Luke 22:31-34 /39-62 The Fall & Rise Of Peter
Intro: I think all of us have our favorite Bible Characters . Men or women that we feel drawn to because – we can Identify or ADMIRE
Today we are going to look at a man who is one of my Personal Favorite Bible Characters – For Both those reasons
I can IDENTIFY w/ his Struggles / Yet I ADMIRE him greatly for what He became .
HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL
- Now If you go into any bookstore today you can find several manuals on
Manuel on How to FAIL Spiritually
- Everyone wants to MARKET their formula – Well in the first part of our study today I’m going to give you a
I hope that you won’t follow this MANUEL – but instead will learn from the FAILURE we see in our Brother Peter’s Life
- Know one Backslides over night – Know one walks w/ Jesus one day and away from Him the next day
- It begins w/ a Slow Process – a Spiritual breakdown in that persons
Today – Look at the FALL & RISE OF PETER – See some of the Steps to that Spiritual Breakdown in his life!!!
We want to 1st look at 5 Reasons for His Fall that are seen in this Chapter
And then we will close by noting the steps that Led to His Restoration & Rise to where he was used MIGHTLY BY GOD
Set Scene : Final week in the Life of our Lord before Cross We are at Thurs. Preparation for the Passover – Noted on Wed.
Jesus meeting in an upper room w/ His disciples – He shares the Passover meal w/ them – gives it New Meaning – His Body & Blood
We learn from John’s gospel that He washed their feet – gave them an example to follow of Serving
At that point Matt. Gospel tells us that Jesus revealed to them that they were all going to stumble that night because of Him
stands up & Boast – Though all these forsake you – Lord I will never forsake you w/ you to the end
- Again in Matt. Account this is when Peter –
This is where we pick up the story in Luke’s gospel v.31-34
Here we see Peter’s first step to FAILURE – SELF CONFIDENCE
What a boast – for Peter to make – Lord although the rest of these men forsake you – not I Peter – I ‘m ROCK – You can count on me
One of Peter’s big Problems was that he was Over confident in his flesh
Peter was a big Burly Fishermen – Told in John’s gospel of a time when Peter by himself pulled in a huge net of filled w/ fish
- That several others together struggled w/
self appointed spokesman for the Disciples
- He was a Big man – and sort of the
- It was Peter who had the Revelation that Jesus was the Christ the son of the Living God
- On another occasion when the crowds were leaving Jesus because of some difficult teachings that he gave – Jesus asked will you also Leave
Where would WE go Lord - for in you are the words of ETERNAL LIFE !!!
- It was Peter who Answered
And it was Peter who blurted out on the Mt. Of Transfiguration – LORD it is good for US to be here . ( He was always saying something )
Now we have seen in our study of Luke’s Gospel that the Disciples argued a great deal – about who was the GREATEST among them
It is my personal opinion that Peter started a lot of those discussions
I can hear him saying things like - "We all know who is the greatest – did any of you guys walk on water?"
They would respond : Yea Pete you made it 5 steps and sank
C) Peter respond back – But who had the Revelation that He was the Son of God ? - / Who did he rebuke – saying GET BEHIND ME SATAN
Guys this was the beginning of Peter’s problems SELF CONFIDENCE
This was the first step toward his fall – over confidence in his flesh
What Peter found out was that His perceived area of strength was really his greatest weakness
See Jesus knew Peter better than Peter Knew himself
The last thing in the World that Peter would have ever Pictured himself doing was denying the Lord
QUESTION : What is the last thing that you could ever picture yourself doing ?
to him who thinks he stands ……fall
- Paul said 1 Cor. 10:13
Listen the area of our greatest Vulnerability is often that area where we are the strongest not the WEAKEST
- See we have the tendency to Guard those areas where we are weak & not pay attention to those areas where we are strong.
- Been said that an UNGUARDED STRENGTH is a double WEAKNESS
- And the Church is filled w/ Tragic stories of those who say I can’t believe that I did that – can’t believe I fell in that area
I was talking w/ a Pastor friend of mine the other day – he was on his speaker phone – Rob you wouldn’t believe what just happened – A beautiful woman just walked into my office & put her arms around me & Kissed me – BELIEVE THAT !!!!
I Responded by saying hi to his wife ! He said – How did you know it was her? I said I know that you FEAR GOD & are a man of Integrity & you wouldn’t do that –
HIS Wife piped in PLUS HE KNOWS THAT I WOULD KILL HIM!!!
We need those types of Checks & Balances in our Lives – those who hold us accountable – Healthy fear of God & Your wife is a good thing
But we must never assume that we would never fall in that AREA!!!
B) The Bible is full of Ex. of those who fell in areas where they were strong
B)Abraham was known for his great faith / Yet where did He struggle? It was in his faith – Real lapses of faith
C)Samson was a man of Great Physical Strength – but forgot that his
strength really came from God
- So because of his Self Confidence – Samson was defeated by a conniving Woman.
Joshua & Israel at Ai – after great victory at Jericho – a little self confidence creeps in – send only 3000 - / sin in the camp / defeated
1) After dealt w/ God says Send the whole army
Whenever we start trusting in ourselves our Ingenuity / our experience we are on that road that leads to FAILURE
I would venture to say that many if not all of us – have struggled in this area before & do struggle from time to time
Whenever we find ourselves saying things like I can do this & I can do that – We are setting ourselves up for a Big Disappointment
What really disturbs me though is that this mentality is being advocated more & more in Christian circles
There seems to be more & more FORMULAS being developed in the Church today – for all kinds of things
Seminars & Books on How to be Successful at – whatever – 7 steps to successful Parenting / Successful Christian Living !!!
- Problem w/ many of these formulas & Philosophies is that it puts a great deal of focus on Us & not the Lord
God helps those who help themselves
- The focus is on our Ability to the follow the steps & formulas / our Ability to Achieve the Impossible – But we are the ones doing it
1) Through the Power of Possibility thinking or what ever
- Doesn’t the Bible teach us that
1) Many don’t Know that is not in the Bible !!!
That is not what My Bible teaches – my Bible teaches that God helps those who finally realize that can’t make it themselves
Come to the end of ourselves come to the Beginning of God
But Many People because of their Pride never get to that place
Once their were 2 Ducks & a frog who were friends living in a pond on farmer browns farm
One Summer Drought – had to move / easy for the ducks because they could fly – frog said I’ll never make it w/ out your help – got a plan
So the Frog said : You guys grab this stick in your bills & then I will hold on w/ my mouth you start flying – we’ll go until we find another pond
So the Ducks agreed it was a good idea & they took off – frog Hanging on pretty soon soaring pretty high – Farmer brown saw – was amazed – Said What a brilliant idea I wonder who thought of it ? The frog Proudly yelled I DID – & FELL TO His death
That is what Pride is it says look what I did – Look what I’m doing
The middle letter in the word pride is I – Problems start I- Problem
Peter Like the Frog was on his way down when he declared though all these deny you I will never Deny you
So Peter’s first Problem was self Confidence that Led to his second problem – PRAYERLESSNESS – V.39-46
Set Scene : Jesus garden of Geth. Olive Press – Jesus is about to be Pressed in His Spirit.
Matt. Tells us that Jesus took Peter James & John – Inner circle – Pray !!! Stay w/ Me
Comes Back finds them sleeping – This is repeated 3 times
Self Confidence & Self Dependency Results in a Lack of Confidence in God & Dependency upon God that is evidenced by a weak prayer life
See when I am filled w/ Pride & I think I can make things happen & handle the situations – why do I need to pray.
- Example Joshua w/ Gibeonites – Problem didn’t Pray
- Prayerlessness is the mark of the Self Confident man / woman
But on the other hand – the person who is Dependent upon God / who’s confidence is in God will be a PRAYER WARRIOR
He will be like Moses – who if God wasn’t going to go w/ them – He wasn’t moving !!!!
Lord we can’t Lead ourselves & we don’t want an Angel – if it is not you then we are staying PUT.
The Person who is Dependent upon the Lord will not want to move to the right or to the left unless the Lord is leading
So we see that Peter’s second Problem was sleeping when he should have been Praying
Do you have a Healthy prayer life – Is your life marked by truly seeking God – His face / His will/ His Direction/
- Your Prayer life will Determine – How God Dependent you are !!!!!
Did you know that Prayerlessness is a sin !!!! We usually think of sin as doing things we know we shouldn’t do – Sin of COMISSION
But the Bible also speaks of sins of OMISSION – Not doing what we are supposed to do
James said To him who knows the right thing to do & doesn’t do it to him it is Sin
- The Bible commands us to Pray w/ out ceasing - / Phil Not worry but Pray / Jesus said – Men ought always Pray & Not Faint
- So to fail to Pray in reality is a SIN – Sin of Omission
1) Jesus said to Peter watch & Pray but Peter slept instead !!!
3rd step in Peter’s fall – Stems from a Lack of Prayer / Replace Devotion with Action & Activity . V. 47-53
Because Peter was sleeping when He should have been Praying – he wasn’t sensitive to the Spirit’s leading / but reacted in the flesh
Once again – trying to take matters into his own hands – Make good on his claim – I will not deny you
C) Jesus didn’t need Peter to help Him – John Gospel – I AM – fell back –
DOMINOS – I am You were – POW
D)But here we see that Peter was Reacting instead of RESPONDING
We react to Situations & we Respond to the spirit’s Leading
Reaction often Results in Activity / Whereas Responding - Direction
One of the biggest misconceptions in the Church today – we judge Spirituality by Busyness – How much are we doing – What Producing
We find ourselves trying to keep up w/ this person or that ministry
And we know nothing about BEING STILL & KNOWING that He is God !!!!!
Busyness is not a SIGN OF GODLINESS / and Activity is only Good as long as GOD IS THE ONE WHO ORDAINED IT !!!!
There are times & Seasons for Great activity – But it must be balanced w/ & can never Replace – PERSONAL DEVOTION
I DON’T know how many times that I have asked another believer or Pastor – this question : How are you doing ?
Only to Receive this type of answer Well I am teaching Sunday school now & involved in Prison ministry ……..
Or from a Pastor – Well were up to 3 services – starting a school / reaching out to the Homeless ….
But the Question was HOW ARE YOU DOING / NOT WHAT ….DOING
D) We need to be so careful that we are not judging How we are doing by what we are doing – What is God showing You / teaching You
I love what Jesus does here – Covers Peter’s Blunder –Last Miracle is covering the Blunder of a Disciple
- Jesus picks up the ear & Puts it back HEALED – No Charges / No
Evidence - No Judge would believe that story –
- Jesus continues to do that w/ us – Satan Accuses / Jesus Cleanses – No record of our Sin / Forgiven & forgotten
4th Step in Peter’s fall – FOLLOWED AT A DISTANCE V. 54 –
I have been in full time ministry now for 15yrs – I have never met a person who just Decided one day that they didn’t want to be a Christian
I have seen many though who have walked away from the Lord because of this right here – FOLLOWED JESUS at a Distance
- They slowly started to Replace their – Priorities in the Lord w/ other things
- Work / Hobbies/ Recreational Activities – replaced their – Time spent in the word & in fellowship - Subtle but very Deadly
Heb. 2:1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.
To Drift away – describes a boat at sea – not anchored drifting / soon tossed to & Fro
Beach Strong Current – soon- out there drifted a mile down the beach
It Happens when our Fervency for the Lord Diminishes & our Passion Decreases – Other things Start to occupy our thought Life
Left our First Love
At one time running right Behind – Now – Jogging at own Pace
And Following from Afar – leads to 5th step in Peters Fall – Warming Himself at the enemies Fire . V. 55-62
A) Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
B)Notice the Progression – Starts w/ Walking / Leads to Standing / Ends up
Sitting – taking part in their sin!!!
C) Peter finding comfort – at the enemies camp -
Miserable place to be – you have too much of the world to enjoy the Lord & too much of the Lord to enjoy the World !!!
D) So by the enemies fire – Peter is asked 3 times You are one of His followers & 3 times Peter Denies His Lord – at that moment Rooster crows
So those are the steps leading to Peter’s Fall - / Keep place here turn to Acts 2 / Set the Scene : The Day of Pentecost
H.S. comes upon them – Crowd of at least 3000 people – some claiming drunk
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. "For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 "But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know;
- "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;
Here we see Peter a little over a month after denying the Lord while sitting around a fire pit – w/ some servants & women
Now he is standing before a crowd of over 3000 boldly proclaiming You Crucified the Messiah
41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
Ch. 3 Gate Beautiful – RISE & WALK – Preaches 2nd sermon this time 2000 people respond - Trouble w/ Religious Leaders
Peter once again stands boldly before them & Proclaims Jesus as the Lord & them guilty for Killing the MESSIAH / calls them Repent
QUESTION THAT MUST ANSWER - is what Happened to this guy ?
Keep Place here in Acts Turn back to Luke 22 Note 5 things
1st V. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."
The LORD is Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
Jesus looked at Peter w/ a look that didn’t say – I told you so idiot – But a look of Compassion – Peter I still Love You – it is going to be Ok
The Bible Tells us that it is His Kindness that Leads us to repentance
- At the moment of His 3rd Denial the Jesus looked at Peter – Look of Compassion / not Anger
- Psa. 108:
- That is the case here – Peter is Broken
2nd Step : Peter came to the end of Himself – v.62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly. NCV Peter went outside and cried painfully.
It was here that Peter realized that he was not as great as he thought he was . that he wasn’t great at all
Place we all have to come to End of ourselves – Beginning of God
- Godly sorrow works Repentance – Realize that I am a Sinner & I see my sin for what it is !!!!!
In 1925, A man named Floyd Collins, was exploring near Mammoth Cave in Kentucky and got stuck. He was fifty-five feet from the surface and he got stuck. Icy water was dripping in his face. The rescuers came in and diverted the water, and they talked with him, they calmed him down, but they couldn't get him out.
He began to come unglued there, stuck in that cave. He was able to see the light, able to see where he wanted to be, hearing voices, getting food, but he was stuck & he couldn't get out. So he slowly began to have raving lunacies about everything from chicken sandwiches to angels in white chariots.
The newspapers got in on it, and ten thousand people came to see him. They sold hot dogs and sandwiches. It was a side show. Seventeen days later Floyd Collins died in that hole, able to see where he wanted to be and not able to get there.
- Sad state of many is that although they see where they want to be they are not able to get there because stuck in the hole of Self Confidence
- The way to get to the Light is to get rid of Self Confidence & Dependency / Come to end of THEMSELVES
3rd Step : He Realized he was forgiven / We read in Mk 16:7 Jesus told Mary Go tell the Disciples & Peter
And Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 15 that after his Resurrection that Jesus sought out the
Peter before he appeared to the other Disciples
Forgiveness Came after He was BROKEN
C) Later a forgiven Peter was commissioned by the Lord to Feed His Sheep -
- Denied 3 Times asked – Love me 3 times
4th Step Peter : Saw a Resurrection. Lord –
1 Pet.1: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
Peter would later die being Crucified upside down – because he wouldn’t deny that Jesus had indeed RISEN & WAS LORD!!!!
But seeing the Resurrection. Lord was not enough – before commissioning them He told them to go & wait for the H.S. to come upon them
3 Workings of H.S. / Before saved – conviction / that is you today –
- Peter was a different man because he was not following a Dead Guru or Dead religious Philosopher / But a Risen Lord –
1) Who Loved Him & Forgave Him & Restored Him!!!
- H.S. is seeking to convict you – Not your goodness / End of yourself
Everything Looking for pursuing still VOID
- At Conversion – He indwells us / Spirit shall be In You
- Indwells teaching / working / Sanctification
3rd Work – Go & wait for Spirit to come upon you / receive POWER – DUNAMIS – DYNAMIC POWER
1) He didn’t just commission them – Told them to go & WAIT !!!
5TH Back to Acts He was Empowered by the H.S.
Peter was no longer being empowered by Himself – but now He was being Empowered by The Lord
Purpose Driven VS Spirit Driven / Spirit Led & Spirit Empowered
That is what many believers need to understand – walking in own Strength / Serving in own Power –
- Result : tired – Frustrated / or finding that they keep falling
- Guys that is why Paul told us in Eph. 5:18 To be Continually being Filled w/ the H.S. - I need His power
Filled w/ Spirit when Believed – true need empowering
Not you getting more of the Spirit – Him getting more of You
B) Realizing – You need Him – Lord I want all you have for me