Monday, April 10, 2023

2023.04.10 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Peter 5:1–4

Read 1 Peter 5:1–4

Questions from the Scripture text: Whom is the apostle addressing (1 Peter 5:1)? What type of address is it? What does he call himself? To what two things is he a witness? Whose sufferings, and Whose glory are they? What is the primary (one-word) command of 1 Peter 5:2? What does he call the congregation? Whose flock are they? Where is this flock? What are the elders to do as overseers? What sort of service are elders to provide? What three characteristics must NOT mark this overseeing (1 Peter 5:2-3)? What three characteristics MUST mark it instead? If the shepherds are examples to the sheep, what does this remind us that the shepherds themselves are? So, what is Christ called in 1 Peter 5:4? What will the undershepherds receive when he appears? What will not happen to this glory? 

How does Christ bring Christians to glory?  1 Peter 5:1–4 follows up upon the morning sermon from this past Lord’s Day and helps prepare for the next one. In these four verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that Christ, the Chief Shepherd who suffered and was glorified, is bringing His sheep through suffering into glory, in part by oversight from other sheep who count both the suffering and the glory worthwhile in Christ.

Going to glory. The apostle does not lord it over the elders to whom he writes. He calls himself a “fellow elder” in 1 Peter 5:1. He is “also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed.” His instructions to the elders are the path by which they “will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.” And then, having widened his audience in 1 Peter 5:5 to include the rest of the church, he reminds them that “the God of all grace [has] called us to His eternal glory” (1 Peter 5:10).  It is unto this God that “the glory” is due and will be forever and ever (1 Peter 5:11). 

Here is great incentive for us to pay attention and put into practice what the apostle describes in this passage. When he says, “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6), He is not just telling us that if we humble ourselves for a time, the Lord will raise us out of it. Rather. He is telling us that this humbling of ourselves is the path by which He has determined to raise us all the way up to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus!

Shepherding and shepherded along the path. Jesus is the “Chief Shepherd;” it’s His appearing to which 1 Peter 5:4 refers. His people are referred to as “the flock” in verse 4. The devil, who seeks to devour them, is described as “a roaring lion” in 1 Peter 5:8. But the Chief Shepherd has a plan by which the church “resists” this lion (1 Peter 5:9). Not only does the flock stick together along the path, but He has given them elders whose task to is to “shepherd the flock of God” by “overseeing.”

If you are a Christian, where will your life end up? Who is taking you there? Who are the specific men, at this point in your life, that the Chief Shepherd is using to do so? What roles do you have in the church and in your home? How do the instructions to your elders here apply to your own roles?

Sample prayer:  Lord, thank You for the glory to which You are bringing us, and for the suffering that it has cost You. Thank You also for shepherding us through our own sufferings along the way. Grant unto us to fulfill our roles in Your church in a way that reflects Your own love for Your flock, which we ask in Jesus’s Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH433 “Amazing Grace”

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