North Anderson Baptist Church
Who’s Your One - 2020 - Restoration from Sin and to Ministry
Locations & Times
  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Dear friends there is a “front story” to the scripture this morning. At the beginning of this chapter we see 7 of Jesus’ disciples have gone fishing! They were all fishermen at one time and since things were a little crazy, it only seems logical that they would go back to do what they enjoyed for just a little while. Where were the other disciples? Who knows, John just doesn’t say.

They were fishing at night, which was their custom but had caught nothing, which they had experienced before also. In chapter 20 John says that there were more miracles that Jesus did in the presence of His disciples; well, God is setting up one right here at the Sea of Galilee. While the men were out on the sea, not far, maybe a hundred yards, Jesus, on shore, appears to the disciples and calls out, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” The answer was“No.” Jesus looking out at them tells them to cast their nets on the “right side” of the boat and they would find fish. When they did that they caught a large number of fish in the net.
John says to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Peter put on his outer garment and jumped in the sea and swam to the shore. The other guys came ashore in the boat pulling the net full of fish.

Now Jesus had a fire going with fish and bread cooking and He calls out to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” Peter then drags the net, full of fish, on shore with him and the Bible says that it had 153 fish in it. (Basically God was saying that He provided in “abundance” for His disciples.) Jesus invited them to breakfast giving them some of the bread and fish that He had cooked.

That is the “front story” in this very dynamic encounter of His disciples and Jesus at the shore of the Sea of Galilee It is after this story our scripture is given. It is a powerful passage regarding Jesus and Peter.
Jesus’ Restoration from Sin to Ministry

Who is the one to be restored from sin to ministry? Peter is the one who denied Jesus and now needed something else from Jesus to restore him into the fold, so to speak, as the leader of the disciples. There are two passages that describe Jesus meeting with Peter to forgive him of the sin of denying Jesus. Most scholars believe they are, Luke 24:34 and 1 Corinthians 15:5,
In these two places in the Scripture the Bible states that Jesus appeared to Simon, or Cephas right after the resurrection. It is my belief that Jesus sought out Peter to forgive him and then this conversation found here in John 21 between Jesus and Peter is something else but related.

It is an easy thing to say that you love Jesus but the test of that love is the “willingness to serve Him!” Notice in the Scriptures for today that each question is followed by a statement of service - “feed, take care of, feed.” This passage is not about forgiveness, that had already come as I indicated in the above Scriptures, but here we are talking about restoration from the sin of Peter to ministry. Jesus was looking for a commitment to change!

Someone has said that Peter had a change from an occupation of fisherman to evangelist, (this is the last time in Scripture we see Peter fishing)
a change in his identity of being impetuous to the “rock,“ and in relationship with Jesus his change came in not only forgiveness of his sin but now he was committed to the life of service for the King.

Three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. Could it be that it was because Peter had denied Jesus three times? When Peter was asked three times if he loved Jesus, Peter never used the word “agape” in return but only “phileo.” Maybe you have heard sermons about how that is so important and great significance was placed on those words but most scholars agree that those words are used interchangeably and probably there was little significance to those different words and who used them. There then must be something else there for us to understand.

When Jesus asked Peter, “do you love me more than these?,” what was Jesus saying? Who were these? Were they the things that Peter lived his life for, fishing, boats etc...? Or, could it possibly be “the other disciples?” In Matthew 26:33 we hear Peter declare to Jesus,
Because of that statement, I think Jesus is speaking to Peter about maximum loyalty to Christ, before any person, disciple or anyone else. Peter was to be used greatly by God and he needed to have his priorities set right. This was one of the ways Jesus chose to establish that.

By the way, what if Jesus said that to you today, what would you say? Peter said, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you,” could you say that too, “Yes, Lord!” Can you say, “Yes, Lord, I love you more than all my family, all my possessions and more than life itself?” Do you realize that Jesus does ask that of us and each of us need to have an answer to His penetrating question.

Jesus goes on to ask again, “do you truly love Me?” Why a second time, outside of the three denials? Maybe you need to realize, like I have, that God not only wanted to know that Peter’s answer was for real and from his heart, but for us also, to see if what we have said to the Lord about loving Him is really the truth from our heart. Do you really love Jesus?

For the third time Jesus asks, “do you love Me?” Peter declared to Jesus that He, Jesus, did know all things and because Jesus did know all things that He knew that Peter loved Him supremely.
Jesus wanted Peter to see his boasting on that night before Jesus’ arrest and trial about Peter’s never leaving Jesus, even if everyone else did. Jesus wanted Peter to have a humble heart. His heart and his character needed changing, as do all believers who want to follow Christ, there is a better way than boasting and having a prideful spirit; what better way than to emphasize for him that humility was a great characteristic in a believer. Peter having to go through this three times finally realized that Jesus knew his heart and would see the change in him.

Jesus was telling Peter that he needed to “feed his lambs,” “take care of My sheep,” and “feed My sheep.” There is a common denominator in all three requests from Jesus. Our Savior and Lord is describing the duties of a shepherd. To feed, and to take care of are things that a shepherd does. Jesus has established the church, the body of Christ, and He is going to ask Peter to shepherd them and to feed and take care of them. He comissions all of the disciples to take care of the body of Christ but here He is giving a special responsibility to Peter to become the shepherd of this first church group by calling in Peter to be responsible to lead this body of believers in feeding them spiritually with the Word of God, using all at his disposal to make sure the “little one, the lambs” are fed with the nourishment that they needed as new believers, tender and young in the faith, and as young children also needed watching after. For lambs there is a different way to feed and take care of them.

Being a shepherd has great responsibilities and they actually are accountable to God for their welfare until they are mature and able to help themselves grow. Other sheep need caring for and fed but in a different way, as they grow in Christ and walk in the way of grace.

Pastors, like Jesus is asking for Peter to do, are to do whatever it takes to help the flock to grow in “true faith” through caring for them by strengthening, protecting, guiding and confirming their salvation and hope of eternal life. The most important thing the pastor can do is to love Jesus Christ. If he truly loves Jesus Christ, the pastor will also love His sheep and tenderly care for them.

In doing all of this, Peter became, along with the other disciples, shepherds of the flock of Christ in Jerusalem and other areas as the church expanded until local congregations were established so other pastors could come aboard and help those congregations, such as Paul, Timothy, Titus and John. There were many others but through Peter’s experience he could help others to understand what is needed as a shepherd.

Peter writes about this in his book of 1 Peter 5:1-11,
In the latter part of this chapter there is a reference by Jesus that Peter would have to die for his faith. Each of us who have been chosen by God and have placed our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior might too one day have to die for the faith which we hold in Jesus Christ. One of the things that might happen is that someone could possibly come to question us about our faith and whether we truly believe in this Jesus as God and Lord of our lives. If, like in other countries, it comes to that, you may have to die for your faith. There are so many all over the world who are experiencing that persecution and many are dying for Jesus. Peter even speaks of this in the Scripture above. In 1 Peter 5:9 it says,
Peter is talking of the persecution from satan against Christians in his day and in our day too there are people dying for Christ. You may be one of those one day.

Peter was charged by Jesus to take the mantle of leadership through obedience to Christ. We all today should as well bow under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and say, “Yes, Lord!, You know I love you and I will do whatever it takes to live this Christian life the way you have ordained for me to live. I will lead, I will follow but most of all I will love you will all of my heart and be obedient to you no matter what comes my way!”


Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby