I Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.
13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
In the final words of this epistle God directed the apostle Peter to remind us all that He is the God of all grace. There is no substantial help anywhere else. True Christians can provide some help to one another. However, the necessary help we need is found only in God.
We were created by God as social beings. We need others to help us along the way. God stated that it is not good for the man to be alone. He created the woman to be the physical help that man needs. Every man that is born has a physical mother. She nurses him and provides for many emotional needs the young child has. A godly mother will guard against making her boys sissies. Some boys are softer in nature than others. However, boys need to learn to be strong in the Lord and able to stand as godly men in their generation. God’s grace is there to provide that necessary strength that all people need.
The saints have been called into God’s eternal glory by Christ Jesus. What a blessing it is to be called by God to enter into His eternal home. Peter reminds us again here that on this earth Christians will suffer. Our suffering is just for “a while”. It is not for ever. Our suffering is designed by God to make us perfect, stablished, strengthened and settled.
The word translated as “perfect” here means “complete”. Without Christ we are not complete. We are in sin and we have a massive deficiency. God created us to glorify Him. He created us to find fulfillment in glorifying God. Without Christ we cannot do that and thus there is always that searching for fulfillment among the lost. The true child of God needs to be reminded of our purpose here.
The Greek word translated as “stablish” means “set fast”. Christians need to be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. He will try many different tactics to try to catch the child of God off guard.
Years ago when I was in Bible school our president stated that you need to know where you stand on the doctrines prior to trouble hitting you or your family. He made that statement in relation to his teaching on divorce and remarriage. He stated that a person may have an idea of what they believe, but when it actually hits your family, if you do not stand on the Word of God, you will bend with the pressure of family ties. There have been many changes made in families and in churches when it comes to the matter of divorce and remarriage. Many have moved to condoning sin against the will of God. You can tell what a person is truly made up of when they face some testing. God wants His children to be stablished in the faith.
The Greek word translated as “strengthen” means “confirm”. We need to know why we believe what we believe. We need to get past the traditions and to the actual Word of God. The season we are in now is one that has been popularized by traditions of men. If we would actually study God’s Word first of all, rather than trying to cram God’s Word into a tradition of men, we would come to a very different conclusion. Studying God’s Word as that absolute authority that it is makes a big difference in the conclusion we come to. Of course it is necessary to settle on where God’s Word is first of all. If we are not willing to do that, then we are in a hopeless state of confusion.
The Greek word translated as “settle” means to “erect or consolidate”. God told the nation of Israel to gather 12 stones from the bottom of the Jordan as they crossed into the promised land. They were to set those stones in the place where they would lodge that first night. They were to be a reminder of God’s faithfulness in bringing them into the promised land. They needed to be reminded of His mighty hand in bringing them safely into the land that He had promised to Abraham.
God’s people need to have God’s Word established in their hearts so that they do not cave in to pressure from the devil. This is again why the local church is so important. In Hebrews 10:25 we read:
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
It does not matter how old we get, the services in a true local church are important for us all. One observation I have made over the years, is that older people often cave to the whims and wishes of the younger generation. They lose that steadfastness that is so necessary. This applies to older pastors or older lay people. Unless we are firmly stablished in God’s truth, we cannot stand. We need good churches and we need to choose to be faithful to them so that we can be reminded of the truth and also grow in the truth. A Christian cannot grow in a vacuum. He cannot grow if he is always “window shopping” but never settling on the place that God has provided for him. A big distraction today is pleasure. Many people choose to go where there are lots of programs rather than considering the importance of the Word of God first of all and then seeking to help others to know God’s Word as well. We do not find many programs in the book of Acts. We find the faithful preaching of God’s Word that effected change in the hearts of the hearers.
God is worthy of all glory. We have seen this before. Lost people need to know the true God. They need to be reminded of the blessing of knowing the true God. They need to see that God is able to do that which seems impossible. He can heal the broken heart and give hope to the hopeless.
We see a rising hopelessness in our world. We see people who wander around aimlessly. We see working people who strike for higher pay and more benefits because they just are not content. They have so much already, but they want more.
Contentment and peace come from knowing the true God and serving Him faithfully. We will only find fulfillment when we serve God faithfully.
In the final verses of this chapter, Peter was directed to send some greetings. In verse 12 we see that Peter had Silvanus write this letter as he dictated it to him. We find this name in some of Paul’s epistles as well. We know that he was a faithful brother. That is important to note. We need faithful brethren. We need those who can be depended upon. This is the result of drawing from the grace of God wherein the true saint stands. We have that grace available to us and we do not need to run to find it in time of need. We need to stand in that grace. We need to be drawing from that grace at all times.
In verse 13 Peter mentioned the church that is at Babylon. Peter was writing from that church. The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ speaks of Babylon falling. We have been studying that book and have noted that the Babylon mentioned there has its roots in Nimrod in Genesis 10 & 11. That Babylon is a place but also a system. That is the political, economical and religious system that is being developed now and will be in place in the Tribulation time and will be destroyed by God. However, in the midst of Babylon, in Peter’s day, there was a true church. We also know that Daniel and Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were captives in Babylon in Old Testament times. They had a great impact on the spiritual nature of that place in their time. It is important for God’s people to be a clear light wherever God plants them.
Peter stated that the saints in Babylon were of the same spiritual nature as the recipients of this letter. This church recognized the value of other true saints. True saints are not negatively influenced by their surroundings. They are a light in the midst of the corruption.
Peter also mentioned Marcus and referred to him as “my son.” There is speculation as to who this Marcus was. Was he literally Peter’s son or was he a spiritual son of Peter? We know that Peter was a married man and thus could have had a son. We know that this certainly shoots a major hole into the false teaching of the Catholics which claim that Peter was the first Pope. The Popes are not supposed to marry. Whatever the relationship between Peter and Marcus was, we know that he was well known to the recipients of this letter. He would be someone who had travelled with Peter.
In verse 14 we are challenged to greet one another with a kiss of charity. There has also been debate about this kiss. Some have wondered whether New Testament saints should be greeting one another with a kiss on the cheek. Of course that would be men to men and women to women. We know that this is a custom in Middle Eastern culture. We use the hand shake which can be seen in a similar vein. It is a matter of that friendship that is expressed in more than just words. During the Covid era, we were discouraged from shaking hands. We did not follow this foolishness. If a person preferred not to shake hands, we respected that but those who wanted to shake hands did so. It is always important to practice good sanitary habits. A person should not wipe their nose into their hand and then shake another person’s hand. Kleenex or a handkerchief should be used to wipe the nose. We do not want to spread germs unnecessarily. Christians demonstrate their familial relationship through gestures such as a handshake or this kiss of friendship.
God’s peace is also important for us. Peter was directed to write this to those that are in Christ Jesus. The lost do not know God’s peace. They look for a type of peace, but God’s peace is foreign to them. We need God’s peace in our lives. It is essential to being able to function as God wants us to. It is how we can relate to one another in a proper manner.