And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24).
The New Man
Paul says, “Put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Second Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Peter, think about him. Everyone should study Peter. The Lord had a time with Peter but he finally grew up. Certainly, if the Lord was able to convert him, there is hope for everyone.
Behold the Lamb of God!
Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour (John 1:35-39).
One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone (verses 40-42).
A New Name
We see Christ’s very first encounter with Simon Peter. He immediately changed his name from Simon to Peter. He changed his name right away. Just what kind of person was Peter? Maybe you are a lot like him today. He was aggressive, bold, outspoken and he was a great initiator who completed absolutely nothing. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). That was Peter’s personality and maybe it’s yours today. Peter needed a lot of help.
Peter’s name at birth was Simon Bar-Jonah. The Lord, at different times, would refer to this wonderful disciple as Simon, while at other times He would refer to him as Peter. Why the distinction? Did Peter behave himself in such way which caused the Lord to have to distinguish his actions by calling him Simon, Peter, or Simon Peter? Simon was the old man’s name.
Often, the Lord would refer to Simon when Peter was behaving himself in the old way; that way that had no patience; full of arrogance; that way of wanting to run ahead and tell the Master what He ought to do. Just consider from the very moment that Christ focused His eyes on Peter, He had hope in Peter. He knew that if Peter would just respond to His great love, Peter would be the leader he was born to be. “My Old Man.” So many times, the Lord had no choice but to refer to Peter as the Old man, the old self, because he acted in such a way.
Simon was not dependable. He would make several promises and wouldn’t keep one of them. He was one of those people who would jump in first and when the heat was too hot, jump out ahead of everyone else. He would simply bail out.
Let Down Your Nets
And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught (Luke 5:1-4).
Try It Again
The Lord was pleading with Simon to try it again. “Listen to me, Simon. I will show you a better way.” That old man never wants to stick with anything; will quit when times get tough; never wants to grow up; always wants to play; never wants to work; and will take no time to learn. That was Simon. Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught (verse 4). The Lord is so wonderful. He kept reaching for Peter. He spent so much time training Peter, trying to get him ready.
And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net (verse 5). Peter hesitantly does what the Master instructs him. He’s not sure about it but he gives it a try. Notice Peter’s attitude and action. Often, when you study the life of Peter, the Lord referred to his old name of Simon when Peter was acting in such a way like “The old man.” He was acting his old self.
Throw Up Both Fists
You know about my old man, don’t you? Instead of forgiving, you want to throw up both fists. Instead of showing love, you want to find fault. “My Old Man.” And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink (verses 6,7). The old man is so reluctant and doesn’t want to listen to anyone. That was Simon. Following the Lord’s instructions is so simple, yet Simon made it so difficult.
When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him (verses 8-11). For the moment, Simon was filled with godly sorrow. Even in the midst of his weakness, Jesus was encouraging him on, “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.”
I Am Ready
And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me (Luke 22:31-34).
“Simon, Simon, Simon, what are you doing there? Simon, where art thou?” Notice how tenderly the Lord handled Simon. He was so careful with Peter. Peter believed he had all the answers. He was ready to not only go to prison for the Lord, but was ready to die! Simon, Simon, Simon when thou art converted [converted into the new man]. Many of you are just like Simon. Some are so quick to speak, never considering the cost or impact of what they have said. We are people of many words and little action. Many are like children who go to a wonderful buffet. You order up everything that’s in eye’s view, never thinking of the small capacity of the stomach (Luke 14:31).
As long as Peter remained the “old man,” the Lord’s hands were tied. “Rise up Simon be that Peter that I know you can be.” Notice the pride that the Lord has in His servants. If He could only get Simon into the Peter frame of mind.
Hast Thou Considered My Servant?
And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil (Job 1:8)? The Lord wants you to win for Him. We are His jewels in this last and final hour. He is ready to move but you must be ready when He moves. He is leaping from mountain peak to mountain peak with His wonderful bride. Oh Bride of Christ! Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners (Song of Solomon 6:10)?
You must be converted; regenerated and made new. When you come to Jesus and receive salvation, you are made new. It’s the new man. That old man should be completely gone; buried so deep, he/she will never be resurrected.
Except a Man Be Born Again
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again (John 3:3-7). “How, you may wonder." And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God (Luke 18:26-27).
How does man become a new creation? In the righteousness and holiness of God. Through the blood of Jesus, each one can be made new. You are recreated. Reject the old man and be willing for him to be buried deep, deep, never to resurface again. Being born again, being regenerated means that you are under the blood and in the blood. If you are really saved today, that old man shouldn’t have any control over you.
The Same Old Things
If you are doing the same old things—lashing out, yielding to that uncontrollable anger—then it’s the old man resurfacing again. “My Old Man” is still existing and robbing you, robbing you, robbing you of the greatness of God. God’s hands are tied for you in every matter of your life—physical, spiritual, and financial. When people are in and out with God, in and out with the work of God, in and out with salvation, “My Old Man” is still alive and well, controlling you, robbing you of life—life more abundantly. Now that’s high-way robbery. That old man was never really crucified.
If you’re having trouble forgiving, if you’re harboring grudges and rubbing your bruises, that old man is on the throne. Let’s get him dethroned today! “My Old Man,” he’ll kill you and if you are not careful; “My Old Man” will cost you everything—he’ll cost you heaven.
My Soul Is Exceeding Sorrowful
“Simon, Simon, Simon.” Let’s look at looker closer at him. And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he [Jesus] saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt (Mark 14:32-36).
And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words. And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him (verses 37-40).
The Lord wanted to get Peter to the right spot in his mind and in his faith. He desired to have Peter in His great army, just like the Lord desires to have you, you, and even you in His great army in this last and final hour of the church dispensation. Often when the Lord referred to Peter as Simon, Peter was acting in the old self; in the old way. There were other times that Jesus used the name Simon, which had nothing to do with his character. For example, He would speak of Simon’s house; Simon’s wife’s mother or other things along that line. “My Old Man.”
He Needs Your Help
Would Peter ever grow up? Would he ever mature? Would he eventually become what the Lord hoped him to be? Remember, as soon Jesus saw Peter, that hope went into operation and the Lord changed Peter’s name. Oh, how He loved Peter. Oh, child of God, how the Lord loves you, too. The Lord has so much hope in what Peter could become if he would only yield. Like Peter, child of God, the Lord is depending on you. He needs you to help Him!
Face facts, you are not all that you can be. Like Peter, you may be in and out with God. Maybe you have failed the Lord, just as Peter did, following afar off. Sometimes you use love; while at other times you’re impatient, wanting your own way. “Simon, sleepest thou? Simon, Simon the devil has desired to have thee but I have prayed for thee….when thou are converted, when you change Simon, help the others.”
Shall We Smite with the Sword?
And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him (Luke 22:47-51).
Simon, Simon. That person who smote the servant, of course, was Simon. “That’s not the way to do things, acting in your own spirit, Simon.” Physical fighting isn’t the way to get things done. You fight with prayer. You fight with longsuffering. You fight by heaping coals of kindness and love upon one another. I Peter 4:8, And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
I Corinthians 13:4-8(a), Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth. There’s much more power in love than in hate. Hate will send your soul to hell but love will raise the dead.
Ye Shall Be Offended
Jesus had to tell Simon, “You’re going to let me down. Simon, you are going to fail me. Even greater, you are going to deny that you ever knew me.” Matthew 26:31-34, Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
I Go A Fishing
Even after the resurrection, that old man was still hanging around. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee (John 21:3). Peter wasn’t able to hold onto the reality of all that Jesus came to do. It was so easy for Peter to go back to the old way. There was no power to keep him in the new mind. There was such a lack in Peter’s life because the fire of the Holy Ghost wasn’t within. Hear Peter proclaiming, “Well, it’s been three days and there’s no sign of Jesus. I’m going back to the old way. I am going back to what I know. Maybe there wasn’t anything to this Jesus anyway.” Are you like that? When the tough get going, you go too? Let the Lord draw you out from the old way, the old man, into a new and living way.
They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea (John 21:4-7).
Jesus Was Longing
Jesus wanted to use Peter as His soldier. He stood on the shore looking for whom? He came searching and seeking for Peter. What love! What grace! What compassion! Jesus was longing to have divine fellowship with Peter, just as He is longing to have that same fellowship with you, dear child of God. The Lord can only have that divine fellowship in holiness and righteousness. There is no other way.
But God Hath Chosen
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty (I Corinthians 1:26-27).
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8).
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16-17).
Come Away with Me
Hear the Lord talking directly to you, child of God, “Come away with me. I am all yours if you will be all mine. Total victory is yours. I have now brought you into my great arms of love. I will direct you. I will be with you. Trust me. I have brought you to the kingdom for such an hour as this. I am depending on you to win the lost in your final walk. I stretch out a hand to you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you with an unending love. This is your hour to receive all that you need for the journey. I can create and re-create any bone, any organ, any part of your body. I will walk with you and I will be with you. Yield to my love. Yield to my love. I am calling you. I am calling you. I am calling you unto myself. Only believe and receive. Come and dine. Come and dine. Come now! Don’t wait. Let me give you the help that you need and the help that you are going to need. You didn’t choose me; I chose you!
Oh, child of God, that’s Jesus calling to you. That’s love calling. Can’t you hear your master calling you today? Oh, how He needs you. Maybe you have thought of yourself as worthless, but you're not worthless to God. God longs and desires to use you for His great army. You are important to God.
If you meant that prayer, He has come.
Praise Him, He is Yours!
Yours with a Passion for Souls,