Sermon: Standing Firm in the True Grace of God 1 Peter 5:6-14

Standing Firm in the True Grace of God

1 Peter 5:6-14

Truth Taught-We can stand firm through trials because God is sovereign and has given all who are in Christ true grace.

 

Introduction

As we close Peter’s great epistle today we should be reminded that the Apostle has spent this entire letter with one overarching theme and that is to encourage believers who are suffering on this earth that their suffering does not mean God has abandoned them but that, in fact, God is keeping them and loving them through their suffering and that current affliction in this life promotes within us true godliness.

So, Peter has shown us that two seemingly incompatible truths, namely our suffering in this life and our eternal status as God’s children. Both are true at the same time.

Throughout Peter’s letter, these truths are joined for the purpose of giving confidence to the suffering Christian.

1 Peter 1:1 (ESV)

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

1 Peter 1:3–7 (ESV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:11 (ESV)

11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.

Through out the letter Peter brings these ideas together. For God’s people, suffering always leads to glory and never means that God doesn’t love you, you’re not elect, you’re not saved etc. That’s God’s pattern that has been true for all of God’s people and it was true for Jesus and also for us.

Prayer

1 Peter 5:6–14 (ESV)

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. 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. 10 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. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

12 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. 13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with the kiss of love.

Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

  1. Stand Firm in Humility Because God is Sovereign

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.

As Christians, we are called to humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand. Here humility is focused on God’s power and authority. His mighty right hand is the phrase that means, His all-powerful authority. We are not called to humble ourselves under some made up myth or some pretend deity but literally under the Creator God who orchestrates all events in the universe.

Here’s the catch…when we humble ourselves in this world, we are setting ourselves up to be ran over by others. Humility gives the world an invitation to attack us because rather than fighting for our rights and getting even we choose to let God even the score. We will suffer as a result of being humble in the culture in which we live.

Here’s what the world does not know. This truth is what we must know if we are going to follow Christ consistently…we can humble ourselves under God’s authority because when the time is right He will exalt us. There will come a day when we will be exalted over our enemies we will be given the status that we are tempted to fight for now. It will not happen now but when the time is right. It may not even happen in our lifetime but it will happen at Christ’s return if not sooner.

When we are seeking to follow God’s command here to humble ourselves, it’s vital for our success in this endeavor to know without a doubt that God cares for us.

As Peter wrote this verse his mind was captured by the Psalmist’s words in Psalm 55. We know this because as he quotes from Psalm 55:22 the context is precisely the same. Trust God in times of trouble because He cares for us.

Psalm 55:22–23 (ESV)

22    Cast your burden on the Lord,

and he will sustain you;

       he will never permit

the righteous to be moved.

23    But you, O God, will cast them down

into the pit of destruction;

       men of blood and treachery

shall not live out half their days.

       But I will trust in you.

Peter shows us that the way David dealt with his affliction is the way God desires all His people to approach times of struggle. Trusting God in times of trial is how we cast our cares on Him. We do this when we say things like this in prayer, Father I trust You in all things. I know this struggle is within the realm of Your sovereignty. Rather than worrying about it I trust You because You are in control and You know best, amen.

God is trustworthy so cast your cares on Him. Be humble, trusting God because He is in control of all things.

  1. Stand Firm and Be Sober-Minded Because the Devil Seeks to Destroy You

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.

The second way we stand firm in true grace is to be watchful and sober-minded. The term sober-minded means to think accurately about your situation. It also means to be in self-control over your current suffering. Through Peter’s letter he has given Christians the way in which we can endure affliction for God’s glory. To think accurately is to know that trials are for a purpose and that God is in control, He can be trusted because He cares for us.

While we are thinking accurately about the things of life we must also be watchful and alert.

Why would Peter bring this up now? Why would Peter mention that in the context of humble submission to God with sober thinking we must also be watchful and alert because the Devil is seeking to devour us?

It’s in the midst of trials that our thinking can get twisted. We may be deceived by the devil into thinking wrongly about our current trial. If the Devil can lure us into going down another path in our mind then he can deceive us and devour us.

An example might be something like this…

During a trial we may begin to think that God doesn’t really love me or that maybe I’m not really a Christian. These thoughts are generated in times of trials because we have been led to believe that bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people. We believe in things like Karma. These are devices Satan will use to get us off track.

Believers are targeted for opposition by the Devil and his demons. We are told about this in Revelation.

Revelation 12:17 (ESV)

17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

So, Peter tells us to be watchful for Satan’s deceitful ways. His remedy is to resist the Devil’s tactics. How do we resist the Devil? What does biblical spiritual warfare look like. Do we go on the offense against the Devil? No. The way we fight the Devil and his tactics is to… . Resist him, firm in your faith

We resist the Devil and his tactics by standing firm in the faith. We don’t go looking for a fight with the Devil and his demons. Instead what we do is stand firm on truth. Review what Peter teaches us. When we are tempted to think that God doesn’t love us because we are suffering remind yourself what Peter tells us…

1 Peter 4:12–14 (ESV)

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

Satan wants us to think God doesn’t love us or is doing something to hurt us but the truth Peter gives us is exactly the opposite. He tells us to rejoice because we are sharing in Christ’s sufferings, which is proof that we will also someday share in His glory. When we are persecuted we are blessed because this is proof that the Holy Spirit resides with us. Do you see how standing firm on truth is what combats the Devil’s lies? As we do so, he will flee.

  1. Stand Firm Because Suffering Leads to Eternal Glory

10 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. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Here Peter explains what true grace looks like. He tells us that true grace is seen when our current suffering is directly connected to eternal glory. His point is that trials always precede glory. It seems that Peter repeats this thesis one last time as if to say, If you forget all I said, don’t forget this…We will be eternally established, confirmed, restored, and strengthened but first we must suffer for a little while.

If Peter were here today, he would probably tell us, do not be afraid of suffering because it’s God’s hand at work just as much as the blessings we experience. In the God brought trials His divine hand is working to bring us to maturity and glory. Just like Jesus suffered and then His glory so too we must suffer first in this life.

What does Peter believe about these things he’s been telling us? He believes them so strongly that after repeating them one last time he breaks out in worship because of the fact that God is sovereign over all things.

11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Let me ask you this…do you trust God to the point that these truths are reason for you to worship Him? Do you believe His Word so strongly that you can worship Him before you receive the promised blessing? Peter is so convinced that these things are true that before he is restored, confirmed, established and strengthened at the return of Christ he breaks out in doxology.

I would encourage you to practice worship in anticipation of God’s promises before they come to pass. What faith is shown when we praise God in the middle of a trial for future promises being fulfilled!

What is the foundation of this type of praise? Peter tells us that because God called us we are promised glorification with Jesus.

Here is Paul’s version of this same truth…

Romans 8:28–30 (ESV)

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

 

  1. Stand Firm Because This is the True Grace of God

12 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. 13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with the kiss of love.

Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

In this final bit of encouragement, Peter shows that there are others who are fighting the good fight just like us. He mentions Silas whom he tells us served as his secretary. Silas wrote while Peter dictated this letter.

Peter tells us that what he has given us is the true grace of God, the firm foundation in which we can stand on. Peter reminds us that not only are he and Silas fellow strugglers in this current world but there are other churches seeking to stand on the truths he has given. Beloved, there are currently other true Christians and true Churches seeking to apply these truths and live in them.

Then, finally, Peter extends as God’s apostle the blessing of peace to all Christians of every age. This blessing of peace comes from God through His apostle to each and every believer. This is the peace that passes all understanding. This is the peace that we have from God through our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the peace that doesn’t leave when times get difficult. This is true peace based on true promises coming from our faithful Father to all who are in Christ.

 

*Resources Used:

Teaching 1 Peter by Angus MaCleay

1 Peter by Karen Jobes

1 Peter by David Helm

1 Peter by John MacArthur

1 Peter by Peter Davids

1 Peter by Wayne Grudem

1 Peter by Edmond Clowney

 

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