It’s recorded in the Bible that Peter the Apostle experienced the two opposite attitudes of humility and pride. Through those experiences, he learned firsthand that God gives grace to the humble.
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 1 Peter 5:6
In verses 1-4, Peter focused on the responsibilities of church leaders and the accountability of church attendees.
Peter first addressed the church leaders, also referred to as elders. He said, “as a fellow elder, I appeal to you . . .”
- Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you.
- Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly.
- Not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.
- Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care.
- But lead them by your own good example. 1 Peter 5:2-3
These words serve as the baseline requirements for all pastors. Churches don’t hire these men and women to just do a job. They seek God’s will for who He has ordained to be there.
Those accepting the position of a pastor are fulfilling their calling from the Lord. Their call comes with responsibilities that can’t be taken lightly. God also promises them a crown.
And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor. 1 Peter 5:2-3
Accountability of Church Attendees
Peter said more to elders and about them than he did to church attendees. In fact, he only made one statement specifically to them.
In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. 1 Peter 5:4
After he made that statement, he turned his conversation to both of the groups.
And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:4
Let’s evaluate what Peter just said about pride in the church. A prideful pastor will exhibit one or more of the following symptoms.
They will do their work grudgingly. Be guilty of lording their position over others. They will also be self-serving. Thus their leadership will be anything but a good example.
On the other hand, church attendees must submit to the leadership God has provided them with. They must also be accountable to them for their actions.
God Opposes the Proud, but He Gives Grace to the Humble
Both Peter and James in their respective epistles each made that statement about the proud and the humble. In the same context, both referred to the devil. Look at what James said.
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
After Peter gave his discourse on pride and humility, his instructions were similar.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. 1 Peter 5:8-9
Because our loyalties are often divided, James continued by writing the following.
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. James 4:8
God Honors the Humble
Both of these men pointed us to the same word, honor. Peter said in today’s verse that God will lift us up in honor. This is what James said humility will bring us.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. James 4:10
As Christians, we can expect many benefits from the Lord. Most of them, however, are conditional. Just to mention a few, here are some.
- We can expect to be forgiven — if we ask for forgiveness.
- We can expect to spend eternity with the Lord — if we receive Christ as our Savior.
- All Christians can expect Satan to flee — if they stand firm in the Lord.
- We can expect God to honor us (in His time), — if we humble ourselves before the Lord.
God isn’t looking for us to humble ourselves just one time here and another time there. That might be a good start, but He is wanting us to be continually humbled before Him.
Check out this related post called How To Continually Rely On The Grace Of God.
Lord, help us to fulfill our goal of staying humbled before you. We know we can only accomplish this in the power of the Holy Spirit. We humbly submit ourselves to you.
Take time to read 1 Peter 5.
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