"By the Grace of Almighty God..."
(1 Peter 5:5-11)
1. Abraham Lincoln had just finished working on the final draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, when his aid, Mr. Chase, mentioned that there were no references in the earthshaking document to God. Mr. Chase labored that night on putting the right emphasis to what was to be the most controversial, yet monumental piece of legislation enacted in the history of this nation. His addition reads as follows "...with a solemn regard for righteous judgment, and by the grace of an Almighty God..." Needless to say, Lincoln was impressed.
2. What made that statement so great? That fact of dependence on God. If we will depend on God, then our Christian character will grow and develop. But how? Read 1 Peter 5:5-11...
3. The answer is humility! "...by the grace of an Almighty God..."
I. Substitutes to Humility...
A. Forced humility. In a episode called "The Lunch Box" of the "Honeymooners" Ralph Cramden storms in the door and accuses Alice of trying to poison him by fixing a horrible lunch. A fight ensues with Alice retreating upstairs to the Norton's and leaving Ralph to fix his own dinner. After finding Alice's shoes in the oven, left there to dry out, he calls her down and another argument ensues until a coworker comes and apologizes for taking Ralph's lunch box by mistake. He even compliments Alice on the "excellent B-Q chicken sandwiches". Guess what is happening to Ralph??? The situation forced him into humility, much like Phil. 2:9-11. The root for the word translated "humility" deals with those that have been brought low (see Romans 12:16). But N.T. teaching will show us that it is a RESPONSE to the Lordship of Christ and an OPPOSITION to pride. True humility is not forced humility.
B. False humility. Making yourself low = making yourself spiritual (see Colossians 2:18,23). Problem: why do we think of humility? If it is to look or be a certain way, then we've fallen into looking humble to be proud! Let's take another look at I Peter 5 for the answers.
II. Source of Humility - "by the grace of an Almighty God"
A. A Key issue in 1 Peter - Peter is learning the lesson of Christ: born and died humble, exalted in heaven. Is he learning from Acts 2 and Galatians 2
B. 1 Peter 3:8-9 - summation of the book. Instead of fight it out, Peter says to suffer it out and glorify God. Why? Life inherently is very humbling (e.g.. Jesus). Life is lived to glorify God (1 Peter 3:15). Pride is opposed to grace, yet we should be giving the blessing (1 Peter 3:9; 5:5). Satan eats proud, anxious people alive (1 Peter 5:6-8). KEY: proud people can't and won't submit to authority (1 Peter 5:5).
C. Key points in being humble (1 Peter 5:5-11). KEY: concept of meekness - power under control, but under whose control? God's! This requires: Submission (verses 5,7,11); In hope (verses 6,10); With fortitude (verses 8-9); Sobriety - self-controlled (see 4:7); Strong defense - set against in faith! If as Christians we stand for something, we must also stand against something!
1. It stands to reason that we need to be humble, or else we will be humbled!
2. If we submit to God and His authority, with grace and hope, if we strive to bless instead of curse, if we live in self-control and resistant faith, we'll be humble!
3. The difference between a Judas and a Jesus is that one died for pride, the other died for God. Can we say that we are what we are "but for the grace of an Almighty God"?!?