From the giving of the Holy Spirit on Day of Pentecost Peter was a new man in Christ. The old impetuous and Christ-denying Peter passed away, and the new man made in the image of the Savior, emerged. He now had the Comforter living within him, and mind of Christ.
When we come to Jesus, our old vices and ingrained character flaws fall away. The fruit of the Spirit begins emerge and give us love for our enemies, peace in the midst of spiritual warfare, joy in persecution, patience in tribulation, goodness in the face of evil, a gentleness in dealing with sinners, a meekness when provoked, temperance in a world of excess, an a faith that pleases God and can move mountains. These traits of the character of God help us make it through life’s painful pitfalls, into which the godless so often fall. They are overwhelmed with the destructive nature of bitterness, intemperance and anger.
But even though we have the Holy Spirit living within us, we still have the conflict of the old nature that we are to “reckon dead.” Even though Peter was a new man in Christ, he still battled what the Scriptures call “the flesh.” Paul had to rebuke him publically, because he played the hypocrite and ate with Gentiles Christians but withdrew from them when Jews arrived. However, by the time he penned the epistles of Peter we see a more mature man of God. He was growing in Christ, and it’s been well-said that the branch that has the most fruit, bends the most. Later in life we see a lowly, humble and mature Peter.
To be continued.