Sunday Worship Service
of Pastors and People
1 Peter 5
Pastor Josh Munan
Proposition: Humility should be the distinguishing mark in our ministry as pastors and as God’s people.
Application: As pastors may our service be motivated by desire, by love, be empowered by the Spirit and submitted to the will of God. As the people of God may humility be the distinguishing mark in your ministry; may grace of God meet your every need and know that the Lord cares for you 24/7.
There appears to be a hymn for every profession: Dentists: Crown Him with Many Crowns; Contractors: The Church’s One Foundation; Golfers: There Is a Green Hill Far Away; Politicians: Standing on the Promises; Lawyers: In the Hour of Trial; Accountants: Ten Thousand by Ten Thousand; Tailors: Blessed Be the Tie; Pastors: Be Not Dismayed. When speaking to pastors of the church, Peter did not assert his authority as an apostle.
- Concerning the Pastors (5:1 – 4)
Concerning Pastors (5:1):. Because Peter shared in the ministry of caring for the people of God, he placed himself on an equal level as the elders he addressed. By calling himself elder, Peter may have recalled the commission Jesus gave him.
Read John 21:15 – 17
The term elder suggests maturity – not just in age but more so in faith. In the NT the word elders, is always plural. This implies every local church should have more than one elder. What do shepherds do?
Commitment of Elders (5:2, 3): Growing the church is the task of all its members but caring for God’s sheep is the job of shepherds. They care for the saints with the love of God. They care for the saints in the power of the Spirit.
They care for the saints by protecting, correcting, directing, and instructing God’s people.
Notice the congregation does not belong to elders, or to pastors, but to God. Motives are crucial when it comes to serving the Lord as a shepherd.
Crucial Motives (5:2b, 3): An elder should not assume the office as an unwilling volunteer. An elder should not take on the role simply because there is a vacancy.
Shepherds are required to give an account for their work, so a man should not be pressured into the role against his will. Rather a godly man should fill the office of shepherd out of willing desire.
Read 1 Tim 3:1
It is possible for a man to desire to be an elder apart from God’s will. Desire alone does not make a man fit for the office. He needs to have godly desire as a result of the Lord working in his heart. Personal love for the Lord and for His people should be what inspires a godly man to serve as a shepherd.
Concern for selfish gain has no place in the life of a shepherd. It is not right to enter the ministry because it offers a decent way to make a living, or because it carries the prospect for gaining social influence.
The love of gain, the desire for social influence, the drive for prominence will cause a spiritual leader to serve his own interest over and above the interests of the people under his care.
Without question, a shepherd can serve the Lord for honest gain, just not for selfish gain.
Read 1 Tim 5:17, 18
Transition: Shepherds must not serve out of obligation. They must not serve for personal gain. Nor should they serve with a heavy hand.
One should not enter the ministry so he can boss others around. Pastors stand in front of the people of God, to lead the way. They do not stand above the people of God, to rule over them.
Read 3 John 9, 10
Because pastors are to be godly role models, serving with integrity is a must. To be an example to the flock a pastor should look to the Chief Shepherd as his supreme role model.
Chief Shepherd (5:4): When Jesus walked this earth, He was the Good Shepherd Who laid down His life for the sheep.
Read John 10:11
Having risen from the dead, Jesus is now our Great Shepherd working out His purposes through His church.
Read Heb 13:20, 21a
Faithful service is recompensed by God. When He returns, Jesus as the Chief Shepherd will reward all faithful under-shepherds with the crown of glory. The crown Peter is speaking about is not the crown of a king. He is referring to a victor’s crown given to athletes who won their race. Such a crown was made of a mixture of branches and leaves, called laurel wreaths. But sooner or later these crowns withered.
The victors crown which faithful servants of God receive from the Lord never lose its shine for all time.
Transition: Shepherds do not serve out of obligation. They do not serve for personal gain. They do not serve with a heavy hand. Rather they are moved by godly desire, to lovingly protect, correct, direct, and instruct God’s people, with the love of God in their hearts and in the power of His Spirit.
Peter moves on from speaking to elders only to address the whole congregation. But he first offers a brief word for young men.
2. Concerning the People (5:5 – 14)
Clothed with Humility to young men (5:5a): When you were young, how many times, did you think you knew more than your leaders and wanted to do things your way and not theirs?
Illustration: Mark Twain once said: When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
Peter exhorts young men to guard against youthful impulses that insist on the superiority of their own ways and ideas. Instead, they are to defer to those who are older especially in regard to spiritual matters.
With an all-inclusive command Peter now addresses all people in the congregation.
Clothed with Humility for all men (5:5b): The command to be clothed with humility is rooted in the knowledge of our total dependence on the Lord.
The phrase clothe yourselves with humility pictures a servant tying on an apron to serve. Like an article of clothing, we put on the apron of humility as a distinguishing mark in our service to one another.
Read John 13:3 – 5
Peter may have been thinking about this event when speaking about being clothed with humility.
Constant Supply of Grace (5:5c): The Lord knows the humble in a loving way. Those who gladly admit their need for God and rest on His sufficiency receive a constant supply of grace in their service. But He opposes those who ignore their need for Him.
He spurns those who overrate their own importance. He keeps His distance from the proud.
Read Ps 138:6
Either we exalt ourselves now, only to be humbled by the Lord later. Or we allow ourselves to be humbled now, so that in His perfect time the Lord will exalt us. Consenting to be Humbled (5:6): Let us accept trials that bring us low because when the time is right the Lord will lift up His tested children. Accepting hardships that humble us can be stressful – worrisome – anxiety causing. Life is full of cares. Many of which we are not able to solve.
Casting our Cares Upon Him (5:7): We are to throw all our burdens on the Lord and leave them there. Sometimes we bring our problems to the Lord, only to take hold of them again.
Illustration: A weary traveller was walking along a road hauling a heavy pack on his shoulders. A driver passed by and offered him a lift, which the traveler gladly accepted. After driving down the road for a bit, the driver noticed that his passenger kept his heavy pack on his shoulders even though there was enough space in the car. The driver asked why he still carried his pack. The passenger replied, “I appreciate your kindness but really it is enough that you are carrying me in your car, should I bother you to carry my load as well?”
If the Lord is upholding us, He is also upholding the concerns we carry. Why are we hanging on to the burdensome load He is already carrying?
All anxiety, cares and concerns whether due to past memories, present stress or future fears, are of concern to the Lord.
Illustration: I may go to a person with a problem and be received by him. And so a second time. But the third time I am not so welcome. By the fourth time he has no time for me.
Every time we go to the Lord, He receives us – even if we should go to Him again and again with the same concern.
Sometimes when we are loaded down with cares, we sense that the Lord is not concerned about us.
Read Mark 4:38
The Lord does not need to be coerced to care for us. He cares for us 24/7. Although the Lord is for us, we do have an adversary, the devil, who is against us.
Contend with the Devil (5:8, 9): As Christians we are dealing with a lying lion. Like a prosecuting lawyer, satan stands before the throne of God, day and night, pointing out our sins.
Read Rev 12:10
We need to be alert so we do not give satan a foot hold in our lives. We need to be watchful so that we do not thoughtlessly aid his destructive and deceptive plans. Just as Jesus is the Shepherd and we are the sheep, satan is a lion and we are the prey.
The phrase roaring lion describes satan’s fierce and determined effort to seek and consume his prey.
Let us not underrate his power. But let us not over rate his power either. Because by virtue of the death of Christ Jesus, satan’s accusations are no longer valid. He is not able to successfully win his case against us. Our victory over satan, is rooted in our faith in Christ Jesus. Faith unites us to the One who conquered the devil. Our response to satanic opposition is not to panic, not to fear, not even to flee. Our response is to resist by standing firm in our faith in Christ Jesus. And satan’s response will be to flee.
Read James 4:7
We are not alone in our battle against the evil one. Spiritual warfare is a common experience for every Christian in every age.
Even though we have an adversary accusing us before God night and day we also have an Advocate defending us before God night and day.
Read 1 John 2:1
Enduring suffering and overcoming satan are signs that our faith is sustained by His grace.
Called and Confirmed (5:10. 11): Suffering and spiritual warfare may seem never ending. But they are short-lived when compared to eternity. Our suffering and warfare may be intense, but God’s grace is stronger still. His grace unites our present suffering to His eternal glory. His grace meets every need for any occasion. His grace equips us to become what we need to be to serve the Lord effectively. His grace repairs the damage caused by sin. His grace strengthens us to resist sin and satan.
His grace keeps us from falling when facing persecution. The experience of God’s grace in our lives, evokes a deep sense of gratitude.
In closing I wish to speak to the elders among us – as a fellow elder. May our service as shepherds of God’s people be motivated by a willing desire. May our service be inspired by love for God and for His people. May our service be empowered by the Spirit and submitted to God’s will.
To the rest. May humility be the distinguishing mark in your ministry to one another. May the grace of God meet your every need. Knowing that the Lord cares for you 24/7, may He be your Advocate to defend you from every accusation of the evil one.
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of Pastors and People
1 Peter 5
1 Peter 4:12-19
How To Live Here Until We Leave Here
1 Peter 4:1-11
How To Suffer Well
1 Peter 3:13-22
1 Peter 3:1-12
... Have Experienced the Kindness of the Lord
1 Peter 2: 1-12
How Pilgrims Live
1 Peter 1:13-25
So Great A Salvation
1 Peter 1:1-12