Revelation and Responsibility
Matthew 16:16-26 NKJV: Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 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. 19 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.” 20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. 21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
Here, we see Peter getting a revelation of who Christ was.
However, after getting this revelation: God begins to demand responsibility from the Apostles to walk in the light of the understanding of the revelation they have received.
In particular, He calls them to a life of self-denial to follow Jesus’ example of suffering and dying for the benefit of others.
2 Corinthians 5:14-16 NKJV: For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
We die to ourselves by using the power of the Holy Spirit, released through speaking God’s Word and praying in tongues to spiritually anesthetize the physical body and mind making them unresponsive to sinful stimuli:
Romans 6:11-12 NKJV: Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
Romans 8:13 NKJV: For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
2 Corinthians 4:10-12 NKJV: always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.
Revelation demands responsibility which if taken properly will lead to the transformation the revelation was given to accomplish.
All revelation from God has a purpose: to enable us know God better and so become more like God in our character and actions.
John 17:3 NKJV: And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Revelation is God playing back in our minds the thoughts in His mind as expressed through the written Word.
God illuminates our understanding by the light of the power of the Holy Spirit from within through the written Word:
Ephesians 1:17-18 NKJV: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know…
Psalms 119:130 NKJV: The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.
With this inner knowledge and understanding comes a responsibility to act upon the knowledge received: otherwise it can be lost.
John 12:34-35 NKJV: Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you;