Mark 14:70-72 “And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.”
Acts 4:12-13 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”
What changed? Peter went from a scared man to a bold man. Metamorphosis is when your DNA is changed. This happened to Peter. Something changed Peter that he didn’t have in front of a girl in the shadows before Jesus was crucified to a man who was bold in front of people that could have him killed. This was so much that it was noted that he had been with Jesus.
Metamorphosis is what happens to a caterpillar when it changes into a butterfly. This is what happens to a sinner who becomes one of Jesus’ followers. It is a transformation.
Peter watched miracles, dead to life, blind saw, lame leaped, ears heard, etc. That wasn’t enough. Even Peter himself walked on water. He did miracles himself in obedience to Jesus. Peter knew Jesus and saw His boldness. He saw how Jesus could read minds and change lives. Peter saw Jesus transfigured and then Moses and Elijah showed up. This is the Peter who knew Jesus was the Messiah.
He had the keys to heaven, a revelation of Who Jesus is, and saw His glory. What changed Peter? He was afraid of what the people would do to him. He was just too scared. Yet, a few weeks later, he wasn’t scared at all. What changed? What happened?
Luke 24:49 “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
Acts 1:8 “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 Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
What took place that transformed Peter?
Acts 2:2-5 “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.”
Here is where it happened: He got the Holy Ghost and that changed his life!
He spoke with authority. He wasn’t ashamed or afraid anymore. He got something from heaven that gave him power, miracle-working power. We have that same power to become—to be transformed.
If you don’t have Pentecost, you’re like the woman with the issue of blood reaching for Jesus, crying out to Him. After Pentecost, they walk and their shadows healed people. Pre-Pentecost Jesus did the healing. After Pentecost His people did the healing! This is the power to BE, power to be transformed!
Transformation takes place in prayer, in prayer meetings, in church, in Bible studies. Transformation doesn’t happen until you’ve got the power that came at Pentecost. Pre-Pentecost we’re the ones seeking the answer. Post-Pentecost we’re the ones with the answer, revealing Jesus!
All the fulness dwells in us in the church with His Spirit in us! The healing and the preaching is in the church in Jesus. If you have not been transformed, you don’t understand this.
How do we get transformed?
Step 1: Present yourself to God.
Present your bodies, your life to the Lord. Visit Calvary. Go to the cross. Repent. Come as you are. God will listen to an honest person. This is for the person who is sick and tired of being sick and tired, caught in the spin-cycle, the person who has desired to be and can’t be. God doesn’t want you to do—He wants you to BE. Change me.
Step 2: Let Go of the World
Surrender things to God, the earthly things, the carnal things. Don’t let sin rule you. Yield yourself unto God. Let it all go to God. Let the things that tear you apart go. Watch how He will break the chains. If you let things go, God will receive you. 2 Cor 6:17 “Come out from among them and be ye separate.” You can’t transform yourself. You need to let go and let Him change you. Don’t go where you don’t need to be.
Step 3: Put on Christ
Just like you put on your suit, put on Jesus. Wear Jesus like a garment. Eph 4:24 “Put on the new man.” Col 3:10 “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” How to put on Christ: A. prayer, B. study Bible, C. fasting, D. church attendance (true identity and purpose in Christ are found in church). Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44, Acts 19:3-6, Gal 3:27. It’s like you went into your closet and robed yourself in Jesus. Our life is hid with Christ in God. The caterpillar puts on a chrysalis, cocooning himself. We need to do the same with Jesus, cocoon ourselves in Him.
Step 4: Move Forward.
You gotta know which direction you’re going in Jesus. Sometimes, it takes a leap of faith. You have got to move in a direction and keep that direction before. Press forward in Christ, to the high calling in Christ. Phil 3:13 ‘Forgetting those things which are behind.’ Rom 8:37 ‘We are more than conquerors.’ Moses had a word for the people of Israel and they didn’t even want it. They were in the process of being delivered. They were given jewels, food, etc. by the Egyptians. They didn’t steal it, but it was given them. All of a sudden they had mountains on both sides. Egypt was behind and the Red Sea is in front. Moses started to pray and God told him to ‘Go forward.’ The people thought he was crazy. Moses went forward even though it looked impossible and the Red Sea was parted. A caterpillar crawls on leaves. A butterfly flies above them. Keep going forward. Don’t try to crunch on leaves again!
When you are transformed, you watch your enemy get destroyed. You don’t need to exchange one vice for another. ‘If you feel like you’re going through hell, keep moving and you’re come out on the other side.’ Go through! You are on your way to transformation.
Step 5: Know Who (& Whose) You Are.
You are more than a conqueror. When you realize who you are and whose you are, everything changes.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by: Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm.