The Dichotomy of Peter

Goodbye Old Self_jpg

The apostle Peter is an example of how we, as born again Christians, often experience the dichotomy of living according to both the old carnal self and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. One minute we can be acting like the most godly people, but the next minute, we can be the most carnal and contemptible persons.

When Jesus asked His disciples what they thought of Him, one said this or that, but only Peter gave the right answer. He said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to Him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 16:14-17

One moment Peter was so full of God that he rightly declared that Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus was so impressed with his answer that He blessed Him among His other disciples. Yet, on another occassion, Peter was so full of the Devil that Christ had to rebuke him and say, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me.” – Matthew 16:23

Why does this happen to us too?

Because inside each of us are two natures: The old nature, and the new nature, which are opposed to each other. How we think and act depends on which nature we yield ourselves to. The apostle Paul admonished us to:

“…let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other…” – Galatians 5:16-17

Notice that he says, these two forces are constantly at war within us, trying to control our thoughts and behavior. That is why we struggle as Christians. Part of us wants to do good, but another part of us wants to do evil.

Who are you allowing to control your life? The old nature? Or, the new nature? Today, Make a conscious decision to permit the Holy Spirit, and not the sinful flesh, to be in control of your life. As you do, you will eventually live in harmony with God’s will and progressively be transformed into the image of Christ.

luis-joseph-castle-1Luis Joseph Castle