1006 A short description about Peter’s sanctifying pathway (by Whirlwind)

We describe some things encountered in Peter’s sanctifying pathway. We want to avoid “not seeing the forest for the trees.” So instead, we summarize shortly and leave the detail in the referred verses. We want to emphasize that we may quote part of verses due to the lack of spaces, however quotations are based upon the consistency of the Bible as a whole. If we don’t see some related verses or interpret verses wrong, please let us know. Thanks.

First, although Peter followed Jesus more than three years and was willing to lay down his life for Him, he denied Him three times before He was crucified [1]. Peter regretted instantly and became the leading apostle [1]. Nevertheless, we can see from the verses that we really cannot depend upon our old self.

We said before that Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him three times after resurrection. Different words of love in Greek are used [2]. However, there is only one word of love in English, and so there is no way to know that they are different words except by looking at the original Greek. People like me who don’t know the Greek can only use something like Strong’s Concordance to distinguish them. From these verses, we can see that Jesus told Peter that in order to shepherd His sheep, he had to have Agape love, which he surely had after Pentecost.

In Pentecost, Peter was filled by the Holy Spirit. He got a new self, became a fisher of men and saw one example of how the Holy Spirit worked [3]. He also had other powers. For example, he healed a lame person in the gate of Beautiful, but knew clearly that the power came from Jesus Christ and it’s the work of Lord [4]. People were all glorifying God for what had happened [5]. He performed other miracles too [6]. The Hole Spirit also worked through him to fill other people [7]. He even resurrected Tabitha from dead [8].

We also see that Peter started the salvation of the Gentiles through a vision where he saw a great sheet coming down from the sky three times [9]. Because of this, he went to the home of the Gentile Cornelius [10]. Furthermore, in Acts 10:44, “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.” He also verified that Paul was the apostle of Gentiles, and preached the same gospel [11].

Lastly, we want to highlight two things in his pathway to sanctification. First, he surely knew that God has the power to save him from death [12]. However, Jesus predicted him to die for glorying the Lord [13]. Even so, he followed the Lord till the end. Another thing is regarding Paul. He was scolded by Paul before [14], but he knew for sure that Paul was right, verified by the fact that he praised Paul when he was older [15].

Some related verses and knowledge

(Verses refer to those in NASB unless otherwise specified.)

[1] John 13:37-38, “Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.” From these verses, we can see that Peter is willing to lay down his life for Jesus. But he was weakened in his old self when he faced the pressure before Jesus was crucified. In our experiences, are we doing the same as he did by depending on our old selves? As a matter of fact, if we depend on our old selves, we can only fall into the situations described in Romans 7:15, “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.”  But we can also see that Peter regretted at that time. In Luke 22:61-62, “The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.” A soul of repentance is what we need. In Matthew 4:17, “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.””

[2] We can see from the second time that Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him that there are two different kinds of love. In John 21:16, “He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love (G25) Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love (G5368) You.” He said to him, “Shepherd (G4165) My sheep.”” In Strong’s Concordance, different words have different numbers. So, it is apparent that there are at least two different kinds of love in Greek. If you put together what Jesus said to Peter in John 21:15-17, you can see only to use agape love (G25), you can both shepherd (G4165) and feed (G1006). If using the worldly like love (G5368), you can only feed (G1006). 

[3] Acts 2:1-4, “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. …And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” Acts 2:37-42, “Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, …Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. …So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. …” Acts 4:4, “But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.” One of the work of feeling being pierced. Nevertheless, we do have free will to receive it or not.

[4] Acts 3:2-12, “And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. …But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene-walk!” And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. …But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?”

[5] Acts 4:21, “When they had threatened them further, they let them go (finding no basis on which to punish them) on account of the people, because they were all glorifying God for what had happened.”

[6] Acts 5:16, “Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.”

[7] Acts 8:14-17, “Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, …Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.”

[8] Acts 9:36-40, “Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated in Greek is called Dorcas); this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did. And it happened at that time that she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her body, they laid it in an upper room. …But Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed, and turning to the body, he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.”

[9] Acts 10:9-16 “…Peter …fell into a trance; and he saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, …But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky.”

[10] Acts 10:23-29, “…Peter at Caesarea And on the next day he got up and went away with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him. …And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean. That is why I came without even raising any objection when I was sent for. …”

[11] Galatians 2:6-8, “But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)-well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles).” Galatians 2:2, “It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.”

[12] Acts 12:5-11, “So Peter was kept in the prison, …On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, …And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands. …And he went out and continued to follow, and he did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. …When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.””

[13] John 21:18-19, “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go. ” Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me!””

[14] Galatians 2:12-14, “For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

[15] 2 Peter 3:15, “and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you.”

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