II Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”
Jesus’ disciple Peter was a trained to be a fisherman. Historically speaking, he had been in fisherman training with his father since he was very young. He would have learned all the tricks of the trade.
From Matthew to John and even in the letter to the churches, we also find that in addition to being trained in the art of fishing, Peter was capable of leading others to Christ; he was bold, loud, zealous, but, he was also fearful. If the way got tough, Peter would turn his back on his friends, go into hiding or become a man-pleaser. Peter didn’t always exemplify Christ-like qualities.
Peter sometimes had a hard time fulfilling his Christ-life work of fishing for men, rather than fishing for fish (John 21). He could be quick tempered and sometimey. In the Garden of Gethsemane Peter cut off a soldier’s ear when he came for Jesus, yet within a few hours, Peter was denying he knew Jesus. I’d call that sometimey!
In the Garden of Gethsemane, when things didn’t go the way Peter thought they should, he went back to what he had been before Christ; a frightened man-pleaser. Rather than standing up for what he knew was right, he reverted to his old self in order to fit in and get along. Sound familiar?
If we haven’t resolved to be what Christ has called us to be regardless of the cost, at one point or another in our lives, when it’s convenient and comfortable, we all go back to what we were before Christ. Some of us go back to gossiping about others because it makes us feel better about our own situations. Some of us go back to being afraid of what others will think if we do what the Holy Spirit urges us to do. Some of us become men-pleasers because we want people to “like us”. Some of us we go back to the sin from which Christ delivered us.
Whatever we go back to, just know that God does not allow for folly, foolishness or sin in the name of our “previous training”. Once we come to Christ, we are new creatures. We’ve joined a new army and our based training begins; Jesus is our Commander and Chief and the Holy Spirit is our Drill Sergeant. We get a new training manual, which is the Word of God. We must allow old things to pass away, so that the new training we are now undertaking can renew our minds.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
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