I Peter 5:8-14. Directions: RESIST. Text notes by James Dale
I Pet 5:8-14 Directions (Part 3 of 3): RESIST
In Peter’s concluding remarks in his letter to suffering Christians, he gives directions for the management of the church. He explains the function of the church in the picture of a sheep ranch. The owner of the ranch, or the “Chief Shepherd, is, of course, Jesus Christ. The hired help, or the shepherds, are the leaders in the church, the elders. The sheep are the members of the church, and the enemy of the sheep is a roaring lion, the devil.
In each case there is a key word indicating an attitude of responsibility:
- The leaders (Elders) … “Feed”
- The followers (Church members) … “Submit”
- The battle (The Devil) … “Resist”
It is this last one we are talking about today.
Stand and read I Peter 5:8-14
Pray and be seated
If we have placed our faith in Christ as our Savior, He is our shepherd and we are the sheep of His pasture. This is not an uncommon analogy in Scripture, is it?
Psa 100:3 … We are his people and the sheep of his pasture
John 10:4 … The sheep follow him for they know his voice.
Psa 23:1 … The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
After the resurrection Jesus took Peter out to breakfast to talk with him and used this analogy. Remember in John 21:15? “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? Then feed my lambs.” This is most likely the reason Peter uses this analogy, and he continues with it by saying the sheep have an enemy … the roaring lion. Peter now instructs “the sheep” in how to deal with this enemy, Satan, by giving three directives.
The first directive is to be serious and aware of the enemy.
1. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking who he may devour:
Believers must recognize how Satan works.
- “Sober” – Peter has warned us twice already about being sober. (1:13 and 4:7)
- It means to be calm, collected in spirit, serious- minded.
- When I was a young Christian we were aware of this tendency to panic when things didn’t go according to plan, or if things happened that makes it seem like life was out of control. One buddy of mine used to tease us,
“When in trouble, when in doubt, Run in circles, scream and shout!”
- “Vigilant” … This word mans to be watchful and pay attention. Paul gave the same warning in
I Thess 5:6- “Therefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober.”
- Christ also warned of this many times in his parables (i.e. - the Ten Virgins in Matt 25:1-13), but he was direct in Luke 21:34-36:
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting (gluttony), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be counted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
- “Adversary the devil” …Job 1:7 is another reference indicating that Satan is walking around the earth as an enemy.
- Peter knew all about this, didn’t he? Read Luke 16:23
But (Jesus) turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
- Read Luke 22:31
And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
- This is exactly what Peter is doing right now … he is strengthening the brethren. Peter knows what he is talking about. It is a spiritual battle.
- The word “Satan”, by the way, means “adversary” which pictures an opponent in a court of law. In Rev 12:10 he is pictured as an accuser of the brethren. I John 2:1 shows us that Christ is our defense lawyer … our advocate.
- It is interesting that Peter chooses another name for Satan here. He uses “the devil” which means “diablos” or “slanderer” or “liar”. It is interesting to note that in the end times one of the key descriptors is deception … a time where it is hard to know the difference between a lie and the truth. Does that describe today or what?
- Bruce Jenner, who now goes as Caitlyn Jenner, said something like this in USA Today this week, “Bruce did all he could, but I have a different calling today. I have lived with a lie all my life.” He (she?) speaks in the past about a person who does not exist anymore and yet he does. And was it a lie that as a man he was living a lie? The world is getting mixed up with who is who and what is the truth. It makes my mind spin to figure out the logic of many ideas today. Does anyone else here feel that there is a type of insanity going on?
- By the way, Peter picks up on this deception and resulting apostasy in his second letter and goes more into detail. As elders we decided this week to continue our sermons in the second book of Peter because it is so relevant to what is happening today.
- Peter is warning us to be alert. Are you alert, knowledgeable about what Satan is doing? My tendency is to put my head in the sand and assume everything is fine, or at least the way I remember it used to be.
- Example --- getting tickets for my daughter and learning it cost extra money to gurantee seats together with her two daughters. My tendency was to save money by thinking things would work out. But my wife reminded me that thing are different now. We paid the extra money.
- Think about listening to a podcast that talks about world events from a Christian world view. Albertmohler.com. is 20 minutes daily and called “The Briefing”. Another is “theworldview.com” with Adam McManus which does something similar in five minutes.
- The first directive is to be alert and watchful.
The second directive is to resist … which is our trigger word.
2. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
- “Resist” mans to stand against. And the way to resist is to be “steadfast in the faith” … stand firm like a rock (“Faith is the Victory”)
- We begin with faith and continue in faith. Being a Christian is one big “yes” and a lot of little “uh-huh’s”.
- Rom 5:1,2
Therefore being justified BY FAITH we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access BY FAITH into this grace wherein we stand.
- James 4:7
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
- One day when my oldest son was in high school I gave him permission to spend the day with the family of one of his friends on the condition that he be back at 9:00 that night. When he wasn’t home by 9:30 I went looking for him getting madder by the minute. I couldn’t find him anywhere but when I got home at 10:00 I found him in my driveway waiting for me. When he tried to explain I cut him off, grounded him for like a hundred years, and went to bed. The next day he talked with “Mom” and told her the story. She intervened for him asking me to hear him out. At that point I had a choice … live in pride and stubbornness, or walk in faith by turning to God and being humble. Fortunately, I listened to my wife, listened to my son, and realized I had acted in anger. He was late because of something beyond his control and I apologized. The devil fled from that situation.
- “Same afflictions” … is referring to the national suffering that was unleashed against the Christians by Emperor Nero. Peter is indicating that suffering as a Christian is a common experience. All Christians are enemies of the world in some degree or another.
- “Brethren” … the Greek tense Peter uses here indicates “brotherhood”. It is used only by Peter in this particular way although the word “brethren” is used a lot. Peter also uses it in 2:17. We are together in this … possibly another way of encouraging the meeting together in a local body of believers.
- The first directive is to be watchful and aware of the devil.
- The second directive is to resist the devil by walking in faith.
The third directive is to recognize God’s purpose for suffering.
3. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
- “God of all grace” … This is the only time this phrase is used in the New Testament. It is a beautiful phrase. It reminds us that we are rightly related to God only by his grace … both when we begin and also when we walk. Nothing we do gives us any merit or special favor.
- “Who hath called us” … this is referring to the calling to salvation that God gives to the world.
- “Eternal glory” … this is our salvation. We are saved from judgment (death) and passed into eternal glory (life) which is everlasting life to be with God the father in fellowship. It is eternal. Peter has mentioned this five times already (1:17; 4:11; 4:13; 5:1; 5:4).
- “Suffered a little” … this life is temporary, and short, but glory is forever. God allows the present temporary suffering to purify our faith. In other words, to grow us up.
- “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot
- “Perfect” … refers to maturity, growing up. A sign of maturity is not running away from problems.
- “Stablish” … make firm and solid.
- “Strengthen” … equip for active service.
- “Settle” … lay a foundation.
- Think of planting a tomato.
Stablish – plant it.
Strengthen – tie it up.
Settle – let it settle in and grow.
- It is interesting to note an analogy to II Tim 3:16 in what the Word does in our lives.
Reproof and Correction (strengthen?)
- In my experience, tribulations and the Word of God work together. As tribulations drive me to the feet of Jesus I am open to hearing what he has to say. “Before I was afflicted I went astray.” Psa 119:67
- “To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever” - This last phrase is a doxology … an ending conclusion to what he is saying. God uses suffering to draw us closer to him. It takes us right back to I Peter 1:7. Yes? Amen!
Here are the three directives that Peter leaves the Church about how to battle the enemy:
1. Be sober and vigilant … be alert and knowledgeable about how Satan works.
2. Resist Satan … walk in faith
3. Know the purpose of suffering … it matures us in the faith.
The rest of the book is basically just signing off. If we were writing a letter today, we would say “Yours truly” or something similar. Peter tells them that …
- He sent the letter by Brother Silvanus (who is the same man in Acts called Silas)
- That he shared things that are true (Yours truly?)
- That the church in Babylon (most likely a code name for Rome that a Jewish audience would immediately recognize) sends greetings
- May God bless you in love and peace