the Fifth Week of Lent
Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
The apostle. We have a very circumstantial account of this man in the New Testament, so that it supersedes the necessity of any observations here. His name was altered to Cephas, a Syriac word for rock. We must not however totally pass by our improvements on the apostle's life and character, though we do not think it necessary to go over the history of this great man. Certainly the Holy Ghost intended, that the very interesting particulars in the life of Peter should have their due operation in the church through all ages; and it must be both the duty and the privilege of the faithful to follow up the will of God the Spirit in this particular, and to regard, the striking features which mark his character. As a faithful servant of Jesus how very eminent Peter stands forth to observation; for who among the apostles so zealous, so attached to his Lord, as Peter? And that such an one should fall from his integrity, even to the denial of his Lord, what caution doth it teach to the highest servants of Jesus! But when we have paid all due attention to those striking particularities in the life of Peter, the most blessed and most important instruction the life of this apostle exhibits, is in the display of that sovereign grace of Jesus manifested in Peter's recovery. Oh, how blessedly hath the Holy Ghost taught, in this man's instance, the vast superiority of God's grace over man's undeservings! However great our unworthiness, the Lord's mercies are greater. Divine love riseth above the highest tide of human transgression. "Where sin aboundeth, grace doth much more abound; that as sin hath reigned unto death, so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 5:21)
I cannot close my observations on the character of Peter without first expressing my surprize that the apostle did not adopt the name of Cephas from the first moment Jesus called him so. (John 1:42) Paul indeed did call Peter by this name, Galatians 2:9; but it doth not seem to have been in general use among the brethren. And yet we find, in the instance of Abraham and Jacob, the Lord when he changed their names seemed to express his pleasure in calling them by those names. I would ask, is not this change of name among the Lord's people now a part of their high calling and character? Did not the Lord so promise the church when he said, "And thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name?" (Isaiah 62:2) And did not Jesus confirm this when he said, "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God; and I will write upon him my new name." (Revelation 3:12) Reader, is not this done now as much as in the instance of Old Testament saints, and New Testament believers in the ages past? Let us cherish the thought.
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Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Peter'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​pmd/​p/peter.html. London. 1828.