Summary: This sermon finishes the series on 1 Peter and focuses on how to win the victory over our enemy and the persecution he brings.
A. I like the story told of the 5-year old boy who was in the kitchen as his mother was making supper.
1. His mother asked him to go into the pantry and get her a can of tomato soup, but he didn’t want to go in alone.
2. “It’s dark in there and I’m scared.” He said.
3. She asked him again, and he persisted in his resistance.
4. Finally she said, “It will be OK--Jesus will be in there with you.”
5. The boy walked hesitantly to the door and slowly opened it.
6. He peeked inside, saw it was dark, and started to leave when all at once an idea came, and he said: “Jesus, if you’re in there, would you hand me that can of tomato soup?”
B. Life certainly can be scary.
1. The spiritual battle we are in is scary.
2. The hostile world we live in can be scary.
3. Nevertheless, God is with us. He will never leave us or abandon us.
4. We can certainly find comfort and strength in that fact.
C. As we come to the close of Peter’s first letter, we see him bring to conclusion this important message to the saints of God who are strangers in the world and are scattered in the provinces of Asia Minor.
1. They are suffering persecution for their faith, and an even greater fiery trial is about to come.
2. Peter concludes his message by pointing them to a few attitudes and actions that will insure their victory over the enemy and the persecution he brings.
3. These attitudes and actions are vital to our survival in our present circumstances as we seek to serve and glorify the Lord.
4. These attitudes and actions will insure that we stand firm and remain faithful, which is the victory of our faith.
5. Dwight Eisenhower said, “There are no victories at discount prices.” How true that is when it comes to the spiritual battle.
6. Let’s look at this final section and be sure that we are developing these attitudes and actions with the help of the Holy Spirit.
I. Be Humble (5:5-7)
A. Peter wrote: Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1. Humility and submission are attitudes and actions that are inseparably linked.
2. We all are to live in humble submission to God.
3. Back in the earlier chapters of this letter, we have witnessed Peter’s command for Christians to be submissive to government authorities, and slaves to their masters, and wives to their husbands.
4. Last week we looked at the verses that precede this section that talk about elders and their leadership.
5. So now Peter turns his attention toward the younger believers and lets them know that they must be submissive to the older believers.
6. As shepherds submit to the Chief Shepherd, so the flock should submit to their shepherds.
B. Although no one is exempt from Peter’s exhortation that everyone is to be submissive to their elders, Peter targets specifically the younger men.
1. Though it is not stated in the context why he singled them out, probably he did so because younger men are often more aggressive and headstrong than other members of the church.
2. I can certainly remember my younger years as a Christian man and minister – I often struggled with pride and arrogance.
3. Sometimes I though t I knew better than the older ones, but I was usually wrong.
4. Hebrews 13:17 is a helpful passage on submission and cooperation with leadership: Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
C. Peter suggests that we should “Clothe ourselves with humility.”
1. The Greek word literally means “to tie something on oneself,” such as a work apron worn by servants.
2. I wonder if when Peter wrote this verse he recalled the occasion when Jesus did just that – Jesus tied a towel around him and washed his disciples’ feet. (Jn. 13)
3. If we want to be like Jesus, then we need to clothe ourselves with humility.
D. To reinforce the point he was making, Peter quoted from Proverbs 3:34, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
1. God hates the sin of pride (Prov. 6:16-17).