BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday January 27, 2013
LIVING IN HUMILITY
(Advice for elders and young men)
1 Peter 5
The last week of October, each year, the world and the professed Christian Church come together in celebrating satan on Halloween, either directly, or under the guise of “Fall Festivals”, “Trunk Fest”, “Trunk or Treat”, etc., I find it very appropriate that our Sunday School Lesson is focused on 1 Peter 5. Here Peter ends his, now famous letter to the churches at Asia Minor with some strong advice to the men, both old and young, who are leaders and followers in the doctrine of CHRIST JESUS, which should automatically make them reject any ideas that are rooted in paganism and the occult.
Here in the twenty-first century, “professed Christians” so long to be “a part” of this world, instead of being “apart” from the world, that it is actually sickening and discouraging to see, for those “real Christians”, who are earnestly seeking to follow CHRIST, and are actually suffering in the world already, because of their beliefs.
However, because most professed Christians are only casually familiar with GOD’s Word, they actually lack the spiritual discernment, that is absolutely necessary, if a follower of CHRIST is to exist in a world that is clearly being dominated by the evil influences of satan. In fact, even our behavior in the modern Christian Church clearly shows us that satan has almost completely taken it over also, or, at the very least, he must surely be pressing the limits for which GOD will allow him to go in the Church.
In the final words of this letter, Peter emphasizes new responsibilities within the Christian Church, in times of trouble and pressure from the world. Here he exalts the leaders (pastors, elders, and teachers) to shepherd the people rightly, and for the young men to submit to those leaders, and, for everyone in the church to stand firm in their convictions in the faith (Vs. 1-5).
Remember, Peter is writing this letter during a chaotic time when the Roman emperor Nero was spearheading a wave of persecutions upon the followers of CHRIST JESUS. In his letter, his contrasting presentation speaks of what the motive and manner of a GODly leader, who desires to shepherd in the Christian Church, should be like.
First of all, the Christian leader “must willingly, care for the flock that GOD has entrusted to him, not doing so grudgingly, or for greedy or selfishness reasons, but rather, must simply be eager to serve GOD (v. 2). Secondly, a GODly leader does not wish to lord over his flock, but rather, he strives to lead them by his own good examples and behavior before them. That way, when the HEAD SHEPHERD (JESUS) returns, HE will reward those obedient leaders with everlasting glory and honor (v. 4).
Peter goes on to say that the younger men must accept the authority of a GODly leader, and that both should serve each other in humility. GOD sets HIMSELF against the proud, but HE shows favor to the humble. We should all humble ourselves under GOD, and when HE is ready, HE will honor us (v. 5-6).
In verses 8-9 Peter gives a final warning that we must be cautious of the devil at all times, because he is our only “true enemy”. He prowls around like a roaring lion, always looking for some person to devour. We must take a firm stand against him and all that he stands for, and we must never conform to the world that he controls, nor copy his original (i.e. Halloween) and present it up to GOD as holy, simply because we gave it another name, or added GOD’s name to it. We as church leaders should never feel like we must do something to parallel what satan is doing in the world, for that is what satan does to GOD, he always tries to parallel himself with GOD.
At some point, pastors and other church leaders must stop listening to each other, and start listening to GOD. The reason that Christian churches all end up practicing and participating in the same ungodly activities, is because they all listen to each other, and nobody listens to GOD. That is why satan only has to put his yeast into one church, especially if that church has been deemed by others to be successful. Every church wants to be like the so-called “mega church”, which, in reality, is only successful by the world’s standard of success, not by GOD’s. GOD’s criterion for success has nothing to do with “Caesar’s money”. We should render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and render unto GOD, that which is GOD’s, and please people, quit mixing the “holy” with the “profane”!. GOD tells us in HIS Word that HE hates that more than anything else we do.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website