1st Peter 1:1 An Apostle Of Jesus Christ

1Peter 1:1  Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

a)  Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ

Among the first called to discipleship by Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Matt 4:17 [AKJV])

From that time, (Immediately after being tempted in the wilderness at the end of a 40 day fast:), Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

(Matt 4:18 [AKJV])

And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

(Matt 4:19 [AKJV])

And he said to them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

This is not the same Peter who Jesus called Simon, but seeing His plan for Peter, Jesus told him early on who He shall be in the service of the Lord, speaking of a divine transformation of character which should result from Peter’s encounter with the living God who now in the likeness of sinful flesh, fashioned as a man, walked among men.

(Mark 14:37 [AKJV])

And he comes, (Jesus having been in prayer in the garden of gesthemene on the night of His betrayal) and finds them sleeping, and said to Peter, Simon, sleep you? could not you watch one hour?

(John 1:40 [AKJV])
One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.

(John 1:41 [AKJV])
He first finds his own brother Simon, and said to him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

(John 1:42 [AKJV])
And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, You are Simon the son of Jona: you shall be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

God has a way of making His call and intentions known to those who are His, even before they are able to understand it or walk in it. We see this even when God called Abram saying “go into a land that I shall show you”.  Obedience and faith go hand in hand. The one activates the other, the one encourages the other and like all the enabling graces of God bestowed upon us, the use of them multiplies them, unlike the natural course of events in this world in which the use of a thing diminishes it, in the Kingdom and economy of God, the use of the things of God actually increases them.

Note also; even as we see Abram straight away obeyed the Lord and by faith began to go into a land he yet knew not of,

(Gen 12:1 [AKJV])
Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you:

(Gen 12:2 [AKJV])
And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing:

(Gen 12:3 [AKJV])
And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.

…even as we see Abram straight away obeyed the Lord and by faith began to go into a land he yet knew not of,  so also Peter straightway left His nets and followed the Lord.

(Matt 4:20 [AKJV])

And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

Again, obedience and faith go hand in hand. The one activates the other, the one encourages the other and like all the enabling graces of God bestowed upon us, the use of them multiplies them, unlike the natural course of events in this world in which the use of a thing diminishes it, in the Kingdom and economy of God, the use of the things of God actually increases them.

The Apostle Paul echoes this same principle in his words to Timothy:
(2Tim 2:1 [AKJV])
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

(2Tim 2:2 [AKJV])
And the things that you have heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit you to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”

In Timothy’s giving away to others, that which Paul taught Him, not only does Timothy grow but those to whom he ministers also grow. They hear the word and receive the grace of God imparted. The faithful obey and walk in what they have and by this faithfulness, God makes them able to teach others also.

(2Tim 2:2 [AKJV])

And the things that you have heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit you to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

“to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”

It is not merely a transfer of information, but a walking in and an experiencing of the things of God to the increase thereof, that these things, in a very real and living way, may be imparted to others. It is a living faith in a living God. It is life in the Spirit. Life begets life. Who wants to live tonight?

The Apostle Paul reveals this truth saying, “you are all partakers of my grace“.

(Phil 1:6 [AKJV])

Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
(Phil 1:7 [AKJV])

Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of my grace.

There is a time to respond to the call of God and that time is now. As we continue in faith and obedience, our ignorance and youthfulness in the Lord notwithstanding, the day of our commissioning will come. Often times there are things the Lord must deal with in us , therefore be confident, nothing doubting, that God will make you an able vessel if you would but respond to the call and continue in faith and obedience to Him.

You are called. Your hearing, (reading) of these words, at this moment, if there has ever been a moment, is the call. God hasn’t changed His mind. If He ever called you, you are called still. This is the call of God, right now, tonight (as you read). As I speak these words, the Spirit of God is at work affirming and imparting the call, to you, and the ability to respond even as Peter heard and responded.

The Pattern Revealed In The Shaping of Peter

We see Peter getting the word from the Father in heaven, revealing just who Jesus Christ is, and we see Peter getting the word straight  from the mouth of God in the flesh, the Lord and savior Jesus Christ, concerning just who God had decided Peter would be, and, in this we see the pattern revealed for all who are called into the service of God.

Let’s observe it here:

(Matt 16:13 [AKJV])

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

(Matt 16:14 [AKJV])

And they said, Some say that you are John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

(Matt 16:15 [AKJV])

He said to them, But whom say you that I am?

(Matt 16:16 [AKJV])

And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

(Matt 16:17 [AKJV])

And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father which is in heaven.

(Matt 16:18 [AKJV])

And I say also to you, That you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Notice this pattern does not require us to have seen Jesus as Peter the First Apostle did. Notice we are but required to hear from the Father as Peter did.

“for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father which is in heaven.”

(John 6:45 [AKJV])

It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God.  Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes to me.
(John 20:29 [AKJV])

Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Peter is here called to be a pillar which later he did become,

(Gal 2:9 [AKJV])

And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go to the heathen, and they to the circumcision.
(Rev 3:12 [AKJV])

Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God: and I will write on him my new name.

Upon this divine attribute in Peter, of hearing from the Father concerning who Jesus Christ is, Jesus says He will build His church. A church which has the promise of a guaranteed victory, “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”.

There is only so much dying, so much self sanctifying, so much cooperation with the things of God we can do. Although we must do all that we can, all that we can is not enough, it serves to show our love for God, our willingness out of a pure and sincere heart, it reveals our inadequacy and it opens the door to God’s grace for in our weakness, He is strong. As we proceed into the things of God, there yet must come a humbling; a purging; a preparing; a sanctifying by the Spirit; a Jacob becoming Israel, a man who once walked in his own strength; a man who walked in but the first things of God’s grace, becoming crippled by the Hand of God, through whatever agency God so deems most efficient, and coming out with the limp of brokenness and newness of life and dependency upon  that strength and anointing which is only found in the abiding presence of the most High God; a becoming as a vessel fit for the master’s use. This only can be done as a divine shaping, a divine transforming and it is done through the course of the events in the life of the called ones, here and now and only by the hand of God, only by the operation of God in ones life. Are you willing? We lose control and must simply be brought through like a blind man through the blazing flames and turmoil of life, but not without some knowing that this will occur, not without some notice from on high.

Let’s see the revealed pattern in the experience of Peter.

(Luke 22:31 [AKJV])

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

(Luke 22:32 [AKJV])

But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, strengthen your brothers.

(Luke 22:33 [AKJV])

And he said to him, Lord, I am ready to go with you, both into prison, and to death.

(Luke 22:34 [AKJV])

And he said, I tell you, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that you shall thrice deny that you know me.

Imagine the alarm that must have flooded Peter’s soul, “No!, no!, no!, oh God no!, no don’t let it be so Lord no, please don’t tell me this, Oh God how can this happen”. The horror and dread of this only but increased until Peter was in the very fulfillment of that which he never dreamed he could do. Deny the Lord that he loves. Imagine the tremendous remorse, “Oh God how, how could I ever have done such a thing, oh God I walked with you, I knew you, I was in your presence, Why oh God, why, why, did I do this, how could I do this. How can I ever serve you again, how can I ever recover from this, I denied you in public, I denied you, I dishonored your betrayal. The pearls of your mercy were laid out to me, displayed before me and I regarded them as something to be denied as though I never knew you. I followed from afar off as one ashamed to be your acquaintance. How can you ever forgive me? What hope is there for me now?” Have you ever felt such? Do these thoughts ring true in your soul?

(Luke 22:32 [AKJV])

But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, strengthen your brothers.

The time came at some point in Peter’s mind, in his heart when he remembered the words Jesus spoke to him. These words did Judas never know but Peter had them even from before the falling away, even from before the foundation of the world, these words were known in the mind and heart of God, these words,

(Luke 22:32 [AKJV])

But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, strengthen your brothers.

This is the Peter that wrote this epistle, this is the Peter that strengthens and feeds the flock, even to this very day, even in this very letter, even in these very words I am speaking to you now, Peter is bringing you strength, as Jesus said He would, as Jesus determined he would.

What has Jesus determined to do in and through you? Oh but to respond straightway to His call, he is calling, and you do hear it, you hear it, it pounds in your heart with excitement and fear but do not resist, just say yes to Him and let Him do what He does.

In this letter, 1st Peter, we see the power, the divine grace by which Peter is able to strengthen the flock. He has been there from the beginning, he saw Jesus in the flesh, he fell away and was restored. Peter knows by excruciating experience the frailty of the flesh of man, for even in his great strength and character as a man, he was so weak that in it he betrayed the Lord he loved. He betrayed the Lord that loved him. But Peter also new the restoration and transformation that comes through brokenness and he new first hand the unfathomable mercy of God. He need not appeal to doctrine alone but he draws from the living wells of the experience of the very mercies of God.  He was the one Isaiah spoke of, not the redeemer but of those who were the very object of the redeemer’s love and sacrifice; see Jesus, see Peter, see your self in these words, for they are for you, from the deepest mercies of God, these words which became flesh are for you, saying,

(Isa 53:3 [AKJV])

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

(Isa 53:4 [AKJV])

Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

(Isa 53:5 [AKJV])

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed.

(Isa 53:6 [AKJV])

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

(Isa 53:7 [AKJV])

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.

(Isa 53:8 [AKJV])

He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

(Isa 53:9 [AKJV])

And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

(Isa 53:10 [AKJV])

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

(Isa 53:11 [AKJV])

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

Jesus Died and was crushed by the Father for this very thing, for our rejection of Him, for our disregard for Him, for our sin and for our rebellious hearts. For these things He died and rose again justifying and calling you unto Himself. From the heart of God, from the mercy of God, He took upon Himself our despising Him so we may be clothed upon by His grace, by His righteousness, that we may be transformed into and even bear His image, that we may be the dwelling place of his Spirit, that He may be our very dwelling as well. Peter fulfilled his part of this passage and so did Jesus and so it is with all of us. We must but respond right away, straight away to the call of God for look at what He has done to secure you unto Himself.

(Matt 4:20 [AKJV])

And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

Finally, let us see the divine restoration that the Lord brings to Peter and let’s see how He again informs him of his future destiny as a servant bought with a price, a vessel fit for the master’s use. Oh to be so possessed and ordered by the living God.

Let us read beginning in John 21:15

(John 21:15 [AKJV])

So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me more than these? He said to him, Yes, Lord; you know that I love you. He said to him, Feed my lambs.

(John 21:16 [AKJV])

He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me? He said to him, Yes, Lord; you know that I love you. He said to him, Feed my sheep.

(John 21:17 [AKJV])

He said to him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me? Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, Love you me? And he said to him, Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you. Jesus said to him, Feed my sheep.

Now think back to the time when Peter heard these words:

(Luke 22:31 [AKJV])

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

(Luke 22:32 [AKJV])

But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, strengthen your brothers.

(Luke 22:33 [AKJV])

And he said to him, Lord, I am ready to go with you, both into prison, and to death.

(Luke 22:34 [AKJV])

And he said, I tell you, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that you shall thrice deny that you know me.

Three denials Peter had done and here Jesus leads Him, Jesus leads him, (it seems as though Peter didn’t even know what was happening), but Jesus knows and he leads him into three confessions and says feed my sheep.

Earlier Jesus said:

(John 15:3 [AKJV])

Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken to you.

Jesus spoke the cleansing and restoring words to Peter and led him to confession of his love and told him now…feed my sheep, it is done, you are now a vessel worthy of the masters use:

(Luke 22:32 [AKJV])

But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, strengthen your brothers.

Finally:

(John 21:18 [AKJV])

Truly, truly, I say to you, When you were young, you gird yourself, and walked where you would: but when you shall be old, you shall stretch forth your hands, and another shall gird you, and carry you where you would not.

(John 21:19 [AKJV])

This spoke he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he said to him, Follow me.

Catholic Church history say’s Peter was crucified upside down because he could not allow himself to be crucified in the position of his Lord. There is no certain proof for this legend but we do have the written Word of God to draw on. Based on the very words of Jesus, it may be more likely that he was killed by the sword.

(Matt 26:52 [AKJV])

Then said Jesus to him, Put up again your sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

How ever he did die, we do know this, He was led away where he would have not gone on his own and in his death, the Lord was glorified.

(John 21:18 [AKJV])

Truly, truly, I say to you, When you were young, you gird yourself, and walked where you would: but when you shall be old, you shall stretch forth your hands, and another shall gird you, and carry you where you would not.

(John 21:19 [AKJV])

This spoke he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he said to him, Follow me.

This is the Peter of this epistle. This is the Peter who is the epistle of Christ unto us. What kind of epistle will God fashion you into? You too are called to be a letter from God to the people around you. Will you be that letter? Will you let God do His work in you?

Father, thank you for your word. Thank you for your divine ordering of the lives and the deaths of your saints. Thank you that it is by your doing, that by our lives and our deaths, we may glorify you. Thank you Lord that in your unfathomable mercy and unsearchable wisdom, you are able to turn our weakness into that which ultimately glorifies you. Father we ask in agreement with you, Lord, glorify yourself in and through us, do with us as you will. Lord, we, the best we know how, humbly submit to the divine workings of your Holy Spirit in our lives. Help us, oh God, to see past the flesh, to see past the blinders of popular doctrines which men in their frailties may have fashioned according to their will after the flesh. Take us beyond Lord, to the clearing of Godly wisdom and Holy counsel, and fashion us as you see fit. Call and deliver us unto the ancient paths, unto the old paths of the Apostles’ doctrine and the righteous and Holy ways of God. Let us again be grace and salt in the earth as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that we would show forth the praises of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. Let us know with a Godly knowing what it is to be “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:” Let us know what it is for “Grace and peace, to be multiplied”.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

And all the people said, amen and amen.

peter-with-keys

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