Listen to this Sermon: 08122012FirstPe5.8-11DonRuhl

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Marching to Heaven

Resist the devil, accept and glorify God, and march to heaven

First Peter 5.8–11

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 12, In the year of our Lord, 2012

Scripture Reader and Reading: Kadin Lopez – First Peter 5.5–7


  1. Even as you cast all your care upon God, 
    1. knowing that He cares for you,
    2. keep in mind also
      1. that someone else hates you
      2. with the same level of zeal that God cares for you, and
        1. this hater of your soul,
        2. does everything he can to devour you.
  2. Revelation 12.9 calls him 
    1. the great dragon, the tyrannosaurus rex-like villain of the ages,
    2. that serpent of old who deceived Eve and ruined human life on the earth,
    3. he is the deceiver of the whole world,
      1. he is the Devil and Satan, and
      2. Peter likens this hater of your soul to a ferocious lion.
  3. He has already devoured most of the world, 
    1. causing them to descend to a hell-like existence before he goes there, and
    2. he has his sights set on you.
      1. If you do not think so,
      2. just try to refrain from all evil in the next 24 hours.
  4. Even as literal lions are stronger than we are, 
    1. so this spiritual lion far exceeds our strength.
    2. What then can we do to protect ourselves?
      1. Give your full attention to First Peter 5.8–11, because
      2. it will show you how to send the lion running, and
        1. how you can enter the glory of God
        2. from which Satan wants to keep you.


  1. First Peter 5.8, 9 – Resist the Devil

    8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world (1Pe 5.8, 9).

    1. Be on the lookout for danger.
      1. Take this seriously.
      2. If you do not remain fully aware of him,
        1. he will catch you off-guard, and
        2. if you do not recover,
          1. you will lose your soul for eternity.
          2. What could you possibly be doing
            1. that is more than important than this?
            2. That is why Peter tells us to be sober and watchful.
    2. What danger threatens us?
      1. There walks about a roaring lion.
        1. He fears nothing.
        2. Even Proverbs 30.30 says of a literal lion,

          30 A lion, which is mighty among beasts
          And does not turn away from any…
          (Pro 30.30)

          1. That is the reason the Bible uses the symbol of a lion for Satan.
          2. The only exception is that Satan will turn away from
            1. the people who do what Peter said.
            2. James said something similar,

              7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (Jam 4.7).

              1. Luke 4 shows Satan will only stay away for a time, but
              2. we can make him turn away from us at least momentarily,

                13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time (Luke 4.13).

      2. He seeks someone to devour.
        1. He may not even be hungry.
        2. He just enjoys killing.
      3. He is our adversary the devil.
        1. We do not see him literally, but
        2. he uses agents and anything else he can.
          1. Look at his attacks on Job.
          2. Look at his attacks on Jesus.
    3. However, you can resist him in at least two ways:
      1. First, by remaining steadfast in the faith.
      2. Second, by knowing that brethren throughout the world likewise suffer.
    4. This is the first time Peter mentioned Satan in First Peter, yet,
      1. we know that Satan was partially responsible for the persecution and
      2. other forms of suffering that Peter addressed.
        1. Therefore, in what Peter said for Christians to do to resist Satan,
        2. they do by resisting his followers,
          1. the people who persecute us.
          2. As the machine of persecution picks up speed in America
            1. against the church and against individual Christians,
            2. keep in mind what Peter said.
              1. We do not fight our oppressors with carnal weapons,
              2. although I am hearing more people advocating such,

                3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled (2Co 10.3–6).

  2. First Peter 5.10 – Accept God

    10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you (1Pe 5.10).

    1. Always remember that God pours out His grace upon us, and
      1. that beats the devil, because
      2. the devil does not know what to do with the grace of God.
    2. Our God is the God of all grace,
      1. which implies there is more than one manifestation of grace.
        1. Suffering is a major theme in the Book of First Peter, and
        2. whatever grace you need during suffering, God’s grace provides it.
      2. The New Testament backs up this wonderful assurance,

        9 “My grace is sufficient for you…” (2Co 12.9).

        18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen (Gal 6.18).

        1 …be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus (2Ti 2.1).

        16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb 4.16).

        9 …it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods… (Heb 13.9).

    3. First Peter 5.10 reveals another manifestation of God’s grace,
      1. He called us to eternal glory by Christ Jesus and
      2. we have accepted His call.
        1. God wants us to enjoy eternity with Him,
        2. making it possible through Christ Jesus.
      3. However, Peter said in verse 10,
        1. that before we can experience eternal glory,
        2. God needs to work with us a little,
          1. making us what we need to be in His presence.
          2. That requires the following.
    4. We will suffer a while, which Peter has already addressed.

      6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1Pe 1.6, 7).

      1. Then First Peter 5.10 shows God using suffering
      2. to make us what we need to be.
    5. After we have suffered, God will:
      1. perfect us,
      2. establish us,
      3. strengthen us, and
      4. settle us.
    6. What then shall we say to these things?
      1. Peter said it for us in verse 11.
      2. Praise be to God!
    7. Did Peter know about and need the God of all grace?
      1. Peter wrote boldly in this letter, but
      2. you know he often had a hard time getting things right, and
        1. during and after those struggles,
        2. he experienced the God of all grace,
          1. remaking Peter into the man that God wanted Peter to be.
          2. Do you fall short of what God wants you to be?
      3. Look to Peter and see God’s grace in action.
        1. Peter wanted to honor Moses, Elijah, and Jesus equally.
        2. Peter doubted that the Lord knew what He was talking about when Jesus told Peter to cast his net on one side of the boat to catch fish.
        3. Peter sought to keep Jesus from washing his feet, but Peter did not offer to wash the feet of Jesus.
        4. Peter slept while Jesus prayed about His suffering.
        5. After the Jews arrested Jesus, Peter followed at a distance.
        6. Peter let Jesus down by denying that he knew the Lord.
          1. I did not mention all the times that Peter failed, but
          2. the God of all grace still used Peter and made him into a new man.
    8. It makes perfect sense to read Peter’s next words.
  3. First Peter 5.11 – Glorify God

    11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen (1Pe 5.11).

    1. To God be the glory.
      1. We do not seek glory for ourselves, but
      2. we use our lives to glorify Him, and then
        1. if He so desires,
        2. He will glorify us.
    2. To God be the dominion.
      1. Acts 17 shows the dominion of God in action,

        26 “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, [and here is why, DR] 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; [and this can be done] 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring’” (Acts 17.26–28).

      2. Never forget that you serve the God to whom belongs all dominion.
    3. Peter did something similar earlier,

      11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen (1Pe 4.11).

    4. Can we amen that?


  1. We have an exceedingly great enemy, but 
    1. we can fight him off
      1. by being sober,
      2. by being vigilant,
      3. by resisting him,
      4. by remaining steadfast in the faith, and
      5. by knowing that our fellow Christians throughout the world
        1. have the same experiences we have,
        2. so that we are not alone, but
          1. even as they endure,
          2. so we can endure.
  2. Do not forget that the God of all grace is on our side, and 
    1. He has called us to eternal glory.
    2. Therefore, He will help us, and not leave us to fight Satan alone, but
      1. God will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle us.
      2. Brethren, how can we go wrong by fulfilling this passage?
  3. He invites us to share in glory and dominion that will last forever and ever. 
    1. What are you going to do about it?
    2. You should resist the devil, and accept and glorify God, then
      1. you can go on your way,
      2. marching to heaven.
  4. Marching to heaven does not come from a life of ease, remembering 
    1. that the devil acts like a lion, seeking to devour us, and
    2. that we must suffer a while.