Listen to this Sermon: 08052012FirstPe5.5-7DonRuhl

Download the Notes: 08052012FirstPe5.5-7DonRuhl

The Essence of Christianity

Shall we demand that others submit or shall we submit?

First Peter 5.5–7

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 5, In the year of our Lord, 2012

Scripture Reader and Reading: Dan Calvert – First Peter 5.1–4


  1. What does it mean to you to be a Christian? 
    1. Do you have a picture of what the perfect congregation looks like?
    2. Where do you fit in that picture?
  2. I believe First Peter 5.5–7 shows us what it means to be a Christian, and 
    1. this passage gives a good picture of what a congregation should look like, and
    2. we should be able to see ourselves in this picture.
  3. Much about Christianity is about submission, as Peter showed earlier. 
    1. Submit to the government (2.13).
    2. Submit to masters or employers (2.18).
    3. Submit to husbands (3.1).
  4. Here we will learn about more submission. 
    1. Submit to the elderly (5.5a).
    2. Submit to one another (5.5b).
    3. Submit to God (5.6).
  5. Here is a major difference between Christianity and Islam. 
    1. Muslims tell us that the word Islam means submission, and
      1. the way I see them apply that is
      2. to force others to submit to God.
    2. However, Christianity says submit yourself.


  1. First Peter 5.5a – Submit to Your Elders

    5a Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders (1Pe 5.5a).

    1. Peter had just told the elders
      1. to shepherd the flock of God,
      2. to serve as overseers, and
      3. to set an example for the flock.
    2. Does Peter in verse 5 mean the elders or elderly people in the congregation?
      1. It seems to me that it could go either way,
      2. after all, the elders are generally the older men in the congregation.
        1. However, Peter contrasted “elders” here
        2. with “younger people”
          1. leading me to believe that he spoke of the elderly in the church.
          2. Either way, let younger people submit themselves to our elders.
    3. In the Law of Moses, the Lord said,

      32 “You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the LORD” (Lev 19.32).

      1. Fearing God and identifying Him as the Lord, or Yahweh
      2. goes hand-in-hand with honoring older people.
        1. Stand for them.
        2. Exhort them.
        3. Visit them.
        4. Listen to them.
        5. Love them.
        6. Follow them.
        7. Help them.
    4. What Peter said in the first sentence of verse 5 implies
      1. that the older brethren are doing things
      2. to which the younger must submit.
    5. I believe it also means that the elderly act in a respectable manner.
      1. They cannot treat the younger harshly than expect respect.
      2. If you want respect
        1. be respectable and
        2. show respect.
  2. First Peter 5.5b – Submit to One Another

    5b Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

    “God resists the proud,
    But gives grace to the humble.”
    (1Pe 5.5b)

    1. To the Ephesians Paul had said,

      21 …submitting to one another in the fear of God (Eph 5.21).

    2. As we submit to one another,
      1. Peter said we wear the clothing of humility.
        1. What is it the first thing we notice about one another?
        2. We see one another’s clothing.
      2. Likewise, our humility should be apparent immediately.
        1. We show it by how we look at people.
        2. We show it by how we speak to people.
        3. We show it with our body language.
    3. Why do we want to wear the clothing of humility?
      1. God resists the proud, and
      2. God gives grace to the humble.
        1. Peter quoted Solomon in Proverbs 3.34.
        2. Guy N. Woods says of this quotation,

          “The verb ‘resisteth’ is a military term, as of an army marshaled for battle. Spiritual forces are thus arrayed against the proud” (p. 129).

          1. Do you want favor from God?
          2. If so, He wants to see you submit to your brothers and sisters.
    4. It is fascinating that Peter teaches a culture of submission and service, but
      1. for what do most people look when “church shopping”?
      2. They want to find a church that will serve them,
        1. rather than a church where they can serve.
        2. Most people, and I mean Christians, look at a church
          1. the way they do a restaurant.
          2. We pick a restaurant where we will get the best food and service.
            1. So people look for a church the same way, but
            2. the two are not comparable.
              1. In a restaurant the employees serve us the customers.
              2. In the church the people serve God and one another.
    5. Let us never forget why our Master and Teacher of Life came to the earth,

      45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10.45).

      1. And what prompted Jesus to reveal His purpose?
      2. Listen to the three previous verses in which
        1. He shows how we are to live, and
        2. that what He said in verse 45, He said by way of example,

          42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all” (Mark 10.42–44).

          1. Then He gave the words of verse 45,
          2. showing that He, the Ruler and Lord of all,
            1. came not to be served, but to serve, and
            2. so we should have the same mentality.
  3. First Peter 5.6, 7 – Submit to God

    6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you (1Pe 5.6, 7).

    1. Submit yourself to God, or humble yourself under His mighty hand.
      1. We are all under Him anyway.
      2. Why resist Him and fight Him?
        1. Why not humble ourselves under Him,
        2. cooperating with Him?
          1. God’s hand is mighty!
          2. What can He do with it?
            1. If we exalt ourselves,
            2. He can push us down, or
              1. if we humble ourselves,
              2. He can pick us up.
    2. If we humble ourselves under His hand,
      1. He can exalt us mightily and
      2. at the right time.
        1. Look at Joseph.
        2. Look at Esther.
          1. God does not exalt too soon,
          2. nor does He fail to do it at the time it is needed most.
            1. Humble yourself under His hand, and
            2. trust Him to take care of the rest.
      3. That is why Peter said next that we should cast all our care upon Him.
    3. As you submit to God so submit your cares to Him.
      1. No doubt Peter had read in Sabbath School and
      2. incorporated into his thoughts of verse 7, Psalm 55,

        22 Cast your burden on the LORD,
        And He shall sustain you;
        He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
        (Psa 55.22)

        1. We have burdens because we think it all depends upon us, because
        2. we forget who is running the world!
          1. Talk with yourself,
          2. perhaps rebuking yourself, and then
            1. take whatever care or burden you have, and
            2. cast it upon Him.
              1. He can certainly handle it better than we can.
              2. Yet, we fear to do those things!


  1. Is not submission an act of faith? 
    1. Submitting to God means that I believe He knows the best way.
    2. Submitting to my brethren means that I know God works through them.
  2. We will not learn to submit ourselves to the elderly or to one another, 
    1. if we do not learn how to submit to God, but
    2. it is also true we cannot submit to God and
      1. be arrogant toward our brethren.
      2. We please God with our submission to Him by submitting to our brethren.
  3. Remember that Peter said God exalts us in due time, 
    1. the time that He knows is best for us.
    2. God exalts us after we have humbled ourselves,
      1. as Jesus taught,

        11 “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Matt 23.11, 12).

      2. We do not get to wear a crown,
      3. until we have first carried a cross.
        1. We do not get to bask in glory,
        2. until we have first submitted ourselves
          1. to the elderly,
          2. to one another, and
          3. to God.
  4. We want the blessing of First Peter 5.7
    1. that of God taking our cares, but
    2. we cannot experience that blessing
      1. until we submit to the elderly and
      2. carry their burdens,
        1. until we submit to one another with humility and
        2. carry one another’s burdens.
    3. The Holy Spirit does not tell us to cast all our care upon the Father
      1. that we might live careless lives, but that
        1. as we try sincerely to lead the life He desires for us, and
        2. as we just go through this life,
          1. we need help, because
          2. this life is greater than any of us, but
            1. not greater than God, and
            2. He wants us to walk with Him through life.
  5. The Holy Spirit by Peter told us plainly what to do: 
    1. Submit to the elderly.
    2. Submit to one another.
    3. Be humble.
    4. Submit to God.
    5. Cast all your care upon God.
      1. All of this tells us that the world does not revolve around us,
      2. that the world does not exist for us, but
        1. that we exist for one another, and
        2. that most of all we exist for God.
  6. If we do the things the Holy Spirit commands in this passage, 
    1. God will give us grace.
    2. God will exalt us in due time.
  7. God cares for us. 
    1. While He created the earth and populated it with people for His glory,
    2. He wants us to share in His glory, and
      1. the way to do that
      2. is to do the things Peter told us to do in First Peter 5.5–7.
  8. Submit to Jesus today. 
    1. Why delay?
    2. There is no other way.