I Peter 5:6-11

(A Bible Study Led by Dr. Larry Reynolds)

January 9, 2013

 

1.      The word “attitude” has been described as the most important word in the English language...as much as any other factor, our attitude impacts the quality of our lives and the lives of those whom we come in contact...

--a person with a bad attitude can be miserable and make other people miserable, even in the best of circumstances...

--a person with a good attitude can be happy and make other people happy, even in very difficult circumstances...

2.      Attitude also impacts our health...it has long been known that people who are hostile and quick to anger have an increased risk of heart disease...a study was reported to the American Heart Association which indicates that people who are able to find humor in otherwise irritating circumstances have a reduced risk of heart disease...

3.      The study was conducted by Dr. Michael Miller and some of his colleagues of the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore Maryland...Dr. Miller was quoted as saying that his study was the first “...to demonstrate a link between laughter and heart disease...” [DMN]…he reported that people who laugh frequently and exuberantly appear to protect themselves from heart attack...in other words, according to this study, a good attitude not only adds to the quality of our lives, it can also add to the length of our lives...

4.      In this session we are going to explore a portion of God’s Word in 1 Peter that has a lot to say to us about attitude... I Peter 5:6-11...these verses spell out for us four things that God’s people should “be”…

 

 

I.       God’s people should be humble


1.   Look at the first pharse in v.6..."Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God..." ..in Peter's day, as in our day, humility viewed more of vice than virtue...world exalted those who were assertive/hard‑driving/tenacious...motto of that day and ours not "humble yourself" but "assert yourself"...

2.   Not that way in realm of God's kingdom...for God's people, humility is absolutely essential...there are two dimensions to humility...

  i.       First, we are to be humble in relation to God...that is the emphasis of this paragraph...we are to live in the constant awareness of our complete, total dependence upon God...notice that v.6 says to humble selves "under mighty hand of God"...common OT phrase used in connection with God's protection and deliverance of his people.. beautiful/encouraging thought...idea is that God's mighty hand is on lives of those people who faithfully and humbly submit to him..as one writer put it: "THE CHRISTIAN NEVER RESENTS THE EXPERIENCES OF LIFE, AND NEVER REBELS AGAINST THEM, BECAUSE HE KNOWS THAT THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD IS ON THE TILLER OF HIS LIFE, AND THAT GOD HAS A DESTINY FOR HIM." 

  ii.    Second, we are to humble in relation to each other...the previous paragraph stresses this type of humility...v.5 in the previous paragraph instructs us to “clothe yourselves with humility toward one another...”...the word “clothe” literally means to tie a piece of cloth to one’s body...refers to way slaves would identify selves in 1st century world... would tie white scarf or apron over clothing so that everyone would know they were slaves...Christians are to where a scarf of humility so the world will know we belong to Christ...

 

1.      Jesus was the perfect example of humility both toward God and others...

--in relation to God the Scripture tells us He "humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross..."

--in relation to others Jesus said He came “not to be served but to serve and give His life a ransom for many...”

And even though the world initially judged him to be a failure, we know from the perspective of history that no-one has had a greater impact on our world than did He...

 

II.  God’s people should be trustful


1.   I love I Peter 5:7...it’s one of the great statements in the Bible about trusting God...tells us to cast "...all your cares (anxiety) upon him, because he cares for you."...there are three significant things about that statement want you to see:  

i. "casting" ‑ Tense of verb suggests single decisive action...in decisive act of commitment the burdens are to be given God and no longer carried by us.. sometimes not very good at doing that...word means "to throw upon" ...give them to God and no longer carry them...         

ii. "anxiety/care" ‑ Tells what cast upon Lord...not the situation or trouble we're told get rid of...it's the anxiety caused by situation...some situations in life from which no way of escape...for example, can't undo death of loved one...but, the anxiety and burden caused by that death can be cast upon Lord...

iii. "he cares for you" ‑ Tells why can cast cares upon Lord...expresses belief unique/distinctive to Christianity..other religions with their sacrifices and ceremonies are pre‑occupied with business of getting their god's attention and making them care.. however, Christianity begins with premise and is built upon premise that God does care...

 

1.   Don't know a more comforting and encouraging verse in Bible than I Peter 5:7...it's a reminder that no matter what we may have to face, we have God who is completely trustworthy and we can depend on Him no matter what we face in life...

 

 

III.  God’s people are to be alert

1.   Look at v.8...”Be of sober spirit be on the alert.  Our adversary, the devil prowls about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour...”...we must never forget that we are in a spiritual war...have very formidable enemy in this war...

2.   V.8...two words used describe enemy..."adversary"=opponent in law suit..."devil" means slanderer or false accuser...both suggests a malicious enemy who makes false accusations against us...and Peter warns us not underestimate strength of our adversary...

 


1.   Many athletic contest lost because team failed take opponent seriously...many battle lost when military strategists underestimated strength and will of foes...and many a life and church ruined because people simply refused take seriously the attacks of Satan upon the people of God..

2.   Have enemy who always active...always looking for someone to use...always seeking to sow seeds of discord and break the fellowship among God's people..and we'd better take that adversary seriously...

 

1.   Can't help but think Peter thinking of own experience when wrote these words...time in his life when had too much confidence in own ability and under estimated strength of adversary...you remember the story...boldly proclaimed loyalty...shortly thereafter betrayed...

2.   And now from his own sad experience saying, "Be alert. Don't let guard down. Remember you have a strong adversary."...then I see a fourth “Be-Attitude” here want to mention in summary way...

 

IV.  God’s people are to be strong

  1. Look at v.9...”But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethern who are in the world...”...if you’ll look at that verse carefully, you’ll see in says our strength against our spiritual adversary comes from two sources...

--first, our strength comes from our relationship with God...it is our “faith” (meaning our faith in God) which enables us to stand against our spiritual adversary...

--second, we draw strength from our fellow believers who are experiencing what we experience...that’s why Christian fellowship is so important...you can never be the strong, growing, vibrant Christian God wants you to be apart from meaningful relationships with other believers...we need each other!!...

                                            CONCLUSION

  1. Be humble...trustful...alert...strong...don’t know a better formula for living as God desires us to live than that...

  2. And if we do those things, look at what v.10 says God will do for us..."And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you."

3.   What wonderful promise...if do what God desires, He will "perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish" us...while wealth meaning in each of those four words, primary idea is God will provide for every need we have....

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