Summary: A message describing how to get your spiritual joy and wonder back.
Okay, all right, so turn your Bible to 1st Peter, 1st Peter. Now I don’t want to be Captain Obvious here but Peter was kind of a big deal in The Bible. I mean he, along with Paul, James maybe John, outside of Jesus, obviously Jesus is the centerpiece, the cornerstone of all of scripture. But outside of Jesus, Peter, James, Paul were the patriarchs, the fathers of our faith.
A lot of their teachings, a lot of their writings have formed our doctrine; have formed the way we do church. They have formed the way we live out this life as Christ’s followers and Peter obviously was one of the 12 disciples. He was prominent among the 12 disciples. He was one of the chosen three that got to spend a lot of personal time with Jesus.
So, Jesus would spend time with the crowds like we’re doing here today, and then Jesus would spend a lot time with the 12. But then Jesus spent even more time with three men: Peter, James and John. And Peter was a part of those very intimate conversations. He was there when Jesus was transfigured. When literally the voice of God spoke to them, Peter was there. And Peter was the one that put his foot in his mouth during that time and wanted to build an altar, you know, and basically Jesus said, “Be quiet, stop talking, Peter.”
Peter was the one that denied Christ. Peter was the one that was boastful and said, “I will never abandon you!” And of course he was the first one to run off and leave. I think Peter of all the characters in The Bible, of all the people the people that The Bible described, Peter is the guy that I can most relate to. You know I want to share with you this passage of scripture before we get to 1st Peter: Matthew 16. I have never seen a shift of conversation the way I’m about repeat it involves Peter, okay?
So, this first part is epic. I mean Peter hits a homerun. Jesus replied in verse 17, “Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah for this was not revealed to you by man but by my Father in Heaven and I tell you that you are Peter and on this rock I’ll build my Church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” I mean think about Jesus saying that to you right to your face. And then he says, “I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven.”
I mean that’s a powerful thing that Jesus said to Peter and that’s why a lot of people believe that Peter was really kind of the first prominent leader. All right, four verses later, now I want to say this is why I can relate. I feel like sometimes I can hit a homerun with God, do exactly what God’s calling me to do, and a few minutes later just blow it all. Have you ever had days like that? Where you woke up and you could charge Hell with a water pistol and about five minutes later, you felt like you’re the slime of the earth. Have you ever had a day like that?
All right, this is Peter, okay? So Jesus said, “You are Peter. I’m going to build my Church on you. The gates of Hell will not overcome it.” Four verses later, verse 23, Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan. You are a stumbling block to me. You did not have in mind the things of God but, the things of men.” Now, how in four verses did Peter go from being the rock to Satan? Have you ever had a day- now, this is why I can relate to this guy. This guy could not get it right for a long period of time. But, he tried so hard didn’t he. I mean he tried so hard. Peter was always putting his foot in his mouth. Now, 1st Peter was written probably AD 64. So, by the time he writes 1st Peter, he’s not the young, immature, hothead guy anymore. Peter, now, is an old man.
Peter is very close to being crucified, killed, martyred, for the sake of Christ. And now he’s probably in his 60s. He is more mature. He’s mellowed out quite a bit, and he writes these two letters and these letters are distributed throughout lots of churches. So a lot of the churches open these letters and read them out loud in front of all the people and then they discussed what they had just read. And so let’s open up here with 1st Peter, chapter one. We’re going to read verses three through nine. And this opening doxology is important because Peter, Peter’s giving praise to God. Peter does not give a lot of commands here. What I believe Peter is saying to us and to the people who read this letter was would you allow your imagination to come alive once again?