In the second sermon from 1 Peter 4:7-11, we are taken to the larger perspective of what motivates the church to bear the gospel to the lost world. One of the greatest dangers we face as Christians is not persecution or the rise and fall of nations; it is falling in love with the world and failing to live out the gospel. Thus, we are to live in light of the pending consummation, minister in such a way that manifests the power of Christ, and we are to view all things as pursuant to God’s glory.
When a congregation sets apart a man to pastoral ministry, it is an occasion of great significance. It is the church agreeing to submit to the leadership of that man as he ministers in accordance with the Word, and it is the church agreeing to support the man and keep him accountable for his purity and devotion to Christ. Likewise, it is the man committing before God to take responsibility for the flock, to lead and protect them in the truth, to counsel and admonish them through trials, knowing that when he stands before the judgement seat of the Almighty, he will have to give an account for those entrusted to his care. This sermon from 1 Pet 5 is the ordination sermon for Scott Estes.
In this passage Peter encourages suffering believers with the truth that the end of the age is near. In light of this urgent reality the apostle gives clear, concise instructions on how and why God’s people are to live with the end in view.
In the midst of our suffering, Peter offers the substitutionary atonement of Christ as an encouragement to us. Because Jesus suffered in our place in order to bring us to God, when we suffer well, and for doing good, we will inherit a blessing. This truth should encourage us in our suffering, because in it we see that Jesus had to suffer, and that He delivers us through suffering. Jesus shows the power of suffering for doing good, in that through His godly suffering, Jesus brought us to God.