Sir Godfrey Gregg D. Div
I. THE BEGINNING OF THE FALL.
A. Satan had long been lying in wait ready to perpetrate Peter’s fail. He had be watching and stalking Peter for some time prior to Peter’s fall.
1. No one falls in a moment. There must be preparation. There are always steps that lead to failure. There are many small failures that precede a great failure such as Peter experienced.
2. It must be understood that Peter’s failure was brought on him by himself. Though Satan was behind working to defeat Peter, to have been successful Peter must have been a collaborator.
3. Man is not made like a puppet in which various forces act and produce certain results.
A believer does not grow and mature or backslide as a passive pawn.
A believer does not grow in the Lord and mature into a spiritual Christian able to be used of the Lord by having a passive attitude.
“Passiveness means submissive.”
B. Spiritual growth is always the result of a conscious cooperation with God.
1. God wanted Peter to grow spiritually, to live a purposeful life of accomplishing many things for Christ.
2. But the enemy of the children of God, the enemy of God, Satan is inflamed by the sight of spiritual growth…..and with increased rage he launched a brutal attack against Peter.
C. Peter should have borne in mind that Satan sought to destroy him. Christ had warned him.
“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Luke 22:31-32
1. Jesus also prayed for Peter. Yet Peter still failed.
2. Did you note Luke 22:32? Peter had a task, to strengthen and be an example to the others. Satan was well aware of Christ’s purposes to use Peter.
3. Peter had walked with the Lord. Hours earlier had spent a blessed time in the Upper room with Christ Jesus at the Last Supper.
But these experiences with Christ did not make him invulnerable to Satan’s attacks!
On the contrary….they exposed him to the possibility of new dangers.
4. We should never say, “Because I have reached this place in my spiritual life and understand many spiritual truths….I am no longer afraid of temptation!”
Folks that is Satan’s prime moment! He waits for one to develop such an unhealthy attitude.
D. In this atmosphere, of spiritual blessing Peter made his first contribution to the Devil’s attack.
1. It was the spirit of spiritual pride and self confidence that led to his fall.
2. When Jesus that evening warned that they would be tempted Peter’s ego took over and he proclaimed, “Never me, Lord.” He even went so far as to say, “Lord the other disciples may fail you, but never me!” [Matt. 26:31-35]
E. Do you see what Peter was doing?
1. Peter was comparing himself with the other disciples and judging himself superior!
2. Folks this is a fatal error. There is only one standard of comparison for the believer! That comparison is with Jesus Christ. There is not other!!
3. Do not think you are something because you are not as bad as someone else. The correct standard and questions is this: “Am I like Christ Jesus my Saviour.”
To much the world is deceived by Satan today to accept a different standard that the Bible gives.
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29
4. It is well to note that only Peter of the eleven disciples denied the Lord Jesus.
5. Peter separated himself from the others and thought himself greater spiritually that they.
Peter was bold in his testimony for Christ. He was steadfast….yet he was the one who fell.
E. The clear principle we must live by as a child of God is expressed by Paul, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” II Cor. 12:10
Peter could whisper to each of us, “Be careful, my brother-my sister of The Mystical Order, for that’s how I started to that evening. I started with a boast about my spiritual strength, and suddenly I found myself denying my Master and Lord!”
CONTINUES TOMORROW ……..