Theology


Peter: Forgiveness and Restoration

Peter: Forgiveness and Restoration


Posted By on Mar 23, 2018

  “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”                                                                                                           Luke 22:32                                                                                                                     As Satan did with Job, he approached God to ask for permission to assail Peter: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32–NKJ–brackets added).  Some liberal theologians believe that Jesus Christ’s prayer failed to accomplish what He had requested of His Father.  They surmise this because Peter denied Jesus three times, only moments after Jesus had prayed for him (Luke 22:55-60).  Their foolish conjecture [heresy], if it were true, certainly would place Christ’s deity and omnipotence in question.  It is true however, that Peter miserably failed by denying Jesus Christ in the ensuing moments leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion.  However, after the Lord’s resurrection and during His re-appearance, He mercifully and graciously restored Peter (Jn. 21:15-17).   Jesus instructed Peter to adorn self-sacrificing allegiance to Him and to encourage and instruct the brethren.  Thereafter, Peter’s faith proved to be a bedrock, in which believers can look to him [his epistles] for guidance and hope. In this article I plan to show that Jesus prayer was indeed effectual and was evidence of God’s forgiveness, because He restored Peter to a high level of trust shepherding many of God’s flock.   For instance, in the book of Acts, especially after Pentecost, when Christ had poured out the Holy Spirit upon Peter and 119 other disciples in the Upper Room (Acts 2:1-4, 17, 33), from that day on, Peter boldly preached the gospel of Christ, amidst extreme hostility and persecution.  He evidenced strong agapē love and faith in Jesus–the type of love Jesus sought, when He asked Peter three times, “Do you love Me?” (Jn. 21:15-17).   In fact, not only did Peter preach with power, but it’s obvious that he was given the authority [from above], to offer repentance and forgiveness.  The Bible records three separate occasions where Peter addressed the multitude, Jewish leaders and the Sanhedrin [Israel’s highest religious governing body].  He courageously indicted them for murdering Jesus.  But he also offered them repentance and forgiveness (Acts 2:23, 39, 3:14-15, 19, 5:31-32).   Interestingly, Peter was the first to speak the gospel to the men of Judea and Jerusalem after the 120 were miraculously filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:14-39).  He went from cowardly denying Christ, to courageously confronting Jesus’ murderers and offering those responsible...

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God bestows “common grace” to all men.  That is because God loves all of mankind.  God provides the necessities of life, including the way of salvation (Jn. 3:16).  Scripture speaks frequently to the concept of God’s common grace.  However, there are instances which only God knows, when He withholds the providing of certain necessities.  Scripture does say that God works all things together for good to those who love Him (Rom. 8:28).  All Christians must accept this fact, for it’s His sovereign will to do as He pleases.  Mercifully, God provides for all of mankind, whether they love Him or not and believe in Him or not. Uniquely, Christians receive God’s “special” love, a love that will not only manifest itself physically, but will inevitably carry over into heaven–His love will never cease (Jn. 6:40, 1 Jn. 2:24-25, 4:9, Rom. 5:8, 1 Cor. 13:8, 13).  All people have the opportunity for God’s special love, but, an obstacle which hinders most of them, has been the same obstacle for last 2,000 years: “…Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness.” (1 Cor. 1:23, and also Acts 4:12).  “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” (Rom. 10:9).  If only all people would clear this hurdle [belief in Jesus Christ alone], God’s temporal common grace, would turn into eternal love. So what is God’s “common grace”?  To put it concisely, Pastor John MacArthur  defines it as: “…a term theologians use to describe the goodness of God to all mankind universally.” 1  That “goodness” of God is manifested in several ways.  For instance, 1) God provides for mankind the necessities of life and daily sustenance (Matt. 5:45, Acts 14:15-17, 17:25). 2) He allows them to make independent decisions, even many that are ungodly and displeasing to Him.  3) He  allows them to enjoy His creation; its beauty and splendor (Ps. 50:2). 4) He gives talents, knowledge, and physical prowess to all people–many for prosperous purposes.  5)  He sets a government and leadership over the people (Rom. 13:1-5)  6) He restrains sin and evil (Rom. 2:15).   And there are many more ways God is kind  to all of humanity. In this article, I want to focus on one particular way God displays common grace, which is provisionally.  God’s graciously and mercifully bestows goodness to mankind equally: “”The LORD is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works.” (Ps. 145:9). . In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He said; “…for He [God] causes His sun to rise on the evil...

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We are pleased to be announcing this book! “The Bible Expositor’s Handbook -Old Testament Digital Edition, by Dr. Greg Harris” There isn’t a book we recommend more highly than this, for every Christian expositor of God’s Word; whether male or female, regardless of age, station in life–every expositor will be blessed by the this book’s unique ability to guide the reader through Scripture, illuminating the interwoven history and redemptive plan God has provided through His Son, the Messiah Jesus.   Each chapter brings forth the reader’s ability to understand Scripture in a deeper, richer and worshipful manner, producing joy.   A special thanks to Dr. Greg Harris and B&H Academic for this rare and needed book, which continues to enrich our daily studies. This book can be purchased online at B&H Academic. New book by Dr. Greg Harris, The Bible Expositor’s Handbook—Old Testament Digital Edition    ...

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  “…and gave Him as head over all things to the church.”  Eph. 1:22b   Most Christians are familiar with Peter’s impassioned proclamation about Jesus Christ, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”.  To which Jesus responded; “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven… and on this rock I will build My church.”  (Matt. 16:16b, 17b-18b).   The “rock” being Peter’s verbal affirmation of Christ’s deity.  After Jesus was crucified, died, buried, resurrected, and appeared to over five hundred witnesses; He ascended up to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.  From heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to bear witness of Him, to convict the world of sin, and to commence the building of His church (Jn. 15:26, 16:7, 8-11, Acts 2:1-4).  It is through the Holy Spirit’s power the church continues to advance, and that advancement will continue even at Jesus Christ’s  second advent. It is clearly indicated in Scripture that Jesus Christ is the Head of the church. (Eph. 1:22-23, 5:23).  Having its foundation laid by the prophets and Apostles, the church continues to increase as a holy temple in the Lord. (Eph. 2:20-21).  The church is not a “material” building, but rather people themselves; spiritual bodies each indwelt by the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  It is redeemed people predestined and chosen in Jesus Christ, to receive God’s special saving love and, preserved for glory. (Eph. 2:19-22, Rom. 8:29, Eph. 1:4, Titus 3:4-6, Rom. 8:30).  The definition of “church” is the “called” or “called out ones” (ekklasia)–anyone who believes and worships Jesus Christ as Lord (Rom. 10:9-10, 13). Throughout the world, there are many sects or denominations of the church which gather to worship on the first day of the week, also known as the Lord’s day.  Even though the called may meet in various types of buildings, they are still considered one spiritual organism or the universal church.  Those buildings or locations where they meet, are typically referred to as “churches”.   Nonetheless, the church is still an invisible conglomeration of believers united by the blood of Jesus Christ.   The fortunate few who are “called”, God blesses by bestowing upon them with the grace and faith to believe in the Head of the church. (Matt. 20:16, 22:14, Eph. 2:8).  It is utterly amazing to ponder that God would grant unworthy, undeserving, and sinful creatures, His divine mercy and infinite love.  O how blessed and eternally privileged the called of God truly are! Therefore, it is tragic, perilous...

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“And when Philip had run up, he heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” Acts 8:30-31a     Over the years there has been much debate about the significance of expository preaching.  Many Christians, especially pastors and elders, fail to realize the need for expository  preaching, and instead preach utilizing much of their own ideas and philosophies.  I firmly believe the failure to preach God’s exact words and explain His intent behind them is the reason that the church today is weak and susceptible to many forms of heresy.  What man has to say no matter how clever or logical it might seem, cannot save souls; only God can, and He accomplishes that only through the preaching and teaching of His word. (1 Cor. 3:6-7, Rom. 10:14).  James warns aspiring teachers, because they will incur a stricter judgment because of what they say. (Jas. 3:1).  In this article, I provide Scriptural proof, not only that expository preaching can provide growth to a believer, but that is vital for salvation. No longer does God speak directly to man, as He once did in the Old Testament.  In the New Testament His Son Jesus Christ once physically walked among the people, but does so no longer because He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of His Father.  (Heb. 1:1, Col. 3:1).  Therefore, we do not have the privilege of hearing Him teach or witness Him perform healings, exorcisms, or resuscitation’s.  However, today we are bountifully blessed to have the sacred Bible, God’s special revelation.  It is comprised of sixty-six individual books and was written by forty divinely inspired authors. The Bible is God’s own words that we conveniently can read, preach, and teach from both, the Old and New Testaments; from the commencement to the consummation of the human existence.  God, through the Holy Spirit inspired men to document His actions and interactions with mankind past, present, and future.  (2 Pet. 1:21, Rom. 15:4, 2 Tim. 3:16-17). Furthermore, God sent the Holy Spirit to teach, instruct, and guide us, not only in fear and holiness, but to proclaim Jesus Christ to others, so that they might believe and obtain eternal life (Jn. 14:26, 15:26).  God’s chosen methods of communicating with mankind in the past were indeed incredible, but I believe currently having the Bible is even better!  Yes, that is correct, I sanely wrote, even better.  Allow me to explain.  We are blessed to be privy to God’s entire revelation, of the events which occurred in both Testaments....

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10-1-15 Dear Friends of Truth!   How bad is it in America?  Let us take a look at the non-Christian media and the so-called common man’s reaction to the Pope’s visit to America.  In surfing through quotations of people who went to great extremes to simply have a look at the Pope we find some mind blowing comments.  One man boldly proclaimed that his curbside view of the Pope mobile was in fact the closest to God one could ever expect to get on earth!  Others burst into tears.  Others paraded around in a kind of euphoric hysteria.  Others pinned their hopes for everything on Pope Francis. Some came away awestruck.  The speaker of the House of Representatives resigned after crying during the Pope’s address to the Congress.  Others became dream-like and talked about love, joy, peace, happiness, and utopia.  It was sort of like a religious Woodstock to them.  Only something supernatural could have brought about America’s fawning, groveling, obsequious, and general sycophantic response to the Pope’s visit.  We do not think that the “something supernatural” was anything other than a broad burst of anti-Christ display of the powers of demonic darkness.  How else could we describe the nation’s servile swarming over someone who must only be described as “Platitude Rex”?  Obviously there was no mention of the gospel of Jesus Christ or the authority of the Word of God in the Pope’s address.  He is not capable of telling the truth of Christianity or giving a credible witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  But to think that an entire nation could be taken in by a stream of platitudes, clichés, and banal bromides is an indication of the spiritual malaise that characterizes our nation.   Here are just three examples of his never-ending stream of applause grabbing insipidities:   “We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us once were foreigners.” “Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples.” “To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place.” Now consider all of those organizations, statements of faith, joint resolutions, and declarations signed by Evangelical leaders endorsing the RC religion.  Consider what they must be thinking while watching the sacrilegious Mass of the RC religion on national TV and listening to the ecumenical garbage spewed by Francis.  Where will the outcry against the Pope at Rome come from?  Ugh! How utterly contrary to the apostle Paul who reminds the church at Corinth of his visit:  “And when I came...

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