Summary: Peter writes of the possibility of turning away from Christ and the consequences. Peter knew first hand the process which leads to denial and has much to teach us.
Entangled and Overcome
Text: 2 Peter 2:20-21
Peter writes of the possibility of turning away from the truth of Christ and the consequences. Peter had first hand knowledge of the process which can lead to denial; he experienced them the night of Christ’s betrayal.
The process of being entangled and overcome is subtle, a gradual one that can happen without notice. To help us understand how this can happen we will examine Peter’s experiences that led to his denial of Jesus and take some advice from Peter on how to avoid this is our own walk with the Savior.
I. The Steps to Denial
A. Pride - Matthew 26:31-35
Peter boasts that he will not fall away and takes the first step to denial.
(Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall)
B. Complacency - Matthew 26:36-47
Without diligence we can be found to be unprepared.
Hebrews warns us not to drift away from the word (Hebrews 2:1) When we are proud and complacent we can drift and take the next step
C. Distancing and Blending with the world Matthew 26:57-58
Peter followed at a distance so as to not be linked to Christ and awaited the outcome
Luke 9:26 " For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
Peter is sitting with the followers of the High Priest (Mark 14:54) by the fire. It is easy to blend with the world when separated from Christ but “Bad company corrupts good morals” I Corinthians 15:33
When we distance ourselves from Christ we set ourselves up to take the final step
D. Denial Matthew 26:69-75
Once drifted away and distanced from our Lord it is easy to deny him. We do not have to use words, our actions can deny Him.
II. Advice From Peter
To Guard against pride:
1 Peter 5:5 - 6 (NASB) You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
Paul: I Corinthians 10:12 “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall”
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
James: James 1:21 (referring to self-control) Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
To Guard against complacency
1 Peter 5:7 - 10 (NASB) casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
2 Peter 3:14 – 15a (NASB) Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation…
Jesus: Luke 21:34 - 36 (NASB) “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
The meaning of this verse is, “Be continually expecting these things. Do not forget them, and do not be “secure” and satisfied with this life and the good things which it furnishes. Do not suffer yourselves to be drawn into the fashions of the world; to be conformed to its customs; to partake of its feasts and revelry; and so these calamities shall come upon you when you least expect them.”
To Guard against distancing and blending
2 Peter 1:3 - 4 (NASB) seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.