Summary: Last time we saw that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ changes things—it changed people! Today we are going to further explore this change in Peter...
Last time we saw that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ changes things—it changed people!
1 Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
It was Peter who wrote this wonderful truth. Was this the same Peter who denied the Lord three times? Can this be the same Peter who after the crucifixion of Jesus told the other disciples, “I’m going fishing?”
Last time we ended discovering that there had been a change, a big change in Peter. He who once timidly denied knowing Jesus, was now courageously declaring Him.
Today we are going to further explore this change in Peter. We are going to look at (1) the power behind the change; (2) the boldness from the change; (3) the confidence from the change; (4) the wonder of the change and (5) the company of the changed.
1.) The Power Behind the Change
In 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 Paul writes, “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.”
In Acts 1:3 Luke chronicles that Jesus, “also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”
The Book of Acts also records that before Jesus ascended to the Father, He met one last time with His disciples and told them “not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father.” He tells them, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
The disciples did just as Jesus commanded and waited. On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit did come and breathed power upon this new group of believers and He has been filling believers with His power ever since.
On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit gave the disciples the ability to preach the wonderful works of God in the languages of the foreigners who were in town for the holiday (2:11).
In town there were Parthians and Medes, Elamites and Egyptians, Libyians, Cyrenians and Arabs. The disciples were preaching in their languages. As a result, the crowd began to wonder what was going on and describes the strange behavior of the disciples as drunkenness.
Peter stands up as spokesman; he is not a coward anymore. He preaches a sermon that shows that Jesus is indeed the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah. Peter boldly concludes his sermon with these words found in Acts 2:36, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
Peter would go on to preach no less than two more times and in Acts 4:13, we find these words:
Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
It is from this verse that we will take our text because it is this verse that lets us know that Peter and the other disciples had obviously changed and the change was noticed. They were bold; they were courageous because they had been filled with Resurrection Power by the Holy Spirit.
There was power behind the change. It wasn’t Peter’s power. As we saw earlier, he had none of his own. Jesus promised that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them and that is just what happened.
This power is still available. If you and I are to overcome our weaknesses, fears and inadequacies when it comes to doing the will of God, like Peter, we need this power.
2.) The Boldness from the Change
Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John….
Acts 3:1 records both Peter and John going up to the temple to pray. Don’t miss the fact that Peter has come out of hiding and is not afraid to walk right into the temple where the enemies of Jesus hung out.