Setting

This passage may be considered the climax of the epistle. After Peter has called the believers to imitate Christ’s sufferings, He now asks them to turn their eyes towards the glory that has been bestowed on them and the glory that awaits them. Just as he opened his epistle with the reminder of the wonderful grace of salvation, He concludes His exhortations by pointing to the glorious blessings of God. Throughout the passage, Peter also assures us of the faithfulness and grace of God, who cares for us during trials and will Himself exalt us in due time.

Key Verse

(5:10)

Did You Know...?

1. Be clothed (5:5): This expression “refers to a slave putting on an
apron before serving.” [ref]

Outline

  • Joy in Suffering
    (4:12-19)
  • Service of Elders
    (5:1-4)
  • Submission and Humility
    (5:5-7)
  • Sobriety and Endurance
    (5:8-11)
  • Final Greetings
    (5:12-14)

General Analysis

  • 1.

    Record what the following verses teach about God’s glory: a. 4:13 b. 4:14 c. 4:16 d. 5:1 e. 5:4 f. 5:10 g. 5:11

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Segment Analysis

  • 4:12-19

    1.

    What does verse 12 indicate about a common misconception of trials? What, instead, should be our attitude towards trials?

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    If we think that Christians do not have to suffer, we will be caught by surprise when fiery trials come upon us. The Bible clearly teaches that Christians will go through trials and must be ready for them at all times (Mt 16:24-25; Acts 14:22; 1Thess 3:3; 1Pet 5:9)

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  • 2a.

    In what sense do we “partake of Christ’s sufferings” when we go through fiery trials?

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    The Scripture considers suffering for the name of Christ a participation in Christ’s sufferings (cf. Rom 8:17; 2Cor 1:5-7; Phil 3:10). The Lord Himself suffered for righteousness’ sake when He was in the world, and His name continues to be hated by the world. Thus, when the world persecutes or insults us because we are Christians, it is in fact persecuting and insulting Christ, and we are partakers of His suffering (Jn 15:18; Acts 9:1-4).

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  • 2b.

    In our trials, why is it important to remind ourselves that we are partaking of Christ’s sufferings?

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    If we remember that we are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, we will consider suffering for His name an honor and a privilege (cf. Acts 5:41).

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  • 3.

    Why is it a blessing to be reproached for the name of Christ (14)?

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    We are blessed because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon us. We may suffer in the flesh, but we have God’s glory in the spirit.

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  • 4a.

    What is the judgment that comes to the house of God?

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    The judgment that begins at the house of God refers to the sufferings that believers undergo. Unlike the judgment that will come to sinners and brings condemnation, God’s judgment on His house comes in the form of fatherly discipline, which results in righteousness and peace (Heb 12:4-11).

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  • 4b.

    Why does Peter bring up the subject of judgment here (17-18)? How does it relate to the suffering of Christians?

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    Peter wants the believers to realize the terrible judgment that will come to those who persecute them now. Believers in suffering may question why they have to suffer while the ungodly live in prosperity. But they should know that their temporary sufferings, which is God’s judgment on His house, set them apart from the world and will spare them from the condemnation in the future. With this in mind, believers should persevere and commit themselves to God (cf. 19).

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  • 5a.

    In our suffering, why should we remember that God is the “faithful Creator”?

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    The term “faithful Creator” reminds us of two things about God. First, He is our Creator, and thus He cares about us. Second, He is a faithful God. In our sufferings, it is a great assurance to remember that God cares about us and that He will faithfully carry us through and give us His glory.

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  • 5b.

    How do we commit our souls to God in our sufferings?

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    To commit our souls to God means continuing in good deeds (19). In other words, we should wait patiently for God’s vindication rather than repay evil with evil (cf. 2:23).

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  • 5:1-4

    6.

    Note the references to Christ in this paragraph and explain their significance in the exhortation to the elders.

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    Verse 1 speaks of the sufferings of Christ. As a witness of the sufferings of Christ, who laid down His life for His sheep, Peter encourages elders to likewise serve God’s flock with a willing and sacrificial spirit. In verse 4, Peter calls Christ the Chief Shepherd. Being shepherds of God’s flock, elders are accountable to the Chief Shepherd, for the believers have been “entrusted” to them (3). Not only so, they are serving the Chief Shepherd, who will reward them with the crown of glory when He appears (4).

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  • 7a.

    What attitudes should the elders have?

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    Shepherds of the flock must be willing to serve, with no intention of dishonest gain. Instead of exalting themselves or ruling over others, they must lead the flock by their good examples.

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  • 7b.

    As a spiritual overseer, whether you are an elder, deacon, pastor, parent, teacher, counselor, or youth leader, what aspects are you lacking in your service?

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  • 5:5-7

    8a.

    Why is humility necessary in order for us to submit to one another?

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    If a person thinks too highly of himself and considers himself better than others, he would not be able to submit to others.

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  • 8b.

    How is submission to one another related to submission to God?

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    Submission to one another is in essence submission to God because it is God who has placed us in His flock and commanded us to submit to one another in humility. This is why Peter follows up the command to submit to one another with the exhortation to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God (6).

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  • 8c.

    What assurance do we have when we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God? Have you enjoyed this blessing in your service and in your walk with God?

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    The assurance is in knowing that He will exalt us in due time (6). Furthermore, the assurance is in knowing that while we endure sufferings now, we can cast our care upon God because He cares for us (7). When we endeavor to obey God’s will, we often have to suffer. But we should remind ourselves that submission to God’s will is an expression of trust in God, who cares deeply about us. Even though submission may involve suffering, we can rest assured and be patient, knowing that if we surrender ourselves to His sovereign will, He will take up our cares and troubles, and will lift us up in due time. With this in mind, our Christian life and humble service will be a joy rather than a burden.

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  • 5:8-11

    9a.

    What does verse 8 tell us about the devil?

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    He is our adversary. Like a roaring lion, he walks about to seek whom he may devour. The devil is our spiritual enemy who takes every opportunity to make us his prey. He does so through temptations, persecutions, or false teachings.

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  • 9b.

    What must we do to overcome him?

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    We need to be sober and vigilant (8), and we should resist him with steadfast faith (9). Rather than setting our minds on pleasure and secular commitments, we must put on the whole armor of God by equipping ourselves daily with spiritual qualities and discipline (Eph 6:10-18). When we face temptations, we must not succumb to our environment but fight our evil desires by depending on the Lord’s power.

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  • 10a.

    How is God identified in verse 10? How is this important in the exhortations on suffering?

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    He is the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus. God, who has given us all good things, has predestined us for glory in Christ. If God loves us so much to even give us His own Son and has called us to His glory, He will surely keep us during our painful trials (cf. Rom 8:28-39).

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  • 10b.

    What will God do for us after we have suffered a while?

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    He will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle us (10). After our temporary trials, God Himself will make us spiritually complete, not lacking anything (cf Jas 1:4), and He will also enable us to stand firm in our faith.

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