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Nov 06, 2016 | Allen Hern

1 Peter 5:5-11 ~ "Gods Secret of Living - For Younger People"

Submission: the state of being obedient. The act of accepting the authority or control of someone else.

In our modern age, submission to another is often thought of negatively. This sermon sheds a new light on the attitude of submissiveness and humility.

"True humility is not an abject, groveling, self-despising spirit ; it is but a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us." ~ Tryon Edwards


I entitled this message: “God’s Secret for Living - for younger people.”

    Now, isn’t that a bold thing to say about one small section of God’s Word. The whole Bible contains God’s secret for living, and it certainly cannot be expressed in 1 sermon.   

    I did that on purpose because this section of First Peter chapter 5 is addressed to  “Likewise you younger people” and I was hopeful that at least some of our younger families would be tempted to come to an evening service. I smile when I say that because many older ones are equally unresponsive to the appeal of the evening service. That is a main reason why so few churches have an evening service.

    Of course the following verses are not just for younger ones - they are equally true for older Christians as well, so those of you who are here will get the benefit of these few verses.

    As we come to this last section of 1st Peter, I want you to notice that it is written to us as part of a local church. I might have said, “God’s secret for living in a church” or even, “God’s secret for living in First Baptist Church, Kamloops/”

    Most of the New Testament letters are written to churches, not to individuals. The reason is simple. God has designed the Christian life that it is lived out best within a church family. We need one another. We need one another’s love; We need one another’s encouragement; we need one another’s prayers; we need one another’s watch care over our souls.

    Of course churches aren’t perfect. And pastors aren’t perfect. So now Peter speaks to all of us about God’s directions for a healthy Christian life.

    May I suggest that

  1. A Healthy Christian is a Humble Christian
  2. A Healthy Christian is an Alert Christian
  3. A Healthy Christian is a Maturing Christian.


  1. A Healthy Christian is a Humble Christian

    5 “ Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." 6  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7  casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”


  1. a call for submission to our spiritual leaders

    5 “ Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders”

    Peter has had a lot to say about submission in these past chapters. In 2: 13 - 15, he urged submission to the authorities - to those who rule over us. In 2: 18 - 20 he urged slaves to be submissive to their masters which we apply to employees and their employers. In 3: 1 - 6, he urged wives to be submissive to their husbands, and now in chapter 5: 5 within the context of the church he promotes the need of younger people to submit to their elders.

    Submission - from a child’s earliest days, submission goes against the grain. That is why the child is fortunate who has loving parents who gently but firmly require proper responsiveness to all authority - first to parents, to teachers, and to all those in authority. One of the great problems of our day is the lack of training in respecting authority.

    In our technological age, younger people seem to have an upper hand. If we older ones want to know how to navigate the complex world of computers, who do we turn to? Sometimes to a youth or even to a child who understands all of these thing far better than we will ever be able to. So it would be easy for younger ones to have a superior attitude in relation to older folk, but surely it should not be so in Christians or in the church.

    The word  submission is a military term"to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader" It simply means that in all of life, someone has to lead. It does not mean that the leader is more able or more knowledgeable than those who follow. It certainly has no suggestion of being a doormat or a cringing frightened person. Submission in the home, in the church or in society is best when it is voluntary.

    And so, here in chapter 5 verse 5, we read that younger ones should submit to their elders.

    Neither younger nor elder refers primarily to age, but to leadership. Our pastor has been preaching some powerful messages about the church, and this morning has highlighted the role of the pastor or elder. If age is the requirement, then we have a problem, but if spiritual maturity is the guide then we can trust our pastors to “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, ...  not as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;”


  1. A call to mutual submission

    Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility,

    Ah, here is the secret behind this matter of submission -at its best it is mutual - never one sided.

    A healthy church is shown forth best when the whole church, including the Pastor and Deacons and the members have the attitude of putting the other person ahead of one’s self. A pastor has no right to demand submission from the congregation any more than a husband has the right to demand submission from his wife. In both cases submission is best when it is voluntary and when each person is first of all responsive to the Lord Jesus.

     In a healthy church no one tries to be lord and master.

    I made a statement once in our church in Kelowna which shocked people whom I thought would understand. They didn’t! My statement was that I had never served a Board in my life. I thought they knew me well enough to know that the only basis on which I would make such a claim was that my first loyalty and first priority was to the Lord Jesus. In my mind, when one serves God first, it’s no trouble at all to serve the deacons of the church as long as they are also serving the Lord. I guess I didn’t explain it well enough for even a man I respected most highly somehow thought I was declaring my independence of our deacons board. I was not doing that at all. Instead I was following the words of  Philippians 2:3 “[Let] nothing [be done] through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”

  1. a call to humility: “And be clothed with humility”

    Peter could never forget the example of the Lord Jesus when He girded Himself with a towel and washed the disciples feet. Jesus was taking the place of the most lowly servant of the household and Peter had protested. But Jesus replied that “You call me Teacher, and Lord, and you say well for so I am. If I, then, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you ought also to wash one another’s feet.”

    Some churches have taken this to be an ordinance, and have foot washing as well as the Lord’s Table, and baptism. I don’t think the Lord was instituting an ordinance, I believe that He was illustrating the attitude that was to characterize those who call themselves Christians. The word for humility is a word which means lowly mindedness. By nature we have a tendency to pride. Humility comes from a right view of ourselves in relation to God.

    Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as [the] elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;”

    What is this humility which is required of every member of a local church?

    The word used speaks of

1) the having a humble opinion of one’s self

2) a deep sense of one’s (moral) littleness

3) modesty, humility, lowliness of mind

    It is the quality Jesus called for when He said, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." — Matthew 5:5

    "True humility is not an abject, grovelling, self-despising spirit; it is a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us." — Tryon Edwards

    Charles H. Spurgeon said, "Humility is to make a right estimate of oneself."    Someone else has said, "Life is a long lesson in humility."  Boy, isn’t that the truth

    “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less.”    

Rick Warren


  1. True humility is found in seeing ourselves as God sees us.

    Isaiah 57:15 “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name [is] Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy [place], With him [who] has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

    The circumstances of life are designed to humble us. We may wonder why some things are allowed to happen to us as Christians or to us as churches. But God is much more concerned to develop our character, than to spare our feelings. When difficult things happen, we should not allow ourselves to get angry toward people, or hurt, and wounded and bitter. Instead we should recognize that if God has allowed this to happen,


  1. Humbling ourselves is not before men but before God.

    That is why the Word tells us to 6 “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,”       

    Are we able to trust the Lord to lift us up in His time? That may be within the foreseeable future or it may even go as far as life beyond the grave. When I resigned from our pastorate in Kelowna, I was deeply cast down because I loved that church and those people. I had never been unemployed in my life. It took 6 months to heal, and then God called us again to the little church in Lake Cowichan where we had one of our best ministries. Perhaps you have had some similar experience of being cast down.

    Which brings us tyo the subject of worry


  1. The answer to worry is trust in God   

    Ah, here again is God’s secret of life; “Casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you.”

    God has a loving and kind purpose for it. Do we really believe in truth that God knows us, that He loves us, that He cares for us? When we are hurt, it is so easy to get defensive and blame God for our woes. There are some wonderful verses in the Psalms: Psalms 37:5 “Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring [it] to pass.” Psalms 55:22 “Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you;”

    We have such a tendency to worry about things, don’t we? But worry and care wear us out. How much better to obey the scripture: Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day [is] its own trouble.” Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” Matthew 6:33"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

    I say again, a healthy Christian is a humble Christian.


  1. A Healthy Christian is an Alert Christian

    8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

  1. Know your enemy.

    Sufficient that we know who our real enemy is. Jesus warned the Jews of the adversary: Joh 8:44 "You are of [your] father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own [resources], for he is a liar and the father of it.

    When we were going through our difficulties in Kelowna, at a meeting of elders and deacons several of us said that this was an attack of Satan on the church. One man, said with a smile on his face, “Oh, no, this is not an attack of Satan. This is God trying to put things right in this church!” I heard the hiss of the serpent that day. I had already learned that that man had a history of causing divisions in churches long before this, but again, as much as I might like to blame him, that man was not the enemy. We know who our enemy is.

    That is why, Ephesians 6:11 urges us to “Put on the whole armor of God,  that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”


  1. Be alert to the attack of your enemy.

    Be alert, be awake, and watchful, says Peter.

    In the Christian life, we talk about wounded healers. We mean that those weaknesses and failures in our lives can be turned to good, because having experienced pain ourselves, we can nurture those who are going through trials and pain. Such was Peter. So much of his teaching comes out of his own failure - he could never forget how they couldn’t stay awake in the garden when Jesus asked them to pray; nor how he had boastfully asserted that he would never leave Jesus, yet so quickly denied Him 3 times. Be alert! He says. Remember your enemy and how he plots your downfall. And be alert to your own natural weaknesses which Satan will try to exploit in order to trip you up. Our enemy knows has thousands of years of history in pressing the right buttons of temptation to which we may easily fall prey. Be alert! Says Peter. There are some things you need to avoid, because they give him an advantage.


  1. Resist your enemy

    But the good news is that Satan can be resisted. We are far too weak to take the offensive against Satan, but with God’s help, we can stand our ground under his attacks.

    Peter warned these believers that they were about to face a time of intense persecution. Thousands of Christians would be put to death under Nero’s reign. Peter himself would be martyred. Everything was going to look to be out of control. How do you resist the enemy in that situation?

     9 “Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same  sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

    When we are tempted to self pity, Peter says, “Remember, you are not alone. Your brothers and sisters have suffered the same things. You are in good company.

    When we go through trials, it is so easy to believe that our trial is more severe than anyone else’s. Even if that were true which it is not, our trials could never equal the sufferings of our Saviour for us.

    Even when facing death, Christians can still be victorious through faith in God. Remember what God said, “ Do not fear him who can kill the body, but fear him but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Even in the most difficult of circumstances, Satan cannot really win, when we maintain our trust in God. I love Revelation 12: 11, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony and they loved not their lives unto the death.”


  1. A Healthy Christian is a Maturing Christian.

    As we come to verse 10, we are coming to the climax of the book of 1st Peter. From start to finish it is a book about triumph, about victory, about glory. Yes, it has had a lot in it about suffering, and trial. God is too honest to hide from us the reality that, while there are so many wonderful things to enjoy, and we are blessed in so many ways, still, life on this side of the grave is filled with many trials. We are not home yet!

    But we are on our way, and as we travel down the road of life we are to grow and mature in faith. We are to become more Christlike in our attitudes. We are to learn more and more to lean on our wonderful God and Saviour in every circumstance of life.

    10  “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory  by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”

    I marvel;

    Oh, we could spend time on each of those verbs, but you get the picture. Are there difficulties? Oh, dear ones, all of these difficulties are working together for your good, though it may not yet be evident of how they are doing so. Trust God. Believe that He is working in you a far more eternal weight of glory, and your spiritual progress will be seen in your eyes, in your face, in your attitudes, and without even realizing it you are being transformed into the likeness of Christ.

    Small wonder then that we now come to a benediction.

     11 “To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

    Here is the reason for life. Here is the reason for faith. Here is the reason for trials. It is not about you! It is about Him!

    Looking unto Jesus! This is the reason you were born! This is the reason you were saved! Every step you take is a step toward home. Every breath you draw, is a breath with which to praise God from whom all blessings flow.

    Worship Him. Adore Him. Praise Him. Glorify Him. Love Him. For this is salvation, for ever and ever,



    The title of this massage could well have been: “God’s secret for living in a church” or even, “God’s secret for living in First Baptist Church, Kamloops/”

    This morning we heard of the responsibility of our pastor and that every person needs a pastor, including our pastor, thus the value of a plurality of elders.

    He said this evening’s sermon would be a complementary message

    It is because this evening we hear a call for submission to our spiritual leaders.  I don’t think it’s difficult to submit to our pastor or pastors if our pastors are in submission to God

    Submission is not difficult when it is a mutual submission.

    When all are “clothed in humility” then, we recognize that

  1. A Healthy Christian is a Humble Christian
  2. A Healthy Christian is an Alert Christian
  3. A Healthy Christian is a Maturing Christian.

    And that is what I call “The Secret of living” whether we are younger or whether we are advanced in years.


Series Information

Other sermons in the series