What role did Peter have in the ministry of the early church?

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Jesus promised Peter before His crucifixion that he will have a specific role in spreading His truth in the early church. “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:18-19).

Before the crucifixion, Peter denied the Lord (Luke 22:54-62). But later he repented fully (Luke 22:62). Jesus accepted Peter’s repentance and He reinstated him as a disciple. Then, He commissioned him to Feed His lambs (John 21:15-17).

At Pentecost

Jesus’ promise to Peter was made manifest, on the day of Pentecost. There, Peter became the leading speaker to the multitudes in Jerusalem (Acts 2:14). The outcome was seen when 3,000 new converts joined the church (v. 41). Later, Peter also preached to the Sanhedrin (Acts 4) and he did not fear being arrested and beaten, (Acts 5). Also, God did miracles through his humble minister (ex, healing a lame beggar – Acts 3).

His evangelism

The book of Acts portray Peter as the most prominent apostles. Jesus’ promise that Peter would be instrumental in the early Church was fulfilled in three ways: Peter’s ministry at the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), Peter sharing the truth with the Samaritans who received the Holy Spirit (Acts 8), and Peter preaching to the gentiles as in the case of Cornelius, who also believed with his family and received the Holy Spirit (Acts 10). Thus, Peter fulfilled Jesus commission that says, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

His literary work

The apostle Peter wrote 2 epistles in the New Testament. The letters were written to the “strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.” Both letters were written shortly before his death no later than 67 AD. In these letters, Peter exhorted his readers to grow in grace and in God’s knowledge. For in doing that, they can accomplish God’s design in their calling and election.

His Death

Even at the end of his life, Jesus predicted that Peter will glorify God (John 21:18-19). According to tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero. He met death by crucifixion with his head down. For he believed that to be crucified like Jesus was too great an honor for a disciple who had denied his Master.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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