Just a couple thoughts while writing a survey exposition of 1 Peter, thinking about 5:5-9:
Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
These verses have long been applied in sermons to individual Chrisitans. And I agree, each one of us should humble ourselves that we might receive grace. But I don’t think that’s merely what Peter has in mind here. He pictures a whole church of individuals, each one in humility receiving God’s grace… and what happens then? The whole congregation is able to resist the devil. There’s no chinks in the armor. Everyone is acting in humility. Everyone is seeking each other’s good.
How much glory would God receive from such a congregation?