Translations: Chinese GB Big5

1Peter 5 (web)

Submission III

5:1 I exhort the elders among you,
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;
  • 5:3 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

    5:12 Through Silvanus, our faithful brother, as I consider him,
    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 love.
    Peace be to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

    Discussion Questions

    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 it is 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 20:28

    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 5:17,18 But this also became a source of temptation, a basis for greed and corruption which can be seen throughout the history of post-Biblical Christianity.

    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 10:42,43 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 12:3 And speaking of responsibilities Jesus said, "everyone who 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 4:8

    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 13:17 

    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 the requirement 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 15:33 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 humility.

    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 13:22 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 29:25

    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

    Stand Firm

    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 devil can 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 6:3a

    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, 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 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." 1Peter 5:10b

    To Perfect
    : Means for one to become what he ought 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 settles down to live the Christian life.

    Having suffered through persecutions and having reacted properly, the believer develops maturity and strong convictions and settles down to live the Christian 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 order 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 mast on a sailing ship helping others to go through the rough seas to their destination.

    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, Silas and 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 ministries.

    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 that grace.


    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 metaphorically - 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 sense (as in Rev 17:5), closely parallelling Rome including the seven hills of Rome mentioned in Rev 17:9. "Mark" also wrote 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' ministry.

    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 too
    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 must 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.

    The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

    Jun 06,2016