The Book of I PETER
James J. Barker
ESSENTIALS FOR GODLY LIVING
- God's grace
enables us to triumph through the various trials and troubles we face in
- These closing
verses in the epistle of I Peter emphasize the sufficiency of God's grace (cf. I
- 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).
- 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
- I am going to
speak tonight on living godly in this present world.
HUMILITY (5:5, 6)
- 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
- God wants His
people to be humble (5:5, 6; cf. James 4:6-10).
- Proverbs 3:34
says, "Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace
unto the lowly."
- Psalm 138:6
says, "Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the
proud he knoweth afar off."
- Proverbs 29:23
says, "A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in
- 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"
- 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
- When the Bible
speaks of "the mighty hand of God" (5:6), it refers to God's sovereignty and His
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."
- 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
- 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.
- 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,
- King Solomon said, "For they shall hear of thy great
name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm" (I Kings
- 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
- There are many references in the New Testament to the
Lord Jesus sitting on the right hand of God.
- 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).
- 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
- 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
- "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
- Philippians 4:6
says, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known
- 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."
- 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
- 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.
- Our Lord said,
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest"
- ’Tis so sweet
to trust in Jesus,
And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His
And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”
- Jesus, Jesus, how I trust
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
for grace to trust Him more!
- Those words were written by Louisa Stead after she
watched her husband drown.
- Worry is unnecessary. God says we are to cast all our
care upon Him.
- 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
- Worry is futile, because worrying can never solve a
- 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.
- 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
- 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
Said the robin to the sparrow,
“I really do not
Why it is these human
Rush about and worry
Said the sparrow to the
“I think that it must
That they have no Heavenly
Such as cares for you and
- Peter could write about how God cares for us because he
saw it firsthand many times (cf. Acts 12:1-11).
- 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
- 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
- A while ago I was preaching from this verse, and I
mentioned a preacher named Frank Graeff, who went through some very
During a period of great despondency, and doubt and
physical pain, he turned to I Peter 5:7 and was wonderfully
- 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
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.
VIGILANCE (5:8, 9)
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
Revelation 20 is still future.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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