Act with Humility
I Peter 5:1-14
April 29, 2007
v. 1 - "a witness of the sufferings of Christ" -
"That...which we have heard, which we have seen with
our eyes....and our hands have handled, of the Word
of life" - I John 1:1
"a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed"
Am I? Are you?
v. 2 - "Feed the flock of God" - echoing what Jesus
had told Peter - "Feed my sheep"
"not for filthy lucre" - Peter uses a strong term!
"but of a ready mind" - implies zeal and enthusiasm.
v. 3 - "being ensamples to the flock" - imitate the great
Example - the Lord Jesus Christ -
The life should command - the tongue should persuade!
v. 4 - "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall
receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away"
amaranthine - imperishable - a flower in the garden
that never fades - Milton's Paradise Lost -
"Their crowns inwove with amarant & gold;
Immortal amarant, a flower which once
In Paradise, fast by the tree of life
Began to bloom"
Right on schedule - I have as an entry in the last time
we were studying I Peter - in my commentary I wrote:
The flowers in memory of Mr. & Mrs. Cathcart
on July 19, 1998 already faded - that being
July 31, 1998.
As the lily is symbolic of purity the amaranth (everlasting)
is symbolic of immortality!
We are advancing to such a coronation in Christ -
what glory! What wealth! What dignity!
The true reward - not filthy lucre
v. 5 - from the fifth to the ninth verse - idea of submission
"ye younger, submit yourselves to the elder -
the respect due to old age!
Life is constituted on one generation following another -
one generation succeeds another - the younger steps into
that of the older - order and happiness of society and
the Christian church is promoted - insubordination is
a curse alike to church and state
An experience of years should give greater weight to the
opinions and advice of elders.
"be clothed with humility" - humility is a garment which
must be firmly fastened and worn - an association of a
slave's apron - Jesus girded Himself and washed the
disciples feet - John 13
Christ's example - Phil. 2:5-11
"for God resisteth the proud"
Pride is putting self first and refusing to submit either to
God or man - self-righteousness - self-glorification -
The term "resisteth" is a strong one implying as if God avails
Himself of an army or sets Himself in battle array against the
"God...giveth grace to the humble" - to the empty heart who
submits himself to God to be filled by Him!
Humility is foreign to our selfish nature - it is one of the
great battlefields of life - if we are plagued with pride, with a
spirit that stands aloof, that cannot bend, nor yield nor serve,
but wants to lead and receive homage, that is the spirit from
which God withholds His grace.
Humility's mission is to dethrone the heathen virtue of
I should think that Peter of all people, in his impetuosity had
learned from the Lord Jesus Christ the blessed grace of
v. 6 - "he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" - Matt. 23:12b
v. 7 - "Casting all your care upon Him" - all your anxiety
Matthew 6:34 - Paul echoes these words - "be careful for nothing"
"For He careth for you" - a different care than in the
The care which is forbidden is that anxiety about worldly
things which harasses a man and distracts his mind, so that
he does not pray and give himself to meditation.
Worldly cares and worldly influences are a worse threat to
ourselves and our children and grandchildren than is
God has promised He would not forget us now nor in the
future! "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee"
Anxieties are distractions - they have a tendency to depress
the spirits - to mar happiness - to cripple the discharge of duty.
The heart that is filled with pride has no room for the blessed
grace of God - an obsession with thoughts of self drive out the
holy thought of God.
The presence of God is the secret of holiness - without that
presence, there is no spiritual life!
God's care is calm, holy, thoughtful providence - "He knoweth
that we have need of all these things" - and He makes "all
things to work together for the good to them that love Him"!
"Roll thy burden on the Lord" - Ps. 37:5
"the very hairs of your head are all numbered"
All things are known of Him - the fall of every sparrow - Fri.
night - in front of Life Way in Clarksville - a little brown bird
with highlights of bright yellow laying on the curb - I wasn't
the only one aware - God was -
He knows all our needs, difficulties, dangers, temptations.
v. 8 - Sober watchfulness vs. stern conflict with a destructive
enemy who can be resisted - he is a liar and the father
of it - John 8:44
"Be sober" - the opposite of intoxication - anything that
strengthens our lower nature, deadening us to conscience
and reason, intoxicates - flesh - world - making money,
pleasure - oftentimes affliction is Satan's opportunity.
"be vigilant" - our Lord often used the term "watch" -
the necessity of instant attention.
Watchfulness - whether we are vigilant or not you may be
sure that the devil is alert and ready to take any advantage
of you or me.
Our frailty and Satan's activity exposes us to spiritual danger!
My prayer is "Lord, help me to overcome Satan - help me to
"Wherefore, let him that thinketh he standeth, take
heed lest he fall" - I Cor. 10:12
"because your adversary the devil"
"walketh about seeking whom he may devour" - the words
express restless energy.
Satan thirsts to destroy our faith, our purity, our peace, and
our good name.
He cannot touch those who are kept by the power of God
through faith unto salvation; but he walks about, looking for
any lost sheep which may have wondered from the fold!
"devour" - means to drink down and implies utter destruction.
The devil is seeking our ruin.
Faith sets the stronger Lion of Judah against this roaring lion
of the bottomless pit - "greater is He that is in us than he that is
in the world" - I John 4:4
v. 9 - "Whom resist steadfast in the faith" - a solid, rock-like
James 4:7 I John 4:4
Rom. 16:20 - "God....shall bruise Satan under your feet
"Knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished
in your brethren that are in the world"
v. 10 - We have promise of support from God - we are
not left to ourselves -
The beginning was when God called us in Christ - the
end is the calling into His glory!
Eph. 3:16-21 - the shortness of the suffering contrasted
with the length of the glory!
II Cor. 4:17 - "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment,
worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal
weight of glory"
"the God of all grace" - "my grace is sufficient
for thee for my strength is made perfect in
weakness" - II Cor. 12:9
The same power that sustains the planets in their orbits
as they circle the sun also orders the course of the
humblest believer as he draws nearer and nearer to
the Sun of Righteousness!
"Who hath called us unto His eternal glory
by Christ Jesus" - the glory is Christ's and
His members will share with it!
"after that ye have suffered a while" - these problems
in life are transient but the glory is ETERNAL!
They may seem very severe but they are light in
comparison with that "far more exceeding and
eternal weight of glory" - II Cor. 4:17-18
Sufferings are included in the Divine purpose - they are
as much a part of His scheme and love as the glory to
which they lead.
* Sickness is often God shutting the busy soul up to
* Trouble is often God showing how tender a Father He is!
* Darkness is often God compelling us to look up!
Heb. 10:38-39, 12:11
"make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you"
A promise that God will supply all that is lacking in
the elements of character (NFL football draft - character
A promise that God will keep us from being overpowered
in the actual assault.
A promise that God will increase strength so as to turn
successful resistance into victorious aggression.
perfect - means to finish, to complete, to repair
God will repair what is lacking in the character of
His chosen if they persevere in prayer, are sober
He will repair that which is torn - He will cleanse that
which is defiled - our characters have many faults,
many shortcomings, many stains of past sins - do not
despair - It is God who began the work - it is He who
will COMPLETE IT!
These are the first fruits of the harvest of God's great
grace which a believing soul reaps - our defects are made
good - the rents which sin has made are mended -
No deficiency - no defect - made permanent - not goodness
like an early cloud and the morning dew - Hosea 6:4
v. 11 - Doxology - we shall ever be praising His
power through the ages of ages -
Therefore praise Him - Rev. 5:12-14
v. 12 - "this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand"
The grace ye receive indeed comes from God, His true
grace and it is He who is working within to do of His