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Summary: God¡¯s hand, if submitted to, will humble us so that God can do His great work in our life. God works in & on our life to transform us into Christ-likeness. This great work is of grace. God grants the grace necessary for spiritual growth to the humble

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1 PETER 5: 5-7 [Renewing Hope Series]

THE HAND OF GOD

[John 13:1-17]

The eminent apostle who was called to shepherd the sheep through feeding the sheep is here again about his calling. The preceding verses emphasized the ministry of the shepherd, now this elder shepherd who loved Jesus with all his heart, mind, soul and strength is speaking to one and all. My prayer today is that his words will speak to you.

Peter here teaches us concerning the mighty Hand of God. God's hand, if submitted to, will humble us so that God can do His great work in our life (CIT). God works in and on our life to transform us into Christ-likeness. This great work is a work of grace. God grants the grace necessary for spiritual growth to the humble.

God transforms those who submit to Him into His humble servants so that He can prepare them and use them for His glory. For God honoring tasks require a humble servant and the humble make the best servants. [Christ humbled Himself and took upon Himself the form of a servant (Phil. 2:5-8). Who does God transform into His likeness? God changes the humble.]

I. START WITH SUBMISSION, 5a. [THE NECESSITY OF HUMBLING.]

II. LEARN HUMILITY 5b-6. [THE NURTURE OF THE HUMBLE.]

III. LIVE WITH TRUST, 7. [THE NATURE OF THE HUMBLE]

Learning to submit is a necessary start to learning humility. Therefore verse 5 begins by instructing submission to elders or pastors. "You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders;"

Submission is a vital part of authentic Christian lifestyle. We cannot truly follow Christ until we are willing to submit to Him as the Lord of our lives. A verification of our surrender to Christ's Lordship is seen in our being subject to spiritual authority. Church leaders were usually proven older members. The younger members were to place themselves willingly under the authority of those who had been given the responsibility within the flock of God. They should submit themselves to their elders. [To "submit" is hupot¨¢ss¨­ which means "to be subject to" or "to submit yourself to."]

To be submissive is to obey. Obedience is vital to Christian lifestyle. One of the great problems of our society is the resistance to submission and obedience and it is evident even within the church. A major expression of sin is that of rebellion against authority. Christian young people need to learn to obey Christ, and they will be greatly blessed if they learn to be submissive to their Christian elders.

But young people should not only be submissive to their elders, all Christians should be submissive to one another. All believers, even those with leadership responsibilities, should be submissive to one another.

In the church of Christ, there should be no one lording over or dominating others. In love and honor, we should serve one another. We should be seeking not to get but to give; not to be served but to serve.

II. LEARN HUMILITY 5b-6.

Inseparably linked to submission is the virtue of humility (Dan 10:12; Mic 6:8; Eph. 4:1-2; Jas. 4:10), therefore the verse 5 exhorts both young and old alike to clothe themselves with humility. "and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another,"

Submission is closely related to humility. Peter's instruction to us is that we should be clothed with humility. The word clothe (enkomb¨­sasthe, 1st aor. imper. "clothe or tie on oneself") was originally a servant's garment [enkomb¨­ma - apron of a slave] worn over his other clothing and tied with a knot. Once this garment was on, the slave was ready for his task.

In like manner we are not ready to be of service to God until we clothe ourselves with Christian humility. Within that context, someone has said, "Many would be scantily clad if clothed in their humility." Humility is essential in the life of a Christian.

To be humble is to have the Spirit of Christ. He who was God, yet for our sakes emptied Himself and became a bond servant. And He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:5--8). He who wrapped a servant's towel around His waist and washed His disciples feet (Jn. 13:1-17).

Humility is essential for Christian lifestyle. Only when we are clothed with humility can we come to know Christ better and grow to become more like Him. As Thomas a Kempis wrote, "God walks with the humble; He reveals Himself to the lowly; He gives understanding to the little ones; He discloses His meaning to pure minds, but hides His grace from the proud."

You would not even consider leaving your house without your clothing to go to work. Yet how often do all of us go to perform God's service without the outer garment of humility. [We take men seriously because God took. and still takes them seriously.]

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