The Responsibility of a Faithful Flock!
I Peter 5:5-14
In the four months since we began our journey through I Peter we have been reminded of our blessings in Christ when we responded by faith for salvation. We have been challenged to live a holy life to reflect God’s character of Holiness. Peter has pointed out that we are to be living as strangers or travelers on this earth understanding that our real home is heaven. We spent a few weeks looking at the different areas of submission from government, to marriage, to the workplace. No matter what we face we are told that vengeance is God’s and we are to leave it to Him. Last week we learned of the responsibilities of the Shepherd in caring for the flock. Today as we finish I Peter we will learn of the responsibilities of a faithful flock.
I.The Five responsibilities of a Faithful Flock
A.The First Responsibility is to submit. Vs. 5
1.The younger men are to submit
a)Their temptation would be to move on in their own wisdom and deal with the attacks of government and society in their own ways. – like Peter in the garden with his sword!
2.Believers are to submit to one another.
B.The Second Responsibility is to be humble vs. 5b-6
1.Clothe with humility vs 5b
a)Used as when a servant tied on an apron to serve. Our humility should prepare us for service.
b)Promise of God - resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
c)Are we living out from under the favor of God and facing opposition in life because of our pride?
2.Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God. Vs. 6
a)Micah 6:8 - (Song we sang)
b)God’s mighty hand
(1)Deals with God’s protection or his covering power – Though Satan opposes we know he can only do what God allows. I Cor. 10:13
(2)Deals with God’s controlling power
(3)Deals with God’s sovereignty
(4)Deals with God being in charge – he may be testing us
c)We humbly submit knowing that God is in control and that he loves us and will do what is best for us.
d)Promise of God – He will exalt you!
(1)God will lift up the humble to their exalted position.
(2)Wrong attitude – “All right God I’m ready any day now you said you were going to exalt me…”
(3)In due time – When in His timing He deems it is best. Maybe in this lifetime, maybe the next. But God always keeps his promise.
C.The Third Responsibility is to cast you cares on Him. Vs. 7
1.Cast is to throw upon.
a)Throw firewood on a truck.
b)Throw trash in the dumpster.
c)It is our releasing the burden and letting it become God’s.
2.Why? He cares for us.
a)In the heat of the spiritual battle we may forget this important doctrine.
(1)No different than any child who is in the midst of discipline…
D.The Fourth Responsibility is to be serious. Vs. 8
1.Sober – sober minded – self restraint – “moderation of desires, passions, or conduct.
a)We use the term – sober in relation to drugs and alcohol. As we give ourselves over to these things we are not under self – restraint.
(1)I Peter 1:13 cf. “gird up loins of mind” Tie up all the loose ends
b)This is the idea of having your priorities right.
E.The Fifth Responsibility is to be watchful Vs. 8
1.Watchful = vigilant, alert
2.Illustration: Camp in the old pump room.
3.Some of you were trained as soldiers to observe all that is going on around you and to recognize dangers.
4.Satan has blinded the minds of the world ( II Cor. 4:4) They don’t understand the Scriptural principles that we live our lives by – they may oppose us as Jobs wife – “Curse God and die” .
II.The Danger of slacking in responsibility. Vs. 8
A.We have an adversary – The Devil
1.Note: the devil is not omni-present – he can only be in one location at a time.
2.Not only is there the devil, but he took with him 1/3 of the angels , not all of them are free to work as demons opposing us because some are already taken captive by God.
3.Besides the devil and the demons he has his world system…
4.His desire is to devour – to destroy. He revealed that with Job, Jesus – killing baby boys, with our lives as he deceives us with our sin.
a)If he can destroy our testimony, our marriage, our family, our church unity. He can bring shame to the body of Christ and can eliminate the ministry we have for Christ!
B.We are to resist Him firm in our faith!
1.People in our society have wanted to blame the devil for their sin. In some Christian circles they teach that you need to rebuke Satan. Nowhere in the epistles are we instructed to do this.
a)Here we are to stand firm in our faith! - We have a God who is in control. We are to submit to him and to remind ourselves that he is doing what is best for us.
b)In James the challenge in a similar passage was to obey God! - We must know His Word and obey it. Jesus when tempted by Satan quoted Scripture. We are challenged in Psalm 119:9, 11 (NKJV) 9How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. 11Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. When we are confronted by temptation whether it be attacks of those who are persecuting us as these believers Peter was talking to or if we are simply tempted to give in to our own lusts as James challenges. We must come back to the principles of God’s Word and stand in obedience
c)Illustration: Wife telling off husband; Someone looking at pornography – self indulgence, The allure of materialism;
2.Remember we are not alone in the battle.
3.This was not something that was foreign to Peter in Luke 22 – Jesus told him that Satan had asked to sift him as wheat, Jesus prayed that he would not fail, but when he returned to Jesus he would strengthen the brethren.
4.Neither was it foreign to Paul II Cor. 12:7 – Messenger of Satan to buffet him – to keep him humble.
5.Satan may attack us in our health, by the mouths or physical attacks of those who hate Christ, or he may attack through the philosophies of this world II Tim. 2:26, Col 2:8 I Cor. 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except such is common to man; but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able but will with the temptation also make the way to escape that you may be able to bear it.” God is in control!
III.The Promise to those in the Battle
A.In a short while
B.He who called you – Our salvation was by God’s invitation, conviction. If he calls us to himself, he will complete us! ( Phil 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing that he who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ.”)
C.Will Complete you…
1.Perfect – to put you in appropriate condition,
2.Establish – render immovable. – Illustration: modular home.
4.Settle you – to establish on a firm foundation
A.This message has been focused on those who have put their faith in Christ. There may be come of you here today who have never recognized your sinfulness in the sight of God. And have never recognized the opportunity you have to put your faith in Jesus Christ so that you don’t have to pay the penalty of sin yourselves. I challenge you today to turn from your sin and put your faith in Christ alone for salvation.
B.Live a responsible Christian life demonstrating the character …
3.Casting our care on Him
C.Look forward to God completing his work in us by giving Him glory!