Summary: Sermon 9 in a study in 1 & 2 Peter
“For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”
HIS EXAMPLE OUR EXAMPLE
I will have to ask you to forgive me if it seems that I refer too often to the difference between the pre-Pentecost Peter and the man that the Lord eventually made of him.
But you see, each time I come back to the book of the Acts and then especially to these letters of the Apostle to the churches, written in the final years of his life, I have to be once more astounded and give praise to God for His power to make all things new.
It may be that the transformation in the Apostle Peter touches me the way it does because I was very much like the old Peter. In fact, I am still too much like the old Peter and not as much like the new as I should be; as I would like to be. But I too know what it’s like to make vows to the Lord that I would later break, and to turn my back on the Lord when He had been so good and so gracious to me, and to be restored by His love and called back to service for Him because – as I said – of His power to make all things new.
So when I think of the Peter who chided Jesus for talking about going to the cross, and of the Peter who brashly chopped off the ear of a servant more in a panic than out of courage, and of the Peter who declared he would follow His Lord to the death and then denied Him repeatedly in His darkest hour, and then come to these epistles and read words such as these we are looking at today it touches me every time and fills my heart with praise and thanksgiving to the same Lord who in His infinite mercy and grace chose me and set me apart for Himself.
You can rejoice too, if you are a believer in Christ. Whether you were brash and impetuous or whether in your basic nature you were soft-spoken and shy or somewhere in between, still you were lost and without hope and without God in the world. You were dead in trespasses and sins and destined for an eternity separated from God. But the very same provision that was made for Peter was made for you and by it He redeemed you and sanctified you and the day is coming when you will see Him with glorified eyes.
Peter finally understood this. It was the Holy Spirit in him that led him into all truth and caused him to understand these things and turned him into a servant of God, peaceful, contented, committed, faithful, and able to follow in the footsteps of His Lord, not swinging a sword, but entrusting himself to the One who judges righteously.