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

 

John 17:22

 

"unfading" -

 

 

 

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.

 

Isaiah 3:12-14

 

"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 -

self-reliance

 

 

The term "resisteth" is a strong one implying as if God avails

Himself of an army or sets Himself in battle array against the

haughty.

 

"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

great-souledness.

 

I should think that Peter of all people, in his impetuosity had

learned from the Lord Jesus Christ the blessed grace of

humility!

 

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

preceding clause.

 

 

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

persecution.

 

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.

 

Phil. 4:6-7

 

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.

 

Rev. 7:13-14

 

            "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

overcome myself!

 

"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

            firmness.

 

James 4:7                   I John 4:4

 

Rom. 16:20 - "God....shall bruise Satan under your feet

                         shortly"

 

"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

   Himself.

* 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

an issue).

 

 

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

 

Psalm 138:8

 

 

God will repair what is lacking in the character of

His chosen if they persevere in prayer, are sober

and vigilant!

 

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

good pleasure!