Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 20, 1969
NUMBER 29, PAGE 2b-3,7b

"Peter Stood Up"

Harold F. Savely

"But Peter, standing up with the eleven"

(Acts 4:12). From sunshine Eden's gloomy exit to the entrance of dark Golgotha, sin ladened sons and daughters of men joyfully anticipated the momentous Pentecost of Acts two. Such was a notable day of beginning — beginning of the gospel age, dispensation of the Holy Spirit, salvation, the church, the kingdom, regeneration (Acts 11: 15). Eyes of the world have since focused upon the great apostle, leader and spokesman of that occasion and to what he was authorized to "bind on earth" (Matt. 16:19).

Peter. Consider the man. A few days previously he had cursed and sworn, "I know not the man" (Matt. 26:74). At Pentecost, he had greatly changed. Why? Bitter tears of remorse (Matt. 26: 75)? Rush to the empty tomb (Lk. 24:12)?

Conscience to "feed my sheep" (Jno. 21)? Eye witness to the risen Lord (1 Cor. 15:7)? Ascension of a friend for coronation purposes (Acts 1: 9 — 11)? Holy Spirit filled (Acts 1:8; 2:4)? Perhaps, and more.

Peter stood. He stood to the occasion. Our crying need every day is for more brave but humble men, women, boys and girls to stand. Stand constantly (1 Cor. 15:58). Stand fast (1 Cor. 16:13). Stand prepared (Eph. 6:13). Stand in defense (Phil. 1:13). Stand in hope (Acts 26:6). Our Lord knows no shirkers (Lk. 9:62).

Peter stood up. He was unafraid and unashamed to be counted. Away from the shadows he testified. No longer to follow "afar off" (Lk. 22:54). Honor his boldness and bravery in facing a multitude of devout Jews, men to have previously pierced the air with blood curdling cries, "Crucify him, crucify him" (Lk. 23:21).

Peter stood with. He stood with the eleven, lowly, ignorant and unlearned men, in contrast to the multitudes, Jews, devout men, scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, priests, high priest, Herodians, and other bontons from fifteen hundred years of law and tradition. The minority was versus the majority, the narrow way versus the broad, righteousness versus evil (Matt. 7:13, 14). The Sovereign's favor has ever been to the God-fearing few, daring to be different, and content to abide in Him. Peter's was no "band wagon" religion.

Peter stood up against. He opposed their lawless and wicked hands having crucified the Redeemer (v. 23). The death knell was to Judaism and all its relics. He stood pricking the impenitent hearts of men, however high the station. His stand therefore was both positive and negative. His was not a message of a sugar variety, love without commands, a showplace of heaven and draping off of hell, or a humanized Jesus stealing all the limelight away from the devil.

Peter stood up with his voice. Today is a dearth of reverential men, content to be as a "voice of one crying in the wilderness" (Jno. 1:23). The need of the day is for more able warners to cry out against sin, crime, disobedience, lawlessness, and weep over the Lord's own (Phil. 3:18). Like the prophets should be men of renown to "cry against it" (Jonah 1:2), and even "cry aloud" (Isa. 58:1).

Peter stood up for. Every negative has a positive. One should be positively for, because all negative preaching will espouse a negative cause. Like Jesus, each spokesman should have his face "set" unswervingly to Jerusalem (Lk. 9:51).

Peter stood up for Jesus of Nazareth (v 22). The lowly Nazarene was preached in contradistinction to pride-filled men. The king who had ridden upon the foal of an ass was highly honored (Matt. 21:1-11). "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth" (Jno. 1:46)? How many are ashamed to stand up for Jesus every day! Some might stand up for him on a Lord's day and shun him on a work day.

Peter stood up for the miraculous Jesus (v 22). God showed the son's approval by "miracles and wonders and signs," hired bearers of false testimony to the contrary notwithstanding (Matt. 28: 12-15). The miraculous Jesus is compared to two extremes: pseudo miracle makers, claiming duplicate powers, and modernists, denying his powers altogether. Peter stood for Jesus' genuine miracles as opposed to all skepticism, agnosticism, infidelity, evolutionary theorists, sorcerers and quacks.

Peter stood up for the smitten Jesus (v. 23). His death was no accident, as millenialists claim (Jno. 10:15; 1 Cor. 15:3; Eph. 1:4-7). He tasted death for every man (Heb. 2:9). Your sins, mine, the Pentecostians, and of the world, spiked him to the tree. "Without shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb. 9:22).

Peter stood up for the buried Jesus (v. 27-29).

The poor was buried among the rich (Isa. 53:9; Matt. 27:57-60). His grave was sealed (Matt. 27:60), and soldiers place as a guarantee (Matt. 27:66). Yet Jesus entered the strong man's house and came away with the keys (Matt. 12:29). This an essential of the gospel (1 Cor. 15:3).

Peter stood up for the resurrected Jesus (v. 32). The gates of Hades could not contain him (Matt. 16:18). He now holds "the keys of hell and of death" (Rev. 1:18). To guarantee our hope he has become a "first-fruits of them that slept" (1 Cor. 15:20). In standing for the resurrection, Peter withstood the rulers who laid hold on the son (Isa. 28:14-18; Matt. 21:33-44). He refutes the modernist.

Peter stood up for the exaltation of Christ (v. 33). All authority is His (Matt. 11:27; 28:18). He is "the only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords" (1 Tim. 6:15). No Judaizing fathers, popes, synods or counsels of men can challenge the authority for which Peter stood.

Peter stood up for repentance toward Christ (v. 38). "All men every where" must repent or "likewise perish" (Acts 17:30; Lk. 18:3). Peter stood for true repentance, following faith, and before baptism. He withstood doing penance, fear psychology, direct operations, and all such.

Peter stood up for baptism into Christ (v. 38). Baptism, after repentance, was "for remission," the same purpose for which the blood was shed (Matt. 26:28). "Remission" preached withstood baptism as a Christian grace. The action of baptism, burial, eliminated sprinkling and pouring. The commandment of baptism offset Holy Ghost baptism, which could only come from heaven. His enjoining repentance coupled to baptism, doomed "holy water" baptism (Cf. 1 Pet. 3:21).

Peter stood up for moral obedience to Christ (v. 40). His message was directed to the sinner, not God (Phil. 2:12). Errors of special operations of the Spirit in saving were corrected. Nor was there any special waiting time given for the spirit to bring the sinners through — whatever that is!

These comprise but a few things for which Peter stood up on Pentecost.

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