Wednesday, February 14, 2007
The Need for Movement (part 3)
Today’s entry is a continuation of the last two day’s blogs. To fully understand its context, you should read the last two day’s entries before continuing on with todays.
Peter doesn’t just give us the principle about moving as we discussed in yesterday’s blog, he also gives to us a pattern of one that constantly was moving in his faith. Peter begins as just any other member of his community. Before Peter ever even heard of “Jesus,” he was a typical Galilean fisherman who lived and earned a living near the Sea of Galilee. But he soon became part of the crowd. As word about Jesus began to spread throughout all of Palestine, Peter undoubtedly had some type of distant contact regarding Jesus. This brought him to the level of the curious. In Mark 1:14-18, Jesus enters the region of Galilee and invites Peter, along with his brother, Andrew, to follow Him. Though obviously not understanding exactly who this Jesus was, Peter was curious enough to give up his fishing business and follow Jesus.
The day then came when Peter verbalized that he had become part of the convinced. Peter being totally convinced in who Jesus was is seen emphatically in Matthew 16:13-18. While at Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asks the disciples the question, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter dramatically replies, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” From there we see Peter becoming more and more committed in his faith. Peter made many strong claims regarding his commitment to Jesus, but these all came crashing down when on the night before Jesus’ death, Peter denied Him three times. Yet, after the resurrection, Jesus had a very intimate conversation with Peter in John 21:15-22 where He painstakingly led him in some serious self-examination by three times asking him the question, “Do you love Me?” Peter struggled in his answer but the Lord used this to take Him deeper by commanding him to “Shepherd His sheep.” Jesus ends the conversation by predicting the type of death that Peter would succumb to due to his faith in Jesus
Ultimately Peter became part of the core. He becomes the key human leader of the early church. On the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 he preaches resulting in 3,000 people coming to faith in Christ. But this is just the beginning of Peter’s spiritual leadership in the book of Acts. Peter went on to perform miraculous healings (4:8-20); he led in the discipline of sinning believers such as Ananias and Sapphira (5:1-11); he confronted Simon the magician (8:20); it was through Peter’s visit to Cornelius that God threw open the doors of the church to Gentiles (10:1-11:18); he was part of the Jerusalem Council (15:7-12); and he also wrote the New Testament Epistles of 1 and 2 Peter
So you see, the purpose of Grace is not just about evangelism. It affects you. It affects me. It affects each and every one of us who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ no matter how far or how little we have come since that day. We must understand that if we do not seek to grow as a Christian we will become frustrated and stagnant in our spiritual walk. We must each identify what level we are on when it comes to our walk of faith. We must then commit to action points that will take us to the next level of growth.