1 Peter 5 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
I think there are a total of five crowns referred to in the New Testament that believers can receive. Our salvation is 100% dependent on what Jesus did for us, but the Bible does teach that there will be different rewards in Heaven. I’m not sure exactly how that plays out, but the concept is undeniable. Of course, the least-rewarded position in Heaven will be awesome beyond description and infinitely better than the least-miserable position in Hell, but if God teaches that there are rewards in Heaven then it must be true.
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
The line “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” is from Proverbs 3:34 and is quoted in James 4:6 and here in 1 Peter. God only has to say something once for it to be 100% true, but it is interesting to note when a theme is repeated. Note that we don’t start out humble.
We need to clothe ourselves with humility and humble ourselves. I don’t think this is a one-time activity. Pride is sin at the root of most other sins, so we need to constantly work to humble ourselves. God will lift us up when He is ready and we’ll be glad we had humbled ourselves.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
The previous passage is an excellent one to memorize. Think of the comfort it gives to know that you can “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Jesus taught many times in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and other places that we should not worry. That is hard to do. But God tells us to give him our anxieties.
Also note that the devil, Satan, is always looking for people to devour. We resist him by standing firm in our faith.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
Note that Peter acknowledges that there will be suffering for their faith but that God will make them better for it. God allows challenges in our lives to make us grow and to become more like Jesus.
Please share any comments or questions you have. Next up: The second letter from Peter in the Bible, 2 Peter.