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21 Exhortations to Excellence 1 Peter 5:1-14
 

21 Exhortations to Excellence 1 Peter 5:1-14

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Exhortations to Excellence 1 Peter 5:1-14, Adapted from a sermon by Clark Tanner http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/exhortations-to-excellence-clark-tanner-sermon-on-endurance-102583.asp

Exhortations to Excellence 1 Peter 5:1-14, Adapted from a sermon by Clark Tanner http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/exhortations-to-excellence-clark-tanner-sermon-on-endurance-102583.asp

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    21 Exhortations to Excellence 1 Peter 5:1-14 21 Exhortations to Excellence 1 Peter 5:1-14 Presentation Transcript

    • Exhortations to Excellence 1 Peter 5:1-14
      Adapted from a sermon by
      Clark Tanner
      http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/exhortations-to-excellence-clark-tanner-sermon-on-endurance-102583.asp
    • 1 Peter 5:1 NET So as your fellow elder and a witness of Christ's sufferings and as one who shares in the glory that will be revealed, I urge the elders among you: 2 Give a shepherd's care to God's flock among you, exercising oversight not merely as a duty but willingly under God's direction, not for shameful profit but eagerly. 3 And do not lord it over those entrusted to you, but be examples to the flock.
    • 4Then when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that never fades away. 5In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.(Proverbs 3:34)
    • 6 And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble yourselves under his mighty hand 7 by casting all your cares on him because he cares for you. 8 Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering.
    • 10And, after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him belongs the power forever. Amen. 12 Through Silvanus, whom I know to be a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, in order to encourage you and testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.
    • 13 The church in Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with a loving kiss. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
      The progression of Peter’s first letter to the churches of the Asian regions has been apparent throughout, and that does not change as we come to his closing exhortations.
    • Once more he says ‘So’ and since it is clear that he is referring to all the things he has said about suffering and their Christian behavior in persecutions, it makes sense that to both exhort and encourage them at the end of his letter he would give them instructions for maintaining a Godly cohesion among themselves.
    • Now we’ve all heard the old adage that there is strength in numbers. It is usually employed in calling an ‘underdog’ element together to give one another strength and work together to overcome a potentially stronger foe.
      But that is not the direction Peter is taking them. A William Wallace or a Patrick Henry might give that sort of speech to rally weary troops to the cause, but in fact that is not the Biblical approach to oppression and persecution.
    • The Biblical approach, if you think about it, is quite the opposite. God whittled Gideon’s army down to a mere 300 against the hoards of the Midianites specifically so that He might show Himself to be the strong One in Israel.
      Throughout the scriptures God is found using individuals or small groups, and usually the most unlikely characters of all, through whom to do great things, because it is 'Not by strength and not by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD who rules over all."Zechariah 4:6c NET
    • Peter had learned this lesson well.
      Matthew 26:52 NET Then Jesus said to him,(Peter)"Put your sword back in its place! For all who take hold of the sword will die by the sword.
      and now, with the churches he loved going through ‘trial by fire’ and facing more, we don’t see him rallying the troops as it were, but exhorting them to the excellence of Godly behavior to one another and the unity of the Spirit that will see them through to glory.
    • SHEEP AND SHEPHERDS
      1 Peter 5:1 NET So as your fellow elder and a witness of Christ's sufferings and as one who shares in the glory that will be revealed, I urge the elders among you: 2 Give a shepherd's care to God's flock among you, exercising oversight not merely as a duty but willingly under God's direction, not for shameful profit but eagerly. 3 And do not lord it over those entrusted to you, but be examples to the flock.
    • 4Then when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that never fades away. 5In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.(Proverbs 3:34)
    • It makes sense then, that the first group he would address would be the leaders. It is certainly not by chance that Peter employs the analogy of sheep and shepherds at this point.
      As I pointed out, they were a people undergoing persecution and suffering for the name of Christ and as Christ went as a sheep to the slaughter without defending Himself, so they were now following in His steps.
    • So Peter addresses the shepherds of the flock, who are really just lead sheep themselves.
      Can you imagine the weight of responsibility an overseer of the church must feel pressing down on him when on a regular basis the people he is caring for and attempting to lead to streams of living water are being publicly maligned and mistreated and one at a time, one family at a time, being arrested and taken away to prison or to crucifixion?
    • Peter wasn’t just writing a word of wisdom to a seminary graduating class here. He wasn’t offering sage advice from an old man of the cloth to new preachers going out to take their first church. He was writing to leaders who had been placed by the Holy Spirit and called to be, in their daily living, examples for the other sheep to follow.
    • Now I want you to notice his choice of words here in verse 3, when he says “…those entrusted to you…”
      How far off the direction laid down for us in the Bible have we gone, when there is such an obsessive focus on numbers and building sizes and church activities that those things gauge the success or failure of the leaders and determine their overall worth within the scope of the larger organization and among their peers?
    • The New Testament truth is that to each one the Lord has placed in the position of overseer of the flock, there are certain ones allotted to him, and when he stands to give account it is not going to be for how large a flock he could grow; it is going to be an accounting of how faithful he was in his oversight and shepherding of the ones allotted to him – whether 4 or 40 thousand.
    • The accounting we will give will be in relation to whether we lorded it over people in misuse of authority – and an imagined, self-ordained authority at that – whether we were in it for the monetary gain we could get out of it (good luck with that one…) – or whether we proved to be Godly examples to the flock.
    • Every once in a while some story hits the news of the downfall of a man seen by the world to be a noteworthy, successful leader in the church, and of course the godless news media loves to make as much of it as they can, and spokesmen for the church usually react with embarrassment and defense, first for the man, until the charges are proved true, then for the entity itself.
    • What a shame that the first reaction is not to unabashedly announce that God cleans His own house first, and that the one with greater authority is held to a greater accountability.
      Elders, teachers, those who sit at your feet to be fed are by God’s grace allotted to you. Take care of that with which you have been entrusted as Christlike examples; that is what is required of you.
    • And what is promised to you? An unfading crown of glory when the Chief Shepherd, who left them in your care, returns for what is and has been His all along.
      Now before we pass on from these first 5 verses notice that Peter specifically addresses the younger ones.
      5aIn the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders.
    • There has to be a reason for that and I don’t think there is any evidence to assume that he was addressing some particular problem that was coming to his attention.
      It is just a fact of human kind that younger people generally tend to be aggressive and self-confident, and often slow to take to heart counsel that does not immediately make sense to their inexperienced minds.
    • Again, and as we will see repeated, this was a time to be especially sober in mind and slow to act or react to opposition in a fleshly way.
      The wisest counsel any younger person could be given during that time or any time, even a time of relative peace and comfort, is to give respectful attention to the leadership of those who have gone through the same passages of life they are in and to not be quick to dismiss their counsel.
    • There is an old adage that fools rush in where wise men fear to tread.
      My own addition to the adage is that what made those men wise in most cases was that they once were the fools who rushed in. Young people, learn to not make the mistakes we did, by listening to our warnings.
    • Solomon’s sons might have read his proverbs and thought, ‘yeah, you had your fun and now you’re trying to tell us not to have the same fun’. The truth is though, that by heeding the counsel a young person can be shown to be wise by avoiding the trouble that came as the fruit of that so-called fun.
    • The greatest strength of a body of believers, humanly speaking, is a group of young, strong, thoughtful people, respectfully submitting to the leadership of their elders and ready to jump to the task presented with sleeves rolled up and mouths shut.
    • HUMILITY AND VIGILANCE
      6 And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble yourselves under his mighty hand 7 by casting all your cares on him because he cares for you. 8 Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering.
    • 10 And, after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him belongs the power forever. Amen.
      As we can see in even a cursory reading of verse 5, Peter singles out the young people for this special admonition to be subject to their elders,
    • but he immediately turns the focus on all in the body to be clothed with humility toward one another, quoting as his authority Proverbs 3:34 NET Although he is scornful to arrogant scoffers, yet he shows favor to the humble.
      The NASB translation of that proverb is interesting in this context.“Though He scoffs at the scoffers, yet He gives grace to the afflicted.”
    • Believers in Christ, as those who are His body and as one in His Spirit, ought we not relate to one another as equally afflicted by the pangs of this life and the offense of this world of sin, and clothe yourselves with humility toward one another?
      The scoffers have their day, but He scoffs at their scoffing as those whose time is short.
    • But He lavishes His grace on His own who are humble and subject to one another in the fear of Christ; grace to stand as one and endure the affliction together. As He said to Paul He says to all of us: But he said to me, "My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.
      2 Corinthians 12:9 NET
    • So in a spiritual sense, I guess there really is strength in numbers, as long as the numbers unite to make the one, and stand in this grace, that His power is shown to be perfect through our weakness.
      This is a reference to total trust and submission. I repeat, there is no exhortation to oppose those who persecute, or to hate or to blame. That which we as His children suffer in this life, whatever tool He uses, is for our testing and our development.
    • Humble submission to His will involves being content to be under the power of His mighty hand. Because the same hand that brings our testing is the hand that brings our deliverance in due time; indeed it is the same mighty hand that will, at the proper time, exalt the humble one who has been tested and approved, putting his oppressors to open shame.
    • I titled this section humility and vigilance, but before we go on to talk about being alert, pause to consider this invitation in verse 7by casting all your cares on him because he cares for you.A cross-reference refers us to
      Psalms 55:22 NET Throw your burden upon the LORD, and he will sustain you. He will never allow the godly to be upended.
    • What a wonderful claim is made here, made especially poignant when we remember that men wrote the scriptures under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God.
      Have you ever gone through a sustained trial; especially one seemingly imposed by people who have some form of power over you? Maybe a job where on a daily basis someone in authority has made it their life’s ambition to make your life miserable?
    • If so, you may be able to think back and remember the stress that weighed on you like a heavy burden. You couldn’t shake it off when you went home and when it was time to go back to work your stomach churned with anxiety.
      There are other circumstances of life that can cause the same kind of misery; I just picked out the bad job scenario.
    • But try to imagine, if you can, being denied the right to shop in the common market place. Spit at and publicly ridiculed. Suddenly accosted and beaten as you walk down the street because it is known that you belong to a sect of worshipers that is despised by the governing authorities. Coming home and finding out your parents or your children have been taken away and knowing you may never see them again.
    • And on the heels of calling for quiet endurance and humility among the brethren, Peter understands that those things do not forego or relieve the anxiety of sustained oppression and open persecution. So he addresses the issue.
      Cast it on the One whose mighty hand sustains you and lifts you up. Like the song says, “Give them all to Jesus”… and this is the best part. “because He cares for you”.
    • Did you hear that? I mean, did you really hear it? God cares for you. He knows, He sees, He cares. Don’t feel alone. Don’t let yourself feel abandoned. Don’t let the enemy of your soul convince you that you are without hope.
      The Lord who died for you, whose steps you walk in, who has promised you glory with Him in His kingdom, cares for you. “…and He will turn your sorrow into joy”.
      Song lyrics from “Give Them All” by Bob Benson Sr.
    • Now I only have a couple of things to say about this vigilance Peter calls his readers to and then we’ll move on.
      He says to be sober and alert. This may bring to mind the admonition of Jesus to His disciples "I am sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
      Matthew 10:16 NET
    • And the reason He said that to them was that He was sending them out as sheep among wolves.
      Peter, who was one of the hearers of that admonition, is passing on the Lord’s own wisdom here when he tells his readers to be sober and alert.
      This is what I want you to be clear on. He is not warning them about their persecutors. He is warning them to be sober and alert. against the influence and attack of their spiritual enemy.
    • Christians, you need not fear what men can do to you. What we need to be ever mindful of, especially in times of testing and trial and stress and anxiety, is the cunning and the destructive desire of what Paul called “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” Ephesians 6:12d NET For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.
    • Satan can’t take away your salvation. You are safe for eternity when you remain in Christ and Satan can’t change that. But he will be quick to grab you if you let yourself be led away. I believe Peter shows us this in his 2nd letter. 2 Peter 3:15 NET And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as also our dear brother Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him, 16 speaking of these things in all his letters.
    • Some things in these letters are hard to understand, things the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they also do to the rest of the scriptures.17Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard that you do not get led astray by the error of these unprincipled men and fall from your firm grasp on the truth.
    • Jesus has this to say, If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown out like a branch, and dries up; and such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and are burned up.
      John 15:6 NET
      Some will argue the one thrown into the fire was never truly part of Jesus, the Vine. It would make no sense being told to remain in Him if you’re not already there. You cannot remain where you never were to begin with!
    • Remember, again this is Peter, 8Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour.9Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering.You’re not the Lone Ranger.
    • In verse 10 God gives another promise through Peter, that when you have suffered for a little while – and it may not seem like a little while to you, but compared to eternity it is all a little while;
      10And, after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
    • Paul said, ‘For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison
      2 Corinthians 4:17 NET
      Now listen. Those four terms, restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish, at the end of verse 10 are a reference to the ongoing work of sanctification; of conforming you to the image of Christ.
    • It is not a reference to your future glorification, but to the purifying and strengthening work that He is doing in you now, through the trials, as you stand firm in your faith, which is your belief in Biblical revelation.
      Got that, Christians? You have to know your Bible. You have to have the Word of God richly internalized.
    • When testing comes you can stand firm on what you know to be true concerning the God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory in Christ. You can resist the devil and stand, so you can be perfected and confirmed and strengthened and established by the mighty hand of God to whom you have humbly committed yourself.
    • I liked what MacArthur said in reference to these four words at the end of verse 10.“These terms all connote strength and immovability, which God wants for all believers as they face the spiritual battle. He sets them firmly on the truth of divine revelation, where they stand in faith and confidence until they realize their eternal glory.”
      The MacArthur New Testament Commentary –
      1 Peter, J. MacArthur, Moody, 2004
    • I hope these words of Peter are an inspiration and an encouragement to you, because as they were written down they inspired an anthem of praise from him that we do well to consider.
      11To him belongs the power forever. Amen.
      Power: 1) force, strength
      2) power, might: mighty with great power 2a) a mighty deed, a work of power
      3) dominion
      (Thayer’s Greek Definitions)
    • Christian, do you agree with Peter’s anthem of praise?
      Can you lend your Amen
      to his Amen?
      I ask, because if the God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory in Christ has dominion over all for ever and ever.
    • He has absolute right and authority to test your faith, to strengthen you through trial, to demand humility and mutual love and unity toward your brethren, to expect from you vigilance in standing firm on the truth of divine revelation and partner with Him through faith in the process of making you more like Jesus.
    • You and I therefore have no right to ask the faithless, “Why me?” We have no right to demand our own way. We have no permission to beg from Him deliverance without development.
      If He has absolute dominion over us, being the owner of all, then He has absolute right to command you and me to take up a cross and go where He went. Is that a downer? It shouldn’t be. Because beyond the cross is a crown.
    • THE TRUE GRACE OF GOD
      12Through Silvanus, whom I know to be a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, in order to encourage you and testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. 13 The church in Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with a loving kiss. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
    • Well, Peter draws his letter to a close with some personal notes. Silvanus is his scribe, and he calls him ‘faithful brother’. This is apparently the same Silvanus mentioned in 2 Corinthians 1:19who, along with Timothy, had helped preach the gospel to the people of that city.
    • 2 Corinthians 1:19 NET For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the one who was proclaimed among you by us — by me and Silvanus and Timothy — was not "Yes" and "No," but it has always been "Yes" in him.
      He mentions Mark, calling him ‘my son’, meaning his son in the faith. Scholars believe the gospel of Mark may have actually been written by Mark as Peter dictated; or at least, Peter’s view of all that occurred influenced Mark’s writing. Just some points of interest.
    • But look at this line in verse
      12I have written to you briefly, in order to encourage you and testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.
      This can only be a reference to the letter in its entirety and the fullness of its message. By his choice of words Peter lays claim to divine inspiration. He knows it is the Holy Spirit’s work, therefore the admonition to ‘Stand fast in it.’
    • He reiterates the exhortation of verse 9Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering. Believer in Christ, this is the ‘the living and enduring word of God.’ 1 Peter 1:23c NETYou have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.
      You cannot stand apart from it; you cannot fall if you Stand fast in it.
    • I don’t care if you’re 8 or 80, the most difficult times of your life may still lie ahead. You need to know that and not be surprised when it comes. But you need to know deep in your spirit that the One who may call you to suffer for His name for a little while, cares for you. And he will turn your sorrows into joy.
    • So Peter has given these exhortations to excellence. Clothe yourselves with humility among the brethren. Stay alert and vigilant in order that you might resist the devil and keep your testimony pure. Stand fast in your faith knowing that you do not suffer alone and that the God of all grace helps you. Christians, the end of all things is near. 14Greet one another with a loving kiss. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.