In light of coming persecution for the saints in Asia minor, as well as God’s faithfulness in all things (1 Peter 4:12-19), pastors are to watch over the flock of God. They are to do so with pure motives rather than for personal gain; they are not to do so in a domineering way, but rather as examples. The difficult labors of this life will not last forever; Jesus will return (1 Peter 4:4). All—whether pastors or hearers, young or old—should treat each other with humility.
We should also humble ourselves before God. He gives grace to the humble (Prov. 3:34); saving them, but bringing down the arrogant (Psalm 18:27; Luke 1:52; James 4:10). Each of us should remember his place as a creature. Each of us should, in meekness, be mindful of our sin. None of us should regard himself more highly than he ought (Rom. 12:3)—whether before man, or before the Almighty. Instead, we should have the same mindset as Christ, who in humility gave himself into death in our place (1 Peter 4:1; Phil. 2:5-7). Pride is a snare of the Devil (1 Tim. 3:6).
Satan prowls looking for prey therefore the Christian should be sober and watchful (Job 1:7; 2:2; Eph. 4:27). He is a liar and murderer (John 8:44). We should pray against temptation (Matt. 6:13; Matt. 26:41). If we resist the Adversary, he will flee; instead we should draw near to God (James 4:7-8; 2 Tim. 2:22).
Whatever the nature of the temptation—whether persecution for the saints in Asia Minor, or fleshly enticements for us today—no temptation, no testing, lasts forever (1 Peter 5:10; 1 Cor. 10:13). As the Book draws to a close, we see again one of the first themes of the Epistle: “after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10). These trials work for our good and God’s glory (1 Peter 1:6-7; 1 Peter 3:14-17).
Christ is the cornerstone of the church (1 Peter 2:7). We are a building for his habitation (1 Peter 2:4-5). He is the Head of the body, his church (Col. 2:19; Eph. 4:15). He alone has brought us to God (1 Peter 3:18). All things have been subjected to him unto all eternity (1 Peter 3:22; 1 Peter 5:11). His power sustains us to the end, so that we might with him in his glory forever (1 Peter 5:10).