We tend to think that sin will never overtake us. Then one day it does. We have a story before us now of a man who was overtaken by sin. A man who probably never realized that one thing would lead to another. Through five steps, he fell away from the Lord. This man was a full-fledged apostle of Jesus Christ. His name is known to all of us. I’m referring to the story of Simon Peter and his fall and restoration.
There are five steps that led Peter down to his denial of Christ:
- His first step down was self-confidence. In saying that he would never deny Christ, Peter was actually placing unfounded confidence in himself and directly contradicting what Jesus said.
- Peter’s second step down was prayerlessness. Peter was sleeping when he should have been praying. How many of us would be honest to admit that we need to pray more?
- His third step down was trusting human efforts instead of God’s power. When he pulled out a sword and lopped off the ear of a guy named Malchus, Jesus reached down, picked up the man’s ear, and reattached it. So the last miracle of Jesus before He died on the cross was the healing of a man who was coming to arrest Him. It was also a miracle that was done to cover the blunder of a disciple.
- Peter was warming himself at the enemy’s fire. Have you ever tried to go undercover as a Christian? Hide your faith? Go unnoticed in the larger crowd? Following at a distance, Peter became cold and was attracted to the warmth of the enemy’s fire.
- Peter denied the Lord. While he was still speaking, the rooster crowed and the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, and he went out and wept bitterly.
- Believers can fall. Believers can stumble. But believers can get up again.
- Like Peter, your mess can be turned into a message.
- Christ Himself is praying for you.
The Bible says godly sorrow produces repentance. Everyone is going to sin and when you sin and feel bad about it, that remorse is a good thing because it means your conscience is working. But if you can sin and sin again and even sin some more and feel no remorse, no guilt, something isn’t working right in your heart. The conviction of the Spirit that will produce guilt is a reminder that you need to get right with God.
Peter wept bitterly. Are you sorry for your sin? Now let me ask a follow-up question. Are you sorry enough to stop?