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1 Peter 5:5b

1 Peter 5:5b

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I. And (finally) all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble

1. “dei” connects this section with the rest of the book, could mean “finally” Christians needs to have a distinct outfit (uniform)—“humility,” a counter culture trait

2. Clothe yourselves (middle voice “action done to oneself”): Tie an apron over another garment for action (this denotes serving as domestic duties like washing feet of the guests)

3. With the middle voice, the emphasis is on their action; it does not happen automatically

4. It is a metaphor to put on humility towards each other: husband and wife, employer and employees, wealthy and poor, elder and young, etc.

(a) Absence of false credentials like caste, race, superiority based on education, position, money, and success
(b) Not to take advantage of one’s position
(c) It is to stop one’s tendency to make another person small, run over the other person, or become big at the cost of the other person
(d) Regarding other people as less important and treat them with disdain
(e) Humility is an acknowledgement of God’s assigned place and renunciation of domination and arrogance over others
(f) It is to have a modest opinion of oneself, deep sense of one’s moral littleness (Gospel-centeredness)

(g) Humility is a distinct mark of a born-again Christian
(g1) Self-committal to God’s grace
(g3) Expecting everything from God and nothing from self
(g4) No presumption that I am bigger, self-sufficient, can make money, strong, etc.

(h) “Who cares?” attitude
(i) “No one should ask me ‘why?’”
(j) “I am not accountable to anyone”

II. Theology for humility

1. Modeled by Jesus (cf. 1 Peter 2:18-25; John 13:4-5)

2. God is opposed to proud people and gives grace to the humble ones (1 Peter 5:5c; Proverbs 3:34)

(a) The word “proud” is “to show oneself above others”
(b) The word “is opposed” is the opposite of “to submit”
(c) Humility gains God’s approval and favor: Proverbs 15:33 and 18:12: humility goes before honor
(d) In Greco-Roman world, humility is an expectation of slaves and it is not a value of free people
(e) But for the followers of Jesus Christ, humility is a value, a distinct uniform

III. General observations from 1 Peter 5:5b

1. In Christian faith, superiors are expected to demonstrate humility towards their social inferiors (how you treat others matters. People are watching!)
2. Pride is a characteristic of opposition to God
3. Pride sets oneself above God. It is the cause of one’s downfall
4. Derek Cleave: We can never be submissive to each other until we have first of all submitted to God

IV. Take Away

1. Take a realistic assessment of your being (not your doing)
2. Get an idea of your moral littleness
3. Understand how God works in everyone in the same way
4. Treat your spouse, employee, subordinates, auto/cab-drivers, etc., with respect and humility
5. Make “humility” your uniform and let others see who you belong to

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at wjsubash@crossroadbangalore.org