1 Peter 5 - Outlines of 1 & 2 Peter (MENU page)
IV. Suffering and the Second Coming of Christ (ch.5)
A. Produces Service and Hope (v.1-4)
B. Produces Humility and Patience (v.5-14)
5:1 The elders {GK=presbuteros} 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:
5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight
{GK=episkopeo} [thereof],
not by constraint, but willingly;
{ie., not because you are forced to, but of your own accord; cp. Php 2:20,21}
not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
{ie., not for financial gain, but because it is your passion; cp. Rom 1:15; 1The 2:7-9; cf. 2Pet 2:1-3}
5:3 Neither as being lords over [God's] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. {cp. 1The 2:10-12}
'Overseers' are not to exercise dominion 'over' God's people but are to live as examples before them.
The flock is not to be divided by hierarchy.
Elders and sheep are ''among'' one another (v.1,2). cp. Mat 23:8-12
5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
the elders {GK=presbuteros, those of greater age, those of senior rank}-
''Elder (presbuteros) and bishop (episkopos, [ie., overseer]) designate the same office (cp. Titus 1:5,7; Acts 20:17,28), the former referring to the man, the latter to a function of the office. The eldership in the apostolic local churches was always plural. There is no instance of one elder in a local church.
The functions of the elders are:
Elders are made or 'set' in the churches by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28), but great stress is laid upon their due appointment (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5). In Titus 1:5-9 and 1Timothy 3:1-7, the qualifications of an elder become part of the Scriptures for the guidance of the churches in such appointment.'' [ScofRB at Titus 1:5]
I... who am also an elder...- Peter did not elevate himself above other elders.
...and a witness of the sufferings of Christ - Peter's position as an eyewitness-
...and a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed-
Peter shared in the hope which is common to all believers. Rom 8:17,18; 1Pet 1:3-9,13
I exhort... feed {GK=poimaino, tend, govern, nourish} the flock of God-
This is the work of a 'poimen' (the GK word for 'shepherd' or 'pastor', eg. 2:25; Eph 4:11).
  • The work of a shepherd involves feeding the sheep, leading them to find their nourishment and refreshment in the Lord, finding the lost, correcting the wayward, binding up their wounds, guarding against enemies and dangers, etc. (See Psa 23)
  • ''Shepherding suggests provision and protection, supervision and discipline, instruction and direction.'' [McGee]
The flock belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ (Joh 10:11,14,27; 1Pet 2:25; 5:4).
It is He who commissions under-shepherds, and who holds them accountable.
  • Peter himself had received this commission from Christ.
    The basis of service, as an under-shepherd, is love for Him (Joh 21:15-17).
  • Peter warned against wrong motives for, and attitudes toward, ministry (v.2,3).
    cp. Paul's similar warnings in Acts 20:28-35.
when the chief Shepherd shall appear- cp. Isa 40:10,11; Heb 13:20,21; 1Pet 2:25
Christ will hold the under-shepherds accountable, and reward them accordingly.
a crown {ie., a garland, a wreath}... that fades not away (as earthly garlands do, 1Cor 9:25)-
Crowns are given as rewards for the believer's works. cp. 2Tim 4:7,8; Rev 22:12.
Not all receive such a prize (1Cor 9:24; Php 3:14).
But, those who receive crowns will place them at Jesus' feet (Rev 4:10,11), recognizing that it is He who works through His servants. 1Cor 15:10; 1Pet 4:11
Note that an unfading crown (an individual's reward for faithful service) is distinct from the unfading inheritance which belongs to everyone who is born again into God's family, by faith in Christ (1Pet 1:3-5).
5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.
{younger- GK=neoteros, comparatively recently born, relatively new, or less mature. The word does not necessarily refer to physical age.}
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.
5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
likewise...- ie., In the same way that the elders serve Christ and His people,
all believers are to serve one another.
submit... be subject...- GK=hupotasso, arrange in order according to rank (cp. 2:13,18; 3:1).
cp. Rom 12:10; Eph 5:21; Php 2:3; Heb 13:17
be clothed with humility...- (eg., as Christ girded Himself to serve others, Joh 13:2-16; cp. Php 2:5-8)
Humility is a prerequisite for experiencing God's Grace. cp. v.5; Jam 4:6
humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God...-
  • As the believer is often subject to injustices in the world, so, even in the Church the believer may encounter things that are out of order, and beyond his ability to correct. The disarray may be real, or his own misperception.
    The Lord sees and knows. He has His purposes in allowing such things.
    Christ will set things right at His coming. cp. Isa 57:15; Mat 23:11,12
  • ''What a wonderful heart is the heart of God! He does not wish to humble His children, so He begs them to humble themselves, and only leave to Him the joy of exalting them.'' [GWms]
casting all your care {ie., anxiety} upon Him...- cp. Psa 55:22; 56:3,4; Php 4:6,7; Heb 10:35-39
The confidence of faith does not divest me of responsibility (eg., Jam 1:5; Php 4:13),
but leaves to Him the things that are beyond my jurisdiction (Psa 27:13,14; 37:5; Isa 41:10).
5:8 Be sober {ie., soberminded, watchful, cp. 1:13}, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith,
knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by
{in} Christ Jesus,
after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you].
5:11 To him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
your adversary {GK=antidikos, opponent before the court of law} the devil...-
The HB name 'Satan' means 'adversary, opposer'; 'the devil' {GK=diabolos} means 'the false accuser, the slanderer'.
The one, who accused Job before the LORD... The one, who desired to sift Peter as wheat, desires to swallow you up in the same pride and unsubmissiveness that fills his heart. cp. v.5-8; Job 1:7-11; 2:2-5; Luk 22:31,32
Be soberminded- Regard him with wary respect, because he is dangerous.
Be vigilant- Be watching for him for the purpose of recognition, because he is deceptive.
''As a roaring lion he persecutes; as an angel of light he deceives (eg., Gen 3:1; 2Cor 11:13-15).
He is more to be dreaded as an angel than as a lion.'' [GWms] cp. 2Tim 4:17; Rev 12:10-12
Satan's roaring intimidates and scatters the sheep-
  • be vigilant- ever aware of danger, ever watchful for the care of the sheep. v.1-7
  • take courage - - others stand against him. v.9
    - - you also will prevail by God's grace. v.10
whom resist {stand in opposition against}...-
As God resists the proud (v.5), we must resist the author of pride.
Take your stand to resist him, because he is destructive. Eph 4:27 (where the surrounding verses, v.25-31, show the effects of 'giving place to the devil.')
But you cannot stand against him in your own strength.
resist stedfast {sure, immovable} in the faith- ie., in the truth of God's promises in Christ.
''Submission to the Lord is prerequisite for resisting the devil.'' (eg., Peter's failure to resist the devil, was related to his failure to submit to the Lord. Mat 26:31-35,40,41) [WWiersbe] cp. Eph 6:11-18; Jam 4:6,7; 2Tim 3:12-14
The believer's immovability against Satan's attacks is determined by-
the God of all grace (v.10) - - who has called us (2Tim 1:9; 1Pet 1:2-5), and
who uses even our sufferings to accomplish His purposes in us (Rom 8:28-30); namely to-
  • make perfect (to fully equip, to make complete). cp. 2Pet 1:3; Heb 13:20,21
  • establish (to make stedfast, immovable). cp. 1The 3:13; 2Pet 1:12; 3:17
  • strengthen (GK=sthenoo, to make vigorously strong) that you may be empowered to stand (Eph 6:13).
  • settle (to establish on a firm foundation). cp. Col 1:23
to Him be glory and dominion...-
By His grace the weak stand strong against the adversary.
The glory and power, which enables the believer to stand, is inherent to God, not to the servant.
his eternal glory... after ye have suffered awhile-
Note the contrast of 'eternity' with 'brevity.' Rom 8:18; 2Cor 4:17; 1Pet 4:12-16
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.
5:13 The [church that is] at Babylon, elected together with [you], saluteth you;
and [so doth] Marcus my son.
5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity
{GK=agape, love}.
Peace [be] with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Silvanus {also called Silas} - Peter dictated this letter to Silas, who inscribed it on paper.
Peter's endorsement of Silas as 'a faithful brother' also endorses the preaching, of Paul and Silas, as the true Gospel. Peter and Paul preached the same message: the Gospel of the Grace of God in Christ Jesus. cp. Acts 15:40; 16:29-31; 2Cor 1:19-22
Marcus, my son- John Mark, who turned back from an early missionary journey (Acts 12:25; 13:13; 15:36-40),
had become profitable for the ministry (2Tim 4:11). Mark had been discipled by Barnabas and later by Peter, who regarded him as a son in the faith. The Gospel of Mark reflects Peter's viewpoint.
The church that is at Babylon...- As we discussed earlier (see note at 1Pet 1:1),
this is probably a reference to the geographic city.
However, there are also prophetic reverberations -
  • Judgment was about to fall upon Jerusalem (70 AD),
    because it had become 'Babylon' (meaning 'confusion') in a moral sense. (cp. Rev 11:8)
  • Judgment must soon fall upon the present world system,
    because of its rebellion against God. (Rev 18:2-4)
  • The church of Christ dwells in a world opposed to Him and to them.
    It is a realm governed by the prince of this world, the accuser and slanderer of the brethren. Therefore, it will be their lot to suffer persecution, until the Lord removes His own. cp. Rev 2:13; 6:9-11
Greet one another with a kiss of charity {GK=agape, love}-
God's people are to encourage one another with an holy expression of the love and unity which characterizes the family of God. cp. Rom 16:16; 1Cor 16:20; 2Cor 13:12; 1The 5:26; 1Pet 1:22
     Love for Him produces love {GK=agape} for His own. cp. 1Joh 5:1
Once, Peter could not bring himself to use this word to describe his love for Christ (see the Notes at Joh 21:15-17). Now, his choice of this word indicates that we are to love one another with the same type of costly devotion that we ought to have for our Lord.
Peace be with you...- Peter closes this letter concerning suffering and persecution
as he opened it, with a commendation of his readers to the peace of God (1:2). cp. Joh 14:27; 16:33

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