Just Like (Saint) Peter!
There is a doctrine in the Catholic church that says that the apostle Peter, (Saint Peter) was the founder of the Catholic church....sort of like the first Pope. I guess the idea comes from this Bible verse....
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". [Matthew 16:18]
Okay...that's cool! Now listen, I'm not a Catholic--but I believe exactly what Saint Peter believed! Have you ever looked at what Peter did, and said, and believed in? Lets take a look...
#1. Peter was a fisherman--a common everyday person--not someone who was an important leader, or trained in religion. But when he met Jesus his life changed!
"From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him." [Matthew 4:16-19]
Oh, there is so much in these verses! First we see that Jesus calls on us to repent...that is to turn from sin, and follow Him. Jesus found the two brothers....when you get saved, you always realize that Jesus found you--you didn't find Jesus! Now notice--when you meet Jesus, your life changes! They were fishermen..now they will be fishers of men! This is the exact calling on every Christian today too...to bring people to Jesus--to be a fisher of men! Finally we see that the men straightway left their nets--they didn't have to go to seminary--Jesus would teach them everything they needed to know as they followed Him...all they had to do was follow!
#2. Saint Peter was an eyewitness to the life death and resurrection of Jesus. Yet along the way he denied Jesus. He was not perfect, he was a human being just like the rest of us--and we all fail sometimes. But thank God we have the forgiveness that the cross provides--Peter certainly knew that!
#3. After Jesus had ascended into heaven, Saint Peter was among the group on disciples (both male and female) who anxiously awaited the promise of the Holy Spirit. Jesus has said that after He left He would send the Comforter--the Holy Spirit....
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." [John 14:26]
So Peter, along with the virgin Mary and a group of disciples stood in the upper room, anxiously awaiting the descent of the Holy Spirit....
"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." [Acts 2:1-4]
So, when they were filled with the Holy Ghost, they spoke in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Saint Peter stood up and gave the explanation for what had happened....you could call these passages Peters Gospel.....its wonderful!
"But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." [Acts2: 14-47]
Saint Peter tells us that Jesus was God, become a man. He defeated death at the cross--and in order to be saved, the people needed to repent and be baptized..to call upon the name of the Lord...and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is exactly how we need to be saved today!
#4. Now right after this day of Pentecost, something else interesting happened to our friend Peter...
"Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God." [Acts3:1-8]
Saint Peter was the first man to use the name of Jesus to heal! I believe, just like Peter, that the name of Jesus heals! Ive prayed for the sick and seen them healed in the name of Jesus! Lots of folks get healed in our church, just because we believe God for it--in the name of Jesus!
#5. Saint Peter wrote a couple of books in the Bible. (They're really short and easy to read--you should try them sometime!) I agree with every word he said! One of my favorites is this one...
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 2:24).
This is exactly what I believe! Jesus took our sins--yours and mine--on the cross. We need to die to sin in order to be made righteous (righteous means to be made fit for heaven!) Saint Peter believed that Jesus work upon the cross is what saves us! And he reaffirms that there is healing in the blood of Jesus..(by His stripes).
#6. Did you also know that Saint Peter said you need to be born again?
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." [1Peter 1:23]
He knew that being a Christian is a rebirth. But what does being born again get you?
"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." [John 3:3]
So Peter is in agreement with Jesus, that we must be born again to see the kingdom of God. Jesus said you must be....!
"Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." [John 3:7]
Please don't think I'm crazy when I say I'm born again--It's just what Jesus said, and it's the greatest thing that could ever happen to you!
So you see, I believe just like Saint Peter! Now someone will say that I think I'm Saint Peter--No way! But I believe in the same Jesus that he did--and Jesus is the same now as He was then...
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." [Hebrews 13:8]
It's funny to me--when I say that I believe in being born again--praying in tongues--healing in the name of Jesus--people look at those things and call it radical new stuff. People will say that they have a more traditional Christian belief....It doesn't make sense to me--it seems to me that my beliefs are more traditional! My beliefs just go right back to what Jesus said and I'm sure if we could talk to Saint Peter, he would agree!
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