The Growth of Peter In Christian Service

That I May Grow In Grace  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:44:58
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2 Peter 1:1 ESV
1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:


Today, as we continue our exploration of our general theme, "That I May Grow in Grace," let us pause and give thanks to God for the valuable insights we have gained from our previous sermons. We have been reminded of the importance of nurturing our spiritual qualities and diligently pursuing our spiritual growth, drawing inspiration from the words of Apostle Peter in his letter to the persecuted Christians.
Now, let us take a moment to reflect on Peter himself. Who is this remarkable figure who encouraged, rebuked, and exhorted the persecuted Christians? As we embark on this journey of spiritual growth, it is worthwhile to delve into the life of Peter, to truly understand his character and the transformative work that God accomplished within him. By studying Peter's life and learning from his principles and patterns of service, we too can experience growth in our Christian service to Christ.
So, let's open our hearts and minds to the lessons Peter's life offers. As we explore his experiences, may we be encouraged, corrected, and motivated to follow in his footsteps. Together, let's embark on this exploration of Peter's life, ready to receive the wisdom and guidance God has for us, and may it propel us in our own spiritual growth as we increasingly reflect the image of Christ and faithfully serve Him.
We entitled our study today: The Growth of Peter in Christian Service. And now, let’s together discover the life of Christian service of Apostle Peter as we continue to desire for Christian growth.
In his second letter to the persecuted Christians, it is believed that Peter was writting to the same recipient and Christian communities.
In his introduction, he begins his letter (as other ancient writters do (author, recipient, greetings), by introducing himself.
2 Peter 1:1 (ESV)
1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
Now, before we dwell to what Peter has to say in his letter, let us do first a background check to ‘Who is this Simeon Peter?’ who is writting to the persecuted christians.
In the growth journey of Peter in his Christian service, let us first take a look on His Unqualified Character.

I. His Unqualified Character

As we read, Peter introduced himself as Simeon Peter.
In the bible there are many Simeon. Simon was a very common name.
But when we read the name Simeon referring to Peter, it is referring to Peter’s original name before Jesus called him as his disciples. It is referring to his old and unqualified nature.
Peter’s original name at birth was Simon Bar-Jonah. Meaning “Simon, son of Jonah”
Matthew 16:17 ESV
17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
But notice that the Lord gave him another name. Luke introduces him this way: “Simon, whom He also named Peter” (Luke 6:14). Luke’s choice of words here is important. Jesus didn’t give him a new name to replace the old one. He “also” named him Peter. This disciple was known sometimes as Simon, sometimes as Peter, and sometimes as Simon Peter.
“Peter” was a sort of nickname. It means “Rock.” (Petros is the Greek word for “a piece of rock, a stone.”)
The Aramaic equivalent was Cephas (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:12; 3:22; 9:5; 15:5; Galatians 2:9).
John 1:42 ESV
42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).
John 1:42 describes Jesus’ first face-to-face meeting with Simon Peter: “Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, ‘You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated, A Stone).” Those were apparently the first words Jesus ever said to Peter. And from then on, “Rock” was his nickname.
Sometimes, however, the Lord continued to refer to him as Simon anyway. When you see that in Scripture, it is often a signal that Peter has done something that needs rebuke or correction.

A. Peter's Unqualified Character

The nickname was significant, and the Lord had a specific reason for choosing it.
Jesus changed Simon’s name, it appears, because He wanted the nickname to be a perpetual reminder to him about who he should be.
By nature Simon was brash (mayabang, siga, matapang), vacillating (pabago-bago ang isip), and undependable (hindi mapagkakatiwalaan). He tended to make great promises he couldn’t follow through with (Hindi tumutupad sa pangako). Magaling sa simula pero hindi nakakatapos, at una pang susuko.
This young man named Simon, who would become Peter, was (Mapusok at padalos-dalos)

1. Mayabang, Mapusok, at Impulsibo

Matthew 16:22-23: Peter impulsively rebuked Jesus when Jesus spoke about His coming suffering and death, to which Jesus responded, "Get behind me, Satan!"
Matthew 16:22 ESV
22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”

2. Hindi Mapagkakatiwalaan at Pabago-bago ang isip

Matthew 26:33-35: Peter confidently declared that he would never deny Jesus, but Jesus predicted that Peter would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed, highlighting Peter's vacillating nature.
Matthew 26:69-75: As predicted, Peter denied Jesus three times out of fear and self-preservation.

3. Mabilis mangako pero hindi natutupad

Mark 14:29-31: Peter confidently declared that he would never abandon Jesus, even if others did. However, he later failed to fulfill this promise during Jesus' arrest and trial.

4. Malakas ang loob sa simula, pero hindi kayang manindigan

Luke 22:33: Peter proclaimed his readiness to go with Jesus to prison or even die for Him, reflecting his wholehearted commitment at that moment.
Luke 22:33 ESV
33 Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.”
Luke 22:54-62: However, when confronted about his association with Jesus, Peter denied knowing Him, illustrating how he bailed out and fell short of his wholehearted commitment.

5. Padalos-dalos sa desisyon

Matthew 26:51-54: When Jesus was being arrested, Peter impulsively drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest's servant, demonstrating his overeagerness and impetuous nature.
Matthew 26:51 ESV
51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear.
When Jesus met him, he fit James’s description of a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1:8)
James 1:8 ESV
8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
If He called him Simon, He was signaling him that he was acting like his old self. If He called him Rock, He was commending him for acting the way he ought to be acting.
We see Jesus calling him Simon in reference to the key failures in his career.
Luke 22:31 ESV
31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,
In Luke 22:31, foretelling Peter’s betrayal, Jesus said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.”
Mark 14:37–38 ESV
37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Later, in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Peter should have been watching and praying with Christ, he fell asleep. Mark writes, “[Jesus] came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak’ ” (Mark 14:37–38).
Thus usually when Peter needed rebuke or admonishment, Jesus referred to him as Simon.

B. What’s the Point?

So what’s the point?
Here’s we see the unqualified character of Peter. But in spite of that Jesus called and discipled him. Jesus was patient to Peter knowing what Peter would become someday.
Let us remember this general principle:

1. God called the unqualified and qualifies the called.

Sabi ni Peter:
2 Peter 1:1 (ESV)
1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
Peter is saying here, our qualification to Christianity or generaly speaking to Christian service is not by our own qualities and righteousness, but by the righteousness of Christ alone.

2. God equips His people for His work.

2 Peter 1:3 ESV
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
Peter then directs the believers that it is not by our own strength that we will do the work of God. It is God who will continue to work in us and for us. He gave us all things that we needed for His work. He equips His people for His work.
In the growth journey of Peter in his Christian service, secondly let us take a look on His Undisputed Transformation.

II. His Undisputed Transformation

Going back to our text, we can see how Peter proudly refer himself as a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:1 ESV
1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
From his unqualified character, now let’s journey to his undisputed transformation as a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ.

(Introduction) Reflect on the transformation Peter experienced through his encounter with Jesus.

Reflecting on the transformation Peter experienced through his encounter with Jesus, we can see a profound change in his life. Prior to meeting Jesus, Peter was an ordinary fisherman. But when Peter followed Jesus and left everything, allowing God to transform him and to work through him, we can see the transforming power of the LORD.
Matthew 4:18–20 ESV
18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
Let us remember that Peter’s transformation was not an overnight transformation. It was a process of patient, grace, and forgiveness. In this process, we can see how God worked in his life and how God molded him to become the leader of the twelve Apotles, and one of the core and close associates of Jesus (Peter, Andrew, James, and John). In the level of intimacy with Jesus, Peter was the most intimate among the twelve.

A. The significant moments Peter's growth and transformation.

1. From being a fisherman to becoming a fishers of men.

Matthew 4:19 ESV
19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
In the day of Pentecost, during Peter’s preaching, about three thousand souls were saved.
Acts 2:41 ESV
41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

2. From experiencing failure and restoration to becoming a shepherd of Christ's flock.

John 21:15–17 ESV
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Peter becomes a significant and povital church leaders.
1 Peter 5:1–2 ESV
1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;

3. From being a cowardly man to becoming a bold leader of the Church.

Acts 2:14 ESV
14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.
We was not just a leader of the twelve, he becomes the key leaders of the Jerusalem Church at the day of Pentecost.

B. Peter’s Transformed Character

1. Submissive

1 Peter 2:13 ESV
13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,

2. Restraint

1 Peter 2:18 ESV
18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.

3. Humility

1 Peter 5:5 ESV
5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

4. Courage

After Pentecost, we see a different Peter. Acts 4 describes how Peter and John were brought before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling counsel. They were solemnly instructed “not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus” (v. 18).
Acts 4:19–20 ESV
19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

5. Loving

1 Peter 4:8 ESV
8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

B. What’s the Point?

1. God can tranform your life.

God can transform you who you may be today. Nothing is impossible when God moves.

2. Your God-transformed life must lead to a more and deeper intimacy and service to God.

True transformation is not just being mabait, masunurin, mapagbigay. That is part. But the whole story of God’s transformative power must be for Him. God is transforming you for His own benefit and glory.
Finally, In the growth journey of Peter in his Christian service, let us take a look on His Unrelenting Dedication to Christian service.

III. His Unrelenting Dedication

How did Peter’s life end?

In John 21:18-19, Jesus told Peter how he would die as a martyr.
John 21:18–19 ESV
18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”
But the Scripture doesn’t record the death of Peter.
All the records of early church history indicate that Peter was crucified.
Eusebius cites the testimony of Clement, who says that before Peter was crucified he was forced to watch the crucifixion of his own wife. As he watched her being led to her death, Clement says, Peter called to her by name, saying, “Remember the Lord.” When it was Peter’s turn to die, he pleaded to be crucified upside down because he wasn’t worthy to die as his Lord had died. And thus he was nailed to a cross head-downward.
Peter’s life could be summed up in the final words of his second epistle: “Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). That is exactly what Simon Peter did that we should follow.
2 Peter 3:18 ESV
18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
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