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Category: 1 Peter (page 1 of 5)

1 Peter 5:12-14: Purpose and Conclusion

Peter has concluded the body of his letter.  He now brings his thoughts to conclusion.  He begins by providing a succinct statement as to why he is writing and then a statement of greeting.

Peter’s Purpose

I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it -1 Peter 5:12

I have written on the purpose of 1 Peter while introducing the book (Read it here).  Peter places his purpose at the end as the final point to be made to this group of persecuted believers.  They are concerned that the persecution they have faced meant that they were outside of God’s favor.  They wondered how could someone both be in God’s grace, but at the same time face persecution.

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1 Peter 5:5-11: Submit to Elders and One Another, Be Humble and Vigilant

In 1 Peter 5:1-4 Peter addresses elders and exhorts them to shepherd well (read the article here).   Peter now addresses the whole church.

Admonition to the Younger

He begins with the younger.  Now younger here could refer to a group of people who are lesser in age, but also in context could refer to the rest of the church that does not fall into the category of “elders.”  Thus the apostle is either saying that younger (in age) Christians should submit to elders.  Or he is saying that younger (meaning all Christians not elders) should submit to elders.  I lean that he is saying the latter.  Either way Peter is continuing the theme of submission that is seen through the book (read here, here, and here) and telling a certain group of Christians to willfully yield their will to the will of another.

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1 Peter 5:1-4: A Charge to the Elders to Shepherd Well

In chapter 5 Peter turns his attention to the leaders of these churches.  His desire is to give clear instructions to the elders. Although it could be that Peter is simply speaking to older men when he addresses elders, it seems much more likely that he is referring to elders in the technical sense of church leaders.

Peter has an exhortation to give these men. Singling out a group of people for specific instructions has been a pattern throughout 1 Peter (citizens here, slaves here, wives here, and husbands here).  Singling out the elders would serve two purposes.  First, in a persecuted church strong leadership was a must.  Second, the bulk of persecution in the early church seems to have been directed at the leader of churches.  Both of these show why elders needed extra encouragement.

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1 Peter 4:12-19: Suffering as a Christian

Peter’s discussion of suffering, which he  has woven throughout 1 Peter, comes to a climax in this section.  The thread of conduct that allows us to stand firm in God’s grace (1 Peter 5:12) and the thread that suffering does not mean you are outside of God’s grace (1 Peter 5:12) are tied together in these few verses (read about the importance of 1 Peter 5:12 here).

Expect Suffering

Peter begins in verse 12 by telling them not to be surprised by suffering. He can say this plainly now because he has already established that they were called “to do good in suffer, ” that Jesus is our example in how we handle suffering, and that their Christian conduct leads to suffering (1 Peter 2:21 and 4:4).  Therefore, Peter has made it clear that the Christian life will include suffering.  Thus Christians should not be surprised when they face it.

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1 Peter 4:7-11: Conduct during Suffering

In verses 1-6 of chapter 4 Peter tells the Christians to “arm themselves” mentally for suffering.  He is convinced that this attitude will lead Christians to not only be able to deal with suffering, but also overcome sin.  He then reminds them of their old way of life that they should be avoiding.  This avoidance leads to suffering, but again Peter comforts them by reminding them that the judgment of men does not matter.  They might be judged in the flesh, but they will be judged by God alive (read more here).

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