1 Peter Inductive Bible Study Lesson 13
1 Peter 5:1-14
1 Peter 5:1-4
- What is the message of these verses?
1 Peter 5:5-7
- What is the message of verse 5?
- What is the relationship between 5:5; 4:14; 3:16; 3:1; 2:18-19; 2:13a, 15; 1:17; and 1:4-6? Is there a general message to all these verses? If so, what is it?
1 Peter 5:8-11
- What is the function of faith and grace in these verses?
1 Peter 5:12-14
- What is the general message about grace found in v. 12?
- What is the “this grace” of which Peter writes when he states that “this is the true grace of God,” in v. 12?
1 Peter, chapters 1-5
- What is the central theme of this book by Peter?
- Summarize the general teaching of Peter about grace in these chapters.
In your own opinion, does the nature of man implied and expressed in Peter’s first epistle parallel the nature of man expressed and implied in the Spirit of Prophecy materials cited in the introduction to this booklet? Please support your answer.
1 Peter 5:1-4
- “God is not glorified by leaders in the church who seek to drive the sheep. No, no . . . There is a wide field for the elders and the helpers in every church. They are to feed the flock of God with pure provender, thoroughly winnowed from the chaff, the poisonous mixture of error. You who have any part to act in the church of God, be sure that you act wisely in feeding the flock of God; for its prosperity much depends upon the quality of this food.” (EGW, 7SDABC 942.)
“Let no one suppose that God has given to men the power of ruling their fellow-men. He will accept the service of no man who hurts and discourages Christ’s heritage. Now is the time for every man to examine himself, to prove himself, that he may see whether he is in the faith. Investigate closely the motives which prompt you to action. We are engaged in the work of the Most High. Let us not weave into the web of our work one thread of selfishness. Let us rise to a higher plane in our daily experience. God will not serve with the sins of any man. …” (EGW, 3SDABC, 1149.)
1 Peter 5:5-7
- There are a number of contexts in which Peter connects one’s actions to the grace from God in this epistle. In verse 5 grace is given to those who clothe themselves with humility—regardless of age or sex (Greek: and all (Pantes) to one another). Pride here causes one to be resisted by God, while the result of grace received is the salvation of your soul (1:9).
We all are aware that “It is God’s desire that those who have gained an experience in His cause, shall train young men for His service.” But perhaps we tend to often forget that
“The younger worker must not become so wrapped up in the ideas and opinions of the one in whose charge he is placed, that he will forfeit his individuality. He must not lose his identity in the one who is instructing him, so that he dare not exercise his own judgment, but does what he is told, irrespective of his own understanding of what is right and wrong. It is his privilege to learn for himself of the great Teacher. If the one with whom he is working pursues a course which is not in harmony with a “Thus saith the Lord,” let him not go to some outside party, but let him go to his superior in office, and lay the matter before him, freely expressing his mind. Thus the learner may be a blessing to the teacher. He must faithfully discharge his duty. God will not hold him guiltless if he connives at a wrong course of action, however great may be the influence or responsibility of the one taking the wrong course.” (E. G. White, Gospel Workers, pp. 102, 103)
- To attempt to find the relationship between these verses we will write a summary statement of each individual verse or passage.
5:5 To humble yourself as Peter says you should is to receive grace from God. 4:14 To suffer for Christ as Peter says you should is to be blessed by God— to have the Spirit of God rest on you. 3:16 Peter says that we are to maintain the right under slander, so that the slanderer will have an opportunity to see that the good is good; to honor Christ by steadfastness is to win people to right doing. 3:1 To be useful in service, as defined by Peter, is to win someone you love to Christ. 2:18, 19 To serve your neighbors faithfully, even when you are treated unjustly by them, for reasons of conscience, is favor with God—or grace (grk: charis), according to Peter. 2:13a, 15 Peter here teaches that to obey human ordinances because of God, silences the ignorance of foolish men. 1:17 We fear to offend God if we call Him our Father. 1:4-6 According to Peter we have ability to endure this life’s troubles as we are instructed because God makes us able. We want to obey because of our promised inheritance.
General summary of these verses.
- Doing that which is unnatural to us is that which testifies to our faith in God and His promises. To reject God’s counsels would be to live naturally and not have a faith to share.
- Living unnaturally, as instructed by God through Peter, is to have blessings in this life— be strengthened by God, given grace by God, have the Spirit of God rest on you, etc.— and finally to receive the inheritance promised.
General conclusion regarding these verses.
To reject Peter as an inspired writer presenting the will of God for us to us, is to live without any promises of help or inheritance, because all the promises of Peter’s epistle are presented as results following from having met the conditions which are here required conduct.
Peter consistently sets his material in a context of conformity to the Old Testament, and in harmony with the acts and teachings of Jesus, of whom he was an eyewitness. Therefore to reject Peter’s counsels is to reject the unified teaching of Scripture.
1 Peter 5:8-11
- The function of faith in verse 9 is that of giving success to our resisting of the devil; while grace in v. 10 is a quality of God that by implication is that which God uses to restore us to our former condition (Grk: Katartisei), firmly establish us (Grx: starixel), make us strong (Grk: sthenosei), and lay the foundation (theme liosel), meaning something like, to make us stable (this is the suggested significance of the SDABC on this word). The implied is very significant—grace makes the foundation, we must do the building.
Therefore it may be that the faith of v. 9 is by implication that which activates the grace which is the quality of God in v. 10 that Peter specifically mentions, and which we have found in other passages to be that which is the active agent for our regeneration. But Peter does not directly say what the relation of faith to grace is, in these verses.
If this is the proper relationship between these concepts as they appear in verses 9 & 10, the message is very similar to that of Mrs. White’s as we have understood it.
1 Peter 5:12-14
- The general message of verse 12 is that the exhortations and witnessing regarding grace that make up Peter’s first epistle are true.
- The “this grace” of which Peter speaks in verse 12 is that grace which he has referred to throughout his epistle. He has made many points about grace including the following:
1:2 Grace can be multiplied. (In 2 Peter 1:2 Peter says that grace is multiplied by a full knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.) 1:10 Old Testament prophets prophesied of the grace and salvation to come. 1:13 Grace is received when Jesus is perceived as the Christ. 3:7 Though men and women have different roles in life (3:1-6), they are co heirs of the grace of life (3:7). 4:10 The various gifts we have are all the results of grace, which is diverse (manifold). We are good stewards of grace only if we use it for others. 5:5 God gives grace to the humble. 5:10 All grace is God’s. 5:12 The grace I have exhorted you about, and witnessed to you about, and written to you about, is the true grace of God. Those who serve God stand in grace.
1 Peter, chapters 1-5
- The central theme of this book of Peter’s is the grace of God and how people can be benefited by it to salvation.
- Grace comes to people from God in conjunction with their acts of obedience to the expressed will of God about how life is to be lived and responded to.
- In my opinion Peter’s first epistle and Mrs. White’s materials express the same nature of man.
For Peter the soul is to be saved through a faith response (1:9). This is because the various experiences through which people pass, if one responds properly, become a channel of grace (4:19; 1:9, 10; 5:10). Those who follow God stand in grace (5:12).
For Mrs. White also the soul is to be saved through grace because she writes that “By his grace he will work upon the soul until it will be like a jewel polished for the heavenly kingdom” (Y.I. 223). In addition life’s experiences become channels of grace. Notice again.
“You receive grace, you develop grace, and as you reveal grace in your words, in your spirit and actions, God pours upon you a larger measure of grace. In proportion as you surrender yourselves to the working of the Holy Spirit, you are supplied with heavenly grace. You are molded and fashioned a vessel unto honor, and become a channel through which God makes manifest his grace to the world.” (Ellen White, The Youth’s Instructor, p. 222)
Our next quote from Mrs. White is not one of Peter’s points in my opinion, it sounds more like Paul, but it shows the reason for Peter’s exhortations and counsels regarding how people conduct themselves. “The flesh in which the soul tabernacles belongs to God.” (The Youth’s Instructor, p. 487)
Finally, Peter we found concluded his study about grace saying that those who serve God stand in grace. Mrs. White has the same concept. Those who by faith serve God are surrounded by the atmosphere of heaven which is grace, and which they breathe in.
See Steps to Christ, p. 68, and notice the following. “He who abides in Christ is in an atmosphere that forbids evil…” (Y.I., 320).
“Christians realize that in order to bring the principles of Christianity into daily life, they need much of the grace of Christ. …”
“Whatever may be your defects, the Holy Spirit will reveal them, and grace will be given you to
overcome.” (The Youth’s Instructor, p. 551)
Summary and Conclusion
“The life of Christ was an ever-widening, shoreless influence, an influence that bound him to God and to the whole human family. Through Christ God has invested man with an influence that makes it impossible for him to live to himself. . . .
“Every soul is surrounded by an atmosphere of its own— an atmosphere, it may be, charged with the life-giving power of faith, courage, and hope, and sweet with the fragrance of love. Or it may be heavy and chill with the gloom of discontent and selfishness, or poisonous with the deadly taint of cherished sin. By the atmosphere surrounding us, every person with whom we come in contact is consciously or unconsciously affected.
“This is a responsibility from which we cannot free ourselves. . . .
“It is only through the grace of God that we can make a right use of this endowment. There is nothing in us of ourselves by which we can influence others for good. If we realize our helplessness and our need of divine power, we shall not trust to ourselves. We know not what results a day, an hour, or a moment may determine, and never should we begin the day without committing our ways to our heavenly Father. His angels are appointed to watch over us, and if we put ourselves under their guardianship, then in every time of danger they will be at our right hand. When unconsciously we are in danger of exerting a wrong influence, the angels will be by our side, prompting us to a better course, choosing our words for us, and influencing our actions. Thus our influence may be a silent, unconscious, but mighty power in drawing others to Christ and the heavenly world.” (E. G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 339-342)