1 Peter 5:8-11 Exploring the Passage

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

1. Against whom does Peter warn us to be on guard? See 1 Peter 5:8 (printed below)

Be spiritually sober. Be alert. Your adversary, the devil, like a roaring lion, is prowling around, looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

Peter warns us as Christians to be on guard against our adversary, the devil. We must take seriously both the reality as well as the power of the devil—something that Peter foolishly discounted on an earlier occasion (note Luke 22:31-33). The Word of God teaches us to take the devil seriously, and warns us to be on guard against the forces of evil.

2. Describe the devil’s tactics as they are displayed in Genesis 3:1-6 (printed below) Compare his words with the word of God recorded in Genesis 2:16-17 (also  printed below)

And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, From every tree of the garden you may freely eat; (17) but you shall not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. (Genesis 2:16-17)

Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said to the woman, Indeed, has God said, You shall not eat from any tree of the garden? (2) And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; (3) but concerning the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, or else you will die. (4) But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die; (5) for God knows that in the day you eat the fruit of that tree your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be like God, knowing good and evil. (6) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired as a means of making one wise, she took of its fruit, and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband with her, and he ate it. (Genesis 3:1-6)

The devil will seek to disorient you and confuse you, as he did with Eve. Contrast God’s clear command to Adam and Eve, as recorded in Genesis 2:16-17, with the confusing, disorienting question posed to Eve by the devil recorded in Genesis 3:1. The devil will seek to discredit God. Contrast his bold assertion recorded in Genesis 3:4-5 with the command and warning of God recorded in Genesis 2:17. The implication of the devil’s (false) assertion is that man is independent of God, man need not fear God’s threatened judgment, and man must not allow God to selfishly deprive him of self-fulfillment. The devil will seek to appeal to your desires (note Genesis 3:6).

3. According to the apostle Peter, what is the devil’s objective? See 1 Peter 5:8 (printed above under question #1)

Our adversary, the devil is portrayed as a roaring lion whose objective is to devour the Christian. Note: the term “adversary” is a legal term, it is referring to an opposing attorney in a court of law, one who seeks to produce a condemning verdict against you from the Judge (note Zecharaiah 3:1,3).

4. How are we to guard ourselves against our adversary, the devil? Note 1 Peter 5:9a (printed below) as well as James 4:7-8 (printed below)

Resist him by standing firm in the faith, knowing that the same ordeals of suffering are being placed upon your brothers throughout the world. (1 Peter 5:9)

Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Come near to God and he will come near to you. (James 4:7-8)

We must resist and withstand the devil by standing firm in the faith. We must ever rely upon and trust in our Advocate (Defense Attorney), the Lord Jesus Christ: “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One, (2) and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 2:1b-2a). Furthermore, we must resist and withstand him, by submitting to God (note James 4:7-8). Note the connection between verses 8-9 and verses 10-11, “…your adversary, the devil…is…looking for someone to devour…But…the God of all grace…will personally restore you, support you, strength you, and establish you.”

5. Referring to the Lord, what assurance does Peter give us in verse 11 (printed below?)

…the God of all grace… (11) To him belongs the dominion forever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:11)

We must rely upon the Lord our God, knowing that “to him belongs the dominion forever.” At present Christ employs this divine power and authority to restrain the devil in his vicious assaults. At last the Lord Jesus will employ that divine power and authority entrusted to Him by God His Father to consign the devil to the place of judgment appointed for him (note Revelation 20:10).