PETER: The Expressive Sanguine
It’s believed that Peter’s words and actions often displayed an expressive sanguine nature. But what does that mean exactly?
Well, throughout the Gospels and throughout the book of Acts, we see that when Peter is in a healthy place, focused on the Kingdom and Christ‘s perspective, he has this expressive character that’s full of confidence, optimism and hope.
During these rough patches in his discipleship we see Peter’s sanguine tendencies rise to the surface. Peter became domineering, impetuous or emotional. At times, so much so, that Jesus had to rebuke him and put him back in his place.
Nevertheless, Jesus never gave up on him.
In fact, even though he seemed to struggle more than any of the other disciples, Jesus chose him to become the leader of a new chapter in God’s story, called the church. And in Acts 2, God’s plans for Peter begin to unfold.
In the second chapter of Acts we get a clear picture of what Peter’s expressive sanguine nature can do when God gets a hold of him.
We begin chapter 2 with the celebration of Pentecost or Shavuot, which commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the nation of Israel. All of a sudden God shows up in a big way!
Suddenly, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, followed by the miracle of tongues. Men from various nations are miraculous given the ability to speak other languages than their own. Some men are amazed at their abilities and other men think they’re drunk.
Peter Takes the Stage
With incredible confidence and clarity, he explains this event to the onlookers.
“Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: ‘Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.”‘” (Acts 2:14-17)
Peter Preaches the Gospel
Then Peter begins preaching the Gospel with outstanding fervour.
“Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.” (Acts 2:29-33)
“For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’’ Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” (Acts 2:34-36)
What Happened Next?
“When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.’” (Acts 2:37-39)
Peter Kept Dropping the Gospel
“With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” (Acts 2:40-41)
Boom, 3000 Believers
300 Christians were added right then and there.
God transformed that sanguine disciple with domineering, impetuous and emotional tendencies into an expressive preacher with confidence, optimism and hope.
What About Us?
This is a crucial lesson for us in regards to our character and personalities. Peter’s life is evidence that God can scrape up all those attributes that cause us so much grief, flip them right upside down and supercharge them with the power of the Holy Spirit.
The outcome is that we’re still carrying our character and the traits that come with it, but once we’ve given our lives to Jesus, the Holy Spirit guides that character. If we’ll let Him, we’ll achieve incredible things, just like Peter.
Can I get your feedback?
In your opinion, what is the most significant piece of Peter’s sermon? Why do your think God used Peter to speak those words at that time?