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Last time we looked at Peter, we learned that Satan is like a roaring lion prowling around looking for someone to chew up. Satan operates by stealth. Be aware of this, be alert, pay attention so you don’t get eaten. This morning, Peter concludes his letter with a final instruction.
Take a look at 1 Peter 5:9-14.
Peter gives one last command. He says, “But resist him firm in your faith.” Remember Ja. 4:7, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” This is a conditional clause. It is dependent upon our submission to God. Resist the devil by being firm in your faith. When times are tough, don’t give in. When trials come, don’t give up. When you are persecuted, don’t quit. We are to resist the devil, because serving God is tough. Resist is a verb – an action word. That means we are to actively engage in resistance. We must actively engage our enemy. Satan wants to destroy you and everything you stand for. You will never have victory over Satan if you remain passive. Submit to God. That’s the right way, but it’s also the hard way. It’s much easier, in the short run, to give up, but we are commanded to do things God’s way. It is submission to God that leads to resistance of the devil. It is putting your trust and confidence in the One who made the heavens and the earth, the One who hung the stars in the sky, the One who makes the sun rise each day, the One who cares so much about you that He can number the hairs on your head, the One willing to come to earth as a man and live a life that would be acceptable to atone for our sins, the One who gave His life for mankind. It is putting your confidence in God who has already defeated the devil. That is who we are to submit ourselves to.
We are to resist firm in the faith because we know, “That the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.” You are not alone in your suffering. What you are experiencing is the same thing our Christian brothers and sisters are experiencing all over the world. We draw comfort knowing that others have passed through the fiery ordeals, knowing the Lord delivered them, and He will deliver us.
This entire letter can be summed up in vs. 10-11. “A little while” is a relative term. Compared with eternity, anything we go through is for a little while. “The God of all grace” is the important phrase here. God is the possessor and giver of grace. He calls believers by grace through faith and He will enable you to persevere to the end. The trials and suffering are excruciating, but God’s grace is sufficient. God has called us to, “eternal glory in Christ.” We are all called to salvation through the finished work of Christ. Christ will “perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” It is Christ’s quartet of completion. He will complete you, will establish you, will make you strong, and will lay the foundation with you. You will be made firm, made strong like setting concrete. Like a house sitting on a solid foundation, unmovable by wind or floods.
Peter gives his doxology in v. 11. He closes by saying, “To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.” God allows His children to suffer, even allows Satan to prowl around, yet He is supreme, He is totally sovereign, and wields His mighty hand. We are comforted knowing the He cares for each and every person. Peter’s sums up the letter in v. 12. This letter is an exhortation for believers and to testify about God’s immeasurable grace. This letter was likely carried by Silvanus whom Peter calls a faithful brother. Peter provides an endorsement of Silvanus by saying, “For so I regard him.” Letter carriers often served to answer questions about the letter’s meaning should they arise. In Peter’s final verses, he sends greetings from, “She who is in Babylon” as well as greetings from Mark. She most likely refers to the church at Babylon since she is, “chosen together with you” referring to the believers scattered that Peter is writing to. This Mark is the same Mark that went with Paul on his first missionary journey, then went with Barnabas after Paul rejected him. Finally Peter says, “Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ.” An expression of mutual love.
1 Peter is totally relevant for today. We are not alone in our trials. Not only do we suffer for Christ, we are delivered in Christ. God’s grace is all sufficient not just for salvation, but for a continual abiding in Christ’s love. We must stand firm for Christ and be an example of His love and devotion to humanity. Satan is our enemy and he will stop at nothing to destroy us. Regardless of the trials, the persecution, or the suffering, we must hold firm to Christ.