Today’s devotion is an excerpt from a Bible Study Series taught at Fellowship Baptist Church, titled “Biblical Building Blocks for Strengthening Relationships.”
Biblical Building Block #27 Subject One to Another (I Peter 5:5) PART 1
I Peter 5:5, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” In I Peter 5, Peter focused on the portrait of the pastor, the under-shepherd of the church. As he continued through this chapter, the focus shifted to the flock in the church. These people to whom Peter was writing must have had a problem with submission. Peter had already admonished them to submit to government (I Peter 2:13-14), to their employers (I Peter 2:18), wives to their husbands (I Peter 3:1) and now church members to their Pastors. As the pastor is to be in submission to the will of God in his life, so are those who are under his authority. As the under-shepherd submits to the Chief Shepherd, so the flock should submit to their pastor or shepherd. Those who are young in age or young in spiritual maturity are to submit to the elder which is a term for "pastor." It also would refer to spiritual leaders or teachers in the church. For a church to function properly, there must be order. The pastor is the spiritual authority of the church who must answer to and is accountable to God. “Anything with no head is dead, and anything with two heads is a freak.” — Adrian Rogers. If everyone tries to be the leader or do their own thing, you are going to have chaos, division, fighting, fussing, and people politicking among the congregation to get their own way. What a mess! Nothing will get done and usually everyone is mad and miserable. It’s no wonder churches like this struggle and are not reaching people for Christ.
I. The Call to the Saints (I Peter 5:5a-b)
A. The Call is Specific (I Peter 5:5a) Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.”
Peter directs the younger to submit themselves unto the elder. This word submit means "to obey; to submit to one's control; to get under authority." This word submit is always used in the Bible of submission to a person who has a recognized office of authority such as a parent, an employer, or a government leader. There are two different groups in the opening verses of I Peter 5. There are the elders (I Peter 5:1), speaking of the Pastors of the local churches, and there are the younger (I Peter 5:5) of the congregation. The commandment here is for the congregation to submit to the leadership of their Pastor (I Thessalonians 5:12). I Thessalonians 5:12, “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you…”
B. The Call is to Submit (I Peter 5:5b) “Yea, all of you be subject one to another…”
In other words, we all ought to give respect to everyone. This certainly is true of the pastor of the church. Hebrews 13:17, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” To be subject is to be subordinate or to be obedient to. The word “subject” is only found in the New Testament. The first time it is used, it refers to Jesus being subject unto Joseph and Mary. Jesus, by example, showed us the importance of being subordinate to others. God teaches us leadership in the school of servanthood. Those who refuse to be subject one to another will never be the leader God wants them to be. Our text makes it clear that the one thing that hinders being “subject one to another” is pride.
8 Commands to Christians (I Peter 5:5-9)
1. Let the younger submit to the elder (I Peter 5:5)
2. All submit to one another (I Peter 5:5)
3. Be clothed with humility (I Peter 5:5)
4. Humble yourselves to God (I Peter 5:6)
5. Cast all your care upon God (I Peter 5:7)
6. Be sober (I Peter 5:8)
7. Be vigilant (I Peter 5:8)
8. Resist Satan in the faith (I Peter 5:9)
What are characteristics of a healthy church?
Thank you for reading PART 1 of Biblical Building Block #27 of this series. Please visit this website tomorrow for PART 2 of Biblical Building Block #27 of this series.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.