Intro: God has the authority or freedom to decide or act without explanation or hindrance [e.g. He answers to no one]. God has the authority or power and ability to complete an action [e.g. only Jesus can forgive sin]. God can delegate authority to his ambassadors to perform ministry which builds up the Body of Christ [e.g. the apostles]. Lastly, God has established spheres of authority in the world [e.g. civil government, home, and church] and has instructed believers to honor those holding authority. Yet, God has created EVERY human being to live by conviction under His rule and authority.
In our passage for today, Peter writes to elders [spiritual leaders who serve as examples], young people [who are learning to emulate Christ], and the Church Body [believers who are committed to serving Christ]. He encourages each group to accept the responsibility to care for one another—to stop seeking positions of power—because authority and leadership is granted to those who emulate Christ’s humble servant heart.
Spiritual authority is something Christ took back from Satan. Believers—new creations—have authority because Christ lives in us and flows through the spiritual gifts we have been given. We simply need to stay or abide in Christ and honor His humble way of ministering to lost, hurting, and broken people. Be an example of Christ for someone, today.
1 Peter 5:1-5 NLT
1 And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: 2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 3 Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. 4 And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.
5 In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Prayer: Creator Lord, as your children, sons, and daughters, we honor Your authority and the spheres of authority you have put into place. As well, we welcome the conviction of the Holy Spirit to shape us for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.