I Peter 5:5-9

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

ADVICE FOR SAINTS

INTRODUCTION:

 

Parents always want to make things easier for their children, but this may not be the wisest thing to do. It is not the way God does things. Consider:

 

II Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

 

Lamentations 3:27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

 

In I Peter 5:1-4 we have seen Peter’s advice for pastors. In I Peter 5:5-9 Peter moves from giving advice for pastors to giving advice for believers in general. Believers must submit themselves to older believers and also to one another. Believers must be clothed with humility. Whatever cares they have should be cast upon God. Furthermore, they must also be sober and vigilant to resist the devil.

We see that –

    I.     YOUNGER BELIEVERS MUST SUBMIT THEMSELVES TO OLDER BELIEVERS – 5:5A

 

I Peter 5:5 A – Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. . . .

 

Likewise suggests similarly or in the same way. Sometimes, as in this verse, the meaning fades into the sense of also inasmuch as there is really no comparison between the verses which precede and the verses which follow. Peter is going in two different directions. Peter has given advice for pastors, and now he is giving advice for saints.

 

Ye younger is plural and refers to the younger persons within the local congregation. It has been suggested that it means younger in Christ in the sense of more recently saved. Peter, however, did not say this; and it must be remembered that he could have said more recently saved had he wished to.

 

Submit yourselves unto the elder is a commandment the younger ones are expected to obey.

 

Submit . . . unto means become subject to, be subjected to, be subordinated to, or obey. It was previously used:

 

In I Peter 2:13 where believers were commanded to submit themselves to every ordinance of man (i.e. to every human authority) for the Lord’s sake.

 

It was used –

In I Peter 2:18 where slaves were ordered to be subject to their own masters with all fear.

 

It was used –

In I Peter 3:1 where Christian wives were commanded to be in subjection to their own husbands

 

It was used –

In I Peter 3:5 where holy women of old were said to be in subjection to their own husbands.

 

Yourselves refers to Peter’s readers. By extension it refers to all believers.

 

Unto the elder, where elder is plural, is unto elders or unto older ones.

 

In verses 1-4 the elders referred to are pastors and bishops of the local churches. They are an official group rather than just older men within the congregation. Some, therefore, argue that in verse 5 elders is used in the same sense as in verse 1. They argue that its meaning is that, although pastors are not to lord it over their congregations, the congregations are to be submissive to their leadership. Now, there is no question that this is taught elsewhere in Scripture; but it is not the correct understanding of this verse where elder is clearly used in contrast to younger. Also, the fact that the does not appear before elders in the Greek text implies that they are older people rather than the group of pastors. Furthermore, there is no way Peter would exclude older people in a congregation from following the leadership of their pastor. Yet, if by elder in verse 5 Peter means pastors, it would follow that only the younger ones are being admonished to submit themselves to the pastors. If that were true, then nothing is being said regarding older people being submissive. Would they then have the right not to be submissive to their pastors? Certainly not; it is simply not the meaning of this passage.

We also see that –

  II.     BELIEVERS MUST BE SUBJECT ONE TO ANOTHER – 5:5B

 

I Peter 5:5 B – . . . Yea, all of you be subject one to another. . . .

 

Yea is translated as an emphatic. It is ordinarily used to show a continuation of the thought of the previous phrase and translated and. As an emphatic, however, it is used in the sense of in fact, really, or indeed.

 

All of you be subject one to another is an additional instruction which is intended for all believers, old and young alike, male or female.

 

Be subject is the same word translated submit in the first part of this verse and means submit or obey. One to another is to one another, to each other, or mutually.

 

Paul said the same thing in Ephesians 5:21 where he wrote, Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. No one should lord it over anyone else; instead, each person should be respectful and considerate of all others. Each must have a yielding spirit because in any group there must be some give and take in order that there be harmony within the group. Indeed, as all people do their best to live godly lives in accordance with the will of God, there should be no difficulty. Problems arise, however, when believers move away from Scripture and begin insisting on their own ways.

In addition, we see that –

 III.     BELIEVERS MUST BE CLOTHED WITH HUMILITY – 5:5C-6

 

I Peter 5:5 C-6 – 5 . . . And be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.

 

Be clothed with humility means that believers must be humble.

 

Be clothed with comes from a word which means to put or tie something on yourselves.

 

What they were to put on is humility. It requires humility to submit themselves to one another. It also requires humility to submit themselves voluntarily to God’s testing process. Be clothed with is a command, and its tense suggests that these believers were not as humble as they needed to be. It was an action they needed to take.

 

For is because and introduces the reason they were to be clothed with humility.

 

The reason is that God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

 

Resisteth is used in the sense of opposes.

 

The proud is the opposite of the humble. Both terms are plural and refer to groups or classes of people. One group is composed of humble ones, the other is composed of proud ones. Those who are proud are haughty and arrogant. Those who are humble are of low position or lowly.

 

Although God opposes the proud, He giveth grace to the humble.

 

Giveth indicates continuous or repeated action. Over and over again God gives grace to those who are humble.

 

Peter is apparently referring to Proverbs 3:34 , Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. Was he possibly referring to James 4:6 where James wrote, But God giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. If Peter was referring to James 4:6 , it would demonstrate the existence of the Epistle of James and its availability to Peter. Most likely, however, both Peter and James were quoting from a common source, i.e. both were likely quoting Proverbs 3:34 .

 

Therefore indicates that an inference or conclusion is being drawn based on what has preceded and means consequently, accordingly, or then.

 

Because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble, Peter commands believers, Humble yourselves . . . under the mighty hand of God.

 

These people had already humbled themselves in recognizing their need of salvation. Now, as believers, they are being called upon to humble themselves again. The context suggests that the way they would humble themselves under the mighty hand of God is by being submissive to God in the trials or persecutions which He will bring upon them in order to refine their Christian character. They were to yield to God and, if He directed, to endure the persecution which was for righteousness’ sake in the manner prescribed throughout I Peter.

 

Under the mighty hand of God is under the powerful hand of God. A hand is an instrument one uses to do things, and God uses His mighty hand to accomplish many things. This refers to God’s directing the life of the believer through circumstances in life, some pleasant and some not so pleasant, but all for the believer’s spiritual benefit. Believers must be yielded to Him and His will, no matter what it is.

 

That is in order that or for the purpose that.

 

The reason believers should humble themselves under the mighty hand of God is in order that he may exalt them in due time.

 

Exalt is literally lift up or raise high. When used figuratively as it is in this verse, it is to be connected with the thought of enhancement in honor. This is why it has been translated exalt.

 

In due time means at the right time. Believers must remind themselves that they are to submit to God’s testing process in order that He might make something of them for His own glory and in His own time.

Furthermore, we see that –

 IV.     BELIEVERS MUST THROW THEIR CARES UPON THE LORD – 5:7

 

I Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

 

Casting all your care upon Him is what the believer must do at the same time he humbles himself under the mighty hand of God.

 

The tense of casting suggests a one-time action of throwing something on someone. It is a decisive act by which we commit our cares to God and leave them with Him.

 

What is to be cast is all your care or every care of yours. Care means anxiety or worry. There is no care too great and none too small. Whatever it is, it is to be cast upon Him. If it is a care to someone who belongs to God, it is a care to God.

 

Upon him refers to God under Whose mighty hand believers are to humble themselves. One cannot escape the distinct impression that Peter is just using different words to say what he has already said. A believer should live a godly life; and, if called upon to suffer persecution because of it, he should entrust himself to God’s care following the pattern established by the Lord Jesus Christ who committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.

 

For He careth for you is the reason believers should cast all their care upon God.

 

For is the word ordinarily translated because and should be understood in this sense in this verse.

 

He is God.

 

Careth is used in the sense of is concerned. Its tense indicates a continuing activity. God always and forever cares for believers.

 

For you is about you. Believers are hereby reminded that God loves them and that He is concerned about them no matter how their outward circumstances appear.

Moreover, we see that –

   V.     BELIEVERS MUST EXERCISE SELF-CONTROL – 5:8A

 

I Peter 5:8 A – Be sober. . . .

 

Be sober is a command which is necessary for believers to heed at all times. It literally means not to be drunk with alcoholic beverages. In the New Testament, however, it is used only in a figurative sense of being free from excess, from passion, from rashness, or from confusion, of being well-balanced, or of being self-controlled. It is translated watch in I Peter 4:7 where Peter wrote, Watch unto prayer.

In addition, we see that –

 VI.     BELIEVERS MUST BE ALERT – 5:8B

 

I Peter 5:8 Be . . . vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

 

Be vigilant is another command which is necessary for believers to heed at all times. It means be on the alert or be watchful. Believers are to be keeping their spiritual eyes open.

 

The reason Peter gives these two commands is because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

 

Your adversary is a term used of an opponent in a lawsuit.

 

The devil is the slanderer, a reference to Satan himself.

 

It is very appropriate to refer to Satan as your adversary because he enters into the presence of God to accuse saved people as he did with Job (Job 1:6-12 ; 2:1-8).

 

Job 1:6-126 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? [i.e. Where do you come from?] Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth [i.e. shuns] evil? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought [i.e. for nothing]? 10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

 

Job 2:1-71 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. 2 And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? [i.e. where do you come from?] And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth [i.e. shuns] evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. 4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. 5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. 6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. 7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown [i.e. the crown of his head].

 

Consequently, Satan is referred to as the accuser of the brethren in Revelation of Jesus Christ 12:10 .

 

Furthermore, Luke 22:31-32 says regarding Peter –

Luke 22:31-3231 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted [i.e. turned back], strengthen thy brethren.

 

Back to I Peter 5:8

Satan is further described as a roaring lion.

 

A lion roars when hungry.

 

Walketh about pictures Satan continuously going about wherever he can in search of someone.

 

Furthermore, while he goes about, he is continuously seeking whom he may devour.

 

He is looking for those whom he can ruin in some way. Consequently, Peter urges believers to be self-controlled and spiritually alert. Just as Satan needed God’s permission to bring suffering upon Job, so he needs God’s permission to bring suffering upon the believers to whom Peter is writing. However, just as God allowed Satan to afflict Job in order to refine Job’s character, so God will allow Satan to afflict believers in order to refine their Christian character. We must understand that just as Satan was only permitted to go so far in afflicting Job, Satan will only be permitted to go so far in afflicting us also. The situation will never be out of God’s control. Therefore, we need to watch and be sober; but we need not fear as if God has forsaken us. We need to understand what is happening, when it is happening, and why it is happening. We also need to commit ourselves to God’s care and keeping.

Finally, we see that –

VII.     BELIEVERS MUST RESIST THE DEVIL – 5:9

 

I Peter 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

 

Resist is used in the sense of set yourself against, oppose, or withstand; and its tense suggests a decisive action.

 

Stedfast means firm.

 

In the faith tells where we are to resist Satan and is best understood as in the body of Christian belief rather than by means of faith because the word the appears before faith.

 

Knowing is understood in the sense of because you know.

 

What you know is that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

 

The same afflictions are the same types or kinds of sufferings. The word translated afflictions here was translated sufferings in I Peter 1:11 , 4:13 and 5:1 and is used in that sense here.

 

I Peter 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

 

I Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

 

I Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed.

 

Back to I Peter 5:9

The same afflictions are accomplished is used in the sense of are laid upon and seems to imply that the same sufferings are presently being endured.

 

In your brethren is in your brotherhood and implies among your fellow-believers. It is the same word translated brotherhood in I Peter 2:17 .

 

I Peter 2:17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

 

In your brethren that are in the world tells where these fellow-believers are located. This persecution of believers is not something limited to some small geographical location. It is happening all over the world, i.e. wherever mankind lives.

CONCLUSION:

 

We have seen that –

 

Younger believers must submit themselves to older believers and also to one another (v. 5a).

 

That believers must be clothed with humility (vv. 5b-6).

 

That whatever cares believers have should be cast upon God (v. 7).

 

And that believers must be serious-minded and vigilant to resist the devil (vv. 8-9).