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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

May 15, 2013

1 Peter 5:8-14

  1. In the previous lesson we were discussing the idea that the believer has to learn how to humbly submit to God showing God that their full trust is in Him and not themselves. Learning how to submit to God will help us to overcome any of our persecutions, trials and troubles because no pressure coming down on us is greater that the God that is lifting us up. It is my belief that God oftentimes allows for trials to teach us that total dependence on him is the only way to really live.

  2. Verse 8-9. Peter teaches the church that during these trials they must stay sober minded or self-controlled and alert. They must live with their guard up because the enemy is relentless. I asked myself why would Peter move from his discussion of humility to being on guard against the evil one. Then I realized that this might have something to do with how lions hunt. Lions like to chase and find the one that is weak and separated from the herd. The lions look for the one who is independent of the herd. Arrogance is a sign that the devil looks to exploit. Arrogance and independence from God are signs of an easy kill for the enemy. Humility is a sign of God-dependence and spiritual strength in the eyes of the devil. The devil would rather seek to devour the weak amongst us.

    1. The real weak among us are those who are arrogant and self-dependent. These are the folks who are relying on themselves and not God. Their strength is found in their flesh and their flesh can be easily shaken at the sound of a roaring lion. The young (not old) lions roar as they pursue their prey and after they have captured it. In this mode of attack, the lion wants his prey to know he is in pursuit. Fear is a part of his plan of attack. A frightened prey is a more likely catch. After the prey is caught, it is devoured, while the lion roars to let all the other creatures know of his victory. The boldness and confidence of the lion is likened to the aggressive confidence of Satan, who vainly believes he is invincible. Their faith is shaken at the sound of danger. The weak are taken out of character when someone just says the wrong thing or things don’t go like they planned. This is why the strong must look out for the weak.

    2. Spiritual strength is not characterized by the world’s standard. The strongest among us might resemble someone who is weak by world standards. So Peter encourages us to be on the lookout for the devil and his helpers who are just looking for someone to trick and deceive. Peter tells the church that the prescription for the devil’s attacks is resistance as opposed to submission. The church was told that there are some things they should submit to, but here Peter tells them what to resist. The devil seeks to exploit our weakness by luring us in to se1f-dependence knowing our flesh is weak. So we must stay close to God and stand firm in our faith.

    3. This is not only a message to this church, but a message to remind the church that others are going through the same things. If they can resist the devil so can you. When we suffer, we are tempted to think our situation is unique, that no one has ever faced the difficulties we are facing. We may think we are alone in our suffering, but we should be comforted and encouraged when we realize saints around the world are also suffering-some much more than us-and they too are standing fast, firm in their faith. We can pray for one another that we will stand firm as we suffer, looking to the cross where our Savior suffered and died for us. Our faith silences Satan’s temptation for us to doubt God.

  3. Verses 10-11. Peter helps us see that while Satan seeks to destroy us, God sovereignly actually uses his opposition to further His purposes and strengthen our faith. As Peter has already shown, trials and suffering are the means by which our faith is proven (1 Peter 1:7). Now, he will say so again. Suffering is the means by which God-the God of all grace-perfects, confirms, strengthens, and establishes us (1 Peter 5:10). The very trials which may appear to be the means Satan employs for our destruction are the means God employs for our deliverance and development. Behind the opposition of unbelievers stands Satan seeking to devour us, and behind Satan stands God, sure to perfect and purify us.

  4. Verses 12-14. Peter closes this letter out, thanking Silas for either taking the letter to the church or writing down what Peter dictated to him. It is another sign that the gospel is not a single player sport, but a team effort. Peter also states that his letter is a reminder of what the true grace of God is about and that the believers are called to stand firm in their faith for the gospel sake. Peter gives some more greetings and reminds the church to show hospitality and courtesy to one another. This is the meaning of a kiss or brotherly kiss. This is a common gesture, but Peter probably means for the gesture to symbolize the connection that believers should have with one another in love, friendship, fellowship and support.

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