Man of Zeal
I. Introduction (Mt 14:23-29)
A. The men that made up the group called the Apostles are great to study
B. Their calling, life, and experiences are what Jesus used to establish the New Testament church 2,000 years ago.
C. They are quite a group – fishermen, tax collectors, married men, and single – all doing one thing – following Jesus
D. An Apostle is different than a disciple – we are going to see why
E. There are no more apostles.
1. As a matter of fact, there were only twelve, as seen by the twelve layers of foundation in the New Jerusalem
2. But the lives they lived, and the lessons they learned from our Lord are vital for 21st century Christianity to succeed
F. Over the next several weeks, we are going to look at the people that Jesus called to be Apostles – “Sent Ones”
G. By doing so, God will be able to keep us focused on OUR life purpose, by learning how that God takes ordinary clay, and makes something beautiful out of it!
H. The first one we are going to study is Simon Peter. Over the next two weeks, we are going to getting to head and heart of this Apostle
I. You have heard of Superman – the Man of Steel
J. Meet Peter – the Man of Zeal!
K. Some Great Things About Peter
1. He at least TRIED to follow the Lord, even though he got diverted often
2. He at least TRIED to believe the Lord, even though he had many struggles understanding Him
3. He at least TRIED to live for the Lord, even though he found it hard to be right where he should have always been
4. He at least TRIED to enjoy the Christian life – even though he failed at it
L. I like Peter. You would want to have Peter for a best friend
1. Takes up a sword to defend you
2. Determines to stand by you when everyone else is leaving
A. A Normal Man.
1. Grew up in Bethsaida, in Galilee (Jn 1:44)
2. A Fisherman – hard working, 6 days a week, struggling labourer
3. Married (Mt 8:14) – Marriage is normal – even having a mother-in-law is normal, and good!
4. Lived in a tiny fishing village called Capernaum
5. Home-owner (Mk 1:29; 2:1)
a. This house became the base of Jesus’ activities while in the area
b. Andrew his brother lived also with him
B. A Man of Great Faith.
1. Understood that Jesus really was the Christ, the promised Messiah
2. Has his name changed to Peter (Mt 3:16; Jn 1:42)
c. Cephas – small stone
d. Jesus is the Rock – the foundation
3. Said himself that Jesus is the Rock (1Pet 2:4-9)
4. When Peter decided to follow Jesus, he fell yes, but got back on course time and time again (John 6:66-69)
5. Walked with Jesus on water
6. His greatest attribute was questioning
a. When he didn’t understand something, he took the opportunity to ask
C. A Man of Big Failures.
1. Cursed and denied Christ (Mt 26:74)
2. Had to be corrected about the simplicity of salvation (Gal 2:11)
3. Easily argues with the Lord (Acts 10)
4. Easily influenced by Satan (Mt 16:21-23)
a. Fights using a sword instead of the truth
b. Provoked by confusion to even deny knowing the Lord
5. Obviously, Peter had some big failures – but so what. In NO WAY is Peter’s life ruined by those failures
a. Those failures where:
1) A reflection of his messed up human nature
2) A moulding point of his transformation
b. Your failures are not permanent – believe this – they are not terminal
D. A Great Preacher.
1. Peter became a Great Shepherd over flocks (people in churches that he started)
2. But Peter was not the Chief Shepherd (1Pet 5:1-4)
3. He was Sent not to the Gentiles, but to the Jews (Gal 2:7)
a. God could have used the more intelligent Paul to win the Jews
b. But God uses base things and fools to win His people
c. Under the preaching of Peter, over 20,000 people got saved in Acts
4. Had the keys (Mt 16:19) – as did all the disciples
a. Not of death and hell
b. Not of heaven
c. But of the human heart
1) The key to unlocking the problems of life are in your hand –the Bible
2) The key to your dilemma is in your hand
3) The key to winning the world is IN your hands
4) It binds people, and loosens them! PRAISE GOD!
d. EVERY believer in this room has the KEYS to the hearts of this world
E. All because He Had Three Things.
1. A Right Beginning - Answered Christ’s call to follow Him (Mt 4:17-20)
a. Had heard of Jesus from Andrew
b. Had watched Jesus teach and heal
c. Now was called by Jesus to leave everything and follow Him
d. It takes great faith to start!
2. A Constant Surrender – to Christ’s will for his life
c. Able to be wrong, and be glad to at least know that you were wrong
d. Able to believe that God takes wrong people, and makes them back right
3. A Good Reason to stay at his Christian walk – because he LOVED Jesus
A. What makes you so different than Peter?
B. Ok, you can’t be an apostle
C. But could the Lord really use you and me, at least a LITTLE like He did Peter?
D. Of course, but how?
1. Have a Great Start – Salvation
2. Have a Constant Surrender
3. A Good Reason to stay at His Christian walk