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STUDIES IN ACTS      Studies in Acts

2. PETER - a key man

"Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd" (Acts 2:14).

The Acts of the Apostles is really about two apostles - Peter the apostle to the Jews, and Paul the apostle to the Gentiles. In Acts Peter leads the Eleven, then the Twelve.

Consider the person
Peter was chosen by the Lord as the first among the twelve apostles. He heads every list of the Twelve (e.g., Lk.6:13-16; Acts 1:13). He had strong leadership qualities. Often he was the spokesman for the disciples to the Lord, and in the Acts he represents the disciples to the people (e.g., Lk.9:33; Acts 2:14ff.). Peter led the inner circle of those who followed Jesus. With James and John he witnessed the raising of Jairus' daughter and the Lord's transfiguration and agony (Lk.8:51-56; 9:28-36; Mk.14:32-42). He was the first apostle to encounter the risen Lord (Lk.24:34; 1 Cor.15:5). His forgiveness and restoration after his denial is an evidence of the grace of God (see Jn.21).

Study the Scriptures
Peter will feature a number of times in these pages, so in this study we focus on Acts 1-2 and note his leadership qualities. Peter prayed with the rest of the disciples (1:13). Guided by the Scriptures, he took the lead in seeking a replacement for Judas (1:15-26; Psa.69:25; 109:8). He obediently waited for the anointing of the Spirit (Lk.24:49; Acts 2:1). He preached the gospel in the power of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost (2:14-41). Sometimes he is numbered with the other apostles (e.g., 5:12; 6:2); at other times note is made of his extraordinary ministry (e.g., Acts 3:1-8; 5:15).

Ask questions

1. The Lord promised Peter that he would receive a ministry after his restoration (see Lk.22:31-34). How is this prediction fulfilled in Acts?

2. Peter is a key man in the Acts – he opens the door of the gospel to the Jews and the Gentiles (Acts 2 and 10). Study the relevance of Mt.16:16-19 here.

3. Consider the statement: "The Book of Acts is better entitled 'The Acts of the Holy Spirit'".

Apply some thoughts

1. It is important for local churches to have good spiritual leaders, and it is important for leaders to be led by the Spirit.

2. Spiritual leaders need the support of spiritual people.

3. Pray for the leaders in your fellowship.

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Copyright 2008 Vernon Ralphs

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