"(4) Peter’s deliverance from self. As we know, Christ took Peter with the others to the footstool of the throne and told him to wait there; on the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came, and Peter was a changed man. We usually only detect the change in Peter in the boldness and power, the insight into the Scriptures, and the blessing with which he preached on that day. But there was something deeper and better for Peter. Peter’s whole nature was changed. If you want to see it, read the first epistle of Peter. You know Peter’s former tendencies to fail. When he said to Christ, in effect, “You must never suffer; it cannot be”— it showed he had not understood what it was to pass through death into life. Christ said, “Deny yourself,” and in spite of that Peter denied his Lord. When Christ warned him, “You will deny me,” and he insisted that he never would, Peter showed how little he understood himself.
But when I read his epistle and hear him say, “If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name” (4: 16) then I know it is not the old Peter but the very Spirit of Christ breathing and speaking through him. When I read how he says, “Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed,” I understand what a change has come over Peter. Instead of denying Christ, he found joy and pleasure in denying self, even giving it over to death. Therefore , in Acts we read that when he was called before the council , he could boldly say, “We must obey God rather than men”; he could return with the other disciples and rejoice that they were counted worthy to suffer for Christ’s name. And so dear readers, I ask you, look at Peter utterly changed— the self-pleasing, self-trusting, self-seeking Peter filled with the Spirit and the life of Jesus. Christ changed him by the Holy Spirit."
Absolute Surrender by Murray, Andrew
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