First Peter 5 Bible Study Guide

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Here is a quick Bible study guide on 1 Peter chapter 5.  Add any comments you think that I missed and should have included.

Introduction

The Book of 1st Peter is an excellent book that is just as relevant today as the day that it was written and still speaks to us and can help us in our daily walk with God.  It is helpful for pastors, elders, deacons, church leaders and the entire congregation and I hope to show you why I believe this is so.  The Word of God is timeless and abides forever and can help us grow in our knowledge of the Holy One and so let’s get into the 5th chapter of 1st Peter.

First Peter 5 Bible Study Guide

Peter’s Exhortation to the Church

1 Peter 5:1-3 “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed:  shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.”

Peter equates an elder as a pastor or shepherd and gives instructions to them, advising them to exercise oversight but not under compulsion but out of love and so doing it willingly.  This is how “God would have” them exercise their oversight of the local flock. It is clearly not for money’s sake but as part of their calling.  When Peter words it “shameful gain” he is essentially saying that they’re not in it for the money but they’re also not to be domineering over those whom God has set them over.  They are to be examples to the flock where Christ has placed them as being an under-shepherd to the Great Shepherd and a good shepherd always feeds the flock on a steady diet of the Word of God.

Clothed with Humility

1 Peter 5:5-7 “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

Peter instructs the younger believers to show respect by being in subjection to the elders and instructs all of the church, including the elders and pastors, to be clothed in “humility toward one another” because God will resist the proud and gives grace only to those who are humble and contrite in spirit.  If a person willingly humbles themselves God will exalt them someday.  The opposite is naturally true; if a person exalts themselves, God will surely humble them. It is better to humble ourselves than to have God do it for us.  One is a lot less painful.  The Greek word for “opposes” is not just being opposed too but as the Greek “antitassō” means “to range in battle against” so if we’re proud, God is literally ranging in battle against us.  That will not turn out well.  Finally, He says that we should be casting all of our cares upon Him – all and not most. The Greek word used for casting is “epiriptō” and means “to throw upon” or “place upon” which shows that we are not able to bear or carry our own anxieties.

Satan, the Prowling Roaring Lion

1 Peter 5:8-9 “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”

Peter is not addressing drunkenness in being “sober-minded” but being sober or serious-minded because we have an archenemy, the Devil, who is like a lion in the wild.  Satan is roaming or prowling about, crouching and hiding, ready to spring upon any of us in an instant.  Who are the most vulnerable?  It is those who are separated from the flock and the ones who are hurting or injured from the sufferings that we all endure in our Christian walk.  The flock, which is overseen by the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ, is the only place that provides safety and protection and this protection is critical because Satan is “seeking someone to devour” right now, as I write this and as you read this.  The Christian life is not a solo act but must be one in which we are growing together, praying for one another, and encouraging one another.  Finally, we can resist him if we remain “firm in the faith” and this standing firm comes from the knowledge “that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your” brothers and sisters “throughout the world.”  That is, you are not alone in this but in very good company.

Your Source of Strength

1 Peter 5:10-11 “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Peter doesn’t say “if we suffer a little while” but “after you have suffered a little while” which means that we will all suffer to some extent.  Peter is trying to encourage the church by telling us that our suffering is only for “a little while” which gives us hope because Christ “has called [us] to his eternal glory” so that one day this will all be behind us.  It is Christ Himself who will “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” meaning that it is not within us to do it for ourselves.

Final Farewell

1 Peter 5:12-14 “By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it.  She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son.  Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.”

Peter apparently sent this epistle (letter) by Silvanus to the church and is exhorting them, and by extension us, to stand firm.  The image is that of a Roman Soldier who stands firm, with feet spread slightly and firmly holding his ground for the spiritual battle that we are all in at the present time.  Surely the victory has been won by Christ at Calvary, but like any war that has already been decided, there are still skirmishes until the pockets of resistance are finally cleared out.

Conclusion

The fifth chapter of 1st Peter is a chapter that still has meaning for us today, but really, what part of Scripture doesn’t?  We need to be staying in the Word of God on a daily basis, casting all of our anxieties on Christ, clothing ourselves continually in humility, and standing firm because Satan and his minions are on the prowl and looking for those stragglers who are most vulnerable.  May God give us all wisdom in these things.

More interesting reading for you: Apostle Peter Biography

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Jansen January 7, 2015 at 9:54 am

Amen, your so right that this is a message for all. After all we are all ministers of some sorts, be it in a church, work, home, etc… we all have a message to share. His message. As He feeds us with His word, it is overflowing from us unto the lives around us.
Thank you Jack

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Jack Wellman January 7, 2015 at 9:57 am

Thank you so much Mr. Jansen for your kind words. Yes, we do have a message to share and for some reason, Bill Bright said, that only 2% of believers share their faith with non-believers which for me, for so many years, I was in that 98 percentile. Your so encouraging my friend.

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Jack H January 7, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Well, if it isn’t Pastor Jack himself! Did you have a merry Christmas and a happy new year? 🙂

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Jack Wellman January 7, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Well if it’s not, then its another case of identify theft! LOL 🙂 Yes, I had a great Christmas and you Jack? Hope you did. Good to hear from you my brother.

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Donna February 7, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Great article Jack!
Well explained…some simple, but very important points made. The simple points can sometimes be overlooked in our walk with God, but there are just as important, if not more important as they often form the foundation of our everyday living in which other parts of God’s scripture build upon.

We are all shepherds to others whoever we are, and wherever God places us.

I agree that 1 Peter 5 is an interesting study; and your article has given me much to remember. Good stuff Jack, as always!

God bless you xxx

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Jack Wellman February 7, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Donna…I see that you have such a gift for encouragement. Something you wrote really impacted me so well…it blessed my heart when you wrote “We are all shepherds to others whoever we are, and wherever God places us.” That is so very, very true. In this way we are all ministers of the gospel and God holds us responsible. I love the two books of Peter because he gives us very practical and godly advice and his words are good to put into application in my own life, where I fall way, way short. Thank you my sister in Christ. You lift my spirits for sure…as you always seem to do. I thank God for you Donna…quite literally in my prayers!

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Donna February 7, 2015 at 5:17 pm

Jack…me bless your heart? and i’m in your prayers?
You are so kind to me Jack 🙂

The comment about the shepherding came straight onto the page, without a thought…isn’t it amazing that God does things like this through us!!! It amazing me every time!!!

We should always seek to draw close to God and do His Will, as He honours us, and so many blessing come our way. Just by writing a comment, something I said touched you…isn’t that so powerful…and unbelievably wonderful?

We can never be sure of the impact, sometimes life-changing something we say to, or do for someone can be. The smallest seed, can yield great fruit, whether or not we ever get to see it actually ripen!

Praise be to Our God, whom with all the words He has given us, cannot fully be described not praised…His greatest is just too great for human lips to speak!

Sometimes words just don’t seem to be enough 🙁

I praise God for the special language He has given me, as through this I feel much freedom to praise, thank and generally talk with Him.

After years of feeling trapped with finding the words to talk and explain myself, God has granted me freedom through Christ, my Lord and Saviour. His gifts are treasures in my life and heart…treasure to share abundantly with all who come across my path and who come alongside of me. The gifts bestowed upon us, have great responsibility, yet great reward – they have the ability to transform the world (especially collectively) – and what greater reward is there than that – except salvation of course 🙂

God is sooooooo good!
May we always praise Him throughout our day. For He gives us more than we can ever realise.

You encourage me also Jack so much – thank you!
My love to you, my Brother in Christ,
And everyone at this end knows that this love comes with many hugs also!!! (I’m famous for my hugs this end…everyone gets one…or more)

Hugs,
Your Sister in Christ,
Donna xxx

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Jack Wellman February 7, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Thank you as well Donna. One tiny word can make all the difference for example, if you look in the Bible for the words “but God” there are wonderful things that follow and many things that we can’t even fathom in our finite minds. Like the salvation you mentioned which is of infinite value that came at an infinite price…Jesus own blood. Wow. God is so good and so amazing.

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Donna February 8, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Amen Jack! Amen to that!

You mentioned the “but God…” found in scripture; now you have mentioned that I am going to, God-Willing, search abd study those parts of the Bible which have that phrase in.

The Bible is indeed a treasure trove of wonder, excitement and pure Spirit-touching truth that powerfully transforms and builds up us for the battle ahead, in our each and every single day.

I have recently moved into a house share (I rent a bedroom within a house and share some of the other facilities) with a Sikh / Hindu family. I felt God chose this place for me, and felt that I should move in despite the fact I knew that I would be walking into satan’s territory. I knew that I would be walking into a spiritual battle…and having moved in, they (satan and his demons) have made it clear on many occasions either directly with me, or indirectly working through the family, that I am not welcome in this house. I expected it really, and knew I had to accept the call, and take up the challenge. It is hard, but God is teaching me very quickly. This first month has been quite a month, feeling at times as if I have been being spiritually attacked from inside and outside at the same time, it caused me all sorts of physical symptoms, and of course I am glad that is over now. It is amazing that something that feels so bad, is done with willingness and perseverance, because you know that you are serving The Lord. I know I am here in this house for a purpose; I may not know yet what that purpose is, but it is great to be serving Him, and that He has chosen me for such a task.

People often don’t seem to understand how important reading the Bible is, yet to those who do read it, much is gained, and obedience really does pay off. You honour God, and He honours you. You trust in Him and blessings rain down.

God is sooooooo good.
I could go on all night Jack!

Thank you for your encouragement Jack.
I haven’t been a Christian tha long; and to have feedback and encouragement and to also share our excitement of The Lord is so liberating and freeing, and building-up for me.

I enjoy talking with you Jack – thank you!

Much love, and God blessings upon your ministry,
You are a blessing to me, and I pray that God bring to you all He knows that you can use your gifts for Jack, because you are gifted in your writing. May many gain much in their walk with and search for God.

Your Sister In Christ,
Hugs,
Donna xxx

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Jack Wellman February 8, 2015 at 7:07 pm

Thank you again too Donna. The thing is about God is how He can use broken, empty vessels and do this for His glory and people must say…”Well, it had to be God in it or else….” I know that I would rather be being attacked for my faith than to never have any persecution because for one thing, we miss out on being blessed for being persecuted and insulted for His sake…and also, we must be living it out for the Enemy doesn’t hate or attack those Christians who are undergrown witnesses who never share it.

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