Our Model of Before-and-After Christian Faith

Jan 4th, 2018 | By | Category: Featured

Ilike Peter’s writings better than any New Testament contributor because he’s so much like most before the Holy Spirit’s change.  Babbling Peter said whatever he wanted, whenever he felt it, just like so many Christians and nonChristians do every day.

Peter IIIRemember when Jesus moved to wash his feet, Peter said, “Right Lord, but if you do, give me a complete bath” (John 13:5-11).  Peter’s intent wasn’t rebellious, just emotional to the point of blabbing what he was feeling at the time.  He didn’t get the servant teaching Jesus was trying to show him, and made it clear.

When Jesus appeared on the mount of transfiguration, Peter said he’d get James and John to help him build three tabernacles for Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. The Father Himself silenced his foolishness mid-sentence by thundering out of heaven: “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Mark 9:1-7.)

When Jesus announced He would sacrifice His life, Peter warned the Lord to avoid it, earning Jesus’ rebuke of the devil speaking through him shaming the disciple for his foolish words (Matthew 16:21,23).

When Jesus prophesied He would be denied by all when arrested for crucifixion, Peter said, “Others may fall away from you Lord, but I won’t be one of them. No, not me!” to which Jesus prophesied Peter’s three-fold denial when confronted Passover night (Matthew 14:27-31).

When the resurrected Jesus prophesied Peter’s bleak end in John 21:18-23,  even then Peter mouthed off by looking at John and asking, “what about him Lord?” to which Jesus answered, “Don’t worry about John, Peter. If I want him to remain, until I come, what is that to you?”

Teachable Peter

But it was also Peter who spoke up when none of the others dared answer Jesus’ question regarding His identity. For that, Jesus changed his name from ”Swaying Reed” (Cephas) to “Rock” (Peter) and signified the heart of this man who received the revelation as the foundation on which Jesus would build His church (Matthew 16:13-20).

It was Peter who Jesus personally taught regarding a local Philippi tax by having him pull up a fish that had the exact amount in it. Wow. (Matthew 17:24-27.)

Peter on the Water IAnd it was Peter who by faith is the only mortal to ever walk on water. While the others trembled in fear thinking they saw a ghost on Galilee, Peter said, “Lord if it is you, say come, and I’ll come,” and he came. That’s right, Peter walked on the water before he got his eyes on the storm raging around him and started to sink (Matthew 14:22-32).

Born-Again Peter

Following his conversion, it was Peter who preached on Pentecost, causing great revival (Acts 2). It was Peter who healed  the lame man in Jesus’ name while passing by for afternoon prayer in the temple, causing great revival (Acts 3:7). It was Peter who healed Aeneas (Acts 9:34, 35) and raised Tabitha from the dead, causing great revival (Acts 9:40-42). In fact, Peter was so anointed with God’s healing power that the people “…even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them” (Acts 5:15). And it was Peter who was entrusted with the in-grafting of the Gentile church, while receiving a prophetic vision that taught Gentile salvation was God ordained, a Roman captain received the visit of an angel, putting the two together for Peter’s preaching in the officer’s home. All assembled were saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 10).  Wow.

Peter, Christian Model and Guide

The early church looked to Peter as its founding Christian leader.  There is no other church leader in Acts, until the Peter IVconversion of Paul, the Spirit consistently chronicles. Philip’s ministry in Samaria gets a chapter of Acts press, revealing a model of ministry similarity to the Lord Jesus Christ’s (Acts 8). Signs and wonders and even the apostle’s translation are revealed in this powerful chapter. Peter’s epistles reveal him as a model of Christianity and serve as a revelation guide-book for the general church. Peter’s blabbermouth days ended after the resurrection. When he says in 1 Peter 4:11,”Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God,” we see a born-again man who understands Christian faith. Peter came to learn that his words were empowered by God when he conversed with others, preached a sermon, healed the sick, and raised the dead.

In 1 Peter 3:18 the Holy Spirit revealed to Peter Jesus’ netherworld preaching to those who were once disobedient in Noah’s Day that leaves you simply wondering about the event. Wow.

Second Peter gives the most comprehensive teachings on the ministry of a prophet anywhere in Scripture. Peter’s prophetic insight into last-days mockers and immoral teachers out for wicked gain reads like TV news and newspapers today (2 Peter 2).  It is Peter only who tells us the Spirit of Christ dwelt in God’s prophets to reveal His revelation (1 Peter 1:11).  It is Peter who reveals our church conversion as living stones of a temple in which the born-again Christian is a chosen priesthood who offers up sacrifices of praise (1 Peter 1:9).  Peter gives us as much lifestyle teaching as Paul in his directives of social humility.

Before his conversion Peter was an honest, interested, and misguided man. After his conversion Peter was an  honest, interested, and Holy Spirit guided man. Study his acts and words in the Gospels. Then study his words and actions in the New Testament Book Acts and Peter’s First and Second Epistles.

Is Peter your Christian model of “before – and after?” Do a word search on Peter this week in the Gospels and spend time in his two epistles. His before-and-after-conversion-snapshot will inspire your Christian life.

Yes, Jesus is coming again. Until then there is abundant life to be lived on this earth that God created for us. Like Peter, are you believing God daily in prayer and in the study of His Word?

2 Peter 1:16-19
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased” —  18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.

Mark

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