Chapter five opens with an exhortation to local church elders. Although Peter called himself a “fellow elder,” there is no indication in Scripture that he served in that role in a local church. He could have meant that in a comparative meaning, because, although he may have functioned in a pastoral role in various churches, being one of the Twelve would have granted him more apostolic authority than typically granted an elder. Peter’s description of elders complements what Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
Peter closed his letter with a series of final exhortations for those not leading the churches. First, submit to church elders. Second, act humbly toward fellow believers. Third, resist the enemy by remaining strong in the faith. Fourth, remember that God uses suffering to strengthen us. The final greeting was explored in the introduction.