A True Example
1 Peter 5:1 “The elders which are among
you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of
the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the
glory that shall be revealed:
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
1. A Witness
2. A Partaker
3. A Feeder
1. A Witness
The first part of verse one: “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ,”
Peter is an elder.
Now, Peter is an elder which is both … an older believer physically in years, and an older believer spiritually in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Now, Peter is more than an elder.
He is also an apostle.
An apostle was there in the beginning.
Peter was there in the beginning.
The beginning is defined in the book of Acts chapter one, in verse twenty-two, as being with Jesus Christ from the: “Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.” [Acts 1:22]
Peter [by this very definition] is an actual witness of “the sufferings of Christ.”
Peter saw from the beginning to the end the “miracles and wonders and signs” [Acts 2:22].
Peter witnessed the power of the “so great salvation” of Hebrews chapter two, verse three. Peter is a “witness”.
2. A Partaker
The last part of verse one: “and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:”
Not only was Peter a witness of the sufferings of Christ, but he is also “a partaker of the glory” that is coming to this earth in the Kingdom of Heaven, which all of us believers in Jesus Christ for the last two thousand years shall have a part.
We are all … partakers! “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” [Colossians 3:4]
According to Colossians chapter three, in verse four, we will all share in this same “glory” when Jesus Christ appears [or returns] at the end of the seven year period of time … called the Tribulation [Jeremiah 30:7].
In glory Jesus Christ will establish and reign visibly and literally over all the nations of this earth in this millennial [one thousand year] Kingdom of Heaven.
The Holy Ghost in the book of James says this: “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” [James 2:5]
Do you love HIM? This is a good question. Now, what is your answer?
If you and I are truly saved, then we already are the “heirs” and the “joint-heirs” to this very same glory as Peter is.
This is what Romans chapter eight, verse seventeen, so clearly says to us. “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” [Romans 8:17]
And again, in Titus three and in verse seven: “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” [Titus 3:7]
3. A Feeder
Verse two: “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;”
If you are an elder, then you need to “feed the flock of God”.
It is better for you to give to others than to be stuck in the mode of receiving from others. Feed the flock of God! If you are saved, then you are “a witness” to the power of “Christ in you”.
If you are a “partaker of the glory” it is because you have become “a witness” to “the hope of glory” as it is shown in Colossians chapter one, in verse twenty-seven: “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” [Colossians 1:27]
The apostle Peter, now the elder Peter, is commanding all the elders by the Holy Ghost to feed the flock … to feed the sheep. Peter can still remember [for it was still burning in his heart] when the Lord Jesus Christ looked him straight in the eyes saying this once: “Feed my lambs” and then twice saying this: “Feed my sheep.” [John 21:15-17]
How could he ever forget that? Peter couldn’t. Amen!
It is all about others, my friend.
Now, if you have been born again, then you have already witnessed the power of salvation in Jesus Christ [born again], and have become a partaker of the “hope of glory”.
Now, if you are an elder, then according to God’s word, you are to feed others. It is about others! In Acts chapter twenty we have the elders of Ephesus receiving their last marching orders from the mouth of Paul. Look at verse twenty. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” [Acts 20:28]
What a sobering and awesome responsibility this is to the man who is an elder in the church. Why is this? It is because the elders are to “rule well” and “labour in the word and doctrine”.
This is what the Bible says in First Timothy chapter five in verse seventeen: “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” [1 Timothy 5:17]
Ruling well has nothing to do with being lords over God’s heritage. It has everything to do with serving!
It is from the elders that the Spirit of God gives “some, pastors and teachers” for the body of Christ … the church.
God gives these “elders” orders to feed the flock … “to feed the church of God”. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” [Ephesians 4:11-12].
Have a ready mind!
If you are an elder … you are to an example to the flock of God … to the church of God.
Willingly offer yourself!
“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”