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Humility is the Key

An Analysis of 1 Peter 5:6-7

Compares it to the meaning and content Through Humility, self-control and reliance one may cast away all anxiety, guard against Sin and the influence of evil. Christ will strengthen all who submit and seek him and those whom stand firm in Faith. All men go through trials for their beliefs but God will guide and protect his flock in times of Prosecution , This essay examines the relevance of 1 Peter 5:-6-7 in one’s life today and of the people of Rome and Northern Asia Minor whom it was written for.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (Lk 12:11-12 NIV 1984).

An Analysis of 1 Peter 5:6-7

Introduction

The theological significance of 1 Peter 5: 6:7 is the removal of anxiety, care, and burdens from one’s life by the reliance on Jesus and a reminder to live humbly resisting an attitude of arrogance or abstinence especially when faced with opposition. This Particular passage was written during the dispersion period of Jewish history and at the height of Nero’s reign and as such Christian’s were being persecuted for their beliefs. Today many still face persecution for living a Christ centered life style and thus this verse is applicable in this context today. It also serves as a verse of encouragement of times of anxiety, discouragement or when one feels overwhelmed or faces spiritual warfare reminding the reader that our true strength is drawn from Christ and not of our self, talents or ambitions.

Meaning

Grasping the text of the Town

The Historical Prospective

 

The first step in understanding scripture is to understand it from the biblical audience’s perspective. One should examine grammar, history, politics and context and consult resource such as biblical atlases, encyclopedias, commentaries and the like to understand the world in which the audience lived. J. Scott Duvall and J Daniels Hays in Grasping God’s Word: A Hands – On Approach to Reading, Interpreting and Applying the Bible recommend “After completing all the study, synthesize the meaning of the passage for the biblical audience into one or two sentence using past tense verbs (Duvall and Hays 2012).”

The intended audience of 1 Peter was Jewish – Christians and former pagan –Christians living in Rome and Northern Asia minor in around 62-67 A.D. This was the time of the dispersion in which many newly converted Christians were converting many to the ways of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire and much of Asia, Europe and some of Africa. The Emperor Nero was in power and strongly opposed this conversion and had imprisoned and sentenced many to death during this period. Also, Christian’s were often ridiculed for their beliefs and slandered by their Roman cohorts.

The meaning of 1 Peter 5: 6-7 for the Biblical Audience can be summarized as such:

“Chill out! Trust in me and relax. Do not be anxious, worry, stress out or be arrogant, boastful or proud, I have covered it all. I have a plan and delivered you from the persecution, burdens and such see it all worked out.”

Measuring the width of the river to Cross

Contrast and similarities of the biblical Audience and contemporary society

The next step in interpreting a biblical passage is to look for similarities and differences in culture, language, situation time and covenant (Duvall and Hays 2012).

The similarities of the biblical audience of Ancient Rome in around 62-67 A.D. to American Society is not too different. Although we do not have an emperor speak Latin our worship Pagan gods in a pantheistic state religion, we do have a senate, a series of states, seek to live a life of luxury and serve as a major military peace-keeping force for other nations. Like Rome during this period of history, we are slowly become the new Babylon as our moral integrity and egocentric ideas become dominate over our reliance on God. Self, wealth, materialism and the pursuit of life, liberty, and individuality are becoming our new God’s. Like Rome unofficially there are many false religions present in America such as Wicca, Ancestral Worship, Spiritualism, and other new age concepts. Many others hold to pseudo –philosophical religions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Islam and the like while other are agonist or atheist. Like the Jews in the dispersion the time is ripe for evangelism and at times the ways of the world contradict the ways of Christian teaching, thus many believers suffer slander or persecution for their beliefs. In some parts of the world Christians are being imprisoned or killed for their faith. Like the Biblical audience we are living under the New Covenant of Jesus Christ which uses the old Covenant (10 Commandments) as a guideline for morality and justice but our Salvation is guaranteed by a belief and acceptance of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of Sin. Our mission as Christians is to uphold the commandments, to exercise the Great Commission (bring other to know Christ), and to Love others as God Love Us. We are to forgive and to teach other to love to spread charity and to worship and praise his glory. Then same held true for the biblical audience of 1 Peter: 6-7.

Crossing the Bridge

The Theological Principle

The theological principles illuminated in 1 Peter 5: 6-7 are: Humility, Reliance of Christ, and release from the burdens of anxiety and stress. A secondary principle is that God will protect the believer from persecution if one stands alert but sufferings will arise so remain strong in faith. This is emphasized in the preceding verses of 1 Peter 5: 8-9:

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings (Lk 12:11-12 NIV 1984).”

Consult the Biblical Map

How does the Theological Principle fit with the rest of the Bible

One should examine a concordance the Bible itself and the Passages preceding and following the verse or passage being studied to ensure that an accurate theological principle has been established. One should remember the Bible will never contradict itself.

This principle is echoed throughout the New Testament and the Bible.  In Is 41:10 it states: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God (Lk 12:11-12 NIV 1984).  In the New Testament Mathew writes about God providing for our needs (Mt: 25-28) and Luke writes about work in chapter 12 of his Gospel: 

When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say (Lk 12:11-12 NIV 1984). Throughout the Bible casting one’s care and release from worry, anxiety and burden is a common theme. The above are just a few examples commonly quoted and that are of most relevance to 1 Peter 5: 6-7.

Application

Grasping the text in our Town

 

In order to fully apply the theological principle one should search for a relevant situation in one’s own life, world-view, or social context. One may also write or tell a real life scenario if no situation is present if witness to another. By creating a contemporized parable the evangelists uses words, experience and the power of the Holy Spirit to communicate God’s message to the intended subject.

1 Peter 5: 6-7 can be used to bring hope in times of anxiety, stress worry despair or when one is suffering from slander or persecution for one’s faith. It also serves as a guide to guard ones motives and reminds the believer to trust in God, Christ and the Holy Spirit for guidance, strength, protection and direction guarding against arrogance, rash actions and the like. Reminding us that humility id the key to happiness and Godliness and that God will provide for our needs and comfort us.

 

In my own life I have used this verse as a daily reminder to watch my tongue and not over react. It is a guide to not trust my first instinctual action when stressed and to seek Christ in prayer when turmoil arises. It reminds me to wait for an answer and to trust in him for my daily provisions. It provides a sense of relieve from anxiety and fear and reminds me troubles will come but God will provide a way out for those who seek him.

A scenario that may for this verse is as follows:

A man of Christian Faith is speaking out against immorality, injustice or unrighteous living. People are heckling him calling him a good two shoes, mocking him and saying his values are antiquated and that the ways of Christ do not fit in to the ways of modern society. In today’s world it is about achieve the most out of life, personal success, monetary gain, achievement, self-empowerment and the like. The man is becoming agitated at the accusations of being a hypocrite, deviant or social misfit and wants to lash out.

This verse could be used to gain strength and calm the man down. Furthermore it can serve as guidance that those of the world are not of the same flesh as the believer. We are aliens of this world our true home is with God in Heaven. With the inspiration and strengthening of the Spirit the man may become better equipped to witness or may find better means to reach the non-believer. None the less the burdens and cares of life will be lifted and the man will become able to face the pressures of 21st century America.

This is one of many possible application of this verse as application is individualistic and Inspired by the Spirit the reader will encounter many uses for a passage and verse but the meaning and theological significance will always remain consistent.

May God Awaken, Inspire and Guide you as you discover and uncover his meaning and apply it to your own life.

In God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit,

Trenton Clark Rindoks

Word count: # 1770

 

Bibliography

Duvall, Scott J, and Daniel J Hays. Grasping God’s Word; A Hands – On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible. Edited by 3rd. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.

New International Version Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984.

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