I Peter

Chapter 5

"Exhortations; Glorify God in Suffering, Conclusion."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and made available with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

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:"

Peter actually witnessed the entire time of Jesus' ministry, and the suffering and death on the cross. Peter is now going to address the elders of the churches, those with the responsibilities within the church. Remember what was said in I Peter 4:17? "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" Judgment begins at the pulpit first, and with every word spoken from that pulpit.

Peter had seen many storms at sea as a fisherman and he was what you might call a "man's man", so to speak. Many times Peter told Jesus that "I am with you, and I will never leave you". Then on that night of Jesus betrayal, as Peter sat by the fireside, a little girl accused Peter that he was a friend of Jesus, and Peter denied Jesus three time, even swearing to the fact. After Jesus resurrection Jesus appeared to all of His disciples, and when they dined Jesus asked Peter again, in John 21:15:

John 21:15 "So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these?" He saith unto Him, "Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love thee." He saith unto him, "Feed My lambs." 

Notice here that Jesus called Peter, "Simon, son of Jonas". That is what Jesus called Peter prior to crucifixion, before Peter denied Jesus three times. The point here is that you had better love Jesus better then anyone else. Peter's conscience is starting to bother him, for he denied Jesus, but he still loved Jesus. After Peter told Jesus of his love for Him, Jesus said, feed my babies. The lambs are baby sheep. We all know that the baby doesn't eat the same food as an adult animal. The Lord was thinking about the little ones first. Feed them and be gentle and loving to them.

John 21:16 " He saith to him again the second time, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?" He saith unto Him, "Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee." He saith unto him, "Feed My sheep." 

The order that Jesus gave to Peter here is to feed the adults on a little higher level of teaching then you feed the children, the baby lambs. Adults need the meat of the word, for milk is not enough to sustain them.

John 21:17 " He saith unto him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?" Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, "Lovest thou Me?" and he said unto Him, "Lord Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee." Jesus saith unto him, "Feed My sheep."

This was the third time that Jesus asked Peter to repeat his love for Him. Peter denied Jesus three times on the night of the trial, before the crucifixion, and now he has committed his love for Jesus three times. Each time Jesus has told Peter to teach his sheep, and Peter is told here to teach on three different levels of His Word. The starting level is the lambs, the babes in Christ who desire the sincere milk of the Word that they may grow thereby. The second level is to bring the lambs to maturity, while the third level is for those that desire only the pure meat of the Word, to stand fast and with complete understanding of all of the plan of God, be able to give answer to any one that ask for a reason.

You teach on the level that the person hearing the Word is able to understand what you are saying. In turn a sixth grader may be able to understand on a much higher level than the adult Christian that is a new born babe in Christ. You teach where the one listening is able to understand, and be gentle with the lambs, be patient with understanding. You will notice in the Strong's numbered Greek dictionary that the word "lovest" changes and gets stronger each time that Jesus asked it of Peter. Peter's response is just as strong in his answer to the Lord. Then Peter told Jesus, "You know that I love you, Lord, Thou knowest all things."

Peter, now in I Peter 5 is going to address the feeding of the sheep to those that are in charge of the feeding of all the sheep, from the lambs to the mature adults. I feel that God caused Peter to deny Jesus in the fashion that it happened to give us a lesson, whereby each of us can feel these emotions, especially in this generation. The generation that the false Christ will come and deceive many. We must be prepared both spiritually and mentally that we will not do as they did, and deny Jesus by being deceived. To stand on that day, you must have all the gospel armor on and in place, or you will be deceived by the false Christ. That is what the armor is for, "To stand against the fiery darts of Satan." The only darts that fly, come from Satan's mouth in his lies, and the entire earth will be flooded with them.

I Peter 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;"

Peter is telling them to feed the flock of God that are with you, and be an overseer what is taught and preached from the pulpit. Don't force yourself upon them, but be a willing worker amongst them. Don't be a hireling, and fulfill your duties for money, but be ready to give of yourself and your understanding freely.

Remember back in I Peter 4:11; Peter told exactly what should be taught from the pulpit. We are to teach the "oracles of God", those things that God spoke to all the prophets, in both Old and New Testament alike. Those things that were heard of God and written down, which we call the Scriptures.

When you are teaching the Word of God, Peter is telling us "not by constraint", don't hold back those things that you know to be true. The main reason for holding back is that the teacher does not have a ready mind, prepared for what they are to give through study and preparation. If you call yourself a teacher or pastor, then do your homework in the "oracles of God", and not some quarterly, or writings from man's traditions. Know the subject that you are teaching because the judgment of God starts at the pulpit. You will be accountable for those lambs that you lead astray, before the throne of God.

You had better know the meanings from what ever language you are teaching from or to, and even the emotions that those oracles were presented in. Display the very feeling that God is trying to relate the his sheep, that comes from our Father's mind. So Peter is telling the pastors and teachers don't hold back, and be willing to give the entire Word.

I Peter 5:3 "Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock."

Don't abuse your power and lord it over people, but remember the examples that have been give you as to how you are to lead the flock. Christ was our example, or shepherd, and be humble. Remember that the Word of God comes from God, and not you, the lead of the flock is by the Holy Spirit, and if a person has the gift of teaching from God, they are in tune with the Spirit of God. It is God's gift to the man that makes the evangelist and teacher, and not the man.

This is a hard lesson to learn, because in time the flock forgets that it is the Spirit of God that is doing the leading, and they look to the works of the man, over the Word of God. This causes the man to get on an ego trip, and before you know it, he starts to believe believe them, and lord his or her power over the people. This is not to say that you are not to be firm and disciplined in the handling of your ministry. There is a difference between being firm and disciplined, and lording your power over somebody.

Don't ever serve God for the sake of money. This does not mean that you are not to support your pastor with a salary, for a laborer is worthy of his hire. The sake that you are teaching or ministering had better be for the ministering of the Word of God, and not for the sake of the money. Peter addressed such a man in Acts 8:9-24, and his name was "Simon the Sorcerer". This Simon bewitched the people of Samaria, and he was good at his tricks. However when he saw The mighty acts of God through Philip and his preaching, he wanted to be able to do the same thing, only Simons mind was on the money that he could get from it.

Acts 8:18 "And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,"

Acts 8:19 "Saying, "Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost."

Simon saw the power of the Holy Spirit at work, when he saw that the people were getting healed. This is something that he could not do through all his tricks, and he wanted the ability to do it, for with it in his hands he saw the money that he could make.

Acts 8:20 "But Peter said unto him, "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money."

Did you get the picture, even the thought of taking the Word of God, and the power of the Holy Ghost, or Spirit for the sake of making money will condemn your soul.

Our heritage is to inherit the kingdom of God, while God's heritage is you. You are His children, and God doesn't like it when someone is lording their power over His children, any more than you would like it if somebody was using excessive powers over your children. You just would not put up with it, and neither will God.

I Peter 5:4 "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."

Peter is reminding us that the Good Shepherd is going to appear again, and we know that to be at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, after the Antichrist has had his time of deception. When He comes, those that were faithful to His Word will receive their grown of glory that will never be taken away. That crown of glory is your eternal life, and the inheritance that we will each receive as one of the sons of God, reigning as joint heirs with Christ. Don't worry or be concerned over the time and effort that you do God's Word for the rewards for spending that time far outshine anything you could do in the flesh body. Give of yourself for all the right reason, because of your love for Him, and not for what you can get out of it.

Your are an elder over the gifts that God gave you, and it doesn't have to be over people. Your gift may be planting seeds of truth, or in faith, or prayer, but whatever gifts God has planted in your being, that is what you are responsibility for. That is what determines your rewards and what He looks at when He determines whether you are a good and faithful servant.

I Peter 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."

There is a condition to this verse. The younger is to submit themselves to the elder if the elder conforms to the conditions that Peter has laid out above. Don't submit to one that does not adhere to the Word of God, and lords his power over you. You are not required to do so. But we are to submit to those over us that is clothed with humility. We are also to submit one to another, for we are all equally important to our heavenly Father, and it doesn't matter what position you hold, nor what age or degree of importance within the community you live in.

Each of God's sheep are important to Him, and when Christ died on the cross, it was for every last sheep. When even one would drift away from the fold, it was important to Him to get that one back. Though we have different abilities in these flesh bodies, and our gifts are all different, what God gives you to do, He expects your best in carrying out that duty. In an army, the cook and the guard may be of lower rank, but the are just as important to the overall welfare of the troops as the general. In the army of God, each soldier is expected to carry out the duties diligently with the gifts or rank that God has placed in them.

When you are teaching God's Word it isn't you that are doing the speaking, but it is the Spirit of God that places those Words in your mind. If that teacher is fulfilling the rules that are given here, it is not the man, but the Spirit of God. It is the gift of God that does the teaching, and it is the gift of God that allows you to do what ever you do. As men and women, we are all equal, and you cannot take credit for whatever successes you have, and this is why we are to submit to each other. Look to God and not to the man.

God is going to put rocks in the road of those that allow pride to take over their mind, and He also gives grace or unmerited favor to those that humble themselves before others. God doesn't bless the proud and boastful. It is important what you think in your mind about yourself. If people tell you how great and important you are, that is the time to be careful. You know the faults that you have that they are not aware of, and God know them too, for He can read your mind. When you would start to be boastful, that is the time to take stock in yourself.

I Peter 5:6 "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time:"

You don't have to tell anyone how humble you are, or how important to others you are. Those that get out of hand in their ministries in their pride, God will bring them down. We have see this come true many times with so-called super preachers. Those that are truly focused on the mighty hand of God, will know with humility their position under our Father. This is the way that it works in the plan of God; for if you really want to serve God, you first humble yourself, and allow God to do whatever promotion that is due you in His kingdom. It is God that does the exalting at the time that He sees fit. Until that time we are to submit to do the duties that our gifts from His Spirit has placed within us allows us to do. This is important to each of us, and is important enough to always keep in in your memory. We are to be humble ourselves under the might hand of God, and allow Him to use you as He sees fit. When God exalts someone, He gives them gifts, it is not in the same light as the world looks at being exalting, for the exalting is in the matters concerning His kingdom.

I Peter 5:7 "Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you."

We are to cast all of our anxieties on Him, for He careth for you. God loves you. Those thing that you are anxious about are those thing that you don't know how to accomplish. Repent of those things and sins in your life that you know are against God, and then ask God to help you in the things that you are having trouble with. You then do your best in doing them, and watch how God will cause those things out of your control to just fall in place. God will guide your hands and mind and see you through the problems. Those that are walking close to God, practice this every day, and it is nothing new to them.

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

To "be sober" is to be sensible, and to be "vigilant" is to be aware and sincere in what you are doing. Be ready for those things that could come against you, and not stumbling around in a fog. It is to have that alarm set and ready to go off when the world would come against you. Remember that our adversary is Satan the devil, and his sole mission is to trip you up and accuse you before the throne of God. The "adversary " is one of the names of Satan, the devil. Job tells us that Satan is right there in heaven before the throne of God accusing us of the things that we do. However When you repent in Jesus name, you have the power over Satan and all his realm, so take that power and use it. He has to go when you tell him to go.

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

This is why we have the gospel armor on and in place for, to resist steadfast in the faith.

I Peter 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."

Our God is the God who gives us all that we have, unmerited favor, and God has called us to share in that glory that our Lord Jesus Christ will have in His kingdom. There is going to be some suffering, or trials before you will mature in His Word to where you will have the strength to stand against Satan and his realm. You will never be perfect in the flesh, as the word "perfect" in the English means, but you can be mature in your thinking. You can be settled in your mind as to what you are and are not to do.

When you become a mature Christian you will not be like a reed shaken in the wind, bouncing from one doctrine and religious thought to another, and never quite knowing where you stand. Grow up and know that the "oracles of God" are the only doctrines that are profitable in your life. When you follow those oracles the you will be using your gifts, and God will be blessing your for you steadfastness to His Word. Friend, you will be rewarded eternally.

I Peter 5:11 "To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

It is to God our Father, and to our Lord Jesus Christ that all the glory and dominion goes to, for ever and ever. Amen, signifies that it is true.

I Peter 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" is the same man called Silas, who went with Paul on one of His missionary journeys. Peter is telling the brethren that he wrote the letter and Silas is going to deliver it to them. To make a stand you make a difference where you are. Peter is telling the brethren to listen to this letter, and then grow by that true wisdom to where you can make a stand for God.

I Peter 5:13 "The [church that is] at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son."

Between the word "the" and "at" is missing from the original text, and has been added by the translators. "Church that is" is not given by Peter. It was placed there to make the sentence flow in English, however it should not be there. The word that was added was "ekklesia", which in the Greek tongue means, "the called out ones". However the word that should have been added was, "diaspora", which means "the dispersal", or the "house of Israel", the ten tribes who this letter is addressed to. This adding of the word "church" in English is proper to give it meaning, however they assigned the wrong address or noun. It was addressed to those "that were scattered abroad" of God's elect, and it is not directed to the different established churches.

The believers that are at Babylon send their greetings, as well as Marcus, who would be John Mark, the author of the book of Mark, one of the gospels. Mark was just a small boy when Jesus was ministering, and Peter grew to be very fond of him. Babylon does not necessarily mean the location of Babylon, but the word means confusion, and is in reference Peter's visiting those that were from the dispersion of the house of Israel, and not the Jews. Peter started this book by addressing the Christians of the ten tribes, so that is how he ended his letter by saluting the same people or "stranger that were scattered abroad". .

I Peter 5:14 "Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus." Amen.

Peter wished his peace upon those that were in Jesus Christ. They were in Him, and He was in them.

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