Peter's Solution to Persecution (3)

by Richard Mansel, managing editor
fatherchildren12.jpgWe “resist” Satan, which is a “military term, as of an army marshaled for battle.”/1 Therefore, we take courage, refusing to be terrified, because Christ is on our side. We develop a steadfast, “unmovable trust in God.”/2
We must realize that we are unable to save ourselves from Satan. Only through Christ do we have any hope (Ephesians 2:8-10). We are all sinners, lost and hopeless, without Jesus. Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2), and we become “enemies” of God (Romans 5:10). However, God had a plan to save mankind (Romans 5:9).
If we realize our utter hopelessness without our Shepherd, we will realize how important it is to cling to Christ and follow godly leaders in the faith who are watching out for us.
In humility, we realize our dependence. We are submissive to Christ and those who lead us in the church (1 Peter 5:5). While they are certainly not the same, Christ being lord of all (Ephesians 1:22-23).
We are “clothed in humility,” which means, “Put on and wrap yourselves with humility, so that the covering of humility cannot possibly be stripped from you.”/3
“For Christians, submission is given, not forced.”/4 We realize the necessity of unity and coalescing as a spiritual family (Ephesians 4:4; Romans 12:16; Galatians 6:2). It is literally us against the world (John 15:18-19).

Several factors come together to strengthen our resolve and position and security. We cling to the Word, realize our dependence, bolster our faith and brethren, and “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God” (1 Peter 5:6; cf. James 4:10).
We have witnesses to the greatness of God in Scripture and the strength and resolve of our watchers. Finally, we must realize that the church is a way station to protect us until the final day. It is our place of refuge until the Lord comes back for us (John 14:1-6; Psalm 18:2; Nahum 1:7).
We allow him to give us strength and resolve through his Word (1 Peter 5:7). Even though we will still suffer, Christ will “perfect, establish, strengthen, settle [us]” (1 Peter 5:10).
“Perfect” means that God will mend us “like fishermen repairing their nets.”/5 Once we are repaired, we are established, which means to “make fast, to support that which totters.”/6 We are then able to resist the attacks and stand firm against the “fiery darts of the wicked one” (Ephesians 6:16; NKJV).
We confidently have hope and peace in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:7; Philippians 4:6-7). “Anxiety is the subtle insinuation that God is either unable or undisciplined to see to our welfare.”/7 On the contrary, we know that through Christ, we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).
The Lord’s Church is our protection and place of peace. We must reside in her and persevere. Christ is all that we need and his blood continues to cleanse us from our sins (1 John 1:17). “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
The world is an exceedingly painful and difficult place, with Christ. Without him, it is the stuff of nightmares, where the monsters are real and spiritual murder is encouraged.
We have to protect ourselves and remain focused on salvation and bringing glory to God (Ephesians 3:20-21). As Peter himself said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
1/ Woods, A Commentary On the New Testament Epistles of Peter, John and Jude (Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1966),129.
2/ Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament (Peabody: Hendricksen, n.d.), 1:668.
3/ Woods, 130.
4/ Warden, 1& 2 Peter and Jude in the Truth for Today Commentary Series edited by Eddie Cloer (Searcy: Resource Publications, 2009), 271.
5/ Woods, 132.
6/ Woods, 132.
7/ Warden, 274.

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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