Do You Stand Up For Christ? :: Acts 4:13, 18-20
Before and after photos are fascinating, and weight loss photos are some of the most dramatic. The hit NBC show “The Biggest Loser” has shown us just how shocking such a transformation can be. When you view the before and after photos of the show’s finalists, it’s sometimes hard to believe they’re the same person.
That’s what it’s like to look at Peter in the Book of Acts compared to Peter in the Gospels. For all of his faith and love for Jesus, in the Gospels he’s impulsive and often motivated by his emotions; he displayed fear and insecurity on the night he denied Jesus. In Acts, though, he’s quite the opposite. His faith is mature, and he expertly leads the fledgling church with boldness through threats, imprisonments, and persecution. It’s hard to believe we’re reading about the same Peter.
So, what’s the explanation for Peter’s transformation? The presence of the Holy Spirit. The kind of transformation Peter experienced is only possible when we relinquish our lives to the control and direction of God’s Spirit. He lives within each and every person who has surrendered to Christ, transforming us into the likeness of Jesus and enabling us to do the work to which God has called us. Take a look at your own life. You should be able to tell a difference between the person you were before you met Christ and the person you are today. People who knew you before Christ should be shocked by the transformation the Holy Spirit has made in you.