The apostle Peter was the man that Jesus said he would build his church. Yet Peter, even after being told by Christ that he would deny him after his arrest did do. Peter faced and opportunity to stand firm in his faith and he cowered.
A couple of weeks ago, we discussed the encounter that Peter had with Christ after he had risen from the dead. Jesus restored him and forgave him.
In Acts chapter 4, Peter, once again finds himself in a position where he can stand firm in his faith or once again cower. Peter choose the former. He and John had been arrested for performing a miracle. He is brought before a tribunal and asked by what power or by what name he performed the miracle.
God’s word records his response:
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus[a] is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.[b] 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men[c] by which we must be saved.”
Peter proudly professed that it was only because of Christ that the miracle was performed and that indeed Christ had risen from the dead. The apostle knew that it was all because of Christ. Peter once failed and had been restored and he spoke with boldness and authority of his risen savior. He was given a second chance to be the man who God wanted him to be.
Like Peter, there have been points in my life where I had the opportunity to be bold but chose to cower. And in doing so I was not living the life that God intended. I failed time and time again. But each time God did not give up on me. He gave me a second, third, and many other chances to become the man that he wanted me to be.
Not that I am there or as the apostle Paul says in Philippians 3, “am already perfect….” But I living in the giftedness and grace and mercy that God supplied through the blood of Christ.
So today, we can find strength and boldness in the power and blood of Christ. Like Peter, God has given us a purpose. He has saved us to go out into the world and stand firm in our faith and proudly proclaim that the reason that we stand even in the light of persecution or trial. And we can do so not because of what we have done but because of what Christ has done.
Remember that Brenda and I love you, and that God does too.