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Peter and Jesus – a Pattern for Reconciliation

<ga.js>In John 18 Peter denied Jesus three times, as in fact Jesus Himself had predicted. (Matthew 26:34) A cocky, self-assured Peter said he would never do this. Sometimes our confidence gets away with itself.

Public denial has consequences

Peter learned what was in his inner most heart. But this denial had cut him off from Jesus. Public denial is quite serious. In fact, the scripture says that if you deny me before men, I will deny you before the Father. (Matthew 10:30)

After the death of Jesus and prior to His ascension an angel says to Jesus’ group:

Mark 16:7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”

Peter’s denial had removed him from being a “disciple.” So Jesus offers him an opportunity for restoration. Here is the passage. It is important for what it says in the Greek language, something impossible to state in English.

God knows what you have said

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah,[a] do you love Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.

If we do not know the two Greek words here, we can get caught looking at the sheep and their feeding instead of the real lesson.

Greek words for love have different meanings

Here we have two different words for love in Greek. This language has five words for love; four of them appear in the Greek Bible. Two of them are here. Agape (ah-gah-pay) meaning the pure, selfless love of God and phileo, (phi-lay-oh) the love of one person for another, i.e. brotherly love. Now – the same passage with the Greek words inserted.

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah,[a] do you love [agape] Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love [phileo] You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love [agape] Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love [phileo] You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love [phileo] Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love [phileo] You.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.

Why did Jesus abandon His “agape” term and revert to Peter’s “phileo” verb?

The rules for speech are for Christian workers too

We can answer this several ways. First, Peter and the rest of the disciples/apostles had yet to receive the Holy Spirit in the upper room on Pentecost. Without the infilling of God’s spirit how can we truly know the pure love of God in our lives.

The natural man receives not the things of the spirit of God, neither does he know them, for they are foolishness unto him” 1 Corinthians 2:14

Second, Peter has been chastened, that is a fancy word for discipline. Discipline to be effective and honorable must always seek restoration. Discipline that is simply violent correction or evil doing, and there is plenty of that in this world, is non-redemptive and leads to more evil. Peter has seen his lack; he is embarrassed and he knows that he must grow in the knowledge of God and His love. In this respect we are all ‘Peters.’

God disciplines His people; he judges the lost

Peter list his position as a disciple after he denied Jesus three times on the day of crucifixion.  We know this because Jesus said the following to the women at the tomb:

“But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee.” Mark 16:7.

Jesus offered Peter an opportunity to undo all the denials he had initiated. By using the Greek word for Godly love, the Lord was telling Peter there was something he had yet to learn. Peter’s repeating that he loved Jesus three times restored him to disciple status.

Restoration through your words

Jesus does that for all of us; we are given space to be corrected and to understand ourselves so we can be effective doing our assigned tasks for the promotion of the Kingdom of God.

#restoration #wordsforlove #

Why Seek the Baptism in the Holy Spirit

After 46 years of enjoying the indwelling Holy Spirit though the Baptism I am still surprised at the large numbers of believers who pooh-pooh the whole idea.  The main purpose of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is to open up the spiritual man to more revelation and effectiveness.  God wants you to learn to think in a new way, look at the world a new way, and get your fragile and often erroneous emotions out of the way as they will ruin you every time. You can be over-intellectual too.

Years ago Don Basham wrote a small but complete paperback Handbook on Holy Spirit Baptism also now in kindle if you want more study, but for this article, a few simple facts.  First, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a gift.

My daughter-in-law once asked me, “Do you have to have the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?” “No,” said I, “you don’t HAVE to – you GET to.” It is not some odious chore foisted upon you by an angry God.  It is a great gift (other gifts included) to help you be a fulfilled Christian, live a life that glorifies Him and frees you from carnal mindedness.

Ye will receive
Ye will receive

What follows is a group of scriptures that describe the benefits of an active Holy Spirit. (He can easily be inactive in your life. Your choice. )

  • If there is anything people want it is peace! (NKJV)  Romans 8:6 “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
  • The frustration that comes with not being able to live in the promises of God often leads us back into Egypt and under the thumb of carnality and worldliness which Egypt symbolizes. Here is Paul’s carnality list in The Message – quarrels, jealousy, flaring tempers, taking sides, angry words, vicious rumors, swelled heads, and general bedlam. (2 Cor 12:20) Numbers 14:4 So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”
  • Holy Spirit shows us how to avoid legalism and understand how the law aids spiritual living. Romans 7:14 “For we know that the law is spiritual.”
  • How much easier to have the author of the Bible living inside. John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
  • If there is anything modern man wants it is truth. We certainly can’t trust our media, or its manipulators. And we all want clues about our future. John 16:13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
  • All the works of Christ are available to us to perform to glorify God, including handling the demonic, and as we hear about  rapes and beheadings in Europe and even here in the USA  which are demonic, more and more we’ll need these skills. Matthew 12:28 “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.”
  • Wouldn’t you wish to know more of the Bible without confusion and straining? John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”
  • Another Christian complaint – I need power, and here it is. Acts 1:8 “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.” Another Christian complaint – I need power, and here it is.
  • Please don’t turn up your nose at tongues. The devil can’t understand one single word of it, and how much better for you to be praying and him be ignorant! Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
  • After you get the Holy Spirit you can expect more spiritual dreams to guide your decisions and increase your faith. Acts 2:17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.’
  • How often have you asked for more love in your life? more love for other? Here is the answer. Romans 5:5 “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
  • The presence of Holy Spirit gives us an assurance of our salvation and we lose that nagging apprehension that we have not lived up to God’s demands. Romans 8:16 “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”
  • When you pray in tongues you can be sure that God is receiving your prayer and that you are doing God’s will. James (4:3) warns us that we can pray amiss. Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
  • Working with natural men can be exhausting as we don’t know why they are thick headed. The indwelling of Holy Spirit helps you understand them better. 1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
  • Are you frustrated with legalistic people who remind you of the rules? They are living under the law, not seeing the spirit. And yes, it is a problem everywhere. 2 Corinthians 3:6 “who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” Are you frustrated with legalistic people who remind you of the rules? They are living under the law, not seeing the spirit. And yes, it is a problem everywhere.
  • You will be surprised when the Spirit enters how you actually feel freer, because you are. It will be easier to obey the moral law and to realize God’s plan for your life. 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
  • We all want to see more fruitfulness  in our lives. How great to anticipate this being worked in you if you just relax and let God do it. Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.”

(more…)

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