The Book of  I PETER
James J. Barker


Lesson 16
ESSENTIALS FOR GODLY LIVING

Text: I PETER 5:5-14


INTRODUCTION:


  1. God's grace enables us to triumph through the various trials and troubles we face in life.
  2. These closing verses in the epistle of I Peter emphasize the sufficiency of God's grace (cf. I Peter 5:10).
  3. It is the grace of God that teaches us to be humble (5:6).  It is the grace of God that teaches us to trust God at all times (5:7).  It is the grace of God that teaches us to be sober and vigilant (5:8).
  4. The apostle Paul said the grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and how to "live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world" (Titus 2:11, 12).
  5. I am going to speak tonight on living godly in this present world.

 

I. HUMILITY (5:5, 6)

  1. Young people should be respectful and submissive to their elders (5:5).  Up until modern times this was commonplace.   But nowadays many young people are disrespectful and are not submissive.
  2. God wants His people to be humble (5:5, 6; cf. James 4:6-10).
  3. Proverbs 3:34 says, "Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly."
  4. Psalm 138:6 says, "Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off."
  5. Proverbs 29:23 says, "A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit."
  6. Andrew Murray said that, "Meekness and lowliness of heart are the chief mark by which they who follow the meek and lowly Lamb of God are to be known" (Humility).
  7. He said humility is "the cardinal virtue, the only root from which the graces can grow, the one indispensable condition of true fellowship with Jesus."  "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time" (I Peter 5:6).
  8. When the Bible speaks of "the mighty hand of God" (5:6), it refers to God's sovereignty and His providence.
  9. Deuteronomy 5:15 says, "And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm."
  10. In I Samuel 5, we read that the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it down next to the idol of Dagon.
  11. God judged the Philistines for this idolatry, and we read, "And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.  And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.  Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day" (I Sam. 5:3-5).
  12. And then we read in I Samuel 5:6, "But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof" (cf. 5:7, 9).
  13. King Solomon said, "For they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm" (I Kings 8:42).
  14. Ezra 7:9 says Ezra came to Jerusalem, "according to the good hand of his God upon him."  Oftentimes the hand of God signifies God's blessings as He leads us and guides us.
  15. There are many references in the New Testament to the Lord Jesus sitting on the right hand of God.
  16. The hand of God signifies God's power and strength.   Therefore, we are to humble ourselves "under the mighty hand of God" (I Peter 5:6).
  17. Richard Trench, a 19th century Bible scholar who wrote Synonyms of the New Testament  and many other books about the Bible, said that the word "humility" was never employed by a Greek writer before the New Testament, nor afterwards, unless by a Christian writer.

 

II. TRUST (5:7)

  1. Regarding I Peter 5:7, F.B. Meyer said, "Every word of this precious verse is golden... We cannot stand the strain of both work and worry. Two things come between our souls and unshadowed fellowship with God, sin and care" (Tried by Fire).
  2. "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."  This means care will not get us down, and rob us of our joy, and disturb our peace, and distract our minds, and hinder our testimony.
  3. Philippians 4:6 says, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
  4. Psalm 118:8, 9 says, "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.  It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes."
  5. Proverbs 3:5, 6 says, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
  6. In order to get saved, we had to decide to put our trust in Christ to save us from our sins. Now, in order to be free from worry and care, we need to decide to trust in God's ability and readiness to help us.
  7. Our Lord said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28).
  8. ’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
    And to take Him at His Word;
    Just to rest upon His promise,
    And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”
  9. Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
    How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
    Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
    O for grace to trust Him more!
  10. Those words were written by Louisa Stead after she watched her husband drown.
  11. Worry is unnecessary.  God says we are to cast all our care upon Him.
  12. Isaiah 41:10 says, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
  13. Worry is futile, because worrying can never solve a problem.
  14. Worry is unnecessary; there is no need for us to bear the burdens when the Lord is willing and able to bear them for us.
  15. Worry is sin. A preacher once said: “Worry is sin because it denies the wisdom of God; it says that God doesn’t know what He’s doing. Worry is sin because it denies the love of God; it says God does not care.  Worry is sin because it denies the power of God; it says that God isn’t able to deliver us from whatever is causing us to worry.”
  16. Our Lord said, "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows" (Luke 12:6, 7).

              Said the robin to the sparrow,

              “I really do not know

              Why it is these human beings

              Rush about and worry so.”

              Said the sparrow to the robin,

              “I think that it must be

              That they have no Heavenly Father,

              Such as cares for you and me.”

  17. Peter could write about how God cares for us because he saw it firsthand many times (cf. Acts 12:1-11).
  18. The word "cast" calls for decisive action.  Psalm 55:22 says, "Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."
  19. This is one of the many things that distinguishes Christianity from all of the other world religions.  The Greeks and the Romans had cruel gods who looked down from heaven and laughed at the calamities they inflicted upon their hapless devotees.  The same could be said about Hinduism and Islam and all of the heathen religions.
  20. A while ago I was preaching from this verse, and I mentioned a preacher named Frank Graeff, who went through some ve­ry dif­fi­cult tri­als.  During a period of great de­spond­en­cy, and doubt and phys­ic­al pain, he turned to I Peter 5:7 and was won­der­fully com­forted.
  21. Af­ter med­i­ta­ting on the truth of God's Word, Graeff wrote this beautiful song:

              Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
              Too deeply for mirth or song,
              As the burdens press, and the cares distress
              And the way grows weary and long?

     

              Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares,
              His heart is touched with my grief;
              When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
              I know my Savior cares.

 

III. VIGILANCE (5:8, 9)

  1. To be "sober" and to be "vigilant" means to be watchful, because our adversary the devil is like "a roaring lion," walking about, seeking whom he may devour (5:8).
  2. The Hebrew word Satan means "adversary."  We are to "resist" him (5:9).  James 4:7 says something very similar: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
  3. On the basis of Revelation 20:2, "And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years," some teach Satan was bound at the cross.
  4. There are many problems with that interpretation.  First of all, I Peter 5:8 says the devil is like "a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."  He can't walk very far if he is bound.
  5. Secondly, Revelation 20 is still future.
  6. Thirdly, if Satan was bound at the cross, then the thousand years expired over a thousand years ago!  But those who hold that position do not believe in a literal thousand years.

 

CONCLUSION:

  1. AW Tozer said, "The worst part about the failure of a military drive is not the loss of men or the loss of face but the fact that the enemy is left in possession of the field. In the spiritual sense, this is both a tragedy and a disaster. The devil ought to be on the run, always fighting a rear guard action."
  2. Tozer believed that Christians allowed Satan to take possession by their prayerlessness.   He said, "Perhaps worst of all is the fact that our failures in prayer leave the enemy in possession of the field... this blasphemous enemy smugly and scornfully holds his position, and the people of God let him have it. No wonder the work of the Lord is greatly retarded. Little wonder the work of God stands still!"


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