Summary: Peter wrote to believers who were and would be facing persecution and suffering. His words tell all to give our cares and concerns over in full trust and assurance to our God who cares for us.
Anxious For Nothing Part 3
Casting Your Cares
Text: 1 Peter 5:5b-7
[Many of the main thoughts for this series and this sermon are drawn from the writings of John MacArthur in his book : Anxious for Nothing.]
Does anyone really want to worry? Does anyone really want to be so distracted, so consumed by anxious thought that they can’t function normally? Can’t sleep, can’t eat, fatigued, losing focus, losing weight – alright, maybe that last one would be OK.
In all seriousness though, none of us really wake up in the morning and think, “it’s such a fine day… I think I’ll obsessively worry about something.” And if any of us do, we know from our earlier studies that we should not:
Matthew 6 Jesus tells us that if we are worrying we should stop, and if we are not worrying He tells us not to start.
Philippians 4 Paul says very directly, “be anxious for nothing.” He shows us the way to avoid anxiety through thankful praying, right thinking, and active practice of Godly living.
Today we are going to look to the apostle Peter for his words on this same issue. 1 Peter 5:5b-7.
In considering the scriptures of our previous lessons it should be fairly clear that the solution to the puzzle of anxiety rests upon trust in God and Peter tells us a key piece needed in developing that trust and solving this puzzle: Humility.
Develop A Humble Attitude
A.Humility Towards Others
1.Earlier in his epistle, Peter was speaking to all the faithful and in chapter 5 he focuses in on those who hold the position of elder or overseer but expands the focus back to all in verse 5 “and all of you clothe yourselves with humility towards one another.”
2.Greek word picture: Don the apron of a slave.
a.The word here rendered “be clothed” (egkombōmai) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It is derived from kombos - a strip, string, or loop to fasten a garment. The word engkombōma refers particularly to a long white apron, or outer garment, that was commonly worn by slaves. There is, therefore, special force in the use of this word here, as denoting a humble mind.
b.The apostle calls upon them to be subject to each other, he desires them to put on humility, as the encomboma or servant’s dress, that they may appear to be such as were ready to serve.
c.They were to be willing to take any place, and to perform any office, however humble, in order to serve and benefit others. They were not to assume a style and dignity of state and authority, as if they would lord it over others, or as if they were better than others; but they were to be willing to occupy any station, however humble, by which they might honor God.
3.The verb is literally, “tie on with a fast knot”. Or, “gird on humility as the slave dress (encomboma)”
a.As the Lord girded Himself with a towel to perform a servile office of humility and love, washing His disciples’ feet, a scene in which Peter had played an important part, so that he would naturally have it before his mind. John 13:4-5 (14,15).
4.Challenge for us
a.Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
It is not our first instinct to put others before ourselves, and certainly counter to the teachings of this world. Pride and selfishness get in our way; we need to emulate the example of Jesus. Paul went on to say: vv 5-8 “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
B.Humility Towards God
1.Clothing ourselves in humility, following the example of Jesus begins first by humbling ourselves before God.
a.Peter underscores the imperative to humility by citing an Old Testament passage: v 5 “God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Quoting from Proverbs 3:34.
b.The verbs are in the present tense - God continually opposes those who are proud; God continually gives grace to those who humbly listen, love, and serve.
2.God Opposes the Proud
a.Proverbs 6:16 What is the first thing on the list? Haughty eyes.
b.Proverbs 8:13: “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.”