2nd and 3rd Denials. Like Simon Peter, we learn that our failures provide tremendous opportunities for Christian growth. We cannot grow until we learn that we cannot live the Christian life without the help of God.
18. And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.
John 18:18, King James Version
Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art
not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.
26. One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?
27. Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.
John 18:25-27, King James Version
We are certainly creatures continually combating our sin natures, are we not? Simon Peter discovered that in our passage today from John 18. Though He proclaimed before the Lord that He would never deny Him, Peter listened to the cock crow for the 2nd time, and realized that the Lord's words came true.
We have all felt the same emotions that Peter felt when the cock crowed for the second time. We are filled with good intentions; we love the Lord God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our might. Then, before we realize it, we have compromised our Christian testimony, and denied our Lord.
What do we do? Is there no hope for us? In Christ, there is always hope! Jesus did not save us and then leave us here with no help to live this Christian life. We are not perfect; we will fail. The true test comes after the failure. What do we do then?
What should we do? Our failures provide tremendous opportunities for Christian growth. We cannot grow until we learn that we cannot live the Christian life without the help of God. The more we understand that Christ is all, where we fail, He succeeds, the more His name is glorified in our life. It is that relationship with Him, knowing that we cannot even live without Him, that grows as we find our true identity with Christ and not with this world.
It was a hard lesson, but Peter learned it well. We have only to look at the books of the New Testament written by this same Peter to understand the true forgiveness of Christ. Peter truly expended the rest of his life for Christ, until he was martyred, for the glory of God.
So must we expend our lives for our Lord!