Thursday, January 28, 2010

1 Peter 5B: Fixing Your #Hope on #Christ (How To Deal With #Suffering )

7) By guarding against the devil (5:8-11)

A) Reasons:

Because He preys on you (8)

The devil's name means "slanderer", a word coming from two roots, "over", and "to throw". Revelation 12:10 describes him as the "accuser of our brethren", and Job 2:4-6 shows a case where this occurred. 

This passage also calls the devil "your adversary". In Mt.5:25 and other verses describe "adversary" as someone who opposes you in court. 1 Peter 3:16 indicates one reason the readers of this letter suffered for their faith was because some men falsely accused them of wrong-doing. You should guard against the devil, because, like a roaring lion, he seeks to devour you.

Because others resist him (9)

Luke 4 shows that Christ was taken out into the wilderness, where Satan tested Him with the lust of the eyes, flesh, and pride of life, and He resisted. Luke 22:32 shows Satan sifted Peter like wheat, but because of Christ's prayer, Peter afterward strengthened the brethren.  Knowing other believers stand against the kind of suffering you do, can motivate you to resist the devil's attacks.

Because God will establish you (10)

After your times of suffering on earth, Christ will bring you the glory of your eternal inheritance. This will include your glorified body, freedom from your sin nature (Rom. 8; 1 Cor. 15), and your mansion (John 14) in the city and presence of God (Rev. 21-22).

This passage also seems to promise God "will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you." This could refer to your glorified state--certainly all these things will be true of you then--but some of these benefits may come to you progressively during life, and even as a result of your suffering. 

Only in glory will you live in a sinless way, yet other passages refer to becoming "perfect" in the sense you are made complete or mature in one area or another (1 Cor. 2:6; 2 Cor. 7:1; 12:9; 13:11; Eph. 4:12-13Php. 3:15; etc.). Romans 5:3-5 says, "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (NAS). You should guard against the devil, because God can make you more like Christ through his attacks, and will bring you final glory. 

B) Ways

By staying sober (8a)

In various verses, this word for "sober", appears with watching, hoping (1 Th. 5:6), and girding up the loins of your mind for action (1 Pet. 1:13). You guard against the devil by staying sober. 

By keeping watch (8b)

"Vigilant", in the KJV, comes from a word meaning "to rise again". It means you stay alert and watch for the devil's attacks (cf. Mt. 26:40ff.). 

By standing firm in faith (9b)

The word "firm", in the sentence, "But resist him, firm in your faith" (NAS), means "steadfast", "strong", "sure", or "immovable". Christ quoted Scripture to fend off attacks by Satan (Lk. 4). Ephesians 4 says God gave the church pastors, teachers, and other gifted people, to build you up in your knowledge of Christ. This ministry makes you mature, so you are not "tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine...but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ." (4:14-15). You guard against the devil by standing firm in your faith.

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