whc weekly word – 7/23/20

1 Peter 5

I exhort the elders among you as a fellow elder and witness to the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory about to be revealed: 2 Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but willingly, as God would have you; not out of greed for money but eagerly; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.


Here is a bit of trivia. 1 Peter, wait for it... was written by Peter. What are the odds of that? Peter, as you may know, was formally known as Simon until Jesus changed his name in, John 1:42. Peter’s name means a rock or a stone. In the New Testament times, many people could speak and read the Greek language. Hebrews were Jews who spoke almost exclusively Aramaic, and the Hellenists were also Jewish Christians whose language was Greek. Peter wrote this letter in the Greek language. Peter wrote this letter about 30 years after Jesus ascended into heaven.


Peter wrote his letter, not as a command, but to urge the Jews and Gentiles who had already become Christians. Peter gave the letter to someone who travelled to the main churches in these areas. This person read the letter aloud to the Christians. Then people copied it and sent it to all the smaller churches near to them. Peter is writing to encourage Christians to live like Jesus did. One of the many things he said, was especially for the elders of the church. The elders, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and Christ are the leaders of the church.


After I read this passage, it was a reminder of what I believe is still in the hearts of we three elders. Our passion is for this church, this body of Christ, and its spiritual health. This passage is a great reminder of our responsibilities to you and to ourselves.


We work side by side as one in unity. We are honored that you continue to trust us and pray for our spiritual growth and wisdom. All our efforts are done willingly. We do this because we love Jesus and we love you. Our continual prayer is that we lead according to the will of God and not our own. We do what we do, because right now, there is no other place we’d rather be. We are grateful for the chance to lead. We do not take this charge lightly. We do not lead for our own gain or reward. Our desire is to please God and remain in his will.


In verse 5 it says, 

All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”


What does it mean to be clothed in humility? The phrase “be clothed” translates a word that refers to a slave putting on an apron before serving. Likewise, as Jesus did before washing the disciple’s feet (John 13:4). It is also the ability to cheerfully put away our own plan, for God’s plan. To be submissive to one another and be clothed with humility applies to everyone. “All of you”, means that this is for all, both elders and younger people


Think for a minute why Peter’s desire for the church is a good idea. Think about what it means when you go against what this passage says and focus on yourself, on what you want? That is a form of selfishness. That would be a form of pride.

Why would we want to conform to the passage and not our own selfishness or pride? Because, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Would you rather have God’s grace or be resisted by God? When this happens, we are in a sense, attempting to be the God of our own lives. What does it mean to be resisted by God? God opposes the proud. Literally, to stand against you unmoved. How much more peace could we have with God’s grace on our side?


We elders are grateful for the chance to be part of our church. Pray for us when you think about it. Pray for our discernment of God’s will as we move along in our current conditions. Pray for our wisdom, that God would help us to think decisions through for the church. Pray for our continued unity. We appreciate you, our church family. We pray for you too. Until we see each other next, have a great week and may God’s grace and peace be on you and your home.


Your friend,