This teaching on 1 Peter 5 vs 5-14 was given by pastor Barry Forder at Calvary Chapel Portsmouth on 20th September 2020.
In this final study of Peter’s first letter, Peter closes his instructions on order within the church by encouraging the spiritually younger believers to submit to those with greater spiritual maturity.
That is not to say that those young in the faith have nothing to contribute, on the contrary, every part of the body is of equal importance, but God is the one who calls, raises up and enables. Enthusiasm is no substitute for calling! – just look at the account of Moses in Exodus 2:11-14 when he set about trying to deliver his people by his own efforts compared to his reaction when God actually called him to do this in Exodus 3:11.
Before God can use us we must come to the place where we get to the end of our natural resources, our own ability, our own sense of self importance, and come to the place of complete dependence on God. Zeal is good! The message of the Gospel is life changing and should be proclaimed, but just as with Peter’s admonition to submit to the government and those in authority, and for for employees to submit to employers, and wives to submit to the own husbands, so Peter is clear that the spiritually younger are to submit to the spiritually older.
Peter is speaking from experience (as he does with everything he says). Peter had been ready to do battle with the Jewish leaders and the whole Roman army if necessary, when he drew his sword in Gethsemane. Peter had boldly declared “Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death” (Luke 22:33). Within a matter of hours, Peter had denied even knowing Jesus to a young girl in a courtyard around a fire.
In regard to ministry it is very simple. Wait on the LORD, He will raise you up in His timing. Do not despise the day of small beginnings (Zech 4:10), sometimes we are so keen to get somewhere (a promotion or position we feel we deserve or have earned) we forget that it is on the journey so much of our leaning and growing is done.
Oswald Chambers said: “We are apt to imagine that if Jesus Christ constrains us, and we obey Him, He will lead us to great success. We must never put our dreams of success as God’s purpose for us; His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal; He is not. The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident. What we call the process, God calls the end” (My Utmost for His Highest).
“For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another”. Psalm 75:3
Peter then continues by admonishing all believers to submit to each other – there is no place for pride or ego in Christ’s church. We are to be clothed with humility – for our protection and as a witness to others. It is an unwelcome sight to see a Christian pushing their way forward to get the top seat at the table. That is the world’s way, but it is not becoming a servant of Jesus Christ. Peter had seen this ‘vying for position’ even amongst the disciples (see Luke 22:24-26 / Luke 9:46-48 / Mark 10:35-37 / Luke 14:7-11) , and here tells us that God Himself will actually resist the proud, but Hs gives more Grace to the humble – that is, those who are willing to be humble before Him and accept the boundaries He as set, to accept without mummering and complaining the situation we find ourselves in, knowing that He is good and knows what is best for us!
May you be blessed and encouraged by this teaching.