We have been studying the last few Sunday morning the life of the apostle Peter. We will be wrapping up our study in Peter’s life this coming Sunday. One of the things that have impressed me as I considered and preached on Peter’s life over the last few Sundays is how much Peter grew in his following of the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter went from being a bold and prideful disciple to being a man that God could use in any situation. Later in life, Peter would write some significant words which I believe grew out of his experience of being a follower of Jesus Christ and the lessons that he learned during his walk with Jesus. In 1 Peter 5:5 – 7 we read these words, “Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourself with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”. Peter was not by nature a humble person. He was an outspoken, confident man who when Jesus told him that he would deny Jesus three times was sure that would never happen. He had to learn the lesson of humility and part of that lesson came through the deep brokenness of his actual denial of the Lord Jesus Christ. The lesson of humility is an important a lesson for all of us learn. It is especially necessary for this particular day and age in which we live when there is so much prideful arrogance.
When Peter talks about in “clothing ourselves with humility toward one another” I believe he remembers the picture of the Lord Jesus Christ in the upper room. Remember how Jesus girded himself with the apron of humility and took on the humiliating task of washing the disciple’s feet. This generally was a task that was reserved for the youngest in the group, but it certainly was not a task that the Master would do. Yet that is exactly what Jesus did in the upper room. Remember once again it was Peter who said – “Lord, you’ll never wash my feet”. Peter had to learn that God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble. That quote, by the way, is from Proverbs 3:34. God’s grace is the source of our strength in the face of trials and difficulties. God’s grace enables us to serve the Lord despite our failings and weaknesses. It was God’s grace and forgiveness that restored Peter, and he never forgot the picture of the humility of Christ kneeling and washing his feet. It was pride that caused the man to need clothing in the first place, when Adam decided that he was going to go in his own direction, despite what God had instructed.
Notice the phrase in verse five- “all of you”. True humility is attractive clothing for all of us. Following the Lord Jesus’s example of serving one another in humility is something that should be in every believer’s heart. True humility is a hard lesson because as soon as you realize that you have it, it’s gone. Humility involves our attitude towards God. When we go into the majestic presence of the Lord God of the universe, on our knees before Him, we discover our real size. Anything that we are or anything that we may become is the result of what God has done in and through us. But without true humility, there can be no submission. Peter above all the other apostles had to learn the proper concept of humility because he was the most for boastful. But here in 1 Peter he is writing this letter to encourage his friends to embrace and accept the suffering they may be experiencing because of the cause of Christ.
In verse 6 Peter tells us that God has a way of blessing us at the proper time and proper ways when he says- “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time”. God is the one who determines the proper time to promote us. For us, as believers, it’s important to understand God’s controlling providence and to realize that we serve Jesus and He will determine the moment to bless our ministry and service. When I think of what is happening currently in our political situation, I believe there is no greater need in this hour than the need for humility. But I also think humility is a great need in the church of Jesus Christ as well. Let us seek humbly to serve one another and the Lord with the open doors that He has set before us, for He is the one who will determine the time to lift us up.
In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Rich Sivo