This is a search for nuggets of gold from the character of the apostle Peter as can be read from the book of Acts. It is not so much about his message but about his character. I believe we can all have something to mirror in our own walk of faith.
Acts 1: 15- 22
Verse 15 says, “In those days Peter stood up among the brothers…” which I take to mean that the character of Peter had assumed leadership of the brothers that includes the disciples. Peter did not however took the opportunity for himself. In fact, in this short speech about the issue of replacing Judas who betrayed the Lord Jesus, he filled it with the Scriptures. Thus, he indeed assumed command but had also put the Word/ Scriptures in the core of his leadership. He discharges authority intelligently on account of the Scriptures.
Acts 2:14- 41
This maybe is Peter’s first sermon. It speaks so much of Peter’s leadership, boldness, knowledge of the Scriptures and of the times. When some of the people who heard them speaking in tongues were “…mocking”, Peter “…lifted up his voice and addressed them”.
He displayed initiative boldly and let the Spoken Word do the work- bringing order, enlightenment, “cutting them to the heart” and informing of the saving power of Jesus Christ.
We can find here one of Peter’s most popular edicts from the Holy Spirit- read in verses 37- 38.
Acts 3: 1-10
The events from the day of Pentecost after Jesus death is filled with amazing acts of the Apostles. Thousands of souls are being added to the Kingdom and miracles upon miracles are being performed.
The popularity of Peter, John and the other Disciples of Christ Jesus therefore cannot be denied. Yet this story of the lame beggar at the gate (“Beautiful gate”, ESV) of the temple proved that Peter and the disciples had remained true to the call of God in their lives. They had not found a reason to enrich themselves. In verse six Peter had said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you”. He then gave him the grace of Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit that is in him.
Acts 3: 11- 26
Peter can see a need and would immediately do something about it (verses 11- 12).
In his address to the people, he first explained the evil they had done to the Lord Jesus but that by faith in Him the lame man was healed. He then repeated his message of repentance (verse 19).
Again, this message was replete with the Scriptures (verses 22, 23, 25) which signify again that Peter is filled with the knowledge of the truth and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are alive in him.
Acts 4: 1- 22
When the Word is spoken, it will always work (verse 4).
In verses 8- 12, Peter continued to display boldness in proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ.
The work of God through Christ Jesus is enough to shut the mouth of the devil (verse 14).
Even with the truth, the devil will harden hearts and make lies and try to stop the name of Jesus being spoken (verse 17- 18). Peter (and John) had stood firm against these threats and lies of the enemy. In verse 20, they insisted of their eagerness to testify of what they have seen and heard. The devil will try to suppress the truth with lies because the devil knows all too well that in our testimony (and with the Blood of the Lamb) he will be defeated.
Peter and the disciples had given their lives for a testimony of the truth of Christ. We rejoice for them and could do the same. We can testify too of everything we have experienced in Him- the renewal, the confidence, the freedom, the healing, the prosperity, and every answered prayers and gifts granted us in the name of Christ Jesus.
Acts 5: 1- 11
Peter had no hesitation to implement what is from God. Lying against the Holy Spirit deserves condemnation and he implemented it. He had strength to rebuke even brothers and sisters.
Sometimes we are faced with similar situation where in we need to rebuke our friends or co- workers. When we have done it or have not done it, there is a grievous feeling inside. If you have suppressed yourself then be grieved but it should not hurt us at all if we did. We take solace in that which is written, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love”.
Acts 5: 12- 16
“Many signs and wonders were REGULARLY done” (verse 12). It just amazes me to read it, regularly done! Added to that is what is written in verse 15- Even the mere shadow of Peter is being sought after by the believers! Noteworthy is the fact that Peter had committed mistakes (denying the Lord), he was put into custody (technically imprisoned), he was beaten (as with the other apostles), yet at this point we can see how the Lord was good to Peter. He never gave up and the Lord rewarded and established him.
We remember the parable of the “persistent widow” (Luke 18: 1-8). We can see that persistence is a tool with a capacity for victory. If even the devil will give up on it, then what more will our Loving God!
Acts 5: 29
Peter (with fellow apostles) again displayed stubborn insistence of the truth of God.
Acts 8: 20- 24
Peter again displayed the boldness to rebuke and the resolve to do the work of God, and not go about enriching himself.
Acts 9: 32- 35; 38- 39
Peter has no hesitation to give the grace of Jesus Christ to those in need especially those with faith. Clearly, faith invites the grace of God without delay. Faith too invites the absolute possibility of the impossible like the dead rising back to life.
Acts 10- 9- 29
Peter has no hesitation to go even against the Law when the direction is from God. God demonstrates in Peter that His love reigns and that He is indeed, the Lord of all.
This story also demonstrates in Peter that visions are not to be discounted. And that God communicates to man in various ways, in this instance, through vision.
Acts 10: 34- 48
The Word demonstrates through Peter that it is important to “open our mouth” and speak as a vessel of God’s blessing to unbelievers and even believers. The Holy Spirit will then do His work.
Acts 11: 1- 8
Peter demonstrated that in the face of criticisms, let us not be discouraged and compromise the truth. With love, we shall make our stand and testify the goodness of Christ just as Peter did. Because we can see towards the end of the story, the “critics” themselves had glorified God (verse 18). What happened if Peter had compromise the truth?
Acts 12: 1-17
Peter is imprisoned but noteworthy is what is written in verse 5 which is herein quoted in part, “…but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church”. Truly, the work of God will put us in the prayer radar of the church. The people will not forget.
Some of you have problems standing up for the ministry of the Word. You have this thought that you are alone in your cell filled with others who do not seem to care to read and hear the Word. You are wanting for company to do His work. Behold, you do not need anyone. You only need to open your mouth and the Holy Spirit will get to work! And not only Him but a whole multitude of faithful are raising their petitions to God for your sake. (Before I leave the jail, I usually left a note to each cell leader. The note contains selected scriptures for them to read twice in the day. The result was amazing. But some among those standing later began to look for effects. First, they failed to look at themselves and the work God did to them. Second, they started looking for others perhaps to make an effect.)
Peter is also shown in this story that not only did God speak to us through vision but also through His angels.
In the latter part of the story, Peter again displayed his resolved to bless God with his testimony. He went to the house where they gather to tell them what the Lord had done to him through His angels. And that speaks so much of his desire to testify of God’s goodness.
Acts 15: 7- 11
Peter again displayed leadership guided by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Willingness buoyed by boldness is one of Peter’s insistent character. Whenever there is disagreement, Peter stood up. So let us all stand up to our feet. Let us pray.