PastorRodney’s Weblog

Preaching from the Pulpit of Ephraim Church of the Bible

1 Peter 5:10-11; The God of All Grace

http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20090816_1peter5_10-11.mp3

08/16 1 Peter 5:10-11 The God of All Grace

5:5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Connection with preceding verses:

Before we dive into these verses, let’s take a moment to see how these verses fit into the section. He’s been pointing us toward humility. We are to keep humility as close to us as the shirt on our back because God aggressively engages himself in pouring out his great grace on sinners who are acutely aware of their desperate, helpless and humble position before him. True humility means not even feeling like we can handle our own problems. We humble ourselves by casting all our anxieties on God. But we have an enemy. He would like to see our allegiances subtly shift so that our confidence is in ourselves and not in our compassionate Creator. If he can puff us up with pride, then God himself will oppose us. We must be on our guard and keep our faith firmly in the God who cares. If we do, then God promises that the devil will flee from us. We can take courage to persevere from the fact that our circumstances are not unique. Our brotherhood through history and around the globe are experiencing the same kinds of suffering that we face.

Suffering in 1 Peter

And with that, Peter brings us back to a main theme of his message: suffering. He began the letter by addressing us as exiles – outcasts and aliens because of our new identity (1:1). He’s told us that our various trials are necessary because they prove the genuineness of our faith (1:6). He’s given encouragement and instruction on how to bring glory to God by our attitude and our action as outcasts in society (1:13). He’s told us how to relate to gossips, to good government, to evil employers, and to unbelieving spouses (2:12-3:7). He encourages us when, for the Lord’s sake we suffer unjustly, because this is grace in his sight (2:20). In fact, unjust suffering for doing good is what we have been called to (2:21). Often it is God’s will that we suffer (3:18; 4:19). And he’s held out to us the ultimate example of Jesus, whose unjust suffering purchased our redemption (2:21). We are not to fear when we suffer for righteousness sake, because we serve King Jesus and we will be blessed (3:14). Suffering in the flesh has a purifying affect on us (4:1). We are not to be suprised at the fiery trial, but rather we are to rejoice (4:12). Suffering as a Christian is a primary way in which our lives can put the greatness of God on display (4:16). Because God uses suffering to refine us, we should humble ourselves under his mighty hand, so that at the proper time he will lift us up (5:6). We have an adversary that would like to swallow us whole, so we must be on our guard and keep our faith firmly fixed on God (5:8). But our suffering is not unique; our brotherhood throughout the world experiences the same kind of suffering (5:9). And our suffering is not permanent but will last only for a short season compared to the eternal glory that we will enjoy (5:10).

5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Paul said the same thing about our suffering:

Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

2 Corinthians 4:17 For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,

His Eternal Glory

What we have to look forward to is ‘his eternal glory’. The glory is his – all glory belongs to him.

Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.

Isaiah 48:11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.

The glory of man is like the flower of grass that withers and falls, Peter says (1:25), but God’s glory is timeless and constant. We exist to bring him praise. As recipients of God’s great mercy you are:

1Peter 2:9 …a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

I love that! Proclaim the excellencies of him! It’s all about him! To delight in the radiance of his marvelous light! This is the one thing the Psalmist pursued:

Psalm 27:4 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.

Psalm 63:1-4 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. 3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. 4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.

Psalm 96:5-9 … but the LORD made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! 8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! 9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!

Isaiah 33:17 Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty;

2Corinthians 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

1John 3:2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

The Westminster Catechism puts it this way: ‘Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.’ This is what we are called to – to enjoy God; to revel in the beauty of his character and nature; to be overwhelmed by his justice and his mercy and his costly undeserved love; to bask in the radiance of his face as he shines on us freely with favor. Day by day for eternity to discover hidden facets of the depths of his personality, growing in our admiration for the most perfect of all beings and to declare his infinite worth; satisfying all our holy cravings in his undiminished fullness.

The God of All Grace

Look at his name in this verse: ‘the God of all grace’. What a name! All grace! All grace is his; all grace comes from him. Grace is undeserved goodness poured out on us.

Romans 3:23-24 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Romans 4:4-5 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

Grace by definition is unearned undeserved favor and kindness. Our God is the God of all grace. The only one who is worthy pouring out undeserved kindness on sinners. All grace originates in God himself, and apart from him there is no grace. God is the source of all grace. God is God over all grace. God is free to give grace as he pleases, and no grace comes to us apart from his sovereign good pleasure. And the bible tells us that God is ‘rich in mercy’ (Eph.2:4) and loves to pour out blessing on unworthy sinners. God is God of all grace of every kind, grace in every form and expression; grace for salvation, grace for suffering, grace for service, even the hope of promised future grace.

Peter as he closes his letter is choosing words that will spark in our memory of what he has taught us already. He prayed that grace and peace would be multiplied to us in 1:2; he pointed us to God’s great mercy in causing us to be born again in 1:3; in 1:10 he reminds us of the prophets who prophesied of the grace that is to be ours in salvation. In his first command in the book (1:13), he insists that we fix our hope fully on this future grace. Anything other than grace is justice. And sinners who demand justice get wrath. Our hope is grace. He says in 2:10 ‘once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy’. He tells us in 2:19 & 20 that it is the grace of God when for God’s sake we suffer for doing good. In 3:7 he reminds us that husbands and wives together are heirs of the grace of life. In 4:10 he commissions us that we are stewards entrusted with dispensing God’s varied grace to one another, showing favor where it is not deserved. In 5:5, he quotes the Old Testament scriptures which say that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. He concludes the letter (5:12) pointing to the true grace of God in which we are commanded to stand.

Who has called you in Christ

In this verse he is explaining what it means for God to give grace to the humble and lift us up. The first expression of grace is God’s grace in election. This most gracious God called you! Peter is again reminding his readers of what he has taught. In the very first verse of the letter, he pointed us to the fact that God chose us. We are elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. In 1:15 the holy character of the one who called us is highlighted as a pattern which we must follow. Our relation to him as children to the Father is a result of his calling, electing love. It is through Jesus, he tells us in 1:21, that we are believers in God, and God’s call that creates new life in us comes to us through the living word, the proclamation of the good news (1:23-25). In 2:4-5 he compares us to Christ, who was rejected by men but is chosen by God and precious to him. In 2:9 he calls us ‘a chosen race’, chosen by ‘him who called you’, and our being called is parallel to receiving mercy. In 2:21, we have been called to do good and suffer for it, following the example of Jesus. In 3:9 we are called to bless those who are evil and hostile toward us. He ends the letter (5:13) with a greeting from others who have been chosen in the same way.

Will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you

God has graciously called you to his eternal glory in Christ, but his grace does not end there. God ‘has caused us to be born again’ (1:3)…

Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

We ‘by God’s power are being guarded through faith for salvation’ (1:5). Here he describes in more detail how he gives us the grace to persevere. It is emphatic that God is the one at work here. God himself, personally, is the one who does this. Four verbs describe God’s work. God promises to do four things; he will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. Restore means to set right what has gone wrong, to repair what is damaged. God himself will set right what has gone wrong in our lives and repair the damage. Confirm means to stabilize or support, to come alongside to make firm and immovable. Strengthen means to impart the needed strength, to make strong. Establish means to lay the foundation or place on a firm foundation. This is how God gives grace to the humble. It is God’s grace in repairing what has been damaged, supporting what is shaky, making strong what is weak, and anchoring on a firm foundation that enables us to ‘resist the devil, firm in your faith’. We can cast all our anxieties on him because he is caring for us by restoring, confirming, strengthening and establishing us.

Perseverance of the Saints

How does this fit with our eternal security and our responsibility to believe? I believe that once God has justified a person, declaring them righteous by the merit of Jesus Christ, God will never unjustify that person. God will not go back on his word.

2Timothy 2:11 The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful–– for he cannot deny himself.

And yet Paul says in 1 Corinthians:

1Corinthians 15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you––unless you believed in vain.

We must endure, but we are safe. Paul says in Romans:

Romans 8:33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So we are inseparable from the love of Christ, yet we must persevere and stand firm in our faith to the end or our faith is worthless and will not save. How does this work? How are we safe if it is ultimately up to us? Jude helps us here:

Jude 1:24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Our faith must not fail, but God is able to keep us from stumbling. Paul looks at the two sides in Philippians:

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

So we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. But we are incapable of doing anything to accomplish our own salvation. The only way we can work out our own salvation is because it is God who works in us both to will and to work for his good pleasure. God’s enabling power is what causes us to stand firm in our faith to the end. This is what Peter said in chapter 1:

1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

We are being guarded by the omnipotent power of God, but God does not guard us apart from our faith, but rather through our faith. He does that, Peter says, by himself repairing what has been damaged, supporting what is shaky, making strong what is weak, and anchoring us securely on a firm foundation

Doxology

The emphasis is on God who does these things himself. So it is right to ascribe to him the power. Peter naturally flows from truth and promises into praise. ‘To him be the dominion forever and ever’. He has purposed to extend grace to us. He has every ability to carry out his plan. He is able to make us stand firm in our faith. We do well to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God because he will indeed be able to lift us up. He knows how to pour out grace on sinners. This is the second time Peter has burst into worship in response to the truth. In 4:11 he responds to service that is done in a way that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, and he says ‘To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Here he responds to the declaration of God’s preserving persevering grace. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org

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August 16, 2009 - Posted by | 1 Peter, podcast | , , , , ,

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