-Peter concludes the short letter of exhortation and declaration of the true grace of God (1 Peter 5:12) by speaking to directly to the elders of the church. As a fellow elder, witness of Christ’s sufferings, and future partaker in His glory, Peter instructs to “shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion (force, pressure, coercion, obligation), but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain (a hoarder, selfish), but eagerly; not domineering (becoming a master) over those in your charge, but being examples (role models) to the flock (1 Peter 5:2-3).” In doing this, when the Chief Shepherd, who is Jesus Christ, appears, the leaders will receive the unfading crown of glory for righteous oversight in the House and Family of God (1 Peter 5:4). *Application* Oversight in the church must be handled correctly with humility and righteousness. Not many should become teachers because they will incur a stricter judgment in their leading of others (James 3:1). To handle the church of the Living God, these principles must be followed with devotion and introspection. This will ensure fruitful ministry for you and those you lead. Grow into these virtues and become the leader God wants you to be.
-Now Peter addresses younger members of the Body of Christ. They are to be subject to their elders with humility, dignity, and respect for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5).” The promise is given that if we humble ourselves under the mighty Hand of God that He will exalt us at the proper time (1 Peter 5:6). We can cast all of our anxieties (worries, fears, cares, apprehension) onto Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). In life, we need to walk circumspectly (Ephesians 5:15) as sober-minded and watchful because our enemy, the devil, is prowling around like a roaring (angry) lion, seeking someone to devour. We are to resist him being firm in our faith and knowing that our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world are experiencing the same kinds of suffering throughout the world. After we have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory in Christ, will “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish” us in His dominion (1 Peter 5:8-11). *Application* Our humility in the process of sanctification is paramount. Endurance is also very key as we see in this passage. When God comes through, and He always will if you remain faithful, you will see the following happen as a promise by the Lord Himself. You will be restored, which means you have new hope in the proper order of things. You will be confirmed, which means you will be deep-rooted and complete in authority. You will be strengthened, which means you are no longer weak and helpless. With Christ at your side and you are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37) and have power in the spiritual realm (Ephesians 3:20). You will finally be established, which means you have the enduring qualities with a strong foundation. God intends for us to be strong in Him by the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10). He is our rescue, so keep looking to Him in times of distress and suffering. This too shall pass!
Verse to Memorize: 1 Peter 5:6-8, 10