Staying Right with Fellow Christians
Book of 1 Peter Chapter 5:1-14
You know for a simple fisherman the Apostle Peter had come a long way toward perfection by this time in his life. Peter dealt with the persecution of the Church in words given to him by the Holy Spirit, for in the end this is all we have to offer.
The world we live in today will not cease in its persecution of God’s people, until God removes His people and then evil will persecute evil to see which is the more-evil, of those left behind!
Peter closed out this first book included in the 66 books of the Bible, by speaking to the elders of the Church.
The title elder is plainly the origin of the titles priest and pastor.
An elder could be the old man of the family much like the grandfather.
An elder could be the man with the most experience on the job site.
An elder could be the leader of a group of people.
In the church an Elder would be the chief Priest, the chief Preacher, the chief Pastor.
In the New Testament the title Bishop is also used as an elder.
In my church we have the Pastor and the Youth Pastor, and the elders include the old saints of God who have been doing the work God has given us all to do for many years and possess a great knowledge of the Scriptures.
In fact a new babe in Christ should pick out an elder saint of God to be his or her example until they get off the “milk of the Word” and can absorb the “meat of the Word of God without doubting its truth!
The Apostle Peter knew everything about Jesus was the complete truth!
*1Pe 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:
The persecuted church is in great need, of elders who have committed themselves to the work of the Lord!
In fact, the church of today is in a great need of church elders who stick to the truth of the Scriptures, unyielding to those who would distort the truth of the Scriptures.
We need elders today who will seal the Church against the influence of the world and the interfering hands of government!
Peter stresses that he was not only an Apostle, hand-picked by the Lord Jesus Christ, but just as important a church elder, who had witnessed the sufferings of Christ Jesus.
Jesus suffered at the cross, but He also suffered all the days of His ministry.
Jesus had to go to work to support His family at a very young age, after the death of His adopted father, therefore he was known as the Carpenter.
Jesus suffered every day of His life because He knew what was in His future.
When Jesus walked away from His adopted earthly family and pursued the work His heavenly Father gave Him to do, He no longer had a place to lay His head.
We are foolish if we believe that our Lord does not have firsthand experience of suffering just because He is the Almighty God!
Peter was a firsthand witness of all the things of Jesus for 3 and 1/2 years.
Peter had all his days since, carried the truth of God to wherever God had led him, and he encouraged all the elders of the church then and now to do the same.
Peter said “forget that I am an Apostle, consider me to be an elder just as you are to be” a workman building onto the house of God.
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, “a workman” that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
We can almost ask where have all the true elders of the Church gone today?
We can ask, why do not all the Elders of the Church stand up and give account of themselves before God?
Peter also reminds all Elders that if they cannot suffer for the truth, what makes them think they will take part in the “Glory” that will be revealed in the presence of the Lord?
When we do not glory in the work of the Lord, why do we continue to believe we will be glorified when the Lord returns?
What is the job of our church elders?
*1Pe 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
The Pastor or Chief Elder has one job. He is to feed the flock that has been given to him, he has no greater job than this and this must be first in his calling all his days!
What is this heavenly manna?
It is the true “Doctrine” of the Scriptures!
It is the true “Discipline” that comes from the Scriptures!
1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
We must understand that God has chosen to speak to us of His own will!
Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers “by the prophets”,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us “by his Son”, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, “and the express image of his person”, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
This must be the message for every generation because the Word of God is unchanging in its “Doctrine”!
Every generation must listen to the Word of God, rather than the message passed down through the church!
The Word of God never changes, and no single person nor group of persons, have the right to change the meaning of what God has said nor have some new interpretation of what God has said!
This Elder must do this in the place God has called him to be located!
This flock is the flock of God and not the flock of some person or some denomination!
This Elder is do these things willingly.
God does not accept the message of someone who is forced to say it!
Only God can constrain this Elder with His message!
2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
2Co 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live “should not henceforth live unto themselves”, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
This is big today as here in America we have a state government trying to dictate the message of God from the pulpits in that state.
In fact we have many in government trying to dictate the truth of God without even knowing what God says themselves.
In reality this Elder is to remain at his location unless it is God that moves him.
He is never to leave to tend another flock just because the pay is better or the benefits are better, because it will reflect in his message, in his witness and in his God given blessings which are far greater than anything man can provide!
The Apostle Paul is a great example of these things.
1Co 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
1Co 9:15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
1Co 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
1Co 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
Paul did add that he preached the Gospel without charge.
Paul was a church planter and by the Word of God that Church was to provide for the Elder of the Church that was established.
Every Elder must submit to the will of God for their lives just as every other Christian.
God has a place for every member of the Church, Elder down through that ‘”Babe in Christ”!
Every Elder must realize that they are only the under-shepherd with the Lord Jesus Christ being the Chief Shepherd!
*1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
1Pe 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
What is the “Body of Christ”? The Body of Christ is God’s heritage. Heritage in short means the “Body of Christ” belongs to God, we are God’s possession!
We once gave ourselves to Satan for nothing, and Satan has given us nothing but trouble then and now.
Therefore we could not be purchased with money, it took the blood of Jesus Christ to buy us back from the slave market of sin.
We belong to the Lord! We are the Lord’s possession! We are to obey all the Words of the Lord from Genesis to Revelation!
Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Heb 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work “to do his will”, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
It is only by the Chief Shepherd(The Lord Jesus Christ) that we can be made perfect in the eyes of God!
God the Father has given His entire creation to the Lord Jesus Christ. (Go get My children)
God the Son(The Lord Jesus Christ) paid the ransom, which He paid by His blood.
The Chief Shepherd lives now to gather all those who have wandered from the fold(the lost)!
Mat 18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
We should notice that the job of the Elder is to be like Jesus Christ in all His ways and to have the same message that Jesus had all His days and the same message given to the Apostles.
Think about the work of Jesus besides the cross:
1) As Chief Prophet, He teaches His Church and shares His divine wisdom.
2) As Highest of High Priest, He made atonement for the sins of His “Bride”.
3) As King, He will rule this world with mercy and grace but also judge His people.
4) As Chief Shepherd we see all these things wrapped up in one. We see the power and the authority but also the gentleness in the ways He handles His sheep.
Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
There is the reward for being that true Elder. A crown of glory that will never fade away!
We see another promise that the Lord Jesus will return to get His Bride and He will reward all those that have been true shepherds to the Church.
This also means the only reward for the false shepherd will be the same as Satan. They will be tossed into the “Burning Lake of Fire”.
If that Elder is an example of the “grace” of Christ Jesus, then we need to follow him!
*1Pe 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
One of the greatest traits of the true Elder is humility. Humility is the first duty of every believer as we submit ourselves to the Lord to receive His gift of salvation. This trait is to never leave us!
When the world thinks of humility, they see a shy, weak, unimpressive man or woman, but the opposite is the actual truth.
The Lord Jesus Christ was the most-humble person in His flesh of all those who have followed Him. Yet He made such an impression upon this world that almost the entire world knows Him by His earthly name!
The truth is, a humble Christian depends on God who has unlimited power and strength!
The young man seeking to be an elder must not only humble himself to God, they need to humble themselves before that true Elder. That Pastor, that Preacher, that Evangelist, that Bishop are all called of God to be the Elders of the Church. They are easily spotted because they speak the Word of God in their voice and in their being! They have the mind of Christ and it shows!
They are not like the charlatans of this world making merchandise of God’s people!
Then Peter takes this thing a step further and the Holy Ghost says, we are all to be subject to one another.
Remember there is only Lord in the Church and He is Jesus Christ!
If you stand up with pride in the Church thinking you are God’s gift to this world, your first enemy will be the Lord Jesus Christ, the Almighty God!
You can go boldly into the throne-room of God, but you better be humble when you get there!
We may get away with reminding the Lord of His promises, but we will never get away with making demands of Jehovah God!
It is in our best interest to just cast all our cares upon Him, and then get out of His way!
The Lord will do as He says!
*1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
That word “under” means we are to take the inferior position with God at all times. There is a whole lot of truth in that song “where He leads me, I will follow”.
The world we live in today has forgotten that it is Jehovah God who sits on the throne of this world.
Mankind is not in charge of this world especially not the elements of this world.
Do we as humans have the power to destroy this world? No!
We do as humans have the power to make life miserable with nuclear bombs, and other such weapons of destruction. With diseases unleashed upon this world. With the complete abuse of our Eco system, but even these things must be allowed by the Lord.
You see God will take care of His Church and He will remove the Church before He will allow any of these things to become a serious problem to His people.
We had better humble ourselves “under” the mighty hand of God.
God will exalt those who have done so!
We sometimes forget just how much the Lord does care for us!
Psa 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
Psa 34:16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
Psa 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
Where does our pride get us in the most trouble? When we think we can take care of ourselves!
We must confess the weakness of our own hands and the Almighty strength in the hand of God!
There is not one facet of our lives that the Lord is not concerned with!
The greatest example of this is when the Jews were run out of Egypt, they only had time to gather the bare necessities but for 40 years they never lacked while they traveled in circles in the wilderness.
Deu 2:7 For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.
Even when we are chastened by the Lord, He will still care for us!
Deu 8:2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
Deu 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
Deu 8:4 Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.
Deu 8:5 Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.
God is no respecter of persons, what He did for His people the Jews, He will do for His people the Gentiles!
We had better cast our cares upon the Lord, because we have an adversary lingering in the background just abiding his time until we reject the truth of God and rest upon our own strength.
*1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
We should understand Peter has been teaching us about our conscience and having the mind of Christ, so here he is talking about being sober minded. Having self-control according to the Word of God. Making sound moral judgments according to the Word of God.
To be sober is to be in your right mind not influenced by outside sources remembering we are already filled with the Holy Spirit. Depend upon Him!
To be vigilant is to be aware of your surroundings and the things that are going on in your environment plus what is going on in the world.
To avoid danger and to avoid danger we must be aware of our adversary.
Here he is called the devil, diabolos, the fallen angel called Lucifer. He is the archenemy of God’s children, always standing against us.
He will never have anything good to say about God’s people.
Reminds us of the world of today that has that hatred for the people of God. We must be aware of Him!
Why does the lion roar? The purpose of a lion’s roar is to transfix and actually paralyze its prey, which is why they roar just before they attack. A lion’s roar is so forceful that it is enough to raise a cloud of dust, and can be heard from 5 miles!
The methods the devil uses can be just as effective as that roaring lion, in unnerving us, causing the Word of God to be ineffective.
For instance a tornado touches down in a community and for a time, this community is paralyzed at what happened and lost to reality.
What did the Lord Jesus say to Peter?
Luk 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
To be sifted is to pass through a strainer to separate the coarse from the refined. Satan, The Devil, will try to separate the refined mind of Christ from that old sinful body of flesh so he can regain his control.
This is the effect the Bible is speaking of here when it said, “as a roaring lion”.
The effects of the devil are devastating, and we have only one defense!
It is our “faith”!
*1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
The bottom line is when we think like Christ Jesus and keep the faith of His promises, follow the lead of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, the devil cannot touch us!
Think of it this way. The devil and his demon helpers tremble at the thoughts of the work of the Lord.
Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
If you are a true “Born Again” child of God, you are filled with the Holy Spirit.
Though we need to ask for a refilling every day, the Holy Spirit will never leave us.
Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
We must never fear the devil ever again!
2Ti_1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
When our faith is sufficient you can resist the devil and it is he, who will have to flee, because he cannot stand on the same ground as the Holy Spirit because we are the Temple of God!
Jas_4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
That old saying, “the devil made me do it is impossible” because the devil cannot make the child of God do anything!
You can only allow yourself to be used of the devil because you do not have faith in these words!
Anything else we lack are the grace gifts of God, which He gives freely!
*1Pe 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
1Pe 5:11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Most every Christian has realized these truths of Christianity. Some Christians, somewhere every day, suffer just because they have claimed the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. It is unreal how this faith causes so much hatred to occur to people for the most part who are not guilty of any crime at all.
The truth is, while all this suffering and persecution is going on, the God of all “grace” shall Himself, perfect, stablish, and strengthen us, as we go about the work of the Lord.
Our Holy God loves us so much and He takes a personal interest in all the things going on in our lives, especially our suffering.
In most cases we complain about the things that affect us, but we have not gotten on our knees and explained to God what we are going through.
Sure He knows. Sure He already intervenes in some things we may not even know about, but He still wants to hear from us individually.
You never know what will happen when you move the heart of God!
God’s grace means every resource in Heaven is available to God’s people if God so desires. After all He is our Heavenly Father!
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
If our Heavenly Father had not known all these things would happen, why would He have written all these things down to make us aware of them?
God knows the temptations and the trials of life are severe and they are terrible. This is because of the influence the devil has had upon this world since he was tossed out of Heaven.
Satan’s days are numbered, and he knows his ending and he will do his best to ruin the testimony of God’s children so even more of the lost will ignore and reject the truth of the Scriptures.
To God be the glory!
We know that it was the Holy Spirit who inspired these words of the Apostle Peter, but God always made sure there were other godly men around His Apostles.
*1Pe 5:12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.
Silvanus was the proper name of a godly man known as Silas.
The Holy Spirit did not call on Silas to write a book of the Bible, but Silas would take those written words of God to other Churches so they could have the written Word of God, much like those that carry Bible to foreign countries today.
He did this for the written words of the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul.
Silas was also a preacher we could say evangelist.
Act 15:32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.
Silas was also a witness to the Council of the Church in Jerusalem to discuss the matter of the Jews and Gentiles if the Gentiles would have to follow the laws given to the Jews.
Act 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
Act 15:23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
What can be said is, that without godly men like Silas, the Word of God would not have been known to every one of the early churches.
Each of us have our particular job to perform in the army of God!
If there were ever any proof that the Apostle Peter was in Rome in may be the fact that when he mentioned the Church of Babylon, he was referring to Rome.
Peter was saying that at this time the seat of evil in the Church was Rome, and many believe that this is still true today.
Many believe the seat of evil is still in Rome.
*1Pe 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
1Pe 5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
This Marcus is of course Mark of the “Gospel” of Mark who was led to the Lord by the Apostle Peter and who had so grown in the Lord that even the Apostle Paul now knew he was a valuable man of God in the beginning of the early Church.
2Ti 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
What is a “kiss of charity”?
This is that act of unity and brotherhood that seems to be lacking in the church of today.
The greatest weapon of the Church today, besides the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God is when we all stand together on the truth of the Bible.
When we are together in one mind, we are a force to be reckoned with in this world.
If we would quit bickering and fighting with each other the Word of God would go to where it needs to go and we all would soon be going home.
Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
We need to quit being each other’s enemy and get busy about the work of the Lord. Amen