PeterHow the Holy Spirit and the Word of God ChangesYouBy Evelyn C. Pointer
The process ofconversionIn preparation for the day of Pentecostwe will be discussing how the power ofthe Holy Ghost and the Word of Godchanges you. We must all be changed.We must become new people in order toenter into the kingdom of heaven. Wemust be born again as Christ toldNicodemus. To be converted means tochange. First, we must change ourminds, accepting the word of God astrue. Then we must change our heartsas we learn to love and reverence God.Wind, lightning, and rain are symbols of theSpirit. All three are responsible for themetamorphous of a pinecone into anevergreen
Works of theHoly GhostFinally we must change our actions, bysubmitting ourselves to the will of God andobeying his commandments. Some peoplebelieve that people do not or cannot change.This is just not true.We change every day, frommoment to moment. Our experiences changeus in ways that may not be immediatelyapparent. But the changes that the Holy Spiritmakes in us can be astounding.The Holy Ghostis eloquent and will convince us of the truth andgive us the he strength to obey God.Fire is another symbol of the Holy Spirit. It isused to purge and causes an irreversiblechange in everything it contacts.
He makes you into a new person. The HolySpirit is the Almighty Power of God andnothing can resist him.The Holy Spirit and theword of God took Peter, a simple ﬁsherman,who was not a scholar or scribe and who waseven called unlearned by the Pharisees, andwho even considered himself an unworthysinner and changed him into the leader of theChurch of God. In our discussion today wewill examine how the Holy Spirit changedPeter, and how the Holy Spirit will change us,and in fact must change us if we are to inheritthe kingdom of heaven.Peter’s Conversion
A different PathPeter began his life as Simon, brother to Andrew. Andrewwas a disciple of John the Baptist. Peter at times, may havesaid or done things that people interpret as weak orshowing a lack of faith. But what Peter had was really just alack of understanding because the Lord had not given himunderstanding yet. It was to Simon that Christ said inMatthew 16: 18-19,“thou art Peter, and upon this rock I willbuild my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevailagainst it.And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdomof heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shallbe loosed in heaven.” The name Peter means “rock”. Christwas telling Peter that he would be placing the responsibilityof the church on his shoulders. After Christ’s resurrectionthe Holy Ghost transformed Peter into one of the greatestand most fearless leaders of the bible.
Let us consider the Apostle Peter and how hewas transformed. What was Peter like fromthe time when he ﬁrst met Jesus Christ?The book of John tells us about the ﬁrst timethat Simon Peter meets Christ. Peter’s brotherAndrew was a disciple of John the Baptist. Heheard John the Baptist say as he looked uponJesus,“Behold the Lamb of God!” Andrew andthe other disciple that was with him called toJesus and Jesus invited them to his house. ButAndrew ﬁrst went and got his brother Simonand brought him, telling him that they hadfound the Messiah. When Jesus saw Peter hetold him, “Thou art Simon the son of Jona:thou shalt be called Cephas (or Peter), whichis by interpretation a stone.”Cephas means Stone
Fishers of MenLater after John had been put in prison Christ callshis twelve disciples. He ﬁrst calls Peter and Andrewas they are ﬁshing. The book of Luke gives us themost details and tells us how amazed and humblePeter was. Let us read Luke 5:1-11. There are acouple of things that are very clear. Peter did notthink he was worthy, and most importantly Peter, aswell as all of the apostles left everything withouthesitation to follow Christ, as it says in Mark1:17-18 when he called Simon and Andrew, “AndJesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I willmake you to become ﬁshers of men. Andstraightway they forsook their nets, and followedhim.” Now let us not think that these men wereso very different from us.
Taught by JesusThey were not like John the Baptist whowas ﬁlled with the Holy Ghost from thewomb. They had the same fears, needs andresponsibilities that we have. In fact as westudy about Peter we will see that therewere a lot of things that he didn’tunderstand, and sometimes he said thingsthat showed that lack of understanding, andhe had fears just like us. But he didsomething that most other people will notdo. He forsook all to follow Christ. Mostpeople ﬁnd it difﬁcult to even beinconvenienced for the word of the Lord,much less make major sacriﬁces.
Jesus came to their ship walking on the water.This is found in Matthew 14:25-33.After feedingﬁve thousand people with ﬁve loaves and twoﬁshes, Christ told the apostles to get in a shipand go to the other coast while he sent thepeople away.While they were in the ship in themiddle of the sea the wind began to blowﬁercely and the waves became boisterous.Thenthey saw Jesus walking on the water andbecame afraid. Jesus told them not to be afraidbecause it was him. Peter said that if it was himto let him come to Jesus on the water.Peter was taught what true faith is, as he walkedwith Christ. He learned these lessons step by stepat Jesus’ knee, just like a child learns looking atthe good example of a father. One time was whenPeter learned step by step whattrue faith and perfection was. Hehad the best teacher... Lord Jesus.
At ﬁrst Peter began to walk on the water justlike Jesus but then the wind was blowing so hardand the waves roaring and he began to be afraidand started sinking. Jesus reached out to him andgrabbed him and said, “O thou of little faith,wherefore didst thou doubt?” This is anexample to us. The roaring waves and ﬁercewinds are the troubles in our lives. Our faith inJesus allows us to walk over all of these things.They will not overcome us, we will never fail aslong as our faith is strong and we walk withChrist.
No one knows how to walk when they areﬁrst born...it is learned.When we ﬁrst try toobey God and commit your life to God wehave to learn to stand correctly.We will alsoget help on how to stand. The Holy Spiritwill inform us when we are crooked and willshow us why it is important to stay plantedon the Word of God.We will be shown howto walk and the places where we must andnot must walk!
Who must we reverenceWhen Jesus was transﬁgured before Peter, Jamesand John in the mount, they saw him talking withMoses and Elijah. Peter, afraid and not knowingwhat to say, said to let them build threetabernacles, one for Christ, one for Moses andone for Elijah.The voice of the Father spoke tothem from heaven,“This is my beloved son, hearye him.” Peter and all of us learned that it isChrist that we must reverence and worship,never a man, not even men so righteous andhonored as Moses and Elijah. Many peopleprefer to look to someone they can feel and
and touch.They believe the things these men sayeven if it is in direct contradiction of the HolyScriptures. Close to the time of the cruciﬁxion,Jesus began to warn the apostles of what wasgoing to happen. They didn’t understand. Theythought that the Messiah was going to returnIsrael to its former glory. Peter told Christ,“NoLord, let it be far from thee”. Christ spokestrongly to Peter, knowing his fear was from thedevil. He said,“Get thee behind me Satan: thou artan offense unto me: for thou savourest not thethings that be of God, but those that be of men.Lessons in Obedience,Worship and Faith
Walking like JesusThen said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man willcome after me, let him deny himself, and take uphis cross and follow me. For whosoever willsave his life shall lose it: and whosoever will losehis life for my sake shall ﬁnd it.” Christ obeyedthe will of the Father. He taught Peter, as well as allof us that we must sacriﬁce the things and desiresof this life. We also know that he told Peter laterthat he would die for the word of God. By thattime Peter was full of the Holy Ghost andunderstood that it was an honor for him to sufferlike Christ. We must all make sacriﬁces and intaking up our cross we must go through a portionof the suffering of Jesus.
When Christ washed the disciple’s feet, initiallyPeter tried to refuse because he felt it was beneathChrist’s dignity to wash his feet. Christ explainedthat if he didn’t wash his feet he had no part withhim. Peter then said not only his feet but his headand his hands! But Christ explained that he wouldbe clean every whit with only his feet washed. Hewent on to explain that as he was our Lord andMaster and washed our feet that we should be likehim and wash our brother’s feet. Foot washingrepresents the good service, brotherly love and actsof righteousness that we do on behalf of ourbrothers with meekness and humility.
CruciﬁxionAt Christ’s cruciﬁxion we see Peter deny Christ three times, even after telling him he would die with him.Peter was terriﬁed. His own death was before his face. If he had admitted to being a servant of Christ hewould have been put to death. Please don’t assume you would have been stronger than Peter because youwould not. All strength comes from God and Peter was not given the strength to confess that he wasChrist’s disciple at the cruciﬁxion. It was not the will of the Father or of Christ that Peter would be put todeath at that time.When the cock crew Jesus turned to look at Peter and Peter wept bitterly.This was theworst time of Peter’s life. He was full of self loathing.
After Christ’s resurrection we see that Peterbecame stronger. Christ had appeared before thedisciples at least three times over the span of aboutforty days. Peter steps forward as leader of thechurch of 120.They came together and cast lots andchose another disciple to be one of the 12 to replaceJudas Iscariot. On the day of Pentecost when theHoly Ghost fell on the church, Peter is able to speakboldly to the people and to the Pharisees and leaderswho mocked. He spoke with authority, understandingthe Holy Scripture from the very beginning andexplained how all of the prophets had prophesiedabout the coming of Jesus. Peter was never weak orfearful again.During this time we see the Peter change.He was no longer a spiritual babe.. On thePentecost the Holy Spirit had transformedhim and just like iron that is puriﬁed tomake sure the impurities are gone--he wasno longer weak or wavering in faith.
PeterIn the name of Christ he baptized the church, performed miracles. He became bishop of thechurch of God. He never failed or faltered. He left his teachings for us for all generations. Hesuffered, was imprisoned, was beaten and ﬁnally was put to death for the word of God. Hebecame a different person through the power of the Holy Spirit.We must remember that wecan do all things through Christ who strengthens us.We can change and become new people.We may be weak now, but if we walk with Christ he becomes our strength and we will not fail.If we fall he will lift us up, just like he did Peter.