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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
June 30, 2019
The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 7:9-10, “9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. 10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.”
This week and next week we will be looking at these two different kinds of sorrow as described by Paul. This week we will look at an example of the sorrow unto life as seen in Peter’s denials of Jesus and his later repentance. Next week will look at the sorrow unto death as seen in the life of Judas who had great remorse for his betrayal of Jesus, but he committed suicide instead of seeking forgiveness. These two examples will emphasize the necessity we have in our own lives to respond with godly sorrow over our sins.
We are going to examine all four gospels in trying to follow the sequence of Peter’s denials. They are found in Matthew 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:55-65 and John 18:25-27. What makes Peter’s denials so tragic is that they come after Peter’s great boasting and Jesus warning him about what would take place.
Review – Peter’s Boasting – Matthew 26:31-35
I have heard Peter referred to by some preachers as “old foot in the mouth” because Peter tended to say things before thinking and later ended up eating his words. The incident which we will study today is the most serious of these events Peter ever experienced.
Recall that Jesus had held the Passover meal with the disciples and had changed that memorial feast into the Lord’s Supper. (See: The Final Passover, Part 1 & Part 2). After they had finished the meal and Jesus had taught them, they left the Upper Room and headed to the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. (See: The Promise of Heaven & Comfort for Those Who Believe, Part 1 & Part 2 & Abiding in Christ & Loving One Another & Persecuted by the World & The Ministry of the Holy Spirit & Present Sorrow; Future Joy & Jesus Prays for His Glory & Jesus Prays for His Disciples & Jesus Prays for His Own). Matthew 26:31-32 records that as they were walking along Jesus told the disciples,“You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered. 32 But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”
For quite awhile Jesus had been preparing the disciples for what would happened to Him after they arrived in Jerusalem. He would be persecuted and finally crucified before rising from the dead. As they went to the garden of Gethsemane, He was preparing them further for the events that would soon begin that very night that would result in His crucifixion. Jesus tells them that He would be struck down and they would be scattered, but He also reassured them that all was according to God’s plan for after He was raised from the dead, they were to meet Him in Galilee.
Jesus was not upset with them. He was not even accusing them. He was simply telling them what would happen next and what they were to do afterward. But Jesus’ words struck deeply at Peter’s pride, so Peter answered, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away” (Matthew 26:33). This was quite a boast which in effect was saying that he was better than all the rest, for though they might indeed stumble, Peter was convinced that He would never do such a thing.
Jesus was then even stronger with Peter saying in Matthew 26:34, “Truly I say to you that this very night, before a cock crows, you shall deny Me three times.” This should have shaken Peter up and forced him back to reality. Jesus was prophesying that Peter would deny Him three times that very night before a rooster would crow. Instead, Peter is even stronger in his response in verse 35. “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny you.” All the disciples said the same thing too. Peter’s boasting lead to the others boasting the same thing.
Now think a moment about what was happening then and who was speaking. Jesus tells Peter what is going to occur and Peter is refusing to believe it. Instead, Peter is boasting that it could not happen because he would not let it happen. (See: In The Garden of Gethsemane)
Nothing really changes with man. Do not we often act the same way? You read what God says in the Scriptures but do not actually believe it because you are going to make sure it will not happen that way. We are told specifically in 1 Corinthians 10:12 in relationship to the historical example of ancient Israel, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” Paul’s command to Timothy in dealing with temptation was, “flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness.” Timothy was Paul’s traveling emissary, but Paul did not consider him or himself above temptation. Paul disciplined his own body to make it his slave (1 Cor. 9:27) so that he would not be mastered by anything except Jesus (1 Cor. 6:12). Proverbs 6:27 warns that you cannot take fire into your bosom without getting burned. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you are above stumbling and falling into sin.
There is no Bible verse that even implies that because you are a “king’s kid” you can simply rebuke Satan and make him run. It is quite the opposite. We are warned that the devil is like a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour (1 Peter 5:8). We are commanded to stand firm against the schemes of the devil by putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). There are two commands in James 4:7 and the first is to submit to God which is then followed by resist the devil with the consequence that he will flee. The first comes before the second. If you don’t first submit to God, you will not resist the devil, and he will not flee no matter what else you do.
There are multitudes of warnings and commands in the Scriptures about how to walk in righteousness and avoid sin, but too often they are ignored, forgotten or directly disobeyed. Romans 13:14 commands Christians to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provisions for the flesh,” yet it seems very easy for professing believers to do the opposite in putting on the flesh and making no provision for the Lord Jesus. That is easily seen in how much time and effort they make in planning their recreational activities compared to personal devotions, involvement in Bible studies and even attending worship services. The result is that Christians often face circumstances in their own strength and are unprepared for what lies ahead. Whether it is unguarded eyes which are distracted by advertisements or pornography, an unguarded heart that flirts with an immoral relationship, an unguarded tongue that spreads gossip, or an unguarded mouth that becomes gluttonous, every person here is subject to stumbling the same way Peter does because we do not believe what God says and therefore do not take seriously His warnings and commands. It is too easy to think of yourself as being stronger and wiser than you are.
Peter was boastful about what he was going to do and therefore did not heed the Lord’s warning about what was going to happen or what he needed to do to be prepared. Jesus specifically told Peter, James and John in the garden of Gethsemane to “keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). Jesus went and prayed a second and a third time for the Father’s will to be done, but Peter and the others kept falling asleep.
The mob came and arrested Jesus, and though Peter did make an initial defense with his sword, even that was done in his own strength and wisdom. Jesus had just knocked over the whole crowd of people who had come to arrest Him by speaking to them and telling them that He was the “I Am” (John 18:6). Jesus did not need Peter to defend Him. Jesus rebuked Peter in Matthew 26:52-54 telling Peter to put away the sword and that He had at His disposal 12 legions of angels ready to defend Him, but what was occurring was according to the Father’s will as prophesied long before. (See: Betrayed)
At this point all the disciples fled, but Peter started following at a distance. He wanted to be near Jesus, but was afraid to be too close. We know from John 18:15 that the disciple that was known to the high priest, which was John, was able to get Peter entrance into the courtyard of the high priest, but that became Peter’s downfall. The line between faith and foolishness can appear thin, but the matter is resolved in the motives and obedience. Peter could have been commended for his courage for going into the courtyard, but it was foolish because it was done in denial of what Jesus had said.
Again, Jesus had warned Peter, “Truly I say to you and this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times” (Matthew 26:34). Each gospel account records at least three denials, but in putting all the accounts together, it appears Peter made at least 4 denials, and possibly more. Jesus’ prediction does not exclude Peter from making more than three denials, but there would be at least three before the rooster would crow twice.
We covered the first denial last week in our examination of the illegal questioning and trials of Jesus. Contrary to Jewish law and practice, Jesus was questioned and tried during a feast period at night at a private residence without valid witnesses while seeking Jesus to incriminate Himself for a capital crime and not allowing for time for support witnesses to be found to testify. Those responsible to uphold the law blatantly ignored the law in order to force through their predetermined verdict. (See: No Justice Here!)
Peter’s first denial took place after John arranged for Peter to gain entrance into the courtyard at Annas’ home. The slave girl who kept the door questioned Peter about being one of Jesus’ disciples. Peter answered, “I am not.” Peter should have left then, but instead he went into the courtyard and was warming himself by the fire along with the slaves and officers. We know from Matthew 26:58 that Peter wanted to “see the outcome,” but he also had made a boast that he was going to try and keep even if he had already failed once. Perhaps he did not think he would be recognized by the dim light of the fire, but he was wrong. All of the gospel accounts turn their attention to the questioning and trial of Jesus before coming back to recount Peter’s actions.
We pick up the story in Luke 22:55-57. 55 After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them. 56 And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, “This man was with Him too.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” John 18:25 adds that the others around the fire joined in also saying to Peter, “You are not also one of His disciples are you? He denied it, and said, ‘I am not.’” Matthew 26:76 and Mark 14:68 add that Peter said, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.”
Peter did not stay there to hear further accusations. Mark remarks that Peter went out onto the porch. This would be the area in front of the entrance, so the forecourt or gateway. Perhaps Peter thought that by being away from the light of the fire he would avoid further questioning and be safer. He was wrong again.
Matthew 26:71, “And when he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” The insinuation of any Jewish oath was that it called God as a witness to what was being said. A person would use it as an assertion that what they were saying was true. Peter called God as a witness to his lie. Matthew specifically states this is “another” servant-girl, so this is not the one that questioned him at the fire. Mark 14:69-70 states, “and the maid saw him, and began once more to say to the bystanders, This is one of them! 70 But again he was denying it” (Mark 14:70). This appears to be the same girl that accused Peter by the fire and therefore not the one mentioned by Matthew, and if so, then this is already the fourth accusation and denial. Foolishly, Peter still stays there instead of fleeing.
The oath made Peter’s denial more serious, but it did get those accusing Peter off his back for a while. Luke 22:59 states, “After about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, saying, Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too.” Matthew 26:73 recounts this incident, 73 And a little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; for the way you talk gives you away.” Peter’s accent marked him as from Galilee and therefore a follower of Jesus otherwise why would he be there? John 18:26 adds that One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” At this point it appears Peter has multiple people questioning and accusing him including an eyewitness to Peter’s earlier actions with his sword in the garden of Gethsemane.
Peter’s reaction to all this is tragic as he gives the strongest denial possible. Matthew 26:74, 74 Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a cock crowed. Mark, Luke and John all agree on this with Luke 22:60 adding that Peter also said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” To swear is to pledge to be telling the truth and to curse is to call on God to kill you if you are lying. Peter, who had boasted earlier that he would die before he would deny Jesus was now denying Jesus and calling on God to kill him if he was lying. There could not be two more opposite extremes.
Matthew 26:75 continues, 75 And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a cock crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Luke 22:60-61 gives more detail which explains the reason for Peter to remember what Jesus said and to go out to weep so bitterly. “And immediately, while he was still speaking, a cock crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.” Whether Jesus had been moved next to a window or had been taken into the courtyard to be abused we do not know, but Luke states it clearly it was right at that time that Jesus turned and looked at Peter. He was probably close enough to have heard Peter’s cursing. It would be a scene like a child who was doing something wrong and then looked up to discover their parent watching. Peter was cut to the core as he recognized his utter failure and the fulfillment of what Jesus had predicted. Peter finally does what he should have done from the very beginning. He left, but now it was with bitter tears.
Peter’s denials of Jesus did not begin in the courtyard of Annas. They began when he started boasting that though all the others might stumble, he would never do so and he would even die before he would deny Jesus. Boasting is an expression of pride, and that pride got Peter into trouble. The worst thing it did was cause him to disregard what Jesus said, and that in turn blinded him to his own weaknesses so that he went where he never should have been. Peter was in the wrong place because he refused to believe what Jesus had said. Peter had set himself up for temptation and for failure.
We get ourselves in to trouble for the same reasons. While claiming to be followers of Christ and believers in God’s word, too often our actions demonstrate disbelief and disregard for what God has said resulting in following our own wisdom instead of Christ. In reality we set ourselves up for temptation and failure. The promise of God in 1 Corinthians 10:13 is true, but often forgotten and neglected. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.” No temptation you have or ever will face is in fact overwhelming. Regardless of how much you feel like the temptation is so great that you must sin, that is a lie for God provides a way of escape or a means to endure it. The temptation only becomes overwhelming because you do not take the way of escape that God provides.
Peter had many opportunities to escape starting with Jesus telling the mob that came to arrest Him to let His disciples go. Instead, Peter followed at a distance. Peter had another opportunity to escape when he got to the gate. He could have turned around right then and left. Instead, he got John to help him gain entrance. He should have run away when he balked at the questioning of the servant girl at the gate. Instead, he went over to the fire even though the slaves and officers were there. When questioned, he again denied being Jesus’ disciple, but instead of fleeing over his second failure, he only went to a different area of the courtyard away from the light of the fire. He is again questioned and denies knowing Jesus. Yet he still remains there instead of fleeing. A little later he is questioned and accused by multiple people resulting in him cursing and swearing that he did not know Jesus. It is only at the crowing of the rooster and looking up and seeing Jesus turn and look at him that Peter finally flees from a place he never should have been. His pride put him in a place of temptation and kept him there until his failure was so great that he could no longer bear it and finally did what he should have done from the beginning.
Though we are often like Peter, we do not have to be. The Scriptures include the examples of others so that we can learn from them (1 Corinthians 10:11). Learn to do the same as those who succeed and avoid repeating the errors of those who failed. In this case, learn from Peter’s failure the importance of being humble to recognize your own vulnerabilities to avoid situations where you know you will be tempted and to flee temptation as soon as it comes. Nothing in the Bible states or even suggests you are supposed to stay in a situation to see how much temptation you can handle.
Much temptation can be avoided by simply staying away from the situations in which you know you would be tempted. To repeat Romans 13:14, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Be like Joseph who fled from Potipher’s wife. He suffered from her false accusations, but God trained his character by it and then lifted him up a position of great authority and responsibility. If you have a problem with gluttony, stay away from buffets, limit your portions, and do not purchase or allow junk food into your home or to be near you. If you waste time in front of the TV or internet, then find a way to restrict the temptation. That may include putting the TV into storage for use only on special occasions or getting rid of it all together. Install an app that will limit the time you can spend on the internet. If you still have a problem, delete the programs and apps that enable you to waste your time including games and social media. If you are tempted to join the crowd in doing whatever, then make sure you are spending your time with wise and godly people. If you struggle with materialism, stay out of the mall and leave your credit cards, check book and excess money at home. Many years ago I remember counseling a man who was having a terrible struggle with pornography. It did not take long to expose how he continually set himself up to fail. First and most obvious, he had not yet cancelled his subscriptions to smut magazines or thrown away his old copies. Second, the most direct route home from work took him by a porn shop and he felt compelled to stop and go in if he passed by it. I pointed out a very simple solution of taking a different route home, even as simple as turning right on the street before the shop and going down a block to avoid it. Computers, internet and smartphones make pornography more easily available and easier to hide, but the solution is still essentially the same. Cancel subscriptions, install both blocking and accountability programs, and if that is not enough, get a dumb phone. Life continues on just fine for millions – billions of people who are not connected to the internet.
All this may seem radical but it really is not. If you are weak in an area, then admit it and deal with your temptations appropriately. Stay away from it, walk away from it, throw it away. It does not matter what other people think of you. It matters what God thinks of you. Are you doing what is right in His eyes?
The problem is that we tend to think of ourselves as more resistant to temptation than we are so we do not deal with it radically enough. As Hebrews 12:4 states, “You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin,” so don’t make a false claim you have done everything you can. You simply have not become serious enough in dealing with your sin. Jesus used hyperbole in Matthew 5:29-30, but He expressed well the necessity of being radical in your battle against temptation and sin. 29“If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.”
That was Peter’s problem. He was not serious enough. His pride blocked him from taking any of the multiple routes of escape available to him. As happens so often to all of us, Peter’s temptation came from sources he least expected. He was unprepared for slave girls to challenge him. He was caught off guard when questioned by those standing around the fires. He thought he was safe in the darkness away from the light of the fire, yet was still recognized and specifically accused. There was no safe place for him in that courtyard.
Repentance unto Life
If the story of Peter ended here, we would only be able to speculate on Peter’s future. What should happen to the man who denies the Lord? Jesus Himself said in Matthew 10:33, “But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” Peter would stand condemned for his denial just as we would for our own denials of the Lord and other sins.
Though I don’t know if anyone here has ever denied the Lord to the extent that Peter did with cursing and swearing, I do know fear can result in professing Christians denying the Lord in many less extreme ways. The denial may be a direct renouncement due to fear of economic, emotional or physical threats. Such threats against Christians are common in many countries around the world resulting in some buckling under that pressure and denying Jesus. The denial may also be indirect in just a failure to stand up and be counted as a Christian because of a fear of being an outcast from the crowd. I think it is safe to say that all of us have in one way or another failed to proclaim the Lord when we should have and thus denied Him. If God’s justice were not tempered with His mercy, there would be no hope for any of us, but it is mercy that we find extended to those who have godly sorrow.
It is from Peter’s later reactions that we know that Peter’s bitter tears were from genuine godly sorrow. He felt deep pain because of his failure and letting the Lord down. In godly sorrow there is an ache in the heart because you recognize your sin has strained your relationship with the Lord and you want it restored again. This kind of sorrow will be contrasted next week with the sorrow of being caught, the sorrow of unrepentant regret, the sorrow leading to death.
Peter left the courtyard weeping bitterly because he had denied the Lord proving himself to be weak and disappointing the one he loved. Peter’s world had crashed around him, but what was he to do now that the one that had “the words of eternal life” was condemned? Scripture does not tell us what Peter did the rest of that night, Friday or Saturday. The only disciple noted as being present at Jesus’ crucifixion is John. There is no record of anyone’s activities on Saturday which was the Sabbath.
On the morning of Jesus’ resurrection when Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Salome and Joanna went to the tomb to put burial spices on Jesus, the Angel they met specifically told them to “tell His disciples and Peter” that “He is going before them into Galilee” (Mark 16:7), which is what Jesus had told them before He was arrested. Peter is specifically singled out to be reassured that everything was working out according to God’s plan and that God was not finished with Him yet. The women found Peter and John together, and both of them then went to the tomb. Sometime later that day Jesus appeared to Peter alone (Luke 24:34). We have no record of what the Lord said to Peter on this occasion, but it would appear that reconciliation took place. In John 21 when Jesus is again alone with Peter it was for the purpose of re-establishing him to ministry. Throughout the book of Acts, Peter boldly proclaims the gospel without backing down regardless of the threats.
There is much to learn from Peter’s failure. From the negative side there is the tragedy of pride, ignoring what God says, trusting in one’s self and staying in a place of temptation. From the positive side we see the importance of humility in believing what God says and trusting Him, of being spiritually prepared and taking advantage of the escapes from temptation God provides. But more important than any other lesson is that God can and will use the person that falls into sin if there is genuine sorrow that leads to repentance and forgiveness. Peter’s sorrow was a godly one that led to a restored relationship with Christ and being used in His service. That gives us hope too.
Peter understood how deep a person can fall into sin and so he understood the wonderful grace and mercy of God. No wonder he began his comments in 1 Peter 1:3 by saying, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead . . .” And no wonder he concluded his second letter with this admonition in 2 Peter 3:17-18, “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
Regardless of your sin and failure, there is hope in the mercy of our Lord. There only needs to be godly sorrow that will prompt you to recognize your sin and seek His forgiveness. As the apostle John put it in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If you are not right with the Lord today, you can be for Jesus will keep His promises. The only question is whether you will humble yourself to seek Him to receive them.
2 Corinthians 7:9-10 – two kinds of ____________ with two different end results
Review – Peter’s Boasting – Matthew 26:31-35
While heading to the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus ______the disciples about their stumbling over His arrest
Jesus had been preparing them for this moment, but also ___________them where to meet Him in the future
Jesus was not upset or accusing them, but Peter ____________he would not stumble like the rest
Jesus gives Peter stern warning he would deny him three times that night, but Peter gave a stronger _______
Peter is _____________ to believe what Jesus has told him and boasting he would not let it happen
Christians still often do the same in ________________ / acting upon what God has said
Warnings & commands in the Bible are too often ignored, forgotten or directly __________- Romans 13:14
Peter boasted about what he was going to do – but did not prepare himself by ___________ in the garden
Peter does follow Jesus at a distance, but it is foolish because it is in ______________to what Jesus had said
Jesus prediction of Peter’s denials is there would be ______________ three, but there could be more
Peter’s first denial of being a disciple of Jesus was at the ____when questioned by a slave girl (John 18:13f)
Peter again denied being a disciple of Jesus when questioned by those _____________
Peter denied knowing Jesus with _______________when in the porch area when questioned by a slave girl
An hour later ________people accuse Peter and with swearing & cursing and he again denies knowing Jesus
The rooster crowed, Jesus turned and looked at him, and Peter _______________and left weeping bitterly
Peter’s denials began when he started _____________that he would not let what Jesus predicted come true
Disbelief and disregard for God’s word to follow your own wisdom sets you up for temptation and _______
1 Corinthians 10:13 is a ____________of God – Peter did not take any of the many ways of escape available
Learn from the ______________ of others (1 Cor. 10:11), both successes and failures
Much temptation can be __________by staying away from the situations in which it occurs – Romans 13:14
It is not radical deal with temptation by to avoiding it, _____________it, blocking it, throwing it away
Peter was ______________________enough to avoid temptation or flee from it – don’t be like that.
Repentance unto Life
Matthew 10:33 – Peter and all of us are ______________of denying the Lord
__________may result in direct renouncement or failure to proclaim – both are forms of denial of the Lord
In godly sorrow there is painful awareness that your sin _________the Lord and you want it to be right again
There is nothing said about Peter from the time he left weeping bitterly until ____________morning
Mark 16:7 – Jesus specifically tells the women to tell _________that He was going before them into Galilee
Luke 24:34 – Sometime later that day, _______appeared to Peter alone – probably the point of reconciliation
John 21 – Jesus reestablishes Peter in ______________- and Peter is bold from then on
From Peter’s failure we learn the ___________of pride, ignoring God, self trust and remaining in temptation
We also learn the __________of godly sorrow which leads to repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation & life
1 Peter 1:3 – The blessing of God’s great ______________
2 Peter 3:17-18 – A warning to be on _________and to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord
1 John 1:9 – God will keep His promises to forgive and cleanse those seek Him to ___________their sins
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times Peter is mentioned. 2) Talk with your parents about why Peter denied Jesus and how to overcome temptation in your own life.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Why did Jesus warn the disciples about their falling away? How did Jesus comfort them in the midst of the warning? Why did Peter claim he would not stumble like the others? Jesus told him he would deny Him 3 times that night, but Peter countered that he would die before he would deny Jesus. Why is that claim extremely arrogant? How are Christians now the same as Peter was then? Why would professing Christians tend to do the opposite of the command in Romans 13:14? What was the significance of Peter’s failure to “watch and pray” in the garden? Why can’t Peter be commended for courage in following Jesus at a distance after His arrest? What provision did Jesus make for Peter and what should he have done? How did Peter get into the courtyard? To whom and where did Peter make his first denial? To whom and where did make his next denial? To whom and where did Peter make the next denial? What is the significance of him making an oath in the denial? About how much later and to whom did Peter make his next denials? What is the significance of his cursing and swearing? What two things happened immediately upon making his last denial? Why did he leave then and weep bitterly? How did Peter set himself up for temptation and failure? How do you do that at times in your own life? What is God’s promise concerning temptation in 1 Corinthians 10:13? Why didn’t Peter take one of the many avenues of escape available to him? What prevents you from using the ways of escape God provides you during temptations? How can you implement Romans 13:14 in your own life? Be specific about a plan for areas in which you struggle? What are some practical suggestions to overcoming gluttony? Wasting time? Materialism? Bad influence by friends? Gossip? Immorality? Pornography? Internet related temptations? How radical should you be in resisting sin? (Heb. 12:4; Matt. 5:29-30). How do we know that Peter reconciled with Jesus? How can you reconcile with Jesus for your failures? Have you done that? Are you keeping your relationship with the Lord vibrant?
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