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The Person of Peter

Scripture: Matthew 14:30-31, Luke 5:1-11, Matthew 16:13-17
Date: 04/01/2017  Lesson: 1
"Whatever his faults, and they were many, Peter was a spiritual man who was ready to follow the Lord, regardless of the cost."
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Good morning friends. Welcome to Sabbath School Study Hour. Coming to you from the Granite Bay Seventh Day Adventist Church. A very warm welcome to our viewers and also our online members that tune in each week to study the lesson with us. I'd also like to welcome the members and the visitors right here in our congregation.

It's good to see you here this morning. We're going to be starting a brand new lesson quarterly, dealing with the first and the second book of Peter. It's entitled Feed My Sheep. Lesson number one, which is the lesson we're looking at today, is entitled The Person of Peter. So we'll learn more about the apostle Peter, and then get into a study of his writings in first, second Peter.

Now we have a free offer that goes along with our study today. It's a book written by Pastor Doug entitled Compromise, Conformity and Courage. And this is available for those who are viewing, just give us a call on our resource phone number. The number is 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer number 774.

That number, once again, is 866-788-3966. Ask for offer number 774. And we'll be happy to send you the book, Compromise, Conformity, and Courage. For those who are outside of North America, you can actually go to the website, just amazingfacts.org. You can download a PDF copy of the book.

And you can read for free right there online. Well before we get to our study this morning we'd like to begin by lifting our voices in song. I'd like to invite our song leader to come join me.

Hello and welcome. We are going to do what we do every week, and that is sing your favorite songs, from wherever you are. We know you have favorites cause we hear from you and we do too, so it's perfect. We sing together and we praise the Lord every week.

So, the first one we're going to start with is a good one, 334, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. We're going to do all three stanzas, 334.

[MUSIC]

At this time, Pastor Ross will have our opening prayer.

Let us bow our heads for prayer. Dear Father, once again, thank you for your word, for the opportunity for us to study. It is a light in to a path that reveals the way that you will have us to go. And this morning, Lord, as we open the Scriptures and launch into this new study, this new lesson courtly, that we ask for the Holy Spirit, once again, to come and guide our hearts, our minds, and we ask this all in Jesus's name, amen.

Our lesson this morning will be brought to us by Pastor Doug.

Good morning, friends.

Good morning.

How is everybody?

Good to have you here. Want to welcome those who are also part of our online class. Some are studying online, some are watching on satellite. We have some of our online members from around the world and whatever category you fit in we're glad that you are studying with us today.

I'm excited because I get to be here. Sometimes I'm traveling and I'm not always able to be here for various lessons but I'm really glad I'm able to be here for the first lesson in this new study dealing with the apostle Peter's books. It's called Feed my Sheep.

First and second Peter. So today, we're going to be delving into lesson number one in this study, and I'm just really excited about that. Now, we have a memory verse and the memory verse, it's in the new King James Version, it's Matthew 14 Verse 30 and 31. Mathew 14:30-31 if you get your bibles of even your quarterly you can say this with me.

I'd like you to say that loud. Are you ready? But when he saw that the wind was boisterous he was afraid and beginning to sink, he cried out saying Lord save me, and immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him and said to him, you of little faith, why did you doubt?

Now, we're going to actually get to that story a little later in the lesson. Before we delve into the actual books of first and second Peter, who wrote most of the New Testament?

Paul.

Paul, and who wrote the next largest segment?

Luke.

John.

Luke? Cause he wrote Acts. So you got Luke, you've got the gospel of Luke. It has the longest chapters in the Book of Acts. Then John, the letters of John are very small, well, if you count Revelation that's true. That's going to be probably John, then Luke, and then getting down the line a little bit you have Peter.

But, Peter probably dictated the Gospel of Mark to Mark so he should get some extra credit for that. Many of the commentaries on Mark will say this is probably through interviews with Peter. Peter had a very big impact on the New Testament church. Whose name is mentioned more in the New Testament?

Paul or Peter? You don't want to guess cause you don't know and you don't want to be wrong, but they're pretty close. Now that's a trick question. Peter when you say whose mentioned more, Peter has the name Peter we can do a computer search. It's like a 163 times but he also has the name Simon and he also has the name Cephas.

So you add those up and it's, I don't know, 185 times. Paul has the name Paul, but he's also got the name, Saul. You add those up and Paul, I think, wins by a hair. So about 190 times. But these are two of the most outstanding characters. But if you go by the Gospels, Paul doesn't appear in the Gospels at all.

You go by the Gospels, you're going to find Peter referenced way more than Andrew, or Thomas, or James, or John. Or any of the apostles. A matter a fact, if something interesting is happening and the 12 apostles are there, Peter is mentioned. He was a very outspoken, gregarious upfront leader.

He always had an opinion even if he didn't know what he was talking about. He had an opinion. He always was speaking. And I just actually downloaded, I was curious about this and I downloaded how often Peter appears and I found someone was kind enough to put together a little history on the internet of Peter, and I did a little editing on this.

But just to give you an overview, so you better understand who is the author of these books and what is his history, and we'll delve more into that in our lessons as well, born probably about 5 AD. May have been a little younger than Jesus, probably the oldest of the apostles.

We don't know that but tradition says he was. He's the only one of the apostles that it mentions was married. I'm sure others were but it specifically mentions Peter's mother-in-law and you know you're not allowed to have a mother-in-law until you get married. So he was probably married, probably had children.

About 27 AD he learns about Jesus at his Baptism of Jesus and probably wasn't married long after that He's born around Bethsaida, which is a Galilean town. He's the son of Simon and he's called the son of Jonah. And sometimes fathers, they had two names. Peter's called Simon Bar-Jonah.

Bar means son of. He meets Jesus through the help of his brother Andrew at the Jordan River. After Jesus comes back from his 40 days in the wilderness, Jesus migrates up to Galilee. And there he sees Simon and Andrew washing their nets and he calls them. They leave everything and they follow him for a while.

He went on on a preaching tour and then took a break, and they went back to their fishing again. And then he meets them again and asks them to forsake everything they do. And that's what you find in Luke Chapter 5. Jesus visits Peter's house and he cures Peter's sick mother-in-law.

You find that in Matthew 8: 14. Peter becomes one of the witnesses of Jesus raising a little girl, Tabatha, back from the dead. Then you see Simon Peter makes the pronouncement there in Matthew about Jesus' divinity. Jesus tells Peter that he is going to build his church on the declaration that Peter has made.

Then Peter tries to talk Jesus out of dying and being raised the third day, and he is rebuked. Peter, along with James and John, witnessed the mount of transfiguration. Peter makes a prediction that, I'm sorry, Jesus makes a prediction Peter will deny him. Peter tells Jesus he'll never deny him.

Peter denies him. [LAUGH]

When Jesus is arrested, Peter follows initially. And Peter is the one who goes out and weeps bitterly. Peter is the first apostle to the tomb. John actually outruns him. Peter goes in first. Peter is the first apostle that Jesus appears to after the resurrection.

Peter, of course, is filled with the Spirit there at Pentecost and he preaches. He becomes, sort of, a leader of the remaining disciples. He is with the group on the Mount of Olives when Jesus foretells the end of the world, which was Peter, Andrew, James, and John. They got a special presentation from Jesus on that.

He is at the beautiful gate. Peter is the one who helps heal the lame man that walks. He is imprisoned for that. Peter says, we ought to obey God rather than men. He confronts a husband and wife, Ananias and Sapphira, and they both drop dead for lying to the Holy Spirit.

He goes and he visits Lydia. He resurrects Dorcas back to life. He is the first to take the gospel to the Gentiles, Cornelius and his household. He has a dream, the vision on the roof. And he's imprisoned in Chapter 12 of Acts. He's released from prison miraculously by an angel.

And then Paul later confronts Peter for what he thought was hypocritical behavior when the Jews showed up. Tradition tells us about 64 AD, Peter is crucified upside down because he didn't feel worthy to die the same way. That may have been following the burning of Rome that Nero was participating in, so Peter is executed by Nero.

Paul was a Roman citizen. He is beheaded. Peter, being a Jew and not a Roman citizen, he was crucified. Quick overview, but you'll notice that's just some of the high points of the many, many times Peter stands out as an individual in the Gospels. So with that lengthy introduction, let's go ahead and get into our study.

First section it says, depart from me. Peter does not feel worthy. And you'll read in Matthew Chapter 4 Verses 18 through 20, Jesus is walking by the Sea of Galilee. He saw the two brothers, Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting their nets in the sea, for they were fishermen.

And he said to them, follow me and I will make you fishers of men. They immediately left their nets and followed him. Now, probably their father, Jonah, had died at that point, whereas Zebedee was still alive. You notice it says that James and John left their father with the nets.

Whereas Peter and Andrew, Peter's married, he's a little older. You never hear mention of their father being alive. And so they walk away and they follow Jesus. But then again, eventually they returned to their fishing business. Maybe they thought, well, we need to subsidize it. We need more money.

They were a little worried. And so that's when you get to this experience. We're going to read verses 1 through 11 of Luke 5. And in a moment, someone is going to read for me 2 Samuel 6:9, okay? Let's start with Luke Chapter 11, I'm sorry, Luke Chapter 5, Verse 1 to 11.

And you read here, it was so as the multitude were pressed about him to hear the Word of God, that he stood by the Lake of Gennesaret. Now, the Sea of Galilee goes by three name, Galilee, Gennesaret, Sea of Tiberius. The Romans wanted to name everything after themselves.

The Jews often did not like that and they fought to keep the traditional name. It's like when you go to India. There's a lot of confusion, because the English named a number of towns. They had Bombay. The Indians have changed it back to Mumbai. The English named Madras.

The Indians said, no, we're changing the name back from the English colonial name. We're changing it to Chennai. Same city, two names. And so they had that battle raging in Israel where they had the Roman names and they said, we're not going by the Roman names. And so they had the Hebrew names and they did that with the lake.

So they're there fishing and there are two boats there, but the fishermen had gone. They were washing their nets. And he got into one of the boats, which was Simon's. There's a place where he's called Simon and not Peter. And he asks him to push out a little from the shore.

That creates kind of a natural place where people can see him, hear him. Sound carries, there's no obstruction. And he sat down and he talked to the multitude from the boat. So Peter pushed out a little bit. He dropped an anchor so it wouldn't drift off. And Jesus preached.

And when he had stopped speaking, he said to Simon, launch out into the deep and let down your nets. Now, this sounded like a bizarre request, because they all fished at night. You remember he says, we fished all night and we haven't caught anything. And I've seen it when I was in Israel, that at night there by the sea of Galilee, they would hang lights off the back of the boat.

I've been to South Point of the Big Island of Hawaii several times where I was with friends, and we fished all night. What we did is we dropped a 12-volt bulb, waterproof light, off the stern, turned off the motors. Waited for sundown while we ate. And you'd look off the back of the boat in the calm, clear waters and you could see clouds of fish would gather around the light.

We would drop our lines in, and these lines have two or three hooks on each line. There would be a hook here, another hook here, another hook here, another hook here. We'd drop them off, with little feathers on them, and we'd reel them in. We'd catch two or three fish with one haul on each line and there would be fish.

But they all gathered at night to the light. By the way, fish are still attracted to light, amen?

Amen.

So he said, drop your nets down. Here it is daytime. And he said, Lord, we've toiled all night and got nothing. And Jesus, maybe he looked at him and he could tell by his look, he said, look, I've told you what to do. Trust me. Nevertheless, it's your word.

If you say so, Lord, I'll let down the net. And they went out a little further and let down the net. And when they had done this they caught a great number of fish. So their net was breaking. Rather than pull the net in and lose all the fish, they called the neighbors and says, come get your net and put it under our net and let's catch these fish.

They signaled their partners, probably James and John, in the other boat to come in to help them. And they came and filled both boats. So they began to sink. And I've talked to churches before that when you join with churches to do evangelism, you do evangelism two or three churches in one town, you can't always have the meeting in all three churches at once.

You have the meeting in one church, but you know what? All the boats can be filled if you work together. And so even though Jesus was in Peter's boat, both boats got fish. And so, as a matter of fact, the boats sinking under the weight of the fish.

They were beginning to sink. Now, do you think this was just a good day or was this the best catch of their lives? Don't fishermen pray that sometime in their life they're going to have a story to tell about the day they caught the big one? Or the haul of fish unlike any other haul?

If the boat's about to sink, you add one more fish, they were going down. That was the day they'd all dreamed about. That's worth a lot of money too. And one reason the Lord did this was that haul of fish was going to subsidize [LAUGH] Peter's family and their missionary venture for a little while.

He was basically telling them, trust me, I can fill your nets. They signaled to their partners, they came. When Peter saw it, now, before they've even cleaned the fish and got them all to shore, Peter sees this. He realizes this is a miracle. You don't catch fish in day.

You don't ever catch this many fish. He fell down at Jesus' knees and he said, depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man. Now, did he really want Jesus to depart? Or was he just making a confession saying, Lord, I'm in the presence of a deity and I'm a wicked person.

Sailors, typically, back then, they were a rough bunch. And we know from when Peter denies Jesus he knew how to switch on the cursing mode, and he could curse. And he's saying, I'm a sinful man.

And he was telling the truth, but instead of rejecting him because he repented and he confessed, he received comfort from the Lord.

For he and all who are with him were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken. So also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, do not be afraid. From now on, you will catch men. So when they brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed him.

And I'm sure that Zebedee and Peter's wife, and if he had sons, they cleaned and sold those fish and they got the resources there. It wasn't wasted. But he said, we're not worthy. One of the things that qualifies you to work for the Lord is to realize you're not qualified.

All right, and I gave you a verse I think in 2 Samuel 6: 9. Why don't you read that?

David was afraid of the Lord that day and he said, how can the Ark of the Lord come to me?

David thought, I'm not worthy. We can't have the Ark of the Lord come to our town. It's sort of like the response where Isiah says in chapter 6: 5, after he sees the Lord, woe is me, I am undone. Have you ever been frightened by the presence of God?

And felt I'm not worthy. What can I do? Depart from me, Lord, I am a sinful man. You'll find that that was the response of John when he saw the Lord, I mean not work for word, but he thought, I'm going to die. Daniel when he saw the Lord in vision they all felt we are not worthy.

All right, so Peter started out. God could use him because he could have a humble attitude. He realized he was a sinful man. And so Jesus could have him do great things. And after he denies Christ he goes out and he weeps bitterly and repents of his sin.

All right, under the section now confessing the Christ, Mathew 16: 5, now when his disciples had come to the other side, they'd forgotten to take bread. Matter of fact, you may just want to turn your Bible to Matthew 16. We're going to look at several passages here. Matthew 16 is where you find this passage.

And Pastor Ross and I, when we do the Bible program, we often get questions on this chapter. So it says, when they came to the other side, and they forgot to take bread, Jesus said to them take heed and be aware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

First the disciples were thoughtful, and we forgot to bring lunch. And Jesus said, no, I'm speaking in metaphors. I'm saying basically be careful of the teaching of the Sadducees. They're rejecting me. And that's why later in that same question, in that same chapter, Jesus then asks the big question.

When they came into Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples saying, who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am? And they said, well, some say you're John the Baptist, some Elijah. Others, Jeremiah and the prophets. Now was there any prophecy that said Elijah would come? There was a prophecy that said someone would come in the spirit and power of Elijah.

Was there a prophecy that said Jeremiah would return? Not that I know of. So they had come up with some very interesting ideas about reincarnation [LAUGH] at this time. Jeremiah, one of the other prophets, this person had come, at least in their spirit. And they said, okay, now here's the big question.

Verse 15, who do you say that I am? It's not what does everyone else say, who do you say? Now when you make up your mind what you believe about Jesus, are you supposed to say, who does the world say that he is? Or who is he to you?

And that's so important. Jesus wants to know, what do you think? And Simon Peter, without hesitating, always first to speak, he answered and he said, you are the Christ, the son of the living God. When he said, you're the Christ, that word there is Cristos. It means, you are the anointed.

I believe that you are the one that we have been waiting for. You are the son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said, blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, Simon the son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father, who is in heaven.

Therefore, you will be the first of many popes. Does it say that? You with me? Everything was okay, up until I said that part about the first of many popes. But some people read this verse that way. That's why I injected that. They think, because Jesus acknowledged that Peter was blessed here because of this, Jesus, and then he goes on and he says, you've got to read here.

Go to verse 20, for example. Or you can read verse 18 and 19, we need to read that. And also I say to you, you are Peter. And on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

Whatever you bind on Earth will be bound. Whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed in heaven. Whatever you bind will be bound in heaven, whatever you loose will be in loosed in heaven. Now an uninformed reading of that verse, a person could be led to think that Jesus is talking to Peter and saying Peter, because you are the first one to blurt out that you think I'm the Christ.

By the way, you read down a little further and it says, all the disciples. As a matter of fact, you look at Matthew 16: 20, he commanded his disciples, they should tell no one that he was the Christ. They all believed it, it said. It wasn't that Peter made a declaration the others didn't believe.

He just was the first to articulate it. So the idea that, now, Jesus saying, Peter, you're now going to be the head of the church, blessed are you. Flesh and blood didn't reveal it. Notice he says in verse 18, you are Peter, and on this rock. If you look in the Greek, there are two different words that are used there.

Jesus said, you are Peter, that's petros. The word Peter, petros, means a stone that you might find rolling around in a creek. Well, a piece of a stone. But then he goes on and he says, but on this rock, this petra, that was a word that would mean a rock of immense proportions, like you would see at Yosemite or the Prudential Rock, or the Gates of Hercules, the Straits of Gibraltar, they call them.

There's a great big granite rock. Jesus is saying you're a rolling stone, but on this rock, what you've said, that I'm the Christ, I will build my church. And so, when he says, I give to you the keys to the kingdom, he wasn't giving it to Peter cause Jesus says almost the same thing in the Gospel of John.

He says it to all the believers. He says it to the apostles. He's basically saying, in sharing the gospel, you will have the keys that will unlock salvation to others. So the idea that Christ committed to one man and his successor this great authority is really a heresy.

And Protestants used to speak about that, but you don't hear them saying it much anymore. Anyway, so Peter was the first one who recognized this. And if you look in Luke 9 now, you'll see verse 18, it's a similar rendering of this story. And it happened as he was alone praying that his disciples joined him.

They came to join in him prayer. And then when he was done, he said, who did the crowd say that I am? They said, John the Baptist, some Elijah, or one of the old prophets has risen again. He said, who do you say that I am? Peter answered and said, the Christ, the Christ of God.

And he strictly warned and commanded them. Notice he doesn't say anything about you're the new pope here? Here he just says don't tell anybody this. He warned them, and commanded them tell no one the Son of Man. Why did he want them not to tell anyone? Because Christ still had some time of preaching to go and he knew that if he was publicly saying, I am the Messiah, it would arouse so much resistance from the religious leaders that it was going to inhibit his travelling and preaching.

And so he said, don't advertise that right now, now's not the time. And then he said, there'll come a time, the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed and rise the third day.

Now I'm going to jump back to Mathew 16 where Jesus makes that statement. How does Peter respond? Go to Mathew 16, and look in verse 21. From that time, Jesus begun to show to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and the scribes and be killed and be raised the third day.

Then Peter took him aside. That was nice for Peter to take him aside. He didn't want to embarrass Jesus. He didn't want to chastise Jesus in the crowd. He took him aside. You ever been taken aside by your parents before? He took him aside and he began to rebuke him, saying, shake his finger at Jesus.

A little different from when he knelt at him and said, depart from me. I'm a sinful man. Says, far be it from you, Lord. Don't talk like this. This shall not happen to you. Stop talking this way. And Jesus looked at Peter and looked behind Peter, and he realized it was the devil.

And he said, get behind me, Satan. He turned to Peter, and said, get behind me, Satan. So if you had notions about Peter being the first pope, all you gotta do is read a little further. 20 minutes don't go by from the time that he says you are a pebble but on this rock I'm going to build my church and he looks him in the eye and says get behind me Satan.

So I really doubt that Jesus was saying he was going to build his church on a man that was so wishy-washy that one minute he's making this great declaration and the next minute Jesus is calling him Satan. No, he wasn't the devil but the devil was speaking through Peter.

So that's just real important I think for us to understand when he says get behind me. Let me read a quote to you from the book Desire Me, they say all misunderstood it wasn't just Peter. The disciples still expected Christ to reign as a temporal prince. Although he had been long-concealed as designed, they believed he would not always remain in poverty and obscurity.

The time was near when he would establish his kingdom, that hatred of the priests and the rabbis would never overcome, that Christ would be rejected by his own nation, condemned as a deceiver, and crucified as a malefactor, such a thought the disciples never entertained. See in their minds, they thought Jesus is the son of David.

So while Christ was being dogged and persecuted by the priests, they said, well David was chased by Saul. We've been learning about that in our series. But soon he got older, he was king. And they thought Jesus is being given a hard time. He's going through his trials, but soon he'll get over that.

He'll be declared king. And they said, we're going to stick with him like David's mighty men and he'll be king and we'll reign with him. That was in their minds, they were sure that's what was going to happen. So when he said, I'm going to die, they said, what? That doesn't fit with our eschatology at all.

And so they really struggled with that. All right, someone's going to read for me 1 Peter 4: 12. Okay John, as a matter of fact you can go ahead right now cause I think we're ready for it.

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you. But rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christs' sufferings, that when his glory is revealed you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

Very good. Did Peter evidently, when he wrote in his book, finally get the notion that they were going to have to suffer? He said don't be amazed at the fiery trials that are going to try your faith as though some strange thing has happened to you. Did they go through an unexpected, fiery trial when they saw Jesus on the cross?

They thought, wow, we did not see that coming. Have you ever had a time in your life where you thought, I've heard of this happening to other people, I never thought it would happen to me? I didn't see that coming. Does the bible say that God blesses people?

But even those that he blesses, did they go through trials? We've read a lot of Job this last year. [LAUGH] We know that even those that he loves will go through episodes of fiery trials. I talked to my friends that I've got some dear charismatic friends and they're sure about the secret rapture.

They say, church is not going to be here in tribulation. And I said, I want you to read this verse. Don't be amazed at the fiery trials that will try you as though some strange thing has happened. Said, we didn't think that was going to happen. Said, you may be surprised that we are here during the tribulation, that God saves his church through tribulation.

All that live godly will suffer persecutions. So this idea that you don't go through trials, Peter understood, matter of fact, we're not going to get into it now, but when you get into 1 and 2 Peter, you'll see he says quite a bit about suffering. Believers do go through it.

Why does he allow suffering? To try to purge, to purify our faith. God allows us to go through some of these hard things. Makes it easier when you know that God has designed it to save you, amen? If you're going through a hard time, and you just think how unfortunate for me, well you start feeling sorry for yourself.

But if you think that God pulled this off the shelf just for you to save you, you'll say okay lord, whatever it takes. Makes it easier to deal with. Walking on water. Closest I came was I did ski barefoot,

[LAUGH]

But if you stand still you sink. Or if the lake's frozen, you can walk on water but normally that's a miracle. Matthew 14: 22, we're going to read that together, another experience of Peter. [COUGH] Now there are several stories where Jesus and the disciples are out at sea during a storm.

This is one occasion where he had been teaching. There's a large crowd, they're thinking of forcing him into being king, and so Jesus tells the disciples, look, the disciples were kind of encouraging the crown. Yeah, yeah, let's make him king. And Judas was thinking, now is the time.

And Jesus said, look, I gotta separate the apostles and the crowd. He puts them in a boat by themselves and says, you cross over, I'll meet you. Didn't tell them how. There are other fishing boats. He said I'll catch up with you. But lord, you go I'll catch up with you, cross over.

He dismisses the crowd and he goes off into the mountains by himself to pray. And he sent the multitudes away, he went up to the mountain by himself to pray and when evening came he was there alone. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea tossed by the wave for the wind was contrary.

The disciples were rowing against the wind. Now in the fourth watch of the night, which is 3 AM, Jesus went to them walking on the sea. By the way, you'll read this story in the Gospel of John and it tells us that they were in the middle of the sea, in the middle of the night, tossed by the waves, rowing into the wind, not getting anywhere, exhausted, cold, wet.

Jesus went to them walking on the sea. And the disciples saw him walking on the sea and they were troubled and thought it was a ghost, it's a spirit, it's an apparition and they cried out for fear. You wonder about their theology, right? Did they believe in ghosts?

And they cried out for fear, but immediately, Jesus spoke to them and said, be of good courage, it is I. Do not be afraid. Sometimes we may have episodes of fear cause we don't know Jesus, they were afraid him and he was coming with a blessing. And then Peter, he switches gears so quickly.

They go from crying out in terror but he's so happy to hear it's Jesus. He not even waiting for Jesus to come to him in the boat and he answers and says, Lord if it's you, command me to come to you on the water. And Peter's very curious, he thinks, wow, that's something.

Walking on water, I'd like to try that, Lord, if it's you, let me try that. Command me to come to you. Do you know most of the time the Lord says yes to our prayers? What exactly was the point of Peter coming to Jesus on the water? Wasn't Jesus already heading for the boat?

He's saying, let me escort you to the boat. He was coming to the disciples cause they were having a hard time. The Lord usually says yes to our prayers. And so, he says come, why not? And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he stepped over the side, he felt something firm under his feet, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

Now why was Peter the only one who asked that question? Well we all admit there's something different about Peter. How many of you would have said, hey Lord, can I try it? The moment before, he was terrified. But suddenly he's very curious about the physics of walking on water, and he wants to try it.

And he says, Lord, if that's you, let me come. And he says, come. He starts walking towards Christ. But when he saw the wind was boisterous, he was afraid. He turned around. The wind was driving up the waves, and he took his eyes off Jesus. Maybe a wave came between them and he couldn't see Christ.

I have a suspicion that when he first started walking on the water, he was looking at Jesus he was doing fine, and then Peter was always worried about what his friends thought. You'll find that as we go on. And he probably was thinking, are you guys getting this on your iPhone?

Look at this, I'm walking on water. Let's take it, we'll post it on the Internet, quick guys, are you getting this, right? And it took the eyes off Jesus and then he saw the wind and the waves. And his faith began to sink, and when his faith began to sink he began to sink.

And then Peter utters the shortest player in the bible, there may be a shorter one but I don't know where it is. He says Lord save me, got all the components of a complete sentence. Lord save me, he didn't have time a long player. I don't know if he was kneeling when he prayed, he's probably kicking and swimming.

And immediately, Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him and he said, you of little faith, why did you doubt? Now whenever I read this story, why is this story in the Bible? As entertainment? I have a theory that this story is in the Bible because the Christian life is referred to as a walk, isn't that right?

We're told to walk with God. We're told to walk with Jesus. To walk a holy life in a wicked world is impossible without a miracle. It was impossible for Peter to walk on water unless he kept his eyes on Jesus. The only way that we can live godly lives is by daily dying to self.

And keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. Every day that you walk with God, it is a miracle. It is the saving grace of Christ that helps us not to be overwhelmed and drowned like everybody else would drown out there in the sea. And we are surrounded by the stormy waves of sin and wickedness, and if you keep your eyes on Christ, you can do the impossible.

Now, when people say, nobody can live a godly life, nobody can keep God's commandments, I hear that and I say, you're right, they can't, without God. But that's what makes the Gospel unique. Through Christ, all things are possible. And when people start making all the arguments about how easy it is to sin, and how weak we all are, I have to agree.

You're right. But God isn't asking us to do the normal. He's asking us, in being Christians, to do the supernatural. If you're walking with Christ, if you're keeping your eyes on him, if you have a spirit-filled life, it is extraordinary. It is unusual. It is supernatural. It is different.

When the bible says that Noah walked with God in a wicked generation, it was by the grace of God. Noah found grace, and if we walk holy lives in a wicked world, how do we do it? It's by the grace of God. Amen? I'm so glad Peter asked that question, because otherwise, we wouldn't have that lesson.

That if we're following God, he can part oceans, he can move mountains, and he can give you the ability to walk on water. And when they got in the boat, it says the wind ceased, and those who are with him in the boat came and worshiped him, saying, surely you are the son of God.

Now, let me tell you why I mentioned the gospel of John. In John, chapter six it adds one more thing. It says when he got in the boat the wind ceased, and they were at their destination. Where were they when they saw him? The middle of the sea in the middle of the night.

When they invited Jesus in the boat, they reached their destination. All of a sudden, they looked, and they saw the lights of somebody's lamp burning on the shore, and they said, were here. How did that happen? They'll miss an important point. When Jesus came to them, what were they doing?

They were rowing. When they invited him in the boat, they got to their destination. Does the Lord want us to use human power to do what he tells us to do? Jesus told him, cross the sea. He didn't tell him, you're not going to have any problems. We do have problems.

He said, cross the sea. They went to obey. They ran into resistance. They ran into a head wind. They ran into waves. But when they invited Jesus in the boat, they were at their destination. So, who got them there? Jesus got them there, but they were doing everything they could humanly do in their strength to obey what he told them to do.

Is that an important lesson for us to remember? Some people just sit there on the shore. Jesus says, cross over, and they said, I will when you get in my boat. Now he says, you start doing what you can do, and when you reach your limit, I will work a miracle.

But God wants us to do humanly what we can do. Amen?

Amen.

All right, so that's another great story of Peter. We getting to know the Peter who wrote the letters denying his Lord, and this is something we don't like to dwell on, but we all know. You read in Luke 22. By the way, there's a promise in the Bible that Peter could have read, in Isiah 43.

When you pass through the waters I will be with you, and through the rivers they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned. I think Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego read that promise. And the flame will not scorch you. Alright, denying his Lord.

It says in Luke 22: 31, the Lord said, Simon, I have something to say to you. He said, Simon, Simon. Satan has asked for you that he might sift you as wheat, but I prayed for you that your faith does not fail. And when you've returned to me, when you're converted, strengthen the brethren.

He said, Lord, I'm ready to go with you both prison and death. He said, I tell you Peter, the rooster will not crow this day before you deny me three times. Now, another passage says, a rooster will not crow twice before you deny me three times. But he said, Satan's desire to have you.

What God said to Peter, is that only true of Peter, or is it true of each one of us? If you make up your mind to follow Jesus as Peter did, you are a threat to the devil. When it says, I prayed for you that your faith does not fail, did he only pray for Peter, or did Jesus pray for us?

Where does it show Jesus praying for us?

John 17.

That's right. In John 17, Christ says, Lord, not only do I pray for these, the 12 apostles, I pray for those who will believe through their word. Is that you?

Yeah.

Christ is praying for us. Isn't that something? That he specifically prayed for us, just like he prayed for Peter. Now was Peter's faith tested? I thought when Jesus prayed for him he wouldn't be tested. Did Peter fall? I thought if Jesus prayed for you that you wouldn't fall.

He was tested, he fell, but was he redeemed? Did he repent? And so, that should bring courage to us. Because Jesus prayed for you, it doesn't mean you're never going to be tempted. It doesn't mean you're going to fall, or not fall. It means that if you believe, and you have faith as Peter persisted, Peter repented, he was reclaimed.

Now, just to look at the story, Luke 2254, Jesus being arrested. They lead him and brought him to the high priest, but Peter followed at a distance. Now, in my Bible, I've underlined that. Did Peter follow Jesus? How did he follow? Why is he following at a distance?

When Jesus was being led by the multitude that said, Hosanna to the son of David, into Jerusalem, triumphal entry, was Peter following from a distance then, or was he right there next to the donkey? When Jesus was surrounded by the 12 apostles, and they came to arrest Jesus, did Peter pull out a sword and start to fight, when his friends were watching?

But now all of the friends are gone. His audience is gone. Jesus is no longer popular. Peter's now following from a distance. Peter struggled, I think, a little bit about what the crowd thought, because he seems to morph to what the crowd is doing and saying. And now when Jesus is not popular, Peter still loves him, he's following, but from a distance.

Do you know if you follow Jesus from a distance in this world, you are going to be very tempted to deny him. If you get right up close to Jesus, and you let everybody know where you stand, then you're not going to be put in a compromising situation.

That's a very important lesson. If you stay close to Jesus, let people know I'm a Christian. Let them know up front. Then if they start testing you and tempting you, it happens all the time. It happened yesterday. I picked up two hitchhikers yesterday, one going to. Not yesterday.

I picked up one the day before, and one the day coming back. And they get in the car, and the first one was kind of interesting. He was all dressed up in a suit and tie, walking down the road hitchhiking. I thought, that's odd. Turns out he was on his way to a wedding, and the car broke down.

But he got in the car, and I told them, I'm going to pastor. You look like you're going to church. And so, I told them right away. We had wonderful conversation, very polite. The secondary guy I picked up, I didn't say that to him, and he started cursing right away.

I mentioned I was a pastor. Conversation changed instantly. And I said, let me know where I stand, and so when I started sharing my testimony with him, I ended up giving them a book. He said, he's a pastor. That's what I expect. And so, you just let people know where you are.

And they're not as likely to offer you a drink from their bottle, if you tell them right off, I'm a pastor, you don't have to worry about that temptation.

[LAUGH]

I'm not tempted, but yeah, don't worry. All right, someone's going to look up for me Romans 5: 20. Okay, you'll have that in just a second here. It says, they let him away, he followed from a distance, now when they kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard they sat down together.

Peter sat with them. And a certain servant girl seeing that he sat by the fire looked intently at him, and said, this is the man that was with him. But he denied it, and said woman, I don't know him. And after a little while he's hanging around the wrong crowd, and he is influence by who's hanging around.

A little while later, another woman saw him, and said, you're one of them. Peter said, man, I am not. And after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, surely this fellow was with him. He says, you're a Galilean. I can tell by your speech. I'm combining two different passages here.

Peter said, I don't know what you're seeing. Another passage says, he swore and cursed, I don't know what you're seeing. And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed, and the Lord turned and looked at Peter. From where Peter was sitting, he could see the trial through the pillars, and he could see Jesus.

And Jesus is getting beaten by the temple guard. This is not the Roman soldiers yet. He's still being tried by the high priest. And he denies Christ for the third time. He turns and looks back at Jesus. Jesus, in spite of all the sufferings he's going through, and abuse in the trial, he is only thinking about Peter on the outside, and he turns, and they make eye contact, and there's look of love.

And he's basically saying, I told you. And you swore, they'll all forsake you. I'll go to prison and death, I won't deny you. You don't know your own heart. And Peter broke his heart. He saw that look of love, and he went out and he wept bitterly. And I think, right after Jesus looked at him, reading desire, they just, another fist came down and hit Jesus.

He realized Jesus was taking what he deserved. But fortunately, that was not the end, so go ahead and read for us Romans 5. Romans 5: 20, but where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. Was it a sin for Peter to deny his Lord? Yeah, it was and he did it.

Whatever Peter did, he did with a gestalt, right?

Right.

He didn't just deny Him once, he denied Him 3 times. He didn't just deny Him three times, he did with swearing and cursing in the presence of Jesus' enemies, at the trial of Christ. And he was brokenhearted, but he repented. And where sin abounds, grace abounds much more, Amen?

I always am amazed at the most wicked king of Judah, Manasseh. When he finally repents, the longest reigning king did terrible things. God's grace abounded much more. Manasseh was forgiven and God brought him back to the kingdom. God is so good. Finally, Peter is a church leader. And of course, Peter is a prime spokesman there at Pentecost.

He's not the only one preaching, but it's his summon that is recorded. He is the bold one, he is speaking there at the beautiful gate. Peter has been converted now. You hear Peter tell the sin when they say, we command you not to preach in this man's name anymore.

Peter said, you decide whether we ought to obey God or man. And that's a rhetorical question for a Jew because you always know, you obey God rather than men. So God's telling us to, you're telling us not to. You know what we're going to do. They went right from being whipped back to the temple and kept on preaching.

Was Peter concerned about what people thought of him? A little bit, cause now, you get to the Book of Galatians, and Paul's very nice to Peter in Galatians 2:9. And when James, Cephas, that's another name for Peter, and John, who seemed to be pillars, leaders in the church, they perceived the grace that had been given to me.

They gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship. Peter welcomed Paul into preaching and apostle-ship, that we should go the Gentiles and they do the circumcision. But now, you get to Galatians 2, verse 11. Now, when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed.

For before certain men came from James in Jerusalem, he would eat with the Gentiles. But when they came, he was Jew and separated himself, fearing those who are of the circumcision. So you got Peter again, falling into his old ways. Moses is faithful for 40 years, then he loses his temper.

The old Moses came out. Peter, led by the Lord, but then, what happened is when he was with the Gentiles in Antioch, he ate and hobnobbed with them. Now, he wasn't eating unclean food, but you weren't even supposed to eat and come under the roof of a Gentile.

And so he was treating them the way they should be treated, but then he says, Jewish delegation's coming. Hey guys, this isn't going to look good. They're still stuck with these old customs, so I won't be around anymore. And Paul said, you're being a hypocrite. If it's right, then the people coming from Jerusalem ought to know its right and stop worrying about what everyone thinks.

And so he rebuked Peter. Peter embraced the rebuke of Paul. Paul was right. And later, Peter says, our beloved brother, Paul, has written the things that God inspired. And that Peter refers to Paul's writings as scripture, did you know that? So they had good relationship, and he received the rebuke of Paul with the right spirit, and hopefully, changed his ways.

Now, those are the records of Peter that you find. Just wanted to give us a little better picture of the man who wrote the book. And want to remind our friends who are watching at home, we do have a free offer. This talks about standing for your faith, I think you'll enjoy it.

Compromise, conformity, and courage. How to stand and be faithful in the last days? Three, when you call, seven, call 866 788 396. That's 866 study more, and ask for offer 774. I only pray that you read it and share it with somebody else. God bless you 'til we study His word together again next week.

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Today's smart phones are a virtual universe of information that fits in the palm of your hand. It's good thing we have opposable thumbs. With it, you can buy your groceries, take care of your exercise regime, watch a video, listen to the music. You can surf the international World Wide Web, which may not always be a good thing.

And there is more computer processing technology and power in a little smart phone today than was used by NASA to put a man on the moon. And I almost forgot, you can also use this to make a phone call, but who does that anymore? Today, communication is not in complete sentences.

It's all about short message servicing or SMS texting. That's right, there are about 2.5 billion people in the world today that are communicating with their fellow humans in short bytes called texting. That's more data that is being used than those who are surfing the web or even playing video games.

And friends, no where is this more true than right here in the Philippines. Even though the Philippines has about 100 million people, they are responsible for the largest number of text messages of anywhere in the world. They're the 12th largest country, but they send 400 million text messages every day.

Wow, that's a lot of finger fatigue. Even though the greatest number of texters is here in the Philippines, the record for the fastest texter in the world is from Brazil. A young man by the name of Marcel Fernandes Filho. He was able to text 25 very complicated words in a little more than 18 seconds.

Wow, it takes me longer than that to just say, I love you to my wife and press Send, old phones. One of the neat things about texting is you can text just about anywhere. If you're surrounded with people and you want to send a personal message, you text. You're in a clouded subway or an airport, you can text.

If you're surrounded by noise or nosy people, you can text. Just don't text while you're driving. That's what's so wonderful, friends. You can always text God a message of prayer from your heart. When you're wondering, what school do I go to? What job do I take? Who am I supposed to date that may be a future life partner?

Your prayers don't have to be long. The shortest prayer in the Bible is 3 words, when Peter prayed, Lord, save me. And Jesus answered his prayer. And it doesn't matter how fast you can text when you're talking to God. He'll know what you're asking for and hear your prayer before you have a chance to say, Amen and press the Send button.

In fact, friends, you'll bring joy to God when you send him regular messages from your heart to His. So why don't you talk to him right now?

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Let's face it, it's not always easy to understand everything you read in the Bible. With over 700,000 words contained in 66 books, the Bible can generate a lot of questions. To get biblical, straightforward answers, call into Bible Answers Live, a live nationwide calling radio program where you can talk to Pastor Doug Batchelor and ask him your most difficult Bible questions.

For times and stations in your area, or to listen to answers online, visit bal.amazingfacts.org.

For life-changing Christian resources, visit afbookstore.com

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