Friday, July 14, 2017

Did Peter know he was wrong?

Did Peter know he was wrong?

One Sabbath School class was discussing the life of Peter. The class
gave Emphasis to Peter's life before conversion and after conversion.
Before conversion, although Peter was boisterous and short tempered,
he denied the Lord; After conversion, Peter was the opposite. After
this, they briefly discussed Paul confronting Peter about his
prejudice behavior as recorded in Galatians 1. The teacher then
asked the class, "With which Peter do you identify: the one before
conversion or the one after conversion?" There was murmuring in the
class. Tony, who was sitting in the back raised his hand and said, "I
identify with Peter." The teacher and some of the students turned
around and asked him to clarify, "which Peter, the one before
conversion or the one after?" The student referring to the event of
Paul confronting Peter, answered, "I identify with Peter in that even
though I know, as he knew, that the crowd is wrong, I see myself
following them." The class hushed for a few seconds, and then there
was murmuring again. Tony looked around and saw people nodding. The
teacher sighed but did not speak. A sister in front of Tony smiled
and nodded at him. Another sister, walking down the aisle, smiled and
touched his arm. It seemed that many agreed with him. They saw
themselves drifting the wrong way knowingly. Now, just because many
people do this does not make it right?

Paul found that this was wrong, which is why he confronted Peter. Did
Peter know He was wrong? Peter was present at the Jerusalem Council
when the Apostles declared that circumcision was not necessary to
salvation and (Acts 15:1-24). He had encountered this situation
before when God had clearly revealed to him that he was not to
consider any one class of people as "common or unclean" (Acts 10:28).
He had even declared that he understood "that God is no respecter of
persons: But in every nation, he that feareth him, and worketh
righteousness, is accepted with him" (Acts 10:34, 35). The Holy
Spirit bore a Clear testimony by the other apostles, and the corporate
church body that there was no distinction between Jew and Gentile and
that righteousness is by faith alone in Christ Jesus. In light of all
this, Peter and others withdrew themselves from the uncircumcised
Gentile believers. This discrimination was in effect saying, "Except
ye be circumcised... ye cannot be saved" (Acts 15:1). This action on
the part of Peter and the others was not only a denial of the gospel,
but it was a virtual denial of Christ. Based on the statements stated
above we can conclude that Peter knew better. But, he allowed himself
to be carried away by the influence of the other Jews, "fearing them
which were of the circumcision" (Galatians 2:12). Peter's attitude
grieved God. Ellen White says,

"Even the best of men, if left to themselves, will make grave
blunders. The more responsibilities placed upon the human agent, the
higher his position to dictate and control, the more mischief he is
sure to do in perverting minds and hearts if he does not carefully
follow the way of the Lord. At Antioch Peter failed in the principles
of integrity. Paul had to withstand his subverting influence face to
face; This is recorded that others may profit by it, and that the
lesson may be a solemn warning to the men in high places, that they
may not fail in integrity, but keep close to principle."—Ellen G.
White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1108.

We too can fail in integrity and violate the principles laid out by
the Gospel. Even so, Peter should still be an example to us in that
he was humble. The fact that Peter died a martyr for Christ tells us
that Peter repented. In that sense, we should be like Peter after
Raul Diaz
Raul Diaz
Posted by Ulee at 3/31/2017 07:29:00 PM


Raul Diaz
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