Sober-Minded, Firm in Faith

1 Peter 5:5-7 ESV

“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

Humility is the opposite of pride, and pride is having too high of an opinion of oneself and one’s own abilities and/or worth. Other words for pride are conceit, haughtiness, vanity, self-importance and arrogance. Those who are full of pride will not humble themselves before God, they will not surrender their lives to the Lord to do his will, and they will not submit to Jesus Christ as Lord and Master of their lives. So they will not die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, because they are their own god.

So, if humility is the opposite of pride, then those who are humble will have an honest and reasonable (correct) opinion (estimate) of themselves based on the Word of God and on the holiness of God. For they recognize their own sinfulness in their sin nature and of their need of the Lord, and of their need to turn away from their sins to follow Jesus in obedience. And they recognize that all that is good within them comes from God and that they can only live godly and holy lives, free from slavery to sin, because of God’s grace.

So God opposes (is set in a battle array against) the proud, but he gives grace to the humble. And the proud are those who make it their practice to hold on to and to live by pride and to not yield control of their lives to God. But the humble are those who make it their practice to hold on to the Lord and to his gospel and to submit to Christ as Lord and to obey his commands. And so those who are prideful, in practice, God opposes, but those who are humble, in practice, are the recipients of God’s grace and mercy.

So, on the basis of this knowledge and understanding it should encourage us to humble ourselves before God (and before other humans), and under the mighty hand of God, surrendering our lives to God and submitting ourselves to Christ as Lord (Owner-Master) of our lives. And so we are to cast all our anxieties on him and not take matters into our own hands, but we are to trust the Lord with our lives and with our circumstances, and with the people in our lives, too, believing that he has all things under his command.

1 Peter 5:8-9 ESV

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”

And to be sober-minded is to be serious-minded about God and about his word, believing him and what he says, and taking the teachings of Christ and of the New Testament apostles to heart, obeying them according to the will of God, and according to their truth as taught in context. For so many false doctrines are being taught from Scriptures removed from their context and made to say what the Scriptures, as a whole, do not teach. So it is important that we read them in their context.

We also need to be watchful, and we can’t be watchful if we are not serious-minded about the Lord and the teachings of the Scriptures, and if we do not take them to heart, and if we do not obey them, in practice. For if our minds are not set on holiness and righteousness and on walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, then we are not going to be watchful. For our minds are set on the flesh, instead, and so we make ourselves vulnerable to temptation to sin and to yielding to the flesh.

And since we have an adversary (the devil, Satan) who prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour, we must be people who now walk (in conduct, in practice) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God and not according to the flesh, or we will not be able to resist our enemy when tempted. But if we are going to walk in holiness and righteousness, and not in sin, we must be those who make it our practice to resist the devil, firm in our faith, and who do not give him a foothold in our lives.

Now, not one of us is alone in this battle. First of all, when Jesus walked this earth, Satan tempted him to sin, but he resisted him, and he did not sin, not even once, which is why he was able to be our sacrifice for sin on that cross. But he knows what it is like to be tempted of the devil. And other followers of Jesus Christ throughout the world are also suffering from the hand of Satan, not necessarily all in being tempted to sin, but also in being persecuted and falsely accused and afflicted. So, we are not alone.

And if we are following Jesus Christ with our lives, in true humility, and in submission to him as Lord, and in the forsaking of our sins, and in walks of obedience to his commands, then he is with us strengthening and helping us through it all. So even if other humans desert us, even others who profess faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord will never leave and forsake those who belong to him and who are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. He will be with us every step of the way.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

‘Til The Storm Passes By

By Thomas Mosie Lister

In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face
While the storm howls above me, and there’s no hiding place
‘Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry
Keep me safe till the storm passes by

Many times Satan whispered
There is no use to try
For there’s no end of sorrow, there’s no hope by and by
But I know Thou art with me, and tomorrow I’ll rise
Where the storms never darken the skies

Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand
Keep me safe till the storm passes by

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