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The Book of 1 Peter
Suffering And The Second Coming Of Christ
In this final chapter of 1 Peter, suffering and the Second Coming of Christ are brought together. What is the relation of our suffering to the Second Coming of Christ? The Christian life began for each of us with the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross where He bore the penalty of OUR sins, NOT His! Jesus had NO sin (2 Cor.5:21; Heb.4:15; 7:26; 9:14,28; Jam.5:6; 1 Pet.1:18-19; 2:22-24; 1 John 3:3,5).
There is also suffering in the life of the child of God today because God uses suffering in each of our lives to teach, chastise and to make us the kind of Christians that He wants us to be.
I have divided this chapter into two sections: Verses 1-4 teach that suffering produces service and hope; verses 5-14 teach that suffering produces humility and patience, things that all TRUE Christians need to hear, over and over again.
We have the suffering of Christ in the past, the present suffering of the saints and we have the Second Coming of Christ. Every TRUE Christian must consider the Second Coming of Christ as absolute FACT! Is the Second Coming of Christ a part of your thinking? Is it something on your heart and mind?
His Second Coming is NOT just a doctrine; it is something that will anchor you to Him in time of suffering and trouble! We all shall see Him some day, and stand before His awesome Presence! What a wonderful day that will be! Peter tells us that our present suffering is related to that coming day.
Suffering Produces Service And Hope (1 Pet.5:1-4)
1 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: (KJV)
Elders are the leaders of local churches. It does not mean that they are very old people. It means that they have experience as Christians and are wise and mature, or as John calls them "fathers" (1 John 2:13-14). In 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 there is a list of the qualities that an elder should have. Peter was an elder. He had experience of all the things that he writes about. He wants to encourage other elders and to help them to do their work better. Peter was one of the 12 apostles, so he saw everything that happened to Jesus. At first, he was afraid to suffer when the soldiers arrested Jesus. He even said that he did not know Jesus (Luke 22:54-62). Later he was much bolder. Jewish priests put him into prison because he continued to teach about Jesus (Acts 5:17-42). We know from other early writers that Peter died as a Christian. He knew that he would take part in the glory when Jesus comes back. He had already seen a brief glimpse of the glory of the transfigured Jesus when he was on a mountain with Him (Mat.17:1-13). See bottom of this article for poem on Peter's denial. We all make dreadful mistakes!
Peter does not call himself an apostle here. He calls himself an elder. He never claimed a superior place above his brethren, he classes himself as a fellow elder as he encourages and urges other elders.
And a witness of the sufferings of Christ . . . Peter was in a very unique position because he was an apostle and did witness of the sufferings of Christ.
And also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed . . . in the past Peter saw that glory. In his second letter, Peter speaks of it as taking place on the "holy mount" (2 Peter 1:16-18). Peter also saw Jesus die on Calvary. There is a glory that is coming in the future which will be greater than what Peter saw . . . "the glory that shall be revealed."
1 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; (KJV)
Feed the flock . . . Jesus told the same thing to Peter! John 21:15-17 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. 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. 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. (KJV) . . . Three times Jesus told Peter to feed my sheep! Repetition in the Bible means it is important! Now here, Peter passes that command down to the elders of the churches.
Peter urges and encourages the elders of the churches to do what God expects of them. Elders are to minister for the right reason and in the right spirit, not because they must do it . . . but because they willingly want to do it. Peter says: "Feed the flock of God which is among you" and do it right and willingly. Peter also says: "Not for filthy lucre but of a ready mind." Peter makes it clear that there must not only be the right reason and the right spirit, but there must also be the right motive for service. MONEY should NOT be it! It is NOT to be for material gain but because they delight in doing it.
SO many preachers today are greedy wolves! I think it is blasphemy to make money from the Name of Jesus when the Jesus they preach is "another Jesus" (2 Cor.11:4; Gal.1:6-8) and NOT the Jesus of the Bible, NOT the Jesus that can save you, and the gospel they preach is another gospel, NOT the Gospel of Jesus Christ that can save you from Hell! The apostle Paul says "let him be accursed" . . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_cults_rich_preachers.1.htm
1 Peter 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. (KJV)
Neither as being lords . . . an elder or deacon should NOT exercise ANY lordship or dominion (or I'm better than you, I have more power than you attitude) over the people. THAT so is wrong! I have personally seen several churches break apart because of this "mightier than thou" attitude. Some elders become proud and think that they are the boss. They make stupid rules for people to obey. Jesus was not like that. The way that He lived is a model for ALL Christians to follow.
Elders and deacons should take Peter's advice on how to act toward the church! Also see: (Mat. 20:25-26; Luke 22:25-27: 2 Cor. 1:24).
Over God's heritage . . . the Lord's flock, Jesus' sheep! The church is called God's inheritance.
But being ensamples to the flock . . . in holiness of life, practicing what you preach (Phil. 3:17; 2 Thes. 3:9; Tit. 2:7).
1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. (KJV)
And when the chief Shepherd . . . meaning the Lord Jesus Christ, for NO better shepherd exists! Jesus is called the great Shepherd of the sheep (Heb.13:20), the good Shepherd (John 10:2-15), and here the chief Shepherd, not only for His supreme example over all other pastors, but because of the power that He has over them, for they all are subject to His authority, because they exercise their office in His Name, and are accountable to Him for their office.
He shall appear . . . (1 Pet. 1:7; 4:13).
Ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away . . . we shall receive a crown (reward) from Christ, Who, as the Judge, shall award it to us, a glorious crown, glory which shall be as a crown to us. It is called a crown of righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8) and a crown of life (Jam. 1:12).
The crown we shall receive as TRUE Christians is NOT like the temporary crowns which were given to conquerors in war and public games, and were made of perishable flowers or herbs (1 Pet. 1:4; 1 Cor. 9:25). Ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away! It will last for ever and will never corrode.
Suffering produces humility and patience (1 Pet.5:5-14)
1 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. (KJV)
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder . . . this could mean younger brethren in the ministry; or younger spiritually (1 John 2:13-14), but it seems that since there are little children, young men and fathers in the church; I think all the members of churches are intended, aside from the officers. We are to submit to and obey those in charge. Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (KJV)
God dislikes proud people. Proud people think that they are better and more important than others. Jesus told a story about people who wanted other people to honor them (Luke 14:7-11). Humble Christians serve other people. They trust God. They tell people what God has done for them. They give God honor and glory! They do NOT want it for themselves!
1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: (KJV)
Humble yourselves therefore . . . be willing to take a low place, if that is where you are needed. Pride and arrogance should NOT be the manner of a TRUE Christian. NEVER think that you are better than someone else. NEVER exalt yourself above others. (Pro.15:33; 18:12; 22:4; Mic.6:8; Phil.2:8). Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (KJV)
The mighty hand of God . . . this speaks of God's omnipotence, which sometimes is called a strong hand (Ex. 3:19), a mighty hand (Ex. 32:11; Deut. 3:24), the right hand of power (Mat. 26:64); by which he is able to beat down those that are proud and high, and to defend and/or exalt those that are humble and lowly.
In due time . . . our time clock and God's time clock are very different! (2 Pet.3:8). God does as He sees fit and according to His own glory and your welfare. Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (KJV) . . . We do NOT think like God thinks!
So many people worry about their position and status, hoping to get proper recognition for what they do. To me, that is lust for pride. Peter advises us to remember that it is God's recognition of us that counts MUCH more than human praise. God is able and willing to bless us according to His timing . . . IF we let him!
Let us humbly obey God regardless of our present circumstances, for in His good time, at exactly the right moment, either in this life OR maybe the next one, He will lift you up to where you should be! The mighty hand of God is picture language for the power and discipline of God. Christians must accept all that God allows to happen to them. One day God will lift them up and give them honor. He will decide when it is the right time. No one knows when this will happen. It may not be until Christ returns.
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (KJV)
Casting all your care upon him . . . God loves us! Jesus loves us! He wants to help us in our daily lives. Your care . . . means all kinds of things which concern this life on Earth, cares that may cut and divide your hearts, and be grievous and tormenting to you. Cast these cares upon Him! And whatever you do, do not stop and doubt and grab those cares back again. Let God help with them.
For he careth for you . . . God love us and is concerned about His people, and really does care what happens to us. NO good thing will God withhold from us (Ps. 84:11; Phil. 4:6). The eyes of the Lord are always watching us: (Ps.11:4; 33:18; 34:15; Pro.5:21; 15:3; 16:2; 20:12; 22:12; Am.9:8; Zec.4:10; 1 Pet.3:12)
Place all your worries into God's mighty Hand! AND leave them there! We must trust that God will take care of us in EVERY situation. Jesus teaches about this in Matthew 6:25-34.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (KJV)
Be sober . . . (1 Pet. 1:13; 4:7). Peter now brings up a mad enemy, a deceiving, raging devil. We need to be in our right minds to go up against this foe. James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (KJV) . . . We CANNOT overcome this enemy with our own power. It is impossible! James give great advice here! Only when we submit, surrender, commit our souls to God, can we ever resist the devil.
Be vigilant . . . meaning to be spiritually watchful and cautious, aware of Satan's snares and temptations (Mat. 24:42; 25:13; 26:41; 1 Thes. 5:6).
Because your adversary . . . my friend, we really do have an evil enemy! A deceitful, sly and wicked adversary (Mat. 5:25; Luke 12:58). It is Satan (Zec. 3:1).
The devil . . . is our accuser, he that slanders us, makes false statements about us, informs against us (Mat. 4:1; 13:39). He accuses God to men (Gen. 3:4-5), and men to God (Job 1:7; 2:2; Rev. 12:10), as well as having people lying to each other (John 8:44).
As a roaring lion . . . strong, fierce, cruel, especially when hungry, and seeking his prey and roaring after it. He never stops his hunt for the kill.
Walketh about . . . he is diligent and restless in his non-stop attempts, either by speaking falsely against us or assaulting us (Job 1:7). He is always on the move!
Seeking whom he may devour . . . not just to tempt, scare or hurt us, but swallow us up and utterly destroy us, by himself or his instruments (2 Cor.11:13-14). BEWARE!!!
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (KJV) . . . Always remember this! Christ Jesus is our Advocate, taking our side AGAINST Satan. And please also remember: 1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (KJV) . . . We do NOT have to face temptations, trials, tribulations, troubles or persecutions alone! Please remember this! Being a TRUE child of God gives us PRIVILEGES like these!
Thank You, Jesus!
1 Peter 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (KJV)
Whom resist . . . as I said before, we CANNOT resist Satan unless we SUBMIT first to God (Jam.4:7). We must NOT yield to his temptations (Eph. 4:27), and by setting our spiritual armour in place against him (Eph. 6:11-13) will help tremendously.
Stedfast in the faith . . . stand firm with Jesus! Hold your faith, persevering in it, hang in there, which the devil does NOT want you to do! Stedfast or strong by faith, meaning faith is a Christian's greatest strength, for it is by faith that we engage the power of God and grace of Christ on our side, which is the only way to be victorious over our enemies. 1 John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (KJV) . . . (1 John 5:4-5; Rev.2:7,11,17,26; 3:5;12,21; 21:7).
Knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world . . . we must be firm in our faith and resist our enemies, for we know that other believers all over the world are going through similar sufferings. We are plagued by the devil's temptations, which Peter calls afflictions, and also
persecutions, which though they come from people in the world, they are instigated by slick Satan! Jesus calls the devil, the prince of the world (John 14:30; 16:11). Satan does have the upper hand in all our troubles, small or big! We are to resist the devil, who tempts us. We have a really REAL spiritual enemy to deal with even in temporary afflictions.
1 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. (KJV)
But the God of all grace . . . the Author and Dispenser of all grace is Almighty God, from Whom we have received what we have, and expect His help in times of trouble and persecution.
Who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus . . . that eternal glory is what we as believers at the last day shall be made partakers. It is called God's glory, because it is He that has made the Promise to us, and He shall one day put us in possession of: (1 Pet. 5:1; Rom. 5:2). We shall surely partake of the Divine glory of God. This glory is by Christ Jesus; and for His sake, as the worthy cause of our calling, and by Him as the great Apostle of our profession (Heb. 3:1).
After that ye have suffered a while make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you . . . Peter adds this for our encouragement, that whatever we suffer would be short compared to eternity (1 Pet. 1:6; 2 Cor. 4:17).
Make you perfect (Heb. 13:20-21), stablish that which is right (2 Thes. 2:16-17), strengthen that which is weak, by a firm union with Christ, which is already built (Eph. 3:16-18; Col 1:23).
1 Peter 5:11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (KJV)
To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever . . . (1 Pet.4:11). God wants Christians to take part in the glory of Christ. The attacks of the devil will NOT last for ever. Christians will NOT suffer for ever, but the glory of Christ will NEVER end. God will stop our suffering one day and make things right, but we do not know when this will happen. It may be in this life, but it may be when they die and go to live with God. The devil wants Christians to fail, but God helps them to be strong. To Almighty God belongs ALL honor, ALL glory and ALL dominion. Let us NEVER forget this.
1 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. (KJV)
By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you . . . Silvanus is the same as Silas, so often mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 15:1-41; 16:1-40), as a companion of the Apostle Paul. Peter had met Silas in his travels, and sent this letter by him, and/or used Silas as his secretary to write this letter. The character of Silas is, that he was "a faithful brother" to those persons to whom this letter is written; meaning that he was a faithful minister of the Gospel to them, who with great sincerity and integrity preached the Word of God to them.
Peter wrote this letter for two reasons. He wanted to encourage the Christians who were suffering. He also wanted to tell them more about the grace of God. Christians will trust God more when they realize just how much He loves them.
Check out these verses to see just how much Jesus loves us: Isa.53:4; Mat.20:28; Mark 10:45; Luke 22:19; John 1:29; 6:51; 10:11,15,17; 11:50; 15:13; 18:14; Rom.5:8; 1 Cor.5:7; 8:11; 2 Cor. 5:15; 8:9; Gal.1:4; 2:20; Eph.5:2,25; 1 Tim.2:6; Tit.2:14; Heb.7:27; 9:14,26; 10:12; 1 Pet.3:18; 1 John 3:16; Rev.1:5.
As I suppose . . . this does not mean any doubt is considered, but rather a firm assurance of Silvanus's faithfulness.
Exhorting and testifying . . . to constancy in the faith, and diligence in duty; bearing my testimony to the Truth ye have received.
That this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand . . . the TRUE Gospel of God (2 Cor.11:4; Gal.1:6-8), is wherein He sets forth the grace of Christ. Peter states and Silvanus writes: Ye are in the right way; the doctrine ye have embraced is indeed the truth of God.
1 Peter 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son. (KJV)
The Church that is at Babylon . . . Babylon was the name of an ancient city. About 600 years earlier, the king of Babylon attacked the Jews and carried them away to Babylon (2 Kings 25). The Jews never forgot how they suffered in that foreign land. Christians in the church at Rome were now suffering too. So they used ‘Babylon’ as their secret name for Rome. Peter probably visited Rome. He may have written this letter in Rome. The church there wanted to send their greetings to other Christians who were suffering.
Some commentators say Peter does not mean Babylon in Egypt, nor Jerusalem, nor Rome as symbolic Babylon, but the ancient celebrated Babylon in Assyria, which was the metropolis of the eastern dispersion of the Jews. You decide. I think I will stay with Rome being the symbolic Babylon here.
And so doth Marcus my son . . . Mark was not Peter’s real son. Mark is John Mark in Acts 12:12, 25. Peter probably calls him ‘my son’ because Peter led him to Christ. John Mark was a convert of Peter and the author of the Gospel of Mark. He was not the actual son of Peter, but a son in the faith in the same way that Timothy and Titus were sons of Paul (1Tim. 1:2; Tit. 1:4).
1 Peter 5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen. (KJV)
Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity . . . this was the eastern greeting, but not necessarily a Christian one. (Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12).
Peter's final benediction: Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen. . . "In Christ Jesus" means united to Him by faith, and members of Him.
Peter wrote this letter just before the cruel Emperor Nero began persecuting Christians in Rome and throughout the empire. Afraid for his life, Peter had three times denied even knowing Jesus (John 18:15-27). But here, it is a different story! Peter has learned how to stand firm in his faith in an evil world, and he encouraged other Christians who were facing persecution for their faith. Peter himself lived by the words he wrote because he was martyred for his faith. Those who stand for Christ will be persecuted because the world is ruled by Christ's greatest enemy, the devil.
The early believers stood firm against persecution, and we too must be willing to stand for our faith with the patience, endurance and courage that Peter exhibited, never forgetting that He will NEVER leave us, NEVER forsake us (Heb.13:5). He will NEVER give us more than we can bear (1 Cor.10:13) and that His grace is ALWAYS sufficient, no matter what (2 Cor.12:9-10).
The following poem came to me in a very unusual way. I am NOT a poet! Poems are a "gift" from God. When I go to bed at night and cannot sleep, it is almost certain there is a poem about to come to me. Usually, I get up, go to my chair, and scribble the words down in the dark, so as not to awaken my husband. That particular night, I sat and waited. No words came. I thought it must be my idea, not God's. I waited a while longer. I am not sure of the time, but it was not yet midnight. All of a sudden, I heard a rooster crow. Roosters do not crow at that time if night! The words simply flowed to the paper.
WE MUST NOT DENY HIM
In the early morn’, as the rooster crows,
I think of Peter and his sorrow.
He was so sure, he’d not turn away,
But he denied Christ, fore’ the break of day.
“I know Him not” were words Peter said,
These four little words, caused him dread.
Not once, not twice, but three times he’d deny,
Our precious Lord, whom they would crucify.
“If I have to, I will die with You,”
Peter’s heartfelt words, he thought were true.
But those very words, he spoke that night,
Early the next morn’, would cause him fright.
When the cock crow’d, Peter was mortified,
What had he done? Christ he’d denied!
Great tears welled up, as he sobbed in grief,
It would be a while, ‘fore he found relief!
Peter did sob, uncontrollably,
His heart and soul, were in agony.
He was so sorry for what he’d done,
He denied Christ Jesus, God’s own Son!
There are many ways, we too can deny,
Our precious Saviour, who was crucified.
Are you afraid, of what friends might say?
If you stood for Jesus, this very day?
We can’t deny Christ’s death, and be forgiv’n,
We can’t deny He’s alive, and access Heav’n.
We can’t deny He’s God, and He’s Man,
We can’t deny, God’s one and only Plan.
We need to stand close, to Jesus’ side,
This awesome Christ, who was crucified.
We need to follow Him, ev’ry day,
For He loves us and guides, in all right ways.
By: His servant, Connie Kramer Dec.23, 2002 # 931
Mat. 26:31-35, 69-75; Zec.13:7; John 3:15-18, 36; 14:6;
1 John 5:10-12
Little faith, God CAN do it (Mat.6:30)
Great faith, God WILL do it (Mat.8:10; 15:28)
Perfect faith, God HAS ALREADY DONE IT (Heb. 11:3; John 4:50-53)
I wish I could say that I have perfect faith, but that would be a lie. But, do remember this, our faith is not always the same. It fluctuates, up one day, down the next. We can do as the apostles did, pray for our faith to increase. Luke 17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. (KJV) . . . They did it, we can too!
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