We need to walk like Peter

By Robert Oliver - Contributing columnist
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The apostle John wrote concerning one’s relationship with Christ saying, “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk, even as he walked” (I John 2:6).

To walk in the footsteps of Jesus would certainly be one of the safest places one could possibly place their feet. The apostle Paul once wrote to the Corthian brethren saying, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (I Cor. 11:1). One could accurately say that we should walk like the apostle Paul walked, since he was following Christ. That same apostle told young Timothy to “be thou an example of the believers…” (I Tim. 4:12), so walking like Timothy walked would be a pretty safe bet as well.

However, in this article we wish to suggest that every one of us needs to walk like the apostle Peter walked. Now, we have to admit, there were a number of times that Peter was not walking as the Lord would have him to walk, thus not the way we need to walk. At one point after Jesus had told His apostles that He was going to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things and ultimately be killed and then be raised the third day (Matt. 16:21), Peter rebuked the Lord saying that such would not happen (Matt. 16:22).

The Lord responded to Peter saying, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (Matt. 16:23). In essence, Peter was walking the way of man rather than the way the Lord would have him walk. And, certainly we cannot forget that it was Peter that denied the Lord three times on the night prior to His crucifixion. Yet, there was one walk that Peter made that we might need to immolate. The occasion is recorded in Matthew 14:25-31.

Without using space to go through the details of that walk, we will just remind all that it was the occasion upon which Peter walked on water. It is true that he was distracted by the winds and the waves, resulting in his taking his eyes off the Lord and that he then began to sink, but Peter walked on water. With the exception of Jesus Himself, Peter is the only man in the Bible to do so. But no, we are not suggesting that any reading this should attempt to literally walk on water as did the Lord and Peter. Yet, we can use this event in somewhat of a similitude to provide some valuable points in our efforts to reach a home in heaven. Consider the following points.

Peter had a desire to walk on the water. He said to the Lord, “Bid me come unto thee on the water” (Matt. 14:29). Peter is the only one that got out of the boat because Peter is the only one that desired to get out of the boat. We too must first have a desire to have a home in heaven before we can ever achieve that goal. No effort will be put forth to achieve a goal that one does not have. Paul’s mindset is a prime example of the mindset that we need to possess. Paul said, “…this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14). Desire drove Peter to get out of the boat and desire will drive us to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God as did Paul.

Peter received an invitation consisting of just one word; come (Matt. 14:29). The word of the Lord provided an invitation for Peter to come out on the water and the word of the Lord provides us with an invitation to come to the salvation that is in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…” (Matt. 11:28). The Spirit and the bride say, Come” (Rev. 22:17). It is heaven’s desire that all come to the water of life. Revelation 22:17 went on to say, “And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely”. God would, “have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (I Tim. 2:4).

Peter came down out of the boat and walked on the water. That was the transition. It took great faith to take that step, but it had to be done if he was to reach his goal. By faith, we must obey the commands of the Lord, firmly believing that we will receive the blessings offered upon obedience to the commands that are issued. No matter if we can see how it can be done or not, if the Lord said do it in order to be saved, then one must do it in order to be saved. Peter said, “Repent, and be baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin…” (Acts 2:38) and that is exactly what must be done in order to have the remission of sins. Paul was told to “arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16) and that is just exactly what Paul had to do if he wanted to wash away his sins. Peter had to go down to the water and so must we.

In closing, notice just one more brief point. Yes, Peter did begin to sink. We too will never live perfectly and without sin (I John 1:8, 10). But, when Peter fell short, he did just exactly what he needed to do and what we to will need to do, he turn back to the Lord for help. It worked for Peter and it will work for us as well (I John 1:9). We just need to walk like Peter walked.

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By Robert Oliver

Contributing columnist

Send any questions or comments to: [email protected]

Send any questions or comments to: [email protected]