as a fellow elder, and a witness of the
sufferings of Christ,
and who will also share in the glory that will be revealed.
5:2 Shepherd the flock of God which is
among you, exercising the oversight,
not under compulsion, but voluntarily,
not for dishonest gain, but willingly;
neither as lording it over the
charge allotted to you,
but making yourselves examples to the flock.
5:4 When the chief Shepherd is revealed,
you will receive the crown of glory that doesn't fade away.
5:5 Likewise, you younger
ones, be subject
to the elder.
Yes, all of you
gird yourselves with humility,
to subject yourselves to one another;
for "God resists the proud, but
gives grace to the humble."
5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty
hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time;
5:7 casting all your worries on him,
because he cares for you.
5:8 Be sober and self-controlled. Be
Your adversary the devil, walks around like a roaring lion,
seeking whom he may devour.
5:9 Withstand him steadfast in your
knowing that your brothers who are in the world
are undergoing the same sufferings.
5:10 But may the God of all grace,
who called you to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus,
after you have suffered a little while,
perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
5:11 To him be the glory and the
power forever and ever. Amen.
5:12 Through Silvanus, our faithful brother, as I
I have written to you briefly, exhorting, and testifying
that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.
5:13 She who is in Babylon, chosen
together with you, greets you;
and so does Mark, my son.
5:14 Greet one another with a kiss of
Peace be to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
What are the responsibilities of a shephard over sheep?
What motivates leaders to serve eagerly?
If you are called to do so and are an appropriate person for the role,
are you prepared for such a position? And what can you do to prepare?
What is the relationship between humility and submission?
How can you tell whether you are humble?
What does it mean to submit to your elders?
What does it mean to cast your anxieties on Him?
What characteristics might you develop by resisting the devil in the
midst of persecution?
How is standing firm in the faith different from walking in the faith?
Lead with Enthusiasm
1Peter 5:1-2 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: 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
Concerning the shepherding of the church, such an analogy is made of
Christ himself in verse 4. But what does such a role incorporate? For
one thing they are overseers. The fact that elders are equated with
overseers here helps in interpreting other passages. Titus 3:1-7
gives requirements for overseers. These are also elders. If elders of a
church could be characterized as overlookers rather
than over overseers, they are not doing their job. Of shepherds
written, "Be sure you know the condition of your
flocks, give careful attention to your herds" Pr 27:23
Let not the elders view themselves as mere administrators. And let not
pastors of church view themselves as the sole shepherd. (In fact there
is little Biblical basis for the "senior pastor" model) All the elders
are to be involved in overseeing each individual in the congregation.
In Paul's speech to the Ephesians elders, one thing he said was, "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of
which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the
church of God, which he bought with his own blood." Acts
If elders are reluctant to carry out their duties, they shouldn't be
elders. Men are not to seek eldership for the sake of a mere title.
They must be willing. The general principle of giving oneself to God in
ministry is given in 2Cor 9:7 "Each man
should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly
or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." With
regards to money, elders were generally paid for their services. "The elders who direct the affairs of the church well
are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching
and teaching. For the Scripture says, 'Do not muzzle the ox while it is
treading out the grain,' and 'The worker deserves his wages.'" 1Tim
But this also became a source of temptation, a basis for
greed and corruption which can be seen throughout the history of
Thus Paul advised the Ephesian elders, "I have
not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know
that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my
companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard
work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus
himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’" Acts
20:33-35 This applies to all lelders including the senior pastor if
a church has such a position. And even concerning this online ministry "Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for
profit." 2Cor 2:17 Greed affects doctine as well, "In their greed these teachers will exploit you with
stories they have made up." 2Peter 2:3 People will make
up stories for the sake of getting paid. Better to give up one's rights
and entitlements if such things hinder the gospel. Paul. In 1Cor 9 Paul
speaks of himself and Barnabus giving up a number of their
entitlements, including marriage and getting paid for ministry for the
sake of the gospel. "But we did not use this
right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the
gospel of Christ." 1Cor 9:12 Not Lording it Over the Flock
1Peter 5:3 not lording it over those
entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
Jesus set the example, "I have set you an
example that you should do as I have done for you." John
13:15 Actually in their first opportunity to do so they failed to
follow his example. The example he spoke of here was taking the role of
a servant washing feet - which means to meet practical needs. But in Acts
6 when widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of
food the Twelve gathered all the disciples
together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the
ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables." Acts
6:2 Such are the typical excuses of the religious elite. Its funny
that the elders they assigned to do the job were quite capable of both
waiting on tables and do the ministry of the word, just like Jesus. The
institutionally elite today need to replace their EITHER-OR attitude
with a BOTH-AND perspective.
Jesus said, "You know that those who are
considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great
ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you;
but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant." Mr
By being an example to follow - doing the very things
they tell others to do, elders can avoid the elitist attitude of
lording over others. Paul instructs Titus "In
everything set them an example by doing what is good." Tit 2:7 and Timothy, "Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are
young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in
love, in faith and in purity." 1Tim 4:12 To the
Philippians he says, "Join with others in
following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live
according to the pattern we gave you." Php 3:17 Good Leadership is Rewarded
1Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd
appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
Much as leaders, such as teachers, will receive stricter judgement,, those who serve well
will be rewarded in kind. "Those who are wise
will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead
many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever." Daniels
And speaking of responsibilities Jesus said, "everyone
has will be given more, and he will have
an abundance." Mt 25:29
Now we are not told what the crown symbolizes, or what the reward
consists of, but perhaps from the parable of the talents from which I
just quoted, one aspect of having the crown is the idea of reigning
with Christ and as such it may incorporate being given more
responsibilities along the same lines as exercised on earth. For "if we endure, we will also reign with him." 2Tim
2:12 But realize once again that Jesus portrayed leadership in a
much different way than the vanity in which it is normally portrayed
in the world.
Another aspect of the crown and the glory associated with it is that is
represents the people whom you have influenced for Christ. Paul writes
of the Thessalonian Christians saying, "For what
is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the
presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?" 1Th
2:19 In this sense the crown is likened to a crowning achievement.
Realize also that while Peter is speaking to elders here, the crown of
righteousness is not limited to them. Paul writes, "there is in store for me the crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day— and
not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." 2Tim
Be a Willing Disciple
1Peter 5:5 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."
One thing implied here is that the older are instructing, need I say
"discipling", the younger. All should be involved in this. There's an
expectation that when people get older they become teachers. "In fact, though by this time you ought to be
teachers" Heb 5:12a
One aspect of clothing yourself with humility is
"Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think
of yourself with sober judgment" Rom 12:3 In fact both
high self-esteem and low self-esteem are indicative of pride. The
humble have a realistic evaluation of themselves as they do also of
others. The meek embrace the role which God has placed them in. And
part of the role of the young is to be taught. So
"obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out
for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy
and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you." Heb
As for the proud God mocks proud mockers but
gives grace to the humble. Pr 3:34 God Honors the Humble
1Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore,
under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Humility is the most essential of all character qualities upon which
all other virtues are contingent. In fact God has so orchestrated the
gospel as to prevent the proud from entering the kingdom. And he says, "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and
contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word." Is 66:2b A
person who is humble is teachable. The proud are unwilling to be
discipled. Implied in Jesus' Great Commission of Mt 28:18-20 is
that young Christians be willing to be discipled by
older ones. As for honor, "The fear of the LORD
is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility." Pr
The application here is to sumbit to authority. The proud
seek for honor dishonorably. For "it is not good
to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to seek one’s own honor."
Pr 25:27 Honor should be earned through the practice of
Cast Anxieties Away
1Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him
because he cares for you.
Worries crush the Christian's maturity. In fact the Greek word for
"anxiety" here is used only four times in the gospels, and they all
speak of this effect. Three of them are found in the parable of sower. "The one who received the seed that fell among the
thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life
and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful." Mt
or here "The seed that fell among
thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they
are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not
mature." Luke 8:14 Also notice Luke 21:34 "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with
dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that
day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap." Worry destroys
the Christian life. So don't worry. That's not a suggestion. That's an
order. "Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present
your requests to God." Php 4:6
Be Alert to Dangers
1Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and
alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking
for someone to devour.
This verse is sandwiched between talking about worries and about
believers being persecuted. Peter had first-hand experience with this
context. Jesus said to him, "Simon, Simon, Satan
has asked to sift you as wheat." Luke 22:31 And on the
day of his trial Peter denied him three times for fear of his own life.
Be alert to the things that cause you to fall into sin. Jesus foresaw
his death and prayed all night, God sending him an angel to strengthen
him, while the others slept. "The fear of man
brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe." Pr
How aware are you of the corrupting influences that surround us,
both from without and from within? "So then, let
us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and
self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get
drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be
self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the
hope of salvation as a helmet." 1Th 5:6-8
1Peter 5:9 Resist him, standing firm
in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world
are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Resist a lion? Yes indeed. To neglect to do so is cowardice and
laziness. The sluggard says, "There is a lion in
the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!" Pr 26:13 The
be resisted by standing in faith. In fact even when
confronted by a lion it's better to stand your ground than to flee.
Most predators will reckon you prey if you run away. In fact the devil
and his angels have more to fear than the Christian does. "Do you not know that we will judge angels?" 1Cor
Paul speaks of evidence of the word of God being at work in
believers. "You accepted it not as the word of
men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you
who believe. For you, brothers, became imitators of God’s
churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your
own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews"
1Thess 2:13,14 Those who suffer for being Christians can take
comfort in the fact they fellowship with Christ's sufferings and that
of other believers.
Benefits of Suffering
1Peter 5:10,11 And the God of all grace,
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 also rejoice in our sufferings, because we
know that suffering produces perseverance" Rom 5:3 God uses suffering to sanctify us. It builds character. It
builds as well as reveals a person's convictions. And as such our
reaction to suffering can influence others. Consequently we can
rejoice. And "just as the sufferings of Christ
flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort
overflows." 2Cor 1:5
While I've quoted the NIV above, more literally are four words used
expressing the end result of suffering here as in the NASB "... perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you."
To Perfect: Means for one to become what he
to be. To be fit for service. To Confirm:Means to become stable, set firmly in
place To Strengthen: Means to be strong in spirit - to hold
our faith as convictions To Establish: Means to lay the foundation, as when one
down to live the Christian life.
Having suffered through persecutions and having reacted properly,
develops maturity and strong convictions and settles down to live the
life in stable manner. An illustration which I recall is one in which a
tree is located on a hill and all the trees around are cut down in
to subject the tree to the greatest force of winds. It is tested and as
it waves back and forth in the wind, it becomes stronger and when it is
fully mature and fit for service, it is cut down and used as the main
on a sailing ship helping others to go through the rough seas to their
Silas - a Faithful Brother
1Peter 5:12 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.
We note Silas here was often Paul's traveling companion as well. In
fact Paul's letters to the Thessalonians started, "Paul,
Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians" It is
interesting that despite Peter and Paul's status as apostles they had
the humility to give credit to others in assisting them. Indeed this is
a part of disciplemaking - allowing others to do your ministry. And the
cooperation between these apostles is in contrast to the sort of
denominational allegiance and jealousies not uncharacteristic of the
history of post-Biblical institutional Christianity. There should be a
spirit of cooperation rather than competition among Christian
Peter's letter was about the themes of Sanctification, Submission
and Suffering. By saying this is the true grace of God has says this in
contrast to those who preach false grace. Paul also warned of false
grace as said in 1Cor 6:9,10; Eph 5:5; Gal 5:19-21, and which
John warned of in such places as 1John 3:7,15. The true grace
of God has an impact on a person's behavior, which is what Peter has
been saying and he continues this theme in the beginning of 2nd Peter.
"Stand fast" is first of all a command and as such involves your
cooperation. The true grace of God does not act apart from your
cooperation. It's going to take effort on your part to stand in
1Peter 5:13,14 She who is in Babylon, chosen
together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark.
Greet one another with a kiss
of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
In speaking of "Babylon", Peter was probably speaking
- meaning "Rome". The apostle John was also given a vision in the book
of Revelation in which "Babylon" was also spoken of in a derogatory
(as in Rev 17:5), closely parallelling Rome including the seven
hills of Rome mentioned in Rev 17:9. "Mark" also
the gospel of Mark. He also had been involved both in Peter and Paul's
ministries. "My son" may indicate Peter's close relationship with Mark,
just as Paul refers to Timothy as his son.
The gospel of Mark thus contains much of Peter's account of Jesus'
Like Paul writes at the end of 1Cor 16:20 All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet one
another with a holy kiss There are different cultural norms
with respect to greeting one another. There's the salute, the tipping
of the hat, the hand shake, the bow and this holy kiss - whatever
serves best to communicate a warm greeting. "Be
kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving
preference to one another" Rom 12:10
1Peter 5 RAP
5:1 To the elders among you I appeal as a fellow elder
A witness of Christ's sufferings and who will share in His glory with
you 2 Be shepherds of God's flock given to your trust
Serve willingly as God would want and not because you must
Not greedy for the money, but serving eagerly 3 Not lording it over the flock of God, but examples you
be 4 And when the Chief Shepherd comes on judgment day
You will get a crown that will never fade away 5 Let all be submissive with humility rather than grumble
For God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble 6 Humble yourselves under God's mighty hand
And you will be honored when before Him you stand 7 Cast upon Him all your troubles and cares
For He cares about all your worries and fears 8 Be sober and alert in every hour
For the devils is watching for one to devour 9 You should resist him, standing firm in your faith
Knowing your brothers share the same fate 10 And the God of all grace who called you to glory
After you have suffered a while in his-story
Will make you strong and restore you again 11 To Him be the power forever. Amen 12 With the help of Silas, who works very hard
I write to you briefly of the true grace of God 13 The church in Babylon chosen with you
Sends you greetings as Mark does too 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love
Peace to all in Christ, below and above.