No Longer a Stranger


Series: Strangers in Your Own Hometown (1 Peter)

Title: No Longer a Stranger 1 Peter 5: #humility: Live humbly as strangers, knowing that soon we'll no longer be strangers.


  • 2019-03-16: Birmingham First Church


  1. 444: I'm a Pilgrim

Scripture: 1 Peter 5:10, 11

  1. Intro
    1. @ Imagine you’re invited to a formal banquet.
      1. The guest list includes many of the people you regularly associate with.
      2. You arrive at the banquet hall. Many tables at the floor level, and at the front of the room, on a platform, is a large table clearly intended for VIPs.
      3. @ Unsure of where to sit, you eventually settle on a seat at the VIP table. After all, the host is someone you know well.
      4. By the time the host arrives, there is only one seat left at the VIP table. But he arrives with a special guest. @ The room hushes as he arrives and notices that there’s no room at the VIP table for his VIP guest. He also notices that you weren’t supposed to be there. While everyone watches, he asks you to move to a different table to accommodate the VIP guest.
    2. @ Imagine an alternate scenario.
      1. You arrive to the banquet and find the hall set up as before. But this time, you select a seat at the back of the room.
      2. When the host arrives, this time without a VIP guest, there are two empty seats. @ He scans the room, searching for the person who he had intended to join him at the VIP table. Finally, se spots you at the back of the room. He calls out to you, “Friend, join me at my table!”
    3. @You may recognize this scenario as based on a parable Jesus told in Luke 14:7-11. We won’t read it now, but you might want to read it at home this afternoon.
    4. @ Previous topics
      1. New Birth: Advantages of the New Birth and Invitation to receive it.
        1. A living hope, (vs. 3)
        2. An indestructible inheritance (vs. 4)
        3. The shield of God’s power to protect us till we get Home (vs. 5)
        4. Ability to rejoice even in trials (vs. 6)
        5. A valuable, refined faith (vs. 7)
        6. Spiritual vision (vs. 8)
      2. Family Resemblance: If we are God’s children, how do we begin to resemble God as we live a holy( set apart) life?
      3. Living Stones: What is a living sacrifice and how do we make Jesus cornerstone, main thing, in your life?
      4. The Big Picture: How to act when society has put unbelievers in authority over you.
      5. Be the Blessing: Blessing your enemies/ how to deal with conflict.
      6. Get on the Boat: Jesus’ invitation to Salvation has been extended to all generations. in ours Baptism is the outward symbol of “getting on the boat”
      7. Two Roads: Which path will you choose, Jesus’ way or the world’s?
    5. @ The last chapter of 1 Peter gives us some final instructions on how to live as strangers, and looks forward to a time when we’ll no longer be strangers.
  2. @ Background: 1 Peter 4:12-19: Peter addresses the reality of suffering for Christians, especially suffering that happens because we’re Christians.
  3. @ After dispensing leadership advice and advising those who are younger to be subject to leaders, Peter turns to how we all should live.
  4. @ 1 Peter 5:5b: Humble yourselves: This is important, because God opposes the proud, and I certainly don’t want to be opposed by God!
    1. What does it mean to be humble?
      1. We can start at the basic level and note that humility is the lack of self-promotion
      2. It is a focus on Jesus and on others, rather than on ourselves.
      3. @ Philippians 2:3-8:
        1. Count others and their interests more significant than yourself and your interests
        2. Jesus, though He was God, nevertheless considered humanity higher than Himself and was willing to suffer the ultimate indignity for our benefit.
      4. @ Have you ever noticed that humility and love have similar characteristics? 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
      5. @ 1 Peter 5:6, 7: Humility comes through trusting God.
        1. Verse 7 is often quoted out of context. Have you ever noticed that it isn’t even a complete sentence? Some people change “casting” to “cast” to try to make it make sense by itself, but that’s misusing Scripture.
        2. @ Illustration: As a child, discovering for the first time that the verse began “casting” and thinking, that doesn’t make sense!
        3. @ What the verse really means is that casting your anxieties on God is a part of humbling yourself.
          1. @ Really, worry is a form of arrogant pride. It’s telling God, “This problem is too big for You to handle. Let me help You.” But who of us is really able to help God. Our help is like a toddler helping his or her mom cook in the kitchen. It isn’t really help!
        4. @ The side benefit: When we humble ourselves, God will exalt us. Here’s the awesome thing: If I’m humble, I have no need to be exalted, yet God does so anyway.
      6. @ Practical tests of humility:
        1. @ If someone else succeeds, do you get jealous or are you happy for them?
        2. @ When someone mistreats you, how do you respond? (My dad, never angry except when others were mistreated)
  5. @ The next thing Peter says about living and suffering as strangers: 1 Peter 5:8, 9
    1. We need to be aware of what’s going on around us and resist the devil.
    2. How? James 4 gives more details:
      1. @ v. 7: Submit to God: Choose that, all else aside, what you really want is God’s will for you.
      2. Resist the devil: Don’t give in to temptation. @ 1 Corinthians 10:13.
      3. @ v. 8a: Draw near to God: Spend regular time with Him
      4. @ vv 8b-9: Cleanse, purify, be wretched, mourn, weep: This sort of language is connected with genuine sorrow for sin and repentance.
      5. @ v. 10: Humble yourselves. There it is again! So humility is a key part of avoiding becoming the devil’s lunch.
    3. @ Back in 1 Peter 5:9b: The suffering we experience at the devil’s hands doesn’t mean that you’re a special target for the devil. It’s faced by all genuine Christians.
  6. @ No longer a stranger: vv. 10, 11
    1. After we live lives of suffering and humility as strangers in our own hometown, the time will come when God will exalt us.
    2. No longer will we be strangers, because Jesus will take us to be with Him!
    3. @ In the part of 1 Peter 5 we skipped over, Peter calls on leaders to lead willingly with humility. He concludes the section in verse 4. Jesus, our example of humility, will crown us and bring us to our heavenly hometown.
  7. @ Conclusion