Be Shepherds of God's Flock
Comments for Study 5
1 Peter 5:1-14
Memory Verse: 2:13
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I. To Elders (5:1-4)
1 Peter 2:25 commentary has more information on shepherds and overseers.
>1. Who does Paul address in verses 1-4?
* 1 Peter 5:1 "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"
* 1 Timothy 5:17 "The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching."
* "the elders" -The original Greek word here is "presbyteros" and is used 67 times in the New Testament. Elder is a position within a local congregation. An elder is a position of leadership (1 Timothy 5:17), not the type of leadership the world knows and practices. Rather, this is a position as Jesus taught, a position of servitude. (Matthew 20:24-28; Mark 10:41-45; Luke 22:24-30)
* "among you" -Among you implies that Peter considered an elder as someone among the local congregation. They were not based in some other city, or another part of the city. They did not take long winter vacations to warmer climates away from the congregation they were to serve. How can a person serve a group of people he is with them only part of the time?
* For more about congregational elders see the question below.
* "as a fellow elder" -Peter used the Greek word "sympresbyteros" here with "sym" meaning "co" and "also". Peter was the only Biblical author to use this word and only used it here. Peter did not consider himself an elder of the congregations that he was writing. He did not consider himself part of a line of command, whether the top or any other place. The church was not organized the way many denominations were centuries later organized, with a earthly hierarchy. There was not in the first century and should not be in any other century a position where one man, or a group of men have authority over more than one congregation. We can get advice and help from other congregations and people, but not as a structured organization as many denominations now have.
* Constantine I (born: 272, died 337 A.D.) declared himself the head of all Christian congregations in 306 A.D. He was called the Bishop of Roman and the head of the Catholic Church (later called The Roman Catholic Church), the pope. He and all later popes claimed unquestionable authority. The Roman Catholic Church later claimed that Peter was the first pope and that Constantine was in line of those popes. Yet they had no proof to back up this claim. Eastern Orthodox Churches (including the ones Peter had written this letter to) did not agree with Constantine's edicts. They especially did not agree with having Sunday replace the Sabbath and Easter replace the Passover. Also the Eastern Orthodox congregations had many fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth generation Messianic Jewish members and Constantine hated Jews as many Roman's did. So the Eastern Orthodox congregations did not submit to his authority remaining independent congregations. They established their own pope, also called The Patriarch of Alexandria.
>How are elders to be chosen? (Acts 14:23, 20:28; Titus 1:5-9)
* Acts 14:23 "Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust."
* Acts 20:28 "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."
* Titus 1:5 "The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you."
* Most new Christian congregations started out without elders. Most of these early congregations started because they were cast out of Jewish congregations (the Greek word translated as synagogue is the same word for congregation and church). The other congregations that started with no Jewish background knew they needed leadership to direct the affairs of the congregations, but wasn't sure what the Bible said about how to chose them. Biblical elders dates back to the time that Israel went into Egypt and became slaves, but the Old Testament doesn't say how a person became an elder other than Exodus 18:17-26 and Deuteronomy 1:12-28. (Later, the King Saul and David were chosen by the Lord through lot.) The choosing of elders changed when the Jews returned from exile in Babylon to Judea (Ezra 5:3-5, 6:7, 10:8,14). Before the Jews were lead into exile they were organized based on families and family groups. When they returned from Babylon the families had been broken up and thus had little structure because many died and others chose not to return to Judea. So the Jews who returned to Judea from Babylon began structuring Jewish congregations (synagogues) based on location and number rather than families lines. Elders were based on education, power, and wealth. When many Jews were scattered all throughout the Greek world due to Greek influence in Judea, a rule was made that at least ten adult Jewish men were needed to start a congregation. This was still true in Jesus' time. Paul and the other apostles organized Christian congregations based on this same principle.
* The local congregation must chose who are elders.
* For more about congregational elders see Acts 14:23, 20:28-31; and 1 Timothy 4:14, 5:17-20; Titus 1:5-9; and James 5:14. An overseer (usually Greek "episkopeo" and traditionally translated the Latin word "bishop") is an equivalent word (from the Jewish background of Christianity) for "elder". The two words are used interchangeably in Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5, 7; and 1 Peter 5:1-2. Deacons (see Acts 6:1-6) are similar to elders. Overseers (elders) and deacons can be found in 1 Timothy 3 and Philippians 1:1.
>What life example are elders to live? (2-3; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9)
* 1 Peter 5:2-3 "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; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock."
* Philippians 1:1 "Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:"
* 1 Timothy 3:1-7 "Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task.2 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap."
* Titus 1:5-9 "The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it."
* "Be shepherds... under your care" -The original Greek phrase here (poimaino... en hymin) is properly translated in the NIV. The KJV though accurate is clumsy old English.
* "God's flock" -The original Greek is "poimnion theos" and is translated the same in most English Bibles.
* "overseers" -The original Greek is "episkopeo" is only used twice in the Bible. "Episkopos" is used seven times.
* Elder, overseer and shepherd all apply to the same office and duty.
* Peter remembered Jesus instructions to him after the resurrection on a beach at the Sea of Galilee. (John 21) His instructions here reflect Jesus' words to him.
* Traditionally Israel was a nation of shepherds; Egypt despising shepherds. (Genesis 46:34) David was a shepherd as were all Israel's leaders. (2 Samuel 7:7; and 1 Chronicles 11:2) The Lord God and the Messiah was portrayed as Israel's shepherd. (Genesis 48:15, 49:24; Psalm 23:1, 28:9, 80:1; Isaiah 40:11; Jeremiah 31:10; Ezekiel 34:12, etc.) Jesus said that he is the good shepherd. (John 10:1-18)
>How did Jesus give us an example of how elders are to be shepherds? (John 10:11-15)
* 1 Peter 5:2b-3 "...not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock."
* John 10:11-15 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep."
* "not because you must, but because you are willing"
* "not greedy for money"
* "eager to serve"
* "not lording it over those entrusted to you"
* "being examples to the flock"
>Are all elders always correct and always chosen by the Holy Spirit? (Mark 15:1; and 1 Timothy 5:19)
* Mark 15:1 "Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate."
* 1 Timothy 5:19 "Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses."
* The Old Testament is full of harsh words to Israel's shepherds (elders and leaders) because they were evil shepherds. They even rejected Israel's one true shepherd, the Lord God Jesus their Messiah.
>2. What did Peter witness? (1b)
* 1 Peter 5:1b "a witness of Christ's sufferings"
* John 18:15-16, Luke 22:54, Mark 14:53-54, and Matthew 26:57-58 record Peter falling the arrested Jesus. Matthew wrote, "Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome."
* Luke shows how close Peter was to Jesus during his trials. He wrote, "Peter replied, "Man, I don't know what you're talking about!" Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times." (Luke 22:60-61)
* Luke 23:49 "But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things."
>What was Peter doing as he witnessed Jesus' sufferings? (Mark 14:54, 65-66; Luke 22:60-62, 23:49)
* Mark 14:54 "Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire."
* Mark 14:65-66 "Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, "Prophesy!" And the guards took him and beat him. While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by."
* Luke 22:60-62 "Peter replied, 'Man, I don't know what you're talking about!' Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: 'Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.' And he went outside and wept bitterly."
* Luke 23:49 "But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things."
>What can we learn from how God can use our failures in his will?
* Peter followed the arrested Jesus, but denied him. Yet, God was using him as a witness to Jesus' suffering.
>3. What was Peter sure of concerning his future? (1c)
* 1 Peter 5:1b "and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed"
* "one who also will share" -The glory Peter was sure he will obtain, he was also sure all God's people would obtain.
* "the glory to be revealed" -Glory in the original Greek is "doxa".
* When Jesus comes again we will be changed. Paul wrote, "But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope." (Galatians 5:5) And he wrote, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed." (Romans 8:18-19)
* When Jesus comes again the dead in Christ will rise from the dead and those who are left on the earth that are in Jesus will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15)
* Our new resurrection body will by like his glorious body. Jesus said, “The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” (Matt. 13:41-43)
* See a painting of Jesus Coming in Glory to the right.
>When will we share in the future glory? (Romans 6:4; and 1 Corinthians 15:42-49)
* Romans 6:4 "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."
* 1 Corinthians 15:42-49 "So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven."
* 1 Corinthians 15:50-53 "I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-- in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality."
* Jesus, through the words in 1 Corinthians 15 makes it clear that we will bear his image in a glorious spiritual/physical body. Our physical bodies do not bear his image now, though our spirit has been born again. (John 3:5-8) There is a great future coming for a true believer for if our bodies are just seeds now, how much greater will our bodies be when we are raised from the dead.
Does this mean that our new bodies will be physical in essence? Yes, for Jesus' body is physical in essence? Does this mean that our new body will be spiritual in essence? Yes, for Jesus' body is spiritual in essence? Does this mean our new bodies will be better than our bodies are now? Yes, in ways that we can imagine and can't imagine. Does this mean that God will restore our bodies to that of Adam and Eve? Our new resurrected bodies will be better than Adam and Eve's bodies. Does this mean our body will radiate? Yes, for Jesus radiates with the Glory of God as pointed out in the verses already quoted. This does not mean that we will be like angels who have been made flames of fire. (Heb. 1:8) We will be and are the King's bride.
Some may think it strange that we will radiate with the Glory of God. However, when Moses received the Ten Commandments his face was radiant to the point where he wore a veil when he was among the Israelites. For a long time after that when Moses went in to meet with God in the Tabernacle and came out his face was radiant. (Ex. 34:29-35) Paul points out, if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! (2 Cor. 3:7-11)
Moses was not the only person who radiated with the glory of God because the Spirit of God was on him. When Stephen was standing before the Sanhedrin being judged by them and about to be condemned Acts 6:15 states, “All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.”
Another verse that states the bride will radiate with the Glory of God is Matthew 13:43a. Jesus said, “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Col. 3:4 says we will appear with [Jesus] in glory.” Daniel 12 also states that we will shine forever and ever.
* The above is from "The Believer's Future - Hope That Inspires" found on this site.
>Though the life of a elder is a constant spiritual battle, what awaits those who persist in it to the end? (4)
* 1 Peter 5:4 "And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away."
* "the Chief Shepherd" -Jesus is the Chief Shepherd. Sheep are dumb animals. They will stand with their face into a cold wind. They will walk into a pack of wolves. They will run away from a noisy stream even though they are very thirsty. They are easy pray for wolves and lions. We are just like them. Jesus is like a good shepherd. He loves the sheep. He will do and has done everything for the sheep, even lay down his life. Sheep don't know where to go, so a shepherd leads the sheep and they follow him to green pastures and quiet waters. Jesus claims this is what he does for us, and he keeps his claims.
* "appears" -The original Greek word "phaneroo" has in it the sence that Jesus has always been there, just not seen by mankind. When Jesus comes the veil of heaven will be pealed back so that all may see Jesus coming. God will manifest Jesus to all and everyone.
* "you will receive" -Salvation from sin and death is a free gift by grace through faith. There will also be rewards. Even these rewards is mercy.
* "the crown of glory that will never fade away" -See The Bema Seat Chart by Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. to the right.
II. To Young Men (5:5-6)
>4. Why might the young find it hard to be submissive to the older generation? (5a)
* 1 Peter 5:5a "Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older."
* "Young men" -The average life span of the Roman world was in the thirties. Many married as teenagers. The young men here are those who had not married yet or had just married.
* "in the same way" -Peter had instructed the same to slaves (2:18), wives (3:1), and now young men.
* "be submissive to those who are older" -See commentary for study 2 and 3 for more on being submission. Here "those who are older" are the elders mention in the previous chapter. Age is not the only gauge to determine who to be submissive to. If an elder ask young men to commit some sin, do not be submissive to that direction. This is what the apostles told the Sanhedrin (elders to the Jews). I know of some who were considered elders that sometimes directed people to do what aught not be done. A man who called himself a director once said, "Follow a shepherd and a director only if he gives good direction." Yet, when he gave improper direction he expected unquestionable obedience.
>What good can come from this kind of relationship for both the young and older generations?
* Several examples exist in the Bible of blessing when a younger person was submissive to his or her elder; Joshua to Moses, Ruth to Naomi, David to Samuel, Elisha to Elijah, and Mark and Luke to the Apostles.
* The older generation gains help, support, a sense of mission and importance.
* The younger generation gains help, support, a sense of mission, important, and a good education.
>5. What does it mean to clothe ourselves with humility? (5b)
* 1 Peter 5:5b "...All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another..."
* "All of you" -Peter now addresses all of Jesus' sheep. Though previously he gave this instruction to specific groups of people, he now gives it to all.
* "clothe yourselves with humility toward one another" -No one should think themselves better in any way toward another believer. No one is identical to another and this in no means endorses that one person is better than another. Diverse creation with unity in humility.
* "clothe" -Surround our disposition with humility. Humility is a way of life and an attitude. True humility is acknowledging our weaknesses, faults, and needs. Its recognizing and accepting the greatness of other people.
* "...because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
* Repeated many times in many ways in the Bible. (1 Samuel 2:7; 2 Samuel 22:28; 2 Chronicles 7:14, 34:27; Job 40:12; Psalm 18:27, 25:9, 147:6, 149:4; Proverbs 3:34; James 4:6)
>How is humility a spiritual meter? (6)
* 1 Peter 5:6 "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."
* "under God's mighty hand" -Earlier Peter stated that judgment starts with God's people. Those Peter wrote to learned through this letter that the persecution and trouble they were experience was God's mighty hand at work in their lives. The proper response to God's refining fire is humility.
* "that he may lift you up in due time" -The meaning is two fold.
1) Eventually the Lord will deliver them from their trouble in this life.
2) The Lord Jesus will come again and exalt those who humbled themselves under his mighty hand.
* Reminds us of when Jesus pulled Peter out of the water when he asked Jesus to let him walk on the Sea of Galilee. (Matthew 14:28-33)
* During the final years of the seven years of tribulation God's wrath will be fully poured on the world. At that time people can be saved if they only humble themselves.
III. Final Greetings (5:7-14)
>6. What advice does Peter give in verse 7? (Psalm 94:19; Luke 21:34; Philippians 4:6-7)
* 1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
* Psalm 94:19 "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul."
* 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."
* Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
* Anxiety is the state of mind wherein one is concerned about something or someone. This state of mind may range from genuine concern (see Phil. 2:20,28; and 2 Cor. 11:28) to obsessions that originate from a distorted perspective of life (Matt. 6:25-34; Mark 4:19; Luke 12:22-31). Jesus did not prohibit genuine concern about food or shelter, but He did teach that we should keep things in their proper perspective. We should make God's kingdom our first priority; everything else will fall in line after we do that (Matt. 6:33). (Holman Bible Dictionary)
* As the old hymn goes, "At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light. And the burden of my heart rolled away."
>7. If being self-controlled enables us to be alert as verse 8 states, what does a lack of control lead to? (Titus 2:11-12)
* 1 Peter 5:8 "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
* Titus 2:11-12 "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age"
* "Be self-controlled" -Self-control is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Dancing can be self-controlled. Worship can be self-controlled. Singing can be self-controlled. Bible study can be self-controlled. A fellowship of believers can be a self-controlled gathering.
* "alert" -Jesus spoke of spiritual alertness. Being close to him through prayer, Bible study, obedience, and worship makes us alert. We should be aware of events and things happening around us. To many times when I speak with certain people and I turn the discussion to the word of God and events happening that point to Jesus' coming they say things like, "Wars and rumors of wars," meaning we shouldn't have such things make us excited about Jesus' coming. These people don't want to be alert to the times. They misunderstand Jesus point in the passage. He does not mean we shouldn't be alert and look for signs to encourage us. Rather, he said it so we wouldn't be worried or concerned when we hear of wars and rumors of wars. If Jesus didn't want us to be alert about what is happening around us why did he day, "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door." (Matthew 24:32-33)
>What does the devil do when he finds someone who lacks self-control?
* "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" -Satan, the devil want to destroy all humans. The devil hates humans because God made us in the image of God and gave us the earth.
* "looking for someone to devour" -Predatory animals do not strike the strong animals. They look for the weak and young.
* "Your enemy the devil" -The devil is the enemy. People are not the enemy. The people of the world, those who follow the ways of the world become the devils tools. They are not the enemy. He wages war against God's people not by putting ideas in our heads for we have the Holy Spirit. Rather, he puts ideas in the heads of people who reject the Holy Spirit. The beginning of the book of Job and Judas' decision are examples of how the devil wages war against us.
* "devil" -Satan is a created spirit, (Ezek. 28:14-15) a fallen angel who "masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Cor. 11:14) Satan, the devil, the ancient serpent is the prince of the air. Luke 10:18 says, "Jesus replied, 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.'"
* Satan and his demonic followers are our enemy. Also, sin and death are our enemies. The devil has no power over us, yet he has schemes that are intended to separate us from God and his will for our lives. "The rulers, authorities, powers, and spiritual forces of evil work amongst the rulers of nations as the book of Daniels states.
* The Lord Jesus is the ultimate authority and in him we have power over Satan. (Isa. 14:12-23; Job chapters 1 and 2.) Jesus dwells in us through the Spirit. John wrote, "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood." (1 John 4:4-6)
* Mark 3:22-26 "And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, 'He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.' So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: 'How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come.'"
* Ephesians 6:10-12 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
>What do all true Christians have in common per verse 9?
* 1 Peter 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 him" -Do not fall to temptation. Follow Jesus' example when we are tempted.
* "standing firm in the faith" -Believe that Jesus loves us and will deliver us.
* "you know that your brothers throughout the world" -We all undergo trials, temptations, and tests.
* "are undergoing the same kind of sufferings" -Satan tries to go after us when we are weak due to sufferings.
>8. What is the promised outcome of the suffering we received? (10)
* 1 Peter 5:10 "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."
* "And the God of all grace" -Grace is divine assistance even though we don't deserve it. God is full of all grace. Jesus is the God of grace.
* "his eternal glory in Christ" -"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." (Hebrews 1:3)
* "after you have suffered a little while" -Those Peter was writing to were believers in Jesus who were suffering.
* "will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast" -"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the heartbroken and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all" (Psalm 34:17-19)
* The word resurrection in Greek is “"anastasis”" meaning literally standing again.” It is used forty times in the New Testament, and always refers most naturally to a bodily rising from the dead. (John 11:24; Acts 4:33, Rev. 20:5) There is certainly no warrant for taking it to mean something else.
* Perhaps, somewhere locked in human cells and genes is the code of the resurrected body. Perhaps, God will take from that which has died and make from it a new mold, just like he took clay and molded it into Adam and Eve. The mechanism of resurrection is not that important. What is important is that we know, hope, and believe that it will be done. Jesus bride can be assured we will have a new resurrected physical body.
>Why do we know our future glory us assured? (11)
* 1 Peter 5:11 "To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen."
* Jesus, whom we trust has all power in his hands.
>8. Who was helping Peter?
* 1 Peter 5:12a "With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother"
* 1 Peter 5:13b "...sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark."
* "With the help of Silas" -Silas probably penned the letter as Peter dictated. Silas may have even delivered the letter. See below for more on Silas.
* "whom I regard as a faithful brother" -Paul and the other apostles called a lot of people their brothers. The only thing these people had in common was their faith in Jesus that lead to obedience to Jesus.
* "my son Mark" -Its not known whether Peter had a physical son called Mark, or that he is calling Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (Colossians 4:10) and author of the gospel his spiritual son. The later is more probable and believed by most scholars. Its considered that Peter lead the Mark written about in the New Testament to Jesus when he was young at the end of Jesus' earthly ministry. (Mark 14:15, 52-53; Luke 22:13; Acts 12:12, 25, 15:37-39; and 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 1:24) (Note: Paul called Timothy his true son.)
>Who was Silas? (Acts 15:22, 32-33, 40-41)
* Acts 15:22 "Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers."
* Acts 15:32-33 "Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers. After spending some time there, they were sent off by the brothers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them."
* Acts 15:40-41 "but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches."
* "Silas" -A Silas was sent from Jerusalem to Antioch. He was delivering the letter of Jerusalem elders to the congregation in Antioch (Acts 15:22, 27) He is called a prophet in Acts 15:32. Though Acts 15:33 says "they were sent off" from Antioch to Jerusalem it is possible that he later returned to Antioch or never went back to Jerusalem. The missing Acts 15:34 is from some manuscripts that says that Silas stayed in Antioch. Later, he was in Antioch when Paul chose him to go on his second missionary journey. (Acts 15:39-41) Paul and Silas were in jail for the gospel according to Acts 16:19. Acts 18:5 says, "Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ." Silas was a Jew and Roman a citizen. (Acts 16:37-38)
* Below is a outline tracing the locations and events during Paul and Silas' missionary trip:
1) 50 A.D. Paul and Silas left Antioch going through Tarsus to the churches in Galatia where Timothy joins them. (15:36-16:10)
2) The same year crossing the Aegean Sea arriving at Philippi. (16:11-40)
3) They flee Philippi after considerable time there and went to Thessalonica were they spend considerable time. (17:1-9)
4) Paul and Silas flee from Thessalonica to Berea. Since Timothy is not mentioned, it is possible that he stayed in Thessalonica or Philippi and then rejoined Paul and Silas in Berea.
5) Paul fled to Athens from Berean persecution, leaving Silas and Timothy in Berea. (14) Paul asked Silas and Timothy to join him in Athens. (15, 1 Thess. 3:1-2)
6) Timothy rejoined Paul at Athens and was sent back to Thessalonica. (1 Thess. 3:1-5) Since Silas is not mentioned, it has been conjectured that he went back to Phillippi when Timothy went to Thessalonica.
7) Paul moved onto Corinth. (18:1) Silas and Timothy came to Paul in Corinth. (18:5, 1 Thess. 3:6)
8) Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians and sent it to the church. About six months later in late 51 or early 52 A.D. Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians. These are the first two letters that we have that Paul wrote.
>9. What does it mean to stand fast in the true grace of God? (12)
* 1 Peter 5:12 "I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it."
* "encouraging you" -Considering Peter's letter, how did he encourage them? Some places he reminded them who Jesus was and our future state. Other places he gave instructions that many would not consider easy to follow (i.e. submission). Encouraging a believer in Jesus is not always full of encouraging, reinforcing, and positive words. Sometimes it includes rebuke, redirecting, and even castigating words.
* "testifying that this is the true grace of God" -Others were claiming that they taught the true grace of Jesus.
* "Stand fast in it." -Jesus parable about the houses built on sand and rock are a good word picture that Peter might have had in mind. (Matthew 7:16-27) Jesus started by saying, "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock." (Matthew 7:24)
>10. What did Peter call Babylon and who was there with Peter?
* 1 Peter 5:13 "She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark."
* "in Babylon" -Peter states here that he was in Babylon when he wrote this letter. People have suggested that this was one of four places. Click here for the introduction which has more on this.
* "She... chosen together with you" -Since Peter was writing to several congregations it can be assumed that Peter refers to the congregation he was writing from as feminine. By doing so Peter might have been referring to the fact that we are Christ's bride. (See Jesus' parables and the manuscript "The Believer's Future - Hope That Inspires" for more on this.)
>What did Greek culture consider a "kiss of love"?
* 1 Peter 5:14 "Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ."
* "a kiss of love" -This is not lip contact, but an embrace and a peck on the cheeks.
* "Peace to all of you who are in Christ." -A salutation.
>Considering all that is in this chapter, what might you need to change in your life?
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