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INTRODUCTION TO I AND II PETER THE HOPE OF A TRANSFORMED LIFE

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Title: INTRODUCTION TO I AND II PETER THE HOPE OF A TRANSFORMED LIFE


1
INTRODUCTION TO I AND II PETERTHE HOPE OF A
TRANSFORMED LIFE
  • FROM IMPULSIVE TO IMPASSIONED,
  • FROM LITTLE FAITH TO GREAT FAITH

Nonie 2011.5.4
2
  • I and II Peter were letters written to a
    group of believers by a man called Simon Peter, a
    common fisherman with a fiery, impulsive, and
    sometimes irresponsible personality, who was
    transformed into a wise, mature servant of God.

3
  • Peter was an ordinary man.
  • He was very human, just like you or me, with
    faults, fears, and doubts. Sometimes he was rash
    and reckless, short-tempered or even angry, but
    overall he was capable of great loyalty and love.
  • He was probably uneducated and just like me, and
    perhaps you, he was sometimes a slow learner or
    he had to learn things the hard way.

4
  • Peter and his brother Andrew, the sons of Jona,
    were fishermen from the town of Bethsaida in the
    province of Galilee. They were partners with
    James and John, the sons of Zebedee. Bethsaida
    was right on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

5
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6
  • If we were to rank the social status of Peter, he
    would probably be living at the poverty level.
    Because he had little education, he was likely
    held in low esteem in the eyes of men. The
    Galileans in those days were a simple people who
    were somewhat impulsive, which helps to explain
    Peters actions at times.
  • We know Peter was married, because the Bible
    tells us in Mark 129-31 that his mother-in-law
    was healed by Jesus.

7
  • Yet, in spite of his humanness, low social
    status, lack of education, and all of his faults,
    Peter was among the first of the disciples called
    by Jesus.
  • Jesus KNEW Peter, and He saw his worth. Yes, he
    saw all the faults as well, but He accepted Peter
    as he was, because He knew his heart was good. He
    knew that Peter would be a faithful and loyal
    follower.

8
  • Peter was first introduced to Jesus by his
    brother Andrew.
  • John 140-42
  • Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the
    two who heard what John had said and who had
    followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to
    find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have
    found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). And he
    brought him to Jesus.

9
  • Peters original name was Simon. The first thing
    Jesus did after He met Peter was change his name
    from Simon to Cephas.
  • John 142
  • Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon
    son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which,
    when translated, is Peter).

10
  • Cephas (or Peter) means a fragment of a rock or
    a stone.
  • Jesus knew what Peter would become when he
    changed his name to Rock. He was as unstable as
    water, but divine grace was about to make a
    profound change in his life. He was to become a
    rock, sure and steadfast, that could be relied
    upon to hold on to the truth through the coming
    storms.

11
  • Later, Jesus saw Peter and Andrew, along with
    James and John, fishing on the Sea of Galilee
    (also called the Lake of Gennesaret). Lets look
    at Luke 51-11 to see what happened.

12
  • One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of
    Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him
    and listening to the word of God, He saw at the
    water's edge two boats, left there by the
    fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got
    into one of the boats, the one belonging to
    Simon, and asked him to put out a little from
    shore. Then he sat down and taught the people
    from the boat.

13
  • When he had finished speaking, he said to
    Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the
    nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we've
    worked hard all night and haven't caught
    anything. But because you say so, I will let down
    the nets." When they had done so, they caught
    such a large number of fish that their nets began
    to break. So they signaled their partners in the
    other boat to come and help them, and they came
    and filled both boats so full that they began to
    sink.

14
  • When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus'
    knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord I am a
    sinful man!" For he and all his companions were
    astonished at the catch of fish they had taken,
    and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
    Simon's partners. Then Jesus said to Simon,
    "Don't be afraid from now on you will catch
    men." So they pulled their boats up on shore,
    left everything and followed him.

15
  • Peter, along with his brother Andrew and James
    and John, left everything and followed Jesus.
  • Their fishing boats were the means of their
    living, perhaps all their property. By leaving
    them immediately, and following Him, they showed
    that they were willing to forsake all for the
    sake of Jesus, and to follow Him wherever He
    should lead them.
  • They faced persecution and death for His sake,
    but they also had the honor of saving souls from
    death, and establishing a church that shall
    continue to the end of time.

16
  • We have no idea what awaits us when we become His
    followers but we should cheerfully go when our
    Savior calls, just as Peter, Andrew, James and
    John did, and be willing to commit all we have
    into His hands whether we face honor or
    dishonor, sickness or health, riches or poverty,
    life or death. We must simply do His will and
    commit the results to the great Redeemer who has
    called us.

17
  • We see here, too, what humble instruments God
    makes use of to convert people.
  • He chose fishermen to convert the world
  • He chooses the foolish to confound the wise
  • He makes use of such lowly instruments as you and
    I to help change the hearts of people and save
    their souls

18
  • Throughout his growing process, the life of Peter
    is a study of contrasts, especially in the early
    stages of his spiritual development.
  • Perhaps the most suitable word that sums up the
    character of Peter is impetuous. While we admire
    his willingness to serve the Lord, he always
    seemed to get himself in trouble!

19
  • On one occasion, Peter, if you can imagine it,
    "rebuked the Lord! When Jesus explained to His
    disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and that
    he would be killed and be raised to life on the
    third day, Peter, if you can imagine it, actually
    took the Son of God aside and rebuked Him! He
    said to Jesus, Never, Lord! This shall never
    happen to you!

20
  • In response, Jesus said, "Get behind me, Satan!
    You are a stumbling block to me you do not have
    in mind the things of God, but the things of men"
    (Matthew 1621-23).
  • Heres a lesson believers
  • Sometimes our best intentions give way to
    weakness when we act in our own strength.

21
  • Who, but Peter, would ask the Master if he too
    might walk upon the sea in the midst of a raging
    storm? The disciples saw Jesus walking on the
    water and first thought it was a ghost. Jesus
    assured them with the words, "Take courage! It is
    I. Don't be afraid." Peter impetuously replied,
    "Lord, if it's you, "tell me to come to you on
    the water," and Jesus invited him to come to Him.

22
  • After Peter climbed out of the boat he realized
    that mere humans just dont walk on water,
    although he had already taken a few steps.
  • As Peter was about to go under, he cried out,
    saying, "Lord, save me." Jesus reached out His
    hand, caught Peter, and said, You of little
    faith, why did you doubt? (See Matthew
    1422-33.)

23
  • Theres another lesson here for believers
  • When we take our eyes off the Lord and begin to
    dwell on our circumstances, we usually find
    ourselves sinking into the depths of despair.

24
  • When Jesus began to wash His disciples feet at
    what became known as the Last Supper, Peter
    declared, No, you shall never wash my feet!
    Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no
    part with me." Simon Peters reply was, Then,
    Lord, not just my feet but my hands and my head
    as well! (See John 138-9.)

25
  • That same night, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus
    told His disciples that they would all fall
    away on account of Him. Peter answered, Even if
    all fall away on account of you, I never will.
    Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, this very
    night, before the rooster crows, you will disown
    me three times," and Peter declared, "Even if I
    have to die with you, I will never disown you"
    (Matthew 2631-35).

26
  • Peter lived to have his own words betray him
    within just a few hours after that.
  • After the soldiers took Jesus to Pilate, Peter
    was warming himself by a fire outside the
    building where Jesus was being questioned by
    Pilate. When a lowly servant girl said, "This
    fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth, Peter
    began to curse and swear, saying, I dont know
    the man." Before the evening ended Peter had
    denied the Lord three times. When he heard the
    cock crow, he remembered what Jesus had said and
    he went out and wept bitterly. (See Matthew
    2661-75.)

27
  • And heres another lesson for believers
  • When we repent, as Peter did, Jesus always
    forgives and restores. In a mighty display of His
    love and mercy, Peter was the first disciple that
    Jesus showed Himself to after His resurrection (I
    Corinthians 154).
  • And in John 2115-17, Jesus gave Peter the
    opportunity to confirm his love for Him three
    times to balance his threefold denial and to
    reconfirm his position among the disciples. Peter
    learned a valuable lesson never to place
    confidence in the flesh.

28
  • There are other examples of Peters impetuous
    nature, but I think we can tell from these that
    Peter often acted first and thought later.

29
  • In spite of Peters weaknesses, from the start he
    seemed to have been the spokesman for the other
    disciples, the man who stood out from the group.
    In any list of disciples in the Bible, Peter is
    always mentioned first, which seems to show he
    was Jesus' right-hand man. Peter was a born
    leader - energetic, confident, and ready for
    whatever came his way.

30
  • When many people began turning away from Jesus
    because of a teaching they believed to be too
    difficult, Jesus asked His 12 disciples if they
    would leave, too. Peter spoke for them all when
    he replied, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have
    the words of eternal life. We believe and know
    that you are the Holy One of God" (John 668).

31
  • In answer to Jesus question, Who do men say
    that I am? the disciples said Some say youre
    John the Baptist. Others seem to think youre
    Elijah, or Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.
  • But Peter answered, perhaps again on behalf of
    all of the disciples, You are Christ, the Son of
    the Living God
  • Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of
    Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man,
    but by my Father in heaven (Matthew 1616-17).

32
  • Peter, James, and John were Jesus most trusted
    disciples. He took the three of them with Him to
    a high mountain, where He was transfigured before
    their eyes, and where He talked with Moses and
    Elijah. (See Matthew 171-3.)

33
  • Yes, Peter was an unlikely symbol of stability.
    Though he was one of the first disciples called
    and served as the spokesman for the group, Peter
    is also an example of the person of "little
    faith" that Jesus often mentioned.
  • But after the resurrection of Jesus, Peter became
    an example of the forgiven sinner, and his life
    was forever changed.

34
  • God changed Peter from
  • A person of weak faith to one of great faith
  • Foolish to wise
  • Irresponsible to strong and reliable

35
  • After Jesus resurrection, Peter became the
    leader of the breakaway Jewish sect that became
    the early Church.
  • On the Day of Pentecost, after the Holy Spirit
    had descended on the 120 believers gathered in
    the Upper Room, Peter stood and preached a fiery
    sermon. (See Acts 214-36.) He ended his sermon
    with these words Therefore let all Israel be
    assured of this God has made this Jesus, whom
    you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Vs. 36).

36
  • What happened next is a great testimony to the
    powerful work of the Holy Spirit Those who
    accepted his message were baptized, and about
    three thousand were added to their number that
    day (Acts 237-41).

37
  • It was Peter who stood up among the believers and
    took charge regarding the office left vacant by
    Judas, who had betrayed Jesus.
  • Peter stood up for the apostles when they were
    taken before the Jewish religious court in
    Jerusalem for teaching and preaching the
    resurrection of Jesus (Acts 45-22).

38
  • It was Peter who rose up at the Jerusalem Council
    after much disputing and convinced them that
    circumcision was not necessary (Acts 155-12).
  • He was the one who confirmed Pauls apostleship
    among the Gentiles.
  • All in all, Peter dominated the small but growing
    community of Christians in the first fifteen
    years after Jesus' death.

39
  • Its important to note that even after the
    resurrection, Peter was not perfect.
  • After God had shown the apostles, including
    Peter, that there was to no longer be any
    difference in the Jew and the Gentile, Peter
    again showed his human weakness. In a gathering
    of a number of followers of Christ, largely
    Gentiles, Peter was talking to and associating
    with them until more of the Jews arrived. Then
    Peter moved away from the Gentiles, because in
    the past the Jews were forbidden to associate
    openly with the Gentiles. But Paul confronted and
    rebuked him for it.

40
  • Although some believers have placed him above
    others, Peter never thought so highly of himself.
    In fact, when Cornelius fell down at his feet to
    worship him, "Peter took him up, saying, stand
    up I myself also am a man" (Acts 1025, 26).

41
  • But Peter, in spite of his imperfections,
    still became a mighty warrior for God.
  • Under the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter healed
    the sick and raised the dead.
  • He preached to the Samaritans
  • He healed a man who had been paralyzed for eight
    years
  • He raised Tabitha, a disciple who was always
    doing good and helping the poor, from the dead

42
  • After he had a vision from God, he went to the
    home of Cornelius, a Gentile, and preached the
    Gospel to a large gathering of Gentiles, who all
    became believers. This opened the door for
    Gentiles to come into the church.
  • He healed a man crippled from birth at the temple
    gate called Beautiful.
  • He was arrested and imprisoned, but was visited
    by an angel of the Lord, and the chains fell off
    his hands so he was able to escape.

43
  • Peter was called by the apostle Paul a "pillar"
    of the Church.
  • It was also believed by the crowds that the mere
    casting of his shadow upon the sick was capable
    of bringing about miraculous healing.
  • He preached in Antioch and possibly Corinth.

44
  • According to tradition, Peter was imprisoned and
    sentenced to death for not renouncing his faith
    in Jesus.
  • Also according to tradition, he requested that
    they crucify him upside down, as he did not think
    himself worthy to hang as the Savior did.

45
  • Peter wrote these two Epistles, called Peter 1
    and Peter 2, in the New Testament.
  • Papias, a disciple of the Apostle John, wrote
    that Mark's Gospel was also influenced by Peter's
    writings.

46
  • God uses common, ordinary people just like us
    to extraordinary things.
  • Years later as the clay was shaped into a vessel
    of honor, the religious leaders in Israel took
    note that Peter and the other disciples had been
    with the Lord. They marveled that these unlearned
    and ignorant men spoke with such authority and
    boldness (Acts 413).

47
  • Higher education isnt necessarily a requirement
    to be used of the Lord. In fact, very few of the
    inspired writers of Scripture were educated men
    by ancient standards, yet they produced a Book
    that has left a permanent impression upon the
    world.

48
  • I Corinthians 128, 29
  • God chose the lowly things of this world and
    the despised things and the things that are not
    to nullify overthrow the things that are, so
    that no one may boast before Him. It is because
    of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has
    become for us wisdom from God that is, our
    righteousness, holiness and redemption.
    Therefore, as it is written Let him who boasts
    boast in the Lord.

49
  • What does that mean?
  • God uses ordinary people instead of the rich and
    the famous to do His will, because he wants ALL
    of the Glory. It is because of Jesus, and Jesus
    alone, that we can be holy, righteous, and wise.
  • So - God can and will use you in His service no
    matter what your educational background may be. A
    willing heart is all that is required.

50
  • The Potter places the clay onto the potters
    wheel that He might fashion it according to His
    will.

51
  • We will study over the next few months the
    books of I and II Peter that the Holy Spirit of
    God inspired in this man called Peter.
  • Peter wrote these letters to encourage
    believers to
  • Endure their trials with an attitude of love,
    humility, and perseverance
  • Stand firm in the true grace of God
  • Be strengthened through their knowledge of God
  • Be on their guard against errors being taught by
    false teachers.

52
  • I encourage us all to be willing to be
    transformed, like Peter, into the strong,
    faithful servant that God wants us to be.
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