Be clear-minded and on the alert.
Peter completes the main body of his letter by revisiting several key themes such as the trials suffered by Christians, sober-mindedness, the coming judgment at Christ’s return, and the eternal reign of God. He offers several admonitions and concludes with an encouraging doxology.
Three imperatives form the closing section of Peter’s letter: 1) Be humbled, 2) Be clear-minded, and 3) Take your stand against the devil. These imperatives are not unique to Peter’s original readers. Every generation of Christians will need humility, clear-mindedness, and firm standing in a world so wickedly disordered by sin. Christians throughout the world face opposition. In some cases the opposition comes in the form of state-sanctioned persecution. In other cases Christians are subjected to violence from followers of various religious sects. In the west, Christians are increasingly marginalized and slandered.
Because He is sovereign, such trials come ultimately from “the mighty hand of God” (5:6). Indeed, God has purposed that the persecution of his people be a means by which he purifies them, preparing them for the return of Christ (4:17). This does not minimize the instrumentality of satan who is actively working in those same trials seeking to devour the faith of God’s people (5:8). So while Christians are to humble themselves by trusting God’s wise providence in their trials, they are nevertheless to stand strong against satan who seeks to use the same trials to crush them.
Peter closes the body of his letter with a doxology: “To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (vs. 11). Once again Peter draws our attention, this time in the form of praise, to the One whose power is far greater than that which is wielded by satan or any earthly tyrant. All dominion, or power, belongs to God. Not a single trial or act of opposition will touch the lives of God’s people apart from the “mighty hand of God.