1 Peter 5:1-4

Serve God Willingly

1 1Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your 2fellow elder and 3witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a 4partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,
2 shepherd 5the flock of God among you, exercising oversight 6not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and 7not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;
3 nor yet as 8lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be 9examples to the flock.
4 And when the Chief 10Shepherd appears, you will receive the 11unfading 12crown of glory.

1 Peter 5:1-4 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 PETER 5

In this chapter the apostle first exhorts pastors and members of churches to their respective duties as such; and then to those which were common to them all, as Christians; and closes the epistle with prayers for them, salutations of them, and with his apostolic benediction. He begins with the pastors or elders, and describes himself as a fellow elder, an eyewitness of Christ's sufferings, and a partaker of his glory, 1Pe 5:1, and these he exhorts to feed the flock of God, where they were; to take the charge and oversight of them, freely, readily, and willingly, and not through force or covetousness; and not to exercise a tyrannical dominion over them, but to be examples to them, 1Pe 5:2,3, and the argument made use of to encourage them to all this is, that at the appearance of Christ, the chief Shepherd, they should receive a never fading crown of glory, 1Pe 5:4 and next, the members of the churches are exhorted to submit to the rule and government of their pastors, being according to the word of God; and to be subject to one another; and particularly to put on humility, as a garment very ornamental to them; and the rather, since God opposes himself to men that are proud, but gives more grace to the humble, 1Pe 5:5 and especially he exhorts them to be humble under the hand of God, since that is a mighty one, and this is the way to be exalted in due time; and also to cast their care upon him, seeing he cared for them, 1Pe 5:6,7 and then the apostle proceeds to the common duties of Christians, and to exhort them to sobriety and watchfulness, since Satan their adversary was a cruel and indefatigable one, and ever seeking the ruin of men; and to resist him in the steadfast exercise of faith, and patiently bear all afflictions, seeing the same were accomplished in their brethren in the world, 1Pe 5:8,9 and then he puts up some petitions for them, that they might be perfected, stablished, strengthened, and settled, 1Pe 5:10 and ascribes glory and dominion for ever to the God of grace, to whom he prays, 1Pe 5:11 after which he names the person by whom he sends this epistle, giving a summary of it; that it was an exhortation and a testimony to the true doctrine of grace wherein they stood, 1Pe 5:12, and next follow the salutations of the church at Babylon, and of his son Marcus, to them, 1Pe 5:13, and lastly, he desires they would salute one another with a kiss of love, and gives them his benedictory wish, 1Pe 5:14.

1 Peter 5:1-4 In-Context

1 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,
2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;
3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.
4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Cross References 12

  • 1. Acts 11:30
  • 2. 2 John 1; 3 John 1
  • 3. Luke 24:48; Hebrews 12:1
  • 4. 1 Peter 1:5, 7; 1 Peter 4:13; Revelation 1:9
  • 5. John 21:16; Acts 20:28
  • 6. Philemon 14
  • 7. 1 Timothy 3:8
  • 8. Ezekiel 34:4; Matthew 20:25
  • 9. John 13:15; Philippians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 3:9; 1 Timothy 4:12; Titus 2:7
  • 10. 1 Peter 2:25
  • 11. 1 Peter 1:4
  • 12. 1 Corinthians 9:25

Footnotes 3

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