It should not surprise us that three of the most frequently quoted verses in the Bible are found in 1 Peter. After all, Peter was one of Jesus’ closest friends and followers.
The need for humility is the first frequently quoted verse.
And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5.5-6).
Saint Augustine made this observation: “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”
An Internet article on pride states: “Pride is excessive belief in one’s own abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise.”
Humility stems from a vision of God. Once humans see the magnificence of God, they recognize how much they need his grace.
The path to humility is worship. In worship and communion with God, we discover his greatness and humility is the result.
Anxiety and Cares
We live in a world that is filled with cares, worries, and anxieties. Peter’s direction in verse 7 is frequently quoted because it is extremely helpful.
Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you (1 Peter 5.7).
Isaiah devoted 32 chapters (Isaiah 7-39) to illustrate this truth to his audience. Isaiah used every means possible to call his audience away from self-sufficiency to trust in the Lord.
Both Isaiah and Peter call us away from worry and into the loving care of God.
In today’s YouTube video, Rudy Ross and I outline ways we unload cares and anxieties on God’s shoulders. My method is to pray the Psalms until the Spirit sets me free from worry.
“Satan” means “accuser” in Hebrew. He is our adversary, who has come to steal, kill, and destroy life (John 10.10).
Another frequently quoted verse from Peter concerns how to deal with the devil.
Discipline yourselves; keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5.8).
Paul warned the church, “So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall” (1 Corinthians 10.12).
Peter and Paul understood that we are most susceptible to the devil’s temptations when we’ve had a measure of success.
Pride and self-sufficiency rather than humble trust is an atmosphere for failure.
It takes discipline to stay alert. I believe the best way to stay alert is to keep a conversation going with God all the time. It is hard work, but it makes everything else easier.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Suffering and temptation are part of life, but the best is yet to come.
Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.
And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.
To him be the power forever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 5.9-11)
The Old Testament term “scoffer” refers to people who lead others away from God and believe there will be no accounting for their actions. “Scoffer” is the harshest term for a rebellious person in the Bible.
Christians who humbly follow the Lord and discipline themselves to stay alert to his work will be accountable for their work. Instead of judgment, they will receive God’s “well done” message.
Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. It can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.