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August 17 – LD 33, Day 5: An Example Of True Conversion

Friday the 17th of August

in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations

1 Peter 5:1-2: The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

The doctrine of True Conversion becomes real to us when we consider an example, that of Peter.

As a result of his great confidence in himself, Peter experienced a terrible fall, but he was re-instated by Jesus, showing to us later on in his life, his True Conversion from his proud confidence in his flesh to humility and dependence upon God.

Peter's fall is well known to us. Peter denied his Lord three times as Jesus said he would. But we know that Peter repented from his sin because Jesus re-instated him before His Ascension into Heaven, telling Peter three times to show his love for Him by feeding His flock.

We also know that Peter experienced true conversion in other ways.

First, whereas he denied Jesus at Gethsemane, Peter preached Christ Crucified boldly in Acts 2.

Second, so dearly did he hold to the words of his Lord when he was reinstated that he admonished the elders of the scattered churches in 1 Peter 5:1-2: “...Feed the flock of God!

Third, our Canons affirm Peter's True Conversion by pointing out Peter's "lamentable fall" in the best of all places: the Fifth Head of Doctrine, "The Perseverance of the Saints", Art. 4 - reminding us of God's work of grace in causing Peter to be recovered spiritually, to be truly converted, to persevere unto the end of his salvation.

For Meditation: Those who are truly converted can fall into grievous sin. If Peter could, if David - described to be a man after God's own heart - could, then we can. Calvinists, who confess the "P" of 'TULIP', understand that they can fall into grievous sin. Do you? And do you therefore take great care daily to "mortify" our old man (Col 3:5)? And what if we fall into a lamentable state of sin? Don't deny it, don't hide it, don't wait for time to pass by! Repent and live! Be converted and healed!


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