Calvary Pastors This post comes from Calvary Chapel Pastors

What if you had never read the Book of Acts? Imagine that you only knew Peter through what was written in the Gospels.

Peter was one of those disciples.  If you’re a teacher, you’ve got one of those students constantly disrupting your class. If you’re a parent, you might have one of those kids. He has to be first. He has to be heard. He has to be noticed.

If you’re friends with Peter, and you’ve never read Acts chapter two, when you see him stand up and say, “Men of Israel. Listen…” you’re thinking, “No don’t, don’t. Peter, turn it off! Sit back DOWN! Oh this is going to be embarrassing.”

Who would blame you? What we know about Peter up to this point is that he failed in his faith.

Peter speaks out of turn when he rebukes Jesus for talking about His future crucifixion.  This results in Jesus calling Peter both and “offense” and “Satan” in the same sentence.

On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter interrupts a meeting between Jesus, Moses, and Elijah and blurts out an absurd idea about erecting personal, memorial tabernacles for each of them.  While Peter is still speaking, a cloud overshadows them and they hear, “Peter, be quiet! Listen to Jesus. Stop talking!”

Peter is not very good at walking on water, but that’s difficult to fault him for. Nonetheless, you have to conclude that when his faith failed, Peter sank.

I don’t have to remind you that it was in Mark’s Gospel that Peter was so bold to say, No! I will not deny You, Jesus! No! I will not fail You! No!  Even if all the other disciples deny You, I WON’T!”

After that, Peter fell asleep during the most important prayer meeting of his life in the Garden of Gethsemane.

When Judas led a mob to surround Jesus and His disciples, Peter reacted by unsheathing his sword. Jesus told him to put it away, but Peter took a swipe, instead, and someone in the mob lost an ear that night.

Jesus reached over and healed the ear of the enemy who was hurt, haphazardly, by the disciple of Jesus known as Peter.

The next time you read the Gospels you’ll find that Peter is an infectious doubter and an impulsive speaker. If I were one of the other disciples, I’d tell Pete to slow down and think before you speak, man!

When Peter stood up in Acts 2 and begins to say, “Men of Israel listen!” if I were a disciple, I’d have said, “No! Don’t, Peter! Don’t, don’t, don’t. Oh, this is just going to be so embarrassing.” The Lord wasn’t there to rebuke him and tell him to stop.

So, if you’ve never read Acts, when Peter stands up to preach, if your somebody who knows him, you are not very excited to Peter preach. No one is lining up to hear Peter preach.

But something happened to Peter in the Second Chapter of Acts that never took place before. It was a game changer. Peter now had the Holy Spirit of God come upon him empowering him for service. In the Gospels, Peter was saved. But what did he do with his salvation before Acts? Peter says, “Well, lets see, I have the Spirit for salvation… I think I want to go fishing. Who wants to go fishing with me?”

He goes out fishing, and, according to the Scriptures, he doesn’t catch anything. Why? Jesus promised that he would be a fisher of men.  For that, Peter needed the Spirit for service. Peter’s first experience with the Spirit in John 20:22 leads Peter to go fishing in John 21:3. Peter’s second experience with the Spirit of God in Acts 2 inspired Peter to do something he never did up to that point in the Biblical narrative – preach a sermon that moved over three thousand people to repent and give their lives to the Lord. Peter’s second experience with the Holy Spirit was a game changer.

Peter preached an amazing sermon that people have studied in detail for two thousand years. Reckless Peter becomes the righteous preacher.  Apart from the work of the Spirit, he continually put his foot in his mouth, embarrassed himself, and said things out of turn.

With the Holy Spirit, he preaches a powerful message that cut right to the heart and convicted his listeners to the core.

Change is taking place.

There is hope for you and me. What God did in Peter’s life He is willing to do in our lives. That’s the wonderful thing about the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Many of us look back at the past when we tried to do something for God and failed. We made promises, we tried to keep commitments, we did our very best but it seemed like we denied Him again and again.

Maybe you’re wondering right now, “Can I ever actually be used of God?”

The Holy Spirit says to you, today, that absolutely you can be used of God in mighty and miraculous ways. You simply need yield to the power of the Holy Spirit.

Peter’s story can be your story. 

continue reading the views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Calvary Southampton

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