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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Mar. 19, 2009

  • 2009 Mar 19
  • COMMENTS
 

The Gospel Explained by Peter

I Peter 5

People need heroes. Part of life is looking up to someone, being inspired by them, and rising to greater levels of accomplishment in whatever field they represent.

There are golfing heroes who inspire; basketball and football heroes who inspire; entertainers and authors who become heroes and inspire; political and civic heroes who inspire; medical, rescue and military heroes who inspire. Heroes, we all consciously or unconsciously have them. And beyond all these I’ve mentioned there are the religious leaders that inspire often millions.

Peter the Hero

If you have never picked a character in the Bible as a hero – someone you wish to be like and admire greatly – I hope you’ll consider Peter. He is becoming my hero. Why would I say that? Because –

  • If you ever want to be bold – Peter was a model of boldness at Caesarea Philippi when he boldly told Jesus that HE – the Lord of Heaven -- was incorrect. That is bold.
  • If you ever want to be fearless – Peter was a model of fearlessness at Gethsemane when he single handedly with only a short sword started to fight with a crowd numbering well over 600 soldiers and guards. That is fearless.
  • If you ever think of being a leader – Peter is a model of leadership from the first day he was called by Jesus at the shore. I imagine it was only moments later that he took over as commander and chief of the soon to be Twelve and remained so throughout Christ's ministry. That is leadership.
  • If you ever want to be forgiven – Peter is a model of forgiveness at the moment he looked up into the eyes of Jesus at Gallicantu. After all his denials he wept bitterly and cried out in his heart for forgiveness. How do I know that? Because Jesus looked at him in love and forgave him that dark night. That is forgiven.
  • If you ever want restoration – Peter is a model of restoration to ministry at the Sea of Galilee when Jesus stood on the shore and clearly, completely, and tenderly forgave Peter for all his denials. That is restored.
  • If you ever want to be greatly used – Peter is a model of incredible success. Standing nearly alone before his entire world on the 50 th day after the Cross -- Peter turns the tide of the whole world, God’s Way! He single handedly (with only the help of the Holy Spirit that is) started the greatest movement the world has ever seen. His message of calling individuals to conversion is Christ, is now the most repeated message, for the longest period of time – in the history of this planet. Peter founded upon Christ what we know today as the church of Jesus Christ. That is success.
  • If you ever want to be humble – Peter is a model of humility. Despite all the incredible achievements walking for 3 years at Christ's side, to Pentecost and beyond -- Peter walked away from the miracle of Pentecost as just a servant that God used; he took the Gospel to Cornelius, and started the Gentile Church we are a part of and walked away from that event again – as just a servant that the Lord chose to use. And that is the way Peter humbly stayed -- to the last recorded words of his life. That is humility.

Peter is a hero, in fact he is actually above that – he is a true superhero to millions around the world this day.

But Peter, when found by Jesus, had all the marks of a bully. He was loud, brash, direct, and hard to intimidate. He was probably strong and big. He also was quite good at what he did, and seemed successful. He was a natural leader, and drew people’s loyalty. But he was also selfish, unclean, and hard headed. All that together makes a bully. But Jesus changed Peter. And from that moment on, whenever Peter was in Christ's Presence he was different. But sometimes in weakness, Peter would go back to what he was like before.

Then Peter was given awesome spiritual responsibility. All that strong personality added to big influence and power make for a very dangerous combination. It is so good that Peter did not want to be anything but Christ's servant. Peter is really one of the greatest examples of humility in God's Word because he gave up so much potential power and prestige – for so much pain and suffering as a servant of Jesus Christ.

Remember what Peter wrote at the end of his life? It is one of the most moving and powerful tributes to a man who was dominated by a passion to serve. Peter declares that he is no better, no greater, and no more powerful than anyone else. He was just a servant.

Let’s turn there this morning. I Peter 5.1-4.

Today the largest church building, owned by the largest representation of Christianity is called - Saint Peters.

Today there stands a man in that largest church building called a Pope. He is a man who claims to be a direct successor to a long line of Vicars of Christ – of which Peter was supposed to have been the 1 st. Did a man who is one of my greatest earthly heroes actually start what is today called Roman Catholicism?

To find out I have brought with me a special, expert witness. The only human that can ever testify to whether Peter founded what we call the Roman Catholic Church – is Peter HIMSELF. And so by way of an absolutely perfect transcript of what Peter himself actually said, and taught – this Bible, God's Word – we are going to interview Saint Peter this morning. I’ll let you decide whether Peter ever founded what we call Romanism.

An Interview With Peter

So what do you think Peter? His replies are all taken from his own speeches and writings as we have them in the Holy Scriptures

Peter, How Can a Person Get to Heaven?

As a fisherman to normal people like us, can you explain how a person can get to Heaven, Peter?

  • Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).
  • To him all the prophets bear witness, that through his name all who believe in him may receive forgiveness of sins” (Acts 10:43).
  • Set your hope completely upon that grace which is brought to you in the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13).

Peter, Who Mediates My Needs to God?

Peter please explain to me who mediates my needs to God? Do I need someone to get me saved? Are there many ways to God?

  • “Neither is there salvation in any other.   For there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Peter, How do we Address Our Prayers?

How do we address our prayers Peter? Do we come through you, the Lord Jesus’ mother, or some of the other great Apostles or Prophets?

  • Pray to God” (Acts 8:22)
  • Invoke as Father him who without respect of persons judges according to each one’s word” (1 Peter 1:17).

 

This Interview continues with the following questions:

Peter, Can I Buy God’s Grace?

Peter, How Many Traditions Should We Keep?

Peter, What Happens After We Die?

Peter, How Are We Born Again?

Peter, How Important is the Bible?

Peter, What Did Christ Mean When He Said He Would Build His Church?

Peter, What Are Priests to do As They Serve in Christ's Church?

Peter, Should There be Priests in the Church? And if so Who Should They Be?

Peter, Can We Help Atone for Our Sins?

Peter, Who Does God Listen to About Our Salvation and Needed Grace?

Peter, What is the Best Way to Commune With Jesus?

Peter, Do You Think Jesus Made You Higher than the Other Apostles?

Peter, Is There a Vicar of Christ?

Peter, Will Everyone be Saved Eventually?

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