what that means for our daily lives. As we saw in Genesis, man was created to be with God. This final part of Peter's letter reminds us of that fact and was meant to encourage its readers to live their lives in a manner consistent with that calling.
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To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed:
Peter begins the final part of his letter and addresses his remarks to elders. It is important to note that it is not to a single elder but is always to a group of elders. Peter then speaks about sharing in "the glory to be revealed". Glory is simply the greatness or presence of God.
Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers - not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve;
Peter reminds us what it means to be an elder and the first thing is that one that is called does it for the right reason. Some grudgingly take on the title because it seems that nobody else is available but we are reminded that is not the right reason. One that is called to be an elder does not do it for personal gain such as money or fame but to serve the flock and to guide them. The proper motive is the satisfaction that comes in seeing Christians grow closer to God and not what you can get out of it.
not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
Now, Peter describes the proper manner in which an elder serves. That is they are not to be dictators but examples. Their words and actions must match.
And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
This verse refers to Moses and how the glory of God caused his face to shine but it faded (see Exodus 34:29 - 35). When Christ comes back, the glory will be with us but it will never fade. This verse reminds us that the elders answer directly to the Chief Shepherd which is Jesus.
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'
Now Peter moves from teaching the elders to teaching the rest of the people. He reminds the young to submit to the authority of the elders. It is important to note here that Peter is not simply talking about those who are older in years but is talking about those that are older and more mature in the faith. Then, he quotes from Proverbs 3:34 and contrasts grace and pride. A good example of this contrast is found in Esther 5.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
God not only gives grace to the humble as we saw in the previous verse but he will also lift you up. He will lift up the humble because that brings out God's glory. When the proud lift up themselves it is for their own glory and that is not of God but of Satan.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
We do not have to worry when we give things over to God. El Shaddai is big enough to handle anything and He loves His children. Jesus told us, in Matthew 6:25-34, that our Father will take care of us and there is no need for anxiety (worry).
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
We need to be on our guard so that we can recognize the work of the devil and resist the temptations that he will put in our path. If you are in Christ, he is your enemy and is out to destroy you. Satan is at work in this world and will use people and things to try to separate you from God. We can rejoice even in this because the Spirit of God living in us is greater than the devil. The devil may roar like a lion but he does not have the teeth (power) of the lion. Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah and Satan is the big counterfeit (see Revelation 13).
Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
We are not alone in facing the enemy as we know that all of the world Christians are being attacked. We stand on the fact that God is with us as well.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
We are called to be with God forever but our time here on earth can be a struggle. It is a struggle here because the whole world has the bad effects of sin in it. God has the power to overcome sin and restore us and keep us forever.
With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.
It all comes down to grace and Peter sums up his letter by reminding us of that fact. He encourages us to stand on that grace and not try to add anything else to it as that is the entire basis of our salvation.
She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark.
Peter closes his letter here by passing on greetings from some of the fellow workers for the kingdom. It is interesting to note that one of them is a woman from what we call Iraq today.
Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
Peter closes by instructing us to greet each other. This is to remind us that we are one in Christ and that we should care for each other. He then leaves us with peace and it is just for those who are in Christ because without Christ it is impossible to have peace.