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1 Peter Chapter Five


I. Content of the Chapter


Final Exhortations to Those Who Have Been Favored

A.  To elders ---- shepherd and serve the flock of God (v.1-4);

1. According to the will of God;

2. Not by compulsion but willingly;

3. Not for dishonest gain but eagerly;

4. Not as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

B.  To common believers (v.5-9);

1. To men ---- be humble and submissive (v.5);

a.    The younger people shall submit yourselves to your elders;

b.    All shall be clothed with humility and be submissive to one another;

2. To God ---- humble oneself and cast all your care (v.6-7);

a.    Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God;

b.    Cast all your care upon God;

3. To the devil ---- be sober and resist it (v.8-9);

a.    be sober and be vigilant;

b.    Resist the devil and be steadfast in the faith;

C.  Praise and concluding remarks and greetings (v.10-14);

1. Praise ---- God will perfect … and to Him be the glory and dominion (v.10-11);

2. Concluding remarks ---- by whom this epistle was sent and the main purpose of writing this epistle (v.12);

3. Greetings (v.13-14);


II. Verse by Verse Commentary


1Pet. 5:1 “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:”

YLT: “Elders who among you, I exhort, who a fellow-elder, and a witness of the sufferings of the Christ, and of the glory about to be revealed a partaker,”

Meaning of Words: a fellow elder”: a co-presbyter; witness”: martyr; partaker”: sharer, partner; exhort”: call near, beseech, entreat; 

Literal Meaning: there is a “therefore” in the beginning of this verse in the original, which shows that the following exhortations to the elders (see v.1-4) and all believers (v.5-11) are according to the above-mentioned verse “for the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God” (see 4:17).

  I who am a fellow elder”, “elder”: he who oversees the church and whose work is to shepherd and serve the flock of God. Elder is also called “overseer” (see 1Tim. 3:1-7). “I who am a fellow elder”, it does not emphasize the authority of his eldership, but identifies with the elders and shares his experience with them as an elder.

  As an apostle (see 1:1) and elder, the former is working for the Lord everywhere and the latter only works in the local church in the place that he dwells.

  “A witness of the sufferings of Christ”, it indicates that Peter had heard the teachings concerning the suffering of the Lord Jesus (see Matt. 16:21) and had witnessed the experience of the suffering of the Lord (see Matt. 26:58). Therefore, he was worthy of being a witness of His suffering. The love expressed by the Lord’s suffering drives us to be willing to shepherd His sheep (see John 21:15-17).

  “A partaker of the glory that will be revealed”, here Peter looks “forward” and “backward”: 1) “look backward” ---- Peter had seen the revelation of the glory of the Lord Jesus on the mountain on which the Lord was transfigured (see Luke 9:32); 2) “look forward” ---- it meant that Peter was convinced that the Lord Jesus would reveal in glory again (see Luke 9:26); “partaker”: it indicates that all believers including Peter will partake of the glorious revelation of Him in the future.

  “The elders who are among you I exhort”, the following words of exhortation (v.2-4) are also fit for all those who have ministries in the church.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)     Peter here does not mention his apostleship, but identifies himself with others as an elder. He does not put on airs. And let the servants of the Lord learn such mind and abandon the ideas of ranks ---- the works and teachings of the Nicolaitanes (Rev. 2:6, 15).

2)     Eldership is not an honor of the venerable brothers in the church, but an assignment given to those who are willing to bear witness to the suffering of Christ.

3)     An elder is not a high official, but one who will let men know how Christ suffered in humanity and make them willing to suffer for Christ.

4)     Only those who have seen the suffering of Christ in spirit are worthy of the eldership to look upon believers who suffer for the will of God (see 3:17-18).

5)     Some so-called servants of the Lord despise the truth of the cross and the testimony of Christ’s sufferings but preach the resurrection and life of Christ only. In fact, no cross, no resurrection. No testimony of Christ’s suffering, no risen life of Christ (see Acts 3:15; 4:33).

6)     Suffering is first and then glory. Only those who are willing to suffer for the Lord will be partakers of the Lord’s glory that will be revealed (4:13).

7)     Be partakers of the glory that will be revealed ---- as the glory of the Lord is, so is ours ---- what glorious portion!


1Pet. 5:2 “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;”

YLT: “feed the flock of God that among you, overseeing not constrainedly, but willingly, neither for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind,”

Meaning of Words: shepherd”: tend, feed, rule; serve”: oversee, look diligently, take the oversight;compulsion”: by constraint;dishonest gain”: base gain, sordid;

Literal Meaning: “shepherd the flock of God which is among you”, “shepherd”: provide spiritual food, guide and look after and take care of; “flock”: all believers, namely, the church; “the flock of God”: all believers and the whole church are of God, and God commits them to the elders (see v.3) to shepherd and serve.

  “Serving as overseers”: serve and look after them as God does; “serve as overseers”: guard and look after and oversee and correct and help with caution;

  “Not by compulsion but willingly”, “by compulsion”: by force, have to take the responsibility; “willingly”: be spontaneous and be pleased;

  “Not for dishonest gain but eagerly”: “dishonest gain”: base gain, namely, covet for base and sordid gain, including riches, reputation, status etc. “Eagerly”: eager motivation according to the original, so “eagerly” here refers to zealous service (see Rom. 12:11).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)     The church and all saints are of God. The elder is not the lord of the church. The elder can by no means treat with believers or deal with things presumptuously.

2)     “Shepherd” is the chief mission of the elders. It is the most important work for the elders of how to make all the saints full in spirit and grown in life.

3)     Elder is not a vain title, but a practical ministry ---- shepherd the flock. God has entrusted the responsibility to the elders, so the elders have to center their attention upon fulfilling the missions as God does upon us.

4)     The elders have to manifest to believers God’s patience and forgiveness and endless love and His everlasting care so that they are worthy of God.

5)     “Shepherd” and “serve” are two great responsibilities of elders ---- teaching and administration have to be kept abreast of one another in balance.

6)     Elders in the church have not to deal with things according to their own will, but “according to the will of God”, nor please men (see Gal. 1:10), but God.

7)     The service of shepherding the church is not according to one’s own talent or will or intelligence, but the will of God. Therefore, elders have to understand the will of God before service. One that does not know the will of God labors in vain in things concerning shepherding the flock.

8)     Believers should not receive a certain ministry in the church by compulsion, but willingly.

9)     Let us be willing to do all divine ministries, not by passive compulsion, but with positive willingness.

10)  Believers shall not seek any position in the church for the purpose of personal gain. It is worldly situations of disputes over the amount of wages and the length of vacation and the quality of welfare.

11)  The most distinct character of the shepherd is the selfless sacrificial love to the flock. Anyone who receives the divine ministry with the thought of obtaining base gain has put the cart before the horse.

12)  Just as the words of one American president in the past: “do not think of how much profit you will gain from the country, but how many contributions you can make to the country”. Let him who serves in the church not think of how much profit he will gain from the church, but how many contributions you can make to the church.

13)  A Christians shall be zealous of serving in everything and deeply feel he is unworthy at the same time. God gives the chances of service to men, but men have to cooperate with God by a willing heart.


1Pet. 5:3 “nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;”

YLT: “neither as exercising lordship over the heritages, but patterns becoming of the flock,”

Meaning of Words: be lord”: exercise lordship, exercise dominion over, control; “entrust”: assign, allot, obtain an inheritance; “example”: pattern, manner;

Literal Meaning: “nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, “being lords”: exercise lordship unceasingly; “entrust”: it means in the original that God entrusts believers to elders as “an inheritance”.

“But being examples to the flock”, “example”: pattern, it indicates that one has to do first and then makes others follow him; example is not monopolizing everything nor replacing others, not that the elder does everything but believers do nothing. Instead, example is that the elder serves God and makes believers serve God in like manner.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Everything we have is not that we are worthy of, but pure grace of God.

2)    God entrusts the responsibilities to the elders. Therefore, the elders have to treat with the church with God’s heart to the church.

3)    Elders should be examples to the flock, not dictators. They have to lead the flock before them instead of driving after them. Any elder shall not treat with the flock as they are of him.

4)    The function of examples is entirely different from the effect of domination. Examples make others eager to imitate. And yet lordship is to force others to obey.

5)    The most common mistake for the elders is indolence, and covetousness (see v.2) and exercising lordship. The situation of the elder has directly influenced that of believers. Therefore, elders have to set themselves as examples.


1Pet. 5:4 “and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”

YLT: “and at the manifestation of the chief Shepherd, ye shall receive the unfading crown of glory.”

Meaning of Words: the Chief Shepherd”: the Head Shepherd; “receive”: obtain;

Literal Meaning: “when the Chief Shepherd appears”, “the Chief Shepherd” refers to the Lord Jesus; when He walked on the earth, He saw the people as sheep not having a shepherd (Matt. 9:36). Therefore, He sent His disciples to seek the lost sheep (Matt. 10:6) and He Himself also went to seek the lost sheep (Matt. 18:12) and even laid down his life for the sheep, so He is the good shepherd (John 10:11) as well as our Chief Shepherd (see John 21:15-17); “appears”: in the second coming of the Lord (see 2Thess. 1:7, 10).

  “You will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away”, “that does not fade away”: be of eternal value and ever fresh; “glory”: be praised and exalted by God; “crown”: reign with the Lord together;

  “The crown of glory”, it is mentioned in the Scriptures that there is crown of joy (1Thess. 2:19), crown of righteousness (2Tim. 4:8), crown of life (James 1:12; Rev. 2:10) etc. to describe the reward worthy of believers’ present performance. Believers just take it for granted that the elders have to willingly bear the burden of hard works. But in the sight of God, the elders shall be given proper reward in the future.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The Lord Jesus is “that Chief Shepherd” (see Heb. 13:20). Shepherds in the church shall not treat with the saints presumptuously, but shepherd the flock according to the will of the Lord.

2)    The confidence in “the Lord’s second coming” is “the source of power” of our enduring humiliation today. When we fix our eyes upon the Lord, we know that the Lord is beholding us so that we are enabled to keep in persistence.

3)    Elders who diligently serve the church may not obtain the appreciation and thanksgiving of believers, but cause mistakes. However, God has promised to reward the faithful elders.

4)    Men in the world seek the corruptible crown. But we Christians are seeking the incorruptible crown (see 1Cor. 9:25). Everything we lay up in Christ is unfading (see 1:4).

5)    If the servant of God lets God be glorified in everything now (see 4:11), he will obtain glory from God in future. If he suffers with Christ today (see 4:13), he will be glorified with the Lord on that day (Rom. 8:17).


1Pet. 5:5 “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."”

YLT: “In like manner, ye younger, be subject to elders, and all to one another subjecting yourselves; with humble-mindedness clothe yourselves, because God the proud doth resist, but to the humble He doth give grace;”

Meaning of Words: submit”: obey; “elder”: older one, presbyter; “be clothed”: put on, wear; “resist”: range oneself against, oppose themselves; “proud”: arrogant

Literal Meaning: “likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders”, “younger”: at that time, even men from thirty to forty years also belonged to “those who are younger”; “submit”, here it emphasizes the inner “submission” more that the external “submissive” attitude (see Eph. 5:22). “Elder” here refers to believers who are elder. Younger or elder, it is not limited by physical age, but according to the length of days of being favored and the condition of spiritual life. 

Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, “all of you”: all believers; “be clothed with humility”: constrain oneself and show humility before men, containing a kind of attitude as a servant waits for the master and receives his correction. “Be submissive to one another”, here the submission, regardless of age, means being submissive in humility.

“For "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble”, “for”, here it gives the reasons why Christians have to be humble and submissive. Concerning the following words, please see Pro. 3:34 and James 4:5. “God resists the proud”, it indicates that God is at enmity with the proud and dislikes anyone who is arrogant. “But gives grace to the humble”, it is quoted from the Book of Proverbs (3:34) ---- humility is the first requisite for men to receive the grace of God.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)     The proper formalities between young and old should be kept in the church. It is a basic attitude that Christians have to have of honoring the aged people. Generally speaking, we have to be always submissive except when those who have to obey have made ridiculous mistakes (see Acts 4:19; 5:29).

2)     He who has just believed the Lord have to obey those who have been favored long, for they have much more experience in things concerning God and deeper understanding of God’s word.

3)     In the church, there is the so-called “generation gap” ---- the elders take advantage of their seniority, and the younger people are much more energetic ---- both of them have their advantages and do not honor one another. Therefore, it is difficult to be submissive to one another.

4)     The accuracy of a spiritual thing is not according to one’s life experience or age, but how much we fear the Lord.

5)     Submission among Christians is not only the external attitude and actions but also a real mind “by heart” ---- humble oneself and become obedient (Phil. 2:8).

6)     He who is “in lowliness of mind and esteems others as more excellent than himself” (Phil. 2:3) can obey others. All those who regard them higher than others cannot obey others, for such men are full of arrogance in heart and will manifest before others.

7)     Humility “is a treasure chest in which all goodness is gathered”. Humility is a kind of courage to face oneself rather than timidity or shyness or servility.

8)     Think about that: if the almighty God will resist the proud, who can hinder His power? On the country, if He will give grace to the humble, who can hinder His reward?


1Pet. 5:6 “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,”

YLT: “be humbled, then, under the powerful hand of God, that you He may exalt in good time,”

Meaning of Words: humble”: bring low, depress, humiliate, abase; “under”: beneath; “mighty”: strong; “exalt”: elevate, life up;

Literal Meaning: “therefore humble yourselves”, “therefore”, it takes up the previous words; since God “gives grace to the humble” (see v.5), the proud have cut themselves off the grace of God. Humility enables one to receive the grace of God; “humble yourselves”: it means humility is that one becomes humble by himself, not by others or other things (see Phil. 2:7-8).

  “Under the mighty hand of God”, be willing to receive the hand of God;

  “That He may exalt you in due time”, “in due time”: the time when the purpose of God has reached on us; “He may exalt you”: be delivered from oppression;

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    We choose rather to be humble than to be humbled by the Lord.

2)    If we desire to be humble to men, we have to be humble before God. One who is humble before God is enabled to see the works by God’s hands upon everyone who has been favored.

3)    Christians shall not resist any experience in life, for the hands of God are arranging everything. He has good plans concerning our life.

4)    The best way of facing trials is to receive them humbly from the hands of the Lord. He will establish His people (see v.10) in due time and exalt them.

5)    It is best to put down struggles and labors and “be under the mighty hands of God”, for the hands of God is stronger than that of Satan and is more reliable than that of men (see 2Sam. 24:14).

6)    The hands of God are careful (see 1Cor. 10:13) and purposeful upon us ---- he will let us go in due time.


1Pet. 5:7 “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

YLT: “all your care having cast upon Him, because He careth for you.”

Meaning of Words: care”: anxiety; “cast upon”: throw upon; “care for”: concern, take care;

Literal Meaning: “casting all your care upon Him, it is quoted from the Septuagint (Ps. 55:22); “all care”: all burdens in heart; “cast upon Him”, it is just like unloading the goods ---- one casts the burden he is bearing upon God (see Matt. 11:28-30; Ps. 68:19; Heb. 13:5).

“For He cares for you”, “care”, here there are two sorts of “care”: one is caring for what we care for, and the other is caring for our need out of His love.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The etymon in the original of “care” is “division”, namely, “dividing our heart”. Our anxiety often distracts our heart and strays from the godliness of God.

2)    Care is unnecessary. Since God is willing and able to bear our burdens, we need not to put the burden upon our shoulders. Care is of no effect, for it is unable to resolve anything.

3)    Sometimes men’s cares are redundant and unreasonable and unnecessary. However, if we do not “cast upon” the unceasing cares, we will be grievously bothered.

4)    Christians’ privilege is to be able to cast all their cares upon the Lord and be confident that He will care for them. Since God cares for even the birds of the heaven and the lilies of the field, how much rather shall he care for us (see Matt. 6:26, 30)?

5)    Care is a sin, for it denies the love of God with the thought that God will not care for us. Care is a sin, for it denies the power of God with the thought that God is unable to resolve our problems.

6)    The difference of the belief of Christianity from other secular religions is that a true God cares for Christians. We need not to make great effect to fawn on God, for He loves us ---- God is love (1John 4:8, 16), and He knows all our needs (Matt. 6:32).

7)    Many believers believe that God “governs” all things, but are unable to believe that He also governs “our whole life” ---- they are afraid of that God will not care for all the trivia in our life.


1Pet. 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

YLT: “Be sober, vigilant, because your opponent the devil, as a roaring lion, doth walk about, seeking whom he may swallow up,”

Meaning of Words: sober”: watch, discreet, abstain…from; “vigilant”: keep awake, watch; “adversary”: opponent; “devil”: slanderer, Satan; “walk about”: tread all around, be occupied with;

Literal Meaning: “be sober, be vigilant”, it shows that we shall not become slack after we have cast all cares upon God, for we still have our duties. “Sober”: keep sober and clear in mind and be temperate in everything; though the meaning of “vigilant” is similar to that of “sober”, there is still a difference ---- “sober” means being not drunken, and “vigilant” means not sleeping deeply;

  “Because your adversary the devil”, “adversary” is a legal term, which refers to the opponent or adversary in a lawsuit. And it relates to Satan in the Scriptures, for it is “the accuser of our brethren before our God day and night” (Rev. 12:10). And “Satan” means “adversary” in the original. Satan, alias the devil which means accuser and slander, for it slanders God (see Gen.3:5) and slanders the church behind the world (see 2:12; 3:16; 4:4).

  “Like a roaring lion”, it describes the ferocious and bloodthirsty situation of the devil (see Ps. 22:13);

“Walks about”, it points that the devil treads all around everywhere (see Job 1:7; 2:2);

“Seeking whom he may devour”, “seeking”, it shows that its goal is limited ---- not everyone can be cheated by him; “whom he may devour”: those who are not sober or vigilant, namely, those who are drowsy and drunken and numb in spirit;

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    It is better to be sober and vigilant in mind that to be anxious in mind (see v.7). The former lays up strength to defend and the latter wastes one’s power in mind.

2)    If we put verse seven and eight together, we will know that “care” often comes from the devil that makes us anxious about things of this age so that we become drowsy and numb in spirit. Therefore, we have to be sober and be vigilant.

3)    Be sober so that we will guard against the devil carefully. And “be vigilant” so that we will deal with the attacks of the devil swiftly.

4)    The normal conversation of Christians is a spiritual war. Therefore, we have to be ever vigilant to see through the schemes of the devil.

5)    We shall not be indifferent to the nature of the world, nor deal with the motivations and attacks of the devil lightly, lest we should live flippantly to be taken in the devil.

6)    Our struggle is not against blood and flesh, but against spiritual of wickedness in the heavenlies (see Eph. 6:12). We have to know clearly that our enemy is not any person but the devil hidden behind men.

7)    There are two faces of the devil: sometimes it is like the serpent, transforming himself into an angel of light to cheat men (2Cor. 11:14); and sometimes, it is ferocious like a roaring lion, devouring men openly.

8)    A spiritual man said, “the devil has one advantage is “diligence”, who walks about to seek foolish and drowsy believers in spirit and wait to devour them”.

9)    “Whom he may devour”, it suggests that not everyone can be devoured by the devil and it devours those who are weak and sleepy. Therefore, the way for us to overcome the fierce enemies is to be a strong man.


1Pet. 5:9 “Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

YLT: “whom resist, stedfast in the faith, having known the same sufferings to your brotherhood in the world to be accomplished.”

Meaning of Words: steadfast”: firm, strong, sure; resist”: withstand, oppose;experience”: fulfill, complete;

Literal Meaning: “resist him, steadfast in the faith”, “steadfast”: firm and persevering; “resist”: a military term, which means fortifying the defense works and leaving no provisions for the enemy and withstanding the enemy unto the end;

  “Knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world”, “knowing that”: if one knows the following reasons, he will resist the devil steadfastly; “your brotherhood in the world”: none of brothers living in the world can escape from it; “the same sufferings”: the sufferings according to the will of God (see 3:17; 4:19); such sufferings often come from the attacks of the devil.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    We believers cannot oppose against the devil through our own power. Instead, we can only rely on the great power of God. And “faith” is the best way of moving the hands of God that God must show stretch out His hands.

2)    Though the devil is like a roaring lion (see v.8), in fact, it is coward and powerless with a bully appearance. If we resist it, it must flee from us (James 4:7).

3)    One scheme of the devil is to make us think that our suffering is the suffering that others have not experienced so that we will be discouraged. Therefore, when we “have known” that brothers in the world also go through the same sufferings, we will find that we are not lonely in this path and are thus revived.

4)    When we feel lonely and weak and helpless and isolated from the people, we may probably see our difficulties only and lose vigilance against the danger around. At this time, we are easy to be attacked by the devil.

5)    The weight of the crosses that each child of God bears is the same. Do not think that some people engaged in a certain occupation suffer more.

6)    Humility makes us live in the sea of God’s grace that the might hands of God cover us. Steadfast faith makes us rise above and fly into the heavenly realm of God and far away from the devil. Humility and faith are two secrets of our overcoming the devil.


1Pet. 5:10 “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.”

YLT: “And the God of all grace, who did call you to His age-during glory in Christ Jesus, having suffered a little, Himself make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle ;”

Meaning of Words: all”: the whole; “perfect”: make complete, make ready; “establish”: build, confirm; “settle”: consolidate, lay the foundation;

Literal Meaning: “but may the God of all grace, who called us … by Christ Jesus”, “the God of all grace”: the grace of God is various and sufficient to deal with all our needs; “called us by Christ Jesus”: it means that the calling of God is persistent and He will fulfill His purpose of calling us.

  “To His eternal glory … after you have suffered a while”, there are three pairs of contrast in this verse: 1) “be called to” and “suffer” ---- what we “suffer” today leads to the glory we are “called to”; 2) “eternal” and “a while” ---- we suffer today “for a while” only and the glory we will enjoy is “eternal”; 3) “glory” and “suffering” ---- the “suffering” today is transient, and the “glory” we are called to is in surpassing measure with eternal weight (see 2Cor. 4:17).

  “Who … perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you”, “who …”, here it emphasizes that God is partaking in the sufferings we are going through; “perfect”: spiritual cultivation and equipment; “establish”: be strengthened and firmed in faith and character; “strengthen”: increase in power; “settle”: build in all aspects;

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    To enjoy “all grace of God” is our secret of overcoming sufferings. The more grace we enjoy the divine grace, the more are we enabled to overcome sufferings.

2)    God calls us to His eternal glory, not sufferings. “Suffering” is not the purpose of God, but His way. Suffering is “for a while”, but His glory is “eternal”.

3)    The word “after” shows the order of experience ---- trial is first and then glory (see 1:7). Through many tribulations, we must enter into the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22).

4)    Experiences of sufferings help us to “repair” our spiritual weakness to make us more perfect.

5)    Those who have passed through the trial of sufferings will be more “established” in will and “strengthened” in faith.

6)    Sufferings can edify believers to make us more mature and experienced in spirit, and more steadfast in faith and character, and more powerful in performance, more stable in foundation.


1Pet. 5:11 “To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

YLT: “to Him the glory, and the power -- to the ages and the ages! Amen.”

Meaning of Words: dominion”: power, might; “amen”: true, verily, reliable;

Literal Meaning: be the glory and the dominion”, it is mentioned above that sufferings the saints experience are often caused by two reasons ---- one is the persecution of the devil (see v.9) and the other is the permission of the will of God (see 3:17; 4:19). All the sufferings are for the purpose of fulfilling the eternal glory of God through His mighty works ---- give grace, perfect, establish, strength, settle etc. Therefore, only God is worthy of glory and dominion (see 4:11).


1Pet. 5:12 “By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.”

YLT: “Through Silvanus, to you the faithful brother, as I reckon, through few I did write, exhorting and testifying this to be the true grace of God in which ye have stood.”

Meaning of Words: briefly”: shortly; “consider”: esteem, take an inventory; “faithful”: trustworthy; “testify”: be witness; “true”: real; “stand”: hold up, establish;

Literal Meaning: I have written to you briefly, this epistle is simple and short to express the inner burden briefly.

  By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, “faithful”: his faithfulness has been approved; “Silvanus”, the name is different from the name of the fellow worker of Paul (see Acts 16:25; 2Cor. 1:19), “Silas”, but all the Bible scholars agree that both of the two names refer to one person. The name here is an formal one, and the other is informal.

“Exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God”, “exhort” emphasizes oral expression. “Testifying”: bear witness by words and works; “testifying that this is the true grace of God”, it is of deep significance: 1) the sufferings and persecutions believers are faced with are just the evidence of the true grace of God (see 1:10-11); 2) when believers are in sufferings, God will give all grace to them, grace upon grace (see v.10a); 3) only when we believers enjoy more grace of God, can we be perfected by God in sufferings (see v.10b); 4) therefore, let us stand in the grace.

In this verse, it is revealed that Peter entrusted Silvanus four things: 1) write the epistle at Peter’s dictation; 2) send the epistle; 3) exhort the receivers of the epistle; 4) testify the true grace of God;

“In which you stand”, it indicates that we can stand and overcome sufferings in grace only.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)     There are two most important conditions of serving the Lord ---- faithfulness and prudence (see Matt. 24:45). He who is faithful can be entrusted with something and he who is prudent can stand firm in grace.

2)     In the church, not everyone is called to be a teacher or preacher, but everyone has to bear witness to the Lord to prove that the grace that we have received is truly out of God.

3)     Men in tribulations may most easily doubt whether the grace of God is true. However, since we have access by faith into this favor in which we stand (Rom. 5:2), we have to keep the position all the time and stand in the grace by enjoying all grace of God (see v.10).


1Pet. 5:13 “She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.”

YLT: “Salute you doth the in Babylon jointly elected, and Markus my son.”

Meaning of Words: Babylon”: Babel, confusion; “elect together”: be chosen together; “Mark”: polite;

Literal Meaning: “she who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you”, “Babylon”, it may refer to the city of Rome (see Rev. 17:5, 18). At that time, since Peter was in a dangerous circumstance, it was inappropriate for him to expose his hiding place. “Elect together with you”, it is a feminine noun according to the original.

  “And so does Mark my son”, “my son” refers to the spiritual son (see 1Tim. 1:2; 2Tim. 1:2); “Mark”, Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4:10), served the Lord with the apostle Paul (Acts 12:25), and had once left Paul (Acts 13:13). According to the ecclesiastical tradition, Mark then followed the apostle Peter and wrote the Gospel of Mark. Many people believe that it was Mark wrote this gospel at Peter’s dictation. They love one another as father and son (see Acts 12:12). Finally, Mark was again appreciated by Paul (see 2Tim. 4:11).


1Pet. 5:14 “Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.”

YLT: “Salute ye one another in a kiss of love; peace to you all who in Christ Jesus! Amen.”

Meaning of Words: love”: divine love (agape); “kiss”: show friendship (philema); 

Literal Meaning: “greet one another with a kiss of love”, “greet … with a kiss”, it was a customary way of greeting at that time in Middle East and Western places, and sometimes it was a formality. Here Peter used the divine love (“agape” in the original), which is of the same meaning with Paul’s words: “greet all the brethren with a holy kiss” (1Thess. 5:26), reminding the saints to let actions be in keeping with hearts.

  “Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus”, “all who are in Christ Jesus”, it refers to true Christians.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)     It does not say Christians shall give the customary etiquette in the world. But we have to express the true heart through the apparent forms.

2)     Though we believers have tribulations in the world, we have peace in Christ (see John 16:33). When our Lord came to the world, He had brought true peace to us (see Luke 2:14).


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


Instructions for Elders

A.   Responsibilities of elders;

1.    Be witnesses of the sufferings of Christ (v.1);

2.    Shepherd the flock of God (v.2);

B.   Principles for the Ministry of Elders;

1.    Serve as overseers (v.2);

2.    Not by compulsion but willingly (v.2);

3.    Not for dishonest gain but eagerly (v.2);

4.    Not as being lords over those who entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock (v.3);

C.   Rewards of the Elders;

1.    Be partakers of the glory that will be revealed (v.1);

2.    Receive the crown of glory that does not fade away (v.4);


Three Principles for Shepherds in the Church

A.   Not by compulsion but willingly (v.2) ---- which may remove all “compulsion”;

B.   Not for dishonest gain but eagerly (v.2) ---- which may prevent the attitude of “making gains”;

C.   Not as being lords over those who entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock (v.3) ---- which may eliminate the “bureaucracy” from the church;


Three Principles for Common Believers

A.   Be clothed with humility and be submissive to one another (v.5);

B.   Cast all your care upon God, for He cares for you (v.7);

C.   Be sober and be vigilant (v.8);


Be Clothed with Humility

A.   The expression of humility ---- be submissive to one another (v.5);

B.   The necessity of humility ---- God resists the proud (v.5);

C.   The benefit of humility ---- God gives grace to the humble (v.5);

D.   The secret of humility ---- humble oneself (v.6; see Phil. 2:8);

E.   The condition of humility ---- be under the mighty hand of God (v.6);

F.    The effect of humility ---- God may exalt you in due time (v.6);


Blessings and Effects of Sufferings for a While (v.10)

A.   Blessings ---- make us enjoy all grace of God in this age:

1.    God will perfect ---- make us perfectly equipped;

2.    Establish ---- make us steadfast;

3.    Strengthen ---- make us go from strength to strength;

4.    Settle ---- make us firm in foundation;

B.   Effects ---- make us receive the reward in the coming age:

1.    Fulfill God’s purpose of His calling us in Christ;

2.    Be called to His eternal glory;


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Mary Zhou