Let Us Follow Peter's Instructions (1 Peter 5:6-11)
1. According to 1 Corinthians 11:1, we are to follow [imitate] the apostle Paul as he followed Christ. 2. This morning we examined the example he set as he dealt with his thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). 3. This evening we are studying some additional instructions written by the apostle Peter that are found in 1 Peter 5:6-11. 4. As we strive to follow Paul's example, let us also follow Peter's instructions. 5. They are similar in that both identify our enemy, and both emphasize humility and dependence upon the Lord.
I. VERSES 6 & 7 TEACH US TO REMAIN HUMBLE
A. Notice the emphasis placed on "humility." 1. (vs.5b) "Be clothed with humility." 2. (vs.6a) "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God." B. Why must we remain humble? 1. If we do not remain humble, God cannot help us (vs.5b -- "God resisteth the proud"). 2. We learn from 1 Corinthians 10:12 that a person who thinks he can stand on his own is headed for a fall -- "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." 3. Humility will lead us to depend upon God. 4. When we depend upon God, He will help us. a. (vs.5c) God gives "grace to the humble." b. (vs.6b) "In due time," God will exalt the humble. c. (James 4:10) "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." C. (vs.7) Those who humble themselves before God will be able to do something that others cannot do. 1. We are told to cast all our care upon God. 2. The reason we are to do this is because God cares for His children. 3. He loves us, and He wants to help us in our struggles with Satan. 4. God cannot help us if we fail to remain humble before Him. 5. Notice in vs.10 what God will do for those who depend upon Him.
II. VERSES 8 & 9 TEACH US TO STAND AGAINST THE DEVIL
A. Being "sober" and "vigilant" indicates that we are to be watchful. 1. We are to be watchful because we have an enemy. 2. Our adversary is Satan, the devil. a. He is pictured as a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. b. He constantly searches for victims. c. Christians are not immune to his attacks. 3. God loves His children, but Satan wants to destroy us. B. Satan uses many devices to try to destroy people. 1. (Genesis 3:5) He lied to Eve when he tempted her to disobey God. 2. (Job 1-2) He accused Job before God and caused him to suffer badly. 3. (Acts 5:3-4) He convinced Ananias and Sapphira to lie before God. 4. As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 2:11, "we are not ignorant of his devices," therefore we must be watchful. C. (vs.9) We must resist Satan. 1. (James 4:7) "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." 2. Jesus showed us in Matthew 4:1-11 that Satan can be resisted. 3. The key is resisting Satan steadfastly "in the faith" (Ephesians 6:16 -- "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked"). 4. It will also help us to remember that other people have faced the same temptations that we face and remained true to God.
III. LET US MAKE SEVERAL OBSERVATIONS FROM PETER'S LIFE
A. (Luke 22:31-32) Jesus told Peter that Satan was after him. B. For a while Peter did not humble himself before God, and he denied Jesus three times. C. Peter finally did humble himself before the Lord, and he corrected his mistake. D. Peter learned a great lesson that day, and he went on to become one of the Lord's strongest and most dedicated followers. E. Satan continued to afflict Peter in various ways, but Peter remained humble and was able to overcome Satan's devices.
1. God and Satan are both interested in us -- they both want us to spend eternity with them. 2. May God help us to follow Peter's instructions as well as Paul's example so we can overcome Satan and spend eternity with the Lord in heaven!