1 Peter 5

Talks for Growing Christians

Teaching about Elders and the Closing of the Letter

1 Peter 5

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Lesson Number 10

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Elders should shepherd the flock under them. (1 Peter 5:1-4)
  2. Younger believers should submit to their elders. (1 Peter 5:5)
  3. All believers should be humble and alert. (1 Peter 5:5-7)

Practical Application

  1. Remember, you are not the only one.


  1. Who is the Silvanus of 1 Peter 5:12?
  2. What is there a tendency to do when you face persecution?
  3. What should you do about this tendency?
  4. Who is the “she” of 1 Peter 5:13?
  5. Who is the Mark of 1 Peter 5:13


  1. Silvanus is probably the Silas that accompanied the apostle Paul on his second missionary journey. Remember him? He and Paul sang hymns of praise in prison at Philippi. Silas served as Peter’s secretary, writing this letter as Peter dictated it, and it was likely that he delivered it to the scattered Christian churches to whom it was addressed.
  2. There is a tendency to question what you believe.
  3. Remember that your Christian faith is the true grace of God. Stand firm without wavering. Trust God’s grace and truth.
  4. There are several possibilities: a. most likely it was not Peter’s wife, b. it probably refers to the church in Babylon since Peter is writing to the scattered churches; c. it may be the literal Babylon on the Euphrates River; or d. it may be a disguised symbolic reference to Rome during a time of increasing persecution.
  5. It is believed that John Mark is not the biological son of Peter, but rather the spiritual son of Peter. They spent some time together after the resurrection of Christ, and Peter discipled John Mark. This is the John Mark who wrote the gospel of Mark.


  1. Elders, the spiritual leaders of the church, should be as shepherds to the flock under them, leading gently and by example. Consider the elders of your church. Are they respected? Are they biblical elders (do they follow scriptural guidelines of elders)?
  2. The accumulated wisdom of the elders is extremely important for the smooth running of any church, and they have the God-given spiritual authority to so govern. As such members of the congregation, whatever age, are to submit to the authority of the elders. Are you willingly submitting to the elders?
  3. Refer to 1 Peter 5:5-7. Are you submissive to one another? Are you clothed with humility? Note the blessings of the humbled: a. God gives grace to the humble (so you can handle whatever God allows to happen to you); b. God will exalt you (if you allow yourself to be humbled, just wait. God will vindicate you); and c. God cares for you (if you are going through humbling experiences, turn all your anxieties over to the Lord. He can and will work through this with you and for you).


  1. Do you believe that you are unique in your load of suffering? Not so. Don’t be discouraged thinking that you are the only one. Let God use the suffering to mature you, establish and strengthen you, and settle you.

Key Verses

  • “(to elders) shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly…nor as lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock…and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.” 1 Peter 5:2-4
  • “…submit yourselves to your elders…all of you be submissive to one another…humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” 1Ppeter 5:5-6
  • “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
  • “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith…” 1 Peter 5:8-9
  • “May the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10-11.

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