Grace is a captivating study. It has been the subject of several recent teaching sessions and I just don’t seem to be able to let it go. So, here’s a question: Who is most qualified to tell us about grace? The ‘Sunday School’ answer would be: Anyone God inspires to do so. Got that! But have you ever noticed God doesn’t let our experiences (failures) go to waste? And that’s the case with two Biblical writers who experienced great grace! And their experiences inspire and instruct us.
Grace: Paul And Peter
We readily associate the Apostle Paul with teachings on grace. But Peter? Yes! This post – in both forms – takes a brief look at Peter, the man website. It helps give us a picture of what grace looks like. And looking at the reasons Peter experienced grace gives added emphasis to what he wrote about grace. So, the video will unpack all this for you. Then for future reference, you can always check back here to see these teaching notes!
Who Was Peter?
- An Apostle – the leader
- In the Gospels, Peter’s name is mentioned more often than anyone except Jesus
- No one speaks in Gospels as often as Peter
- Jesus spoke more to Peter than to any other individual
- Peter was the only disciple to get of a boat and walk toward Jesus on the water
- Jesus rebuked Peter more than any other disciple
- Peter was the only disciple who rebuked Jesus
- Peter voiced a bolder and more accurate confession of Christ than any other disciple
- Matthew 16:16 – You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God
- Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also, we have come to believe and to know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God, John 6:68-69
- Witness to the Transfiguration
- Peter also denied Jesus more forcefully and publicly than any other disciple
- He was praised by Jesus more than any other disciple
- Peter is the only disciple Jesus addressed as Satan – Matthew 16:23
- Peter got a personal visit from the resurrected Jesus on the day of the resurrection
- And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, saying, ‘The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon,’ Luke 24:33-34
Peter: Ordinary, Common Man
- A fisherman – Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Matthew 4:18
- An untrained leader – Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus, Acts 4:13.
And this may be why it’s so easy to identify with Peter. He was as ordinary as people come. But God used him, just like God still uses ordinary, everyday people today…like YOU! And that’s just one reason for my constant reminders that Helping Hands make many things possible. We do not serve the King and His Kingdom alone. We serve in community. And this ministry is just one proof of that fact.
Peter: Transformed, And That’s Also Grace!
- Simon – Peter’s birth name – pre-conversion
- Peter – Given to him by the Lord – his name after conversion
- Cephas is the Aramaic name for Peter (which means rock – more info in the video about this)
- Peter became a rock in the early church (John 1:42)
- Peter was transformed from a Bumbling disciple into a BOLD Apostle
We see Peter’s transformation as we read the Gospels and Acts. But what did it take for these changes to occur?
- Filling of the Holy Spirit – …but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth, Acts 1:8
- And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance, Acts 2:4
- Jesus’ power, presence, and purpose – And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men,’ Matthew 4:19
- Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end, John 13:1
The video develops these verse further as it relates to how Peter’s transformation was accomplished. That’s important, because you and I are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, Romans 12:1-2. And how that took place in Peter is the same way it will take place in us! Grace is the beginning of our bringing glory to our Father.
Peter: Called, By Grace, To Be An Apostle
Remember: all of us are called. But from time to time we need to be reminded of that. Jesus called Peter in the ordinary routines of Peter’s life. He was fishing and he dropped his nets – his livelihood – and followed Jesus.
- Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 2 Timothy 1:8-9
- Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession… Hebrews 13:1
Peter: Experienced In Grace And Persecution
Peter knew his subjects very well. The opening of his letter was to encourage believers who were suffering persecution. And seeing that first makes it easy for us to overlook his encouragements toward grace.
- Peter also suffered – Acts 4 & 12
- Peter received grace!
- Qualified to encourage!
- God uses the experiences of our lives to encourage those around us –
- Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God, II Corinthians 1:3-4
Peter: Messenger Of Grace
The conclusion is a simple listing of the references Peter made to Grace. And knowing the ways he experienced grace and seeing how he expressed that experience should bless you and equip you!
- God’s grace is sufficient
- I Peter 1:2b – May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure
- 1:10 – As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries,
- 1:13 – Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
- 3:7 – You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
- 4:10 – As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
- 5:5 – You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.
- 5:10 – After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
- 5:12 – Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!
Grace Is Strength – Confirmed In Paul’s writings
Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. II Corinthians 12:7-9
Grace For Overcoming Weakness
For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. I Corinthians 15:9-10
Soli Deo Gloria!
About the cover image: Did you see the surfer on the wave? In the raw image I saw the great wave of God’s majestic grace and failing, faulty people like me carried forward by it.