Summary: Peter, who denied Jesus, was totally forgiven and reinstated to a position of leadership among the disciples – Because he gave Jesus all of his sins – God wants all of your sins today.
“God Doesn’t Want Most of Your Sin”
OBJECTIVE: To show that repentance is not an option for believers, but a duty
INTRODUCTION: “The Ultimate Backslider” Here we have the apostle Peter. A devoted Christian, a member of Jesus’ inner circle of believers and…. a backslider.
He denied Jesus not just once, but three times, even swearing that he had never met Jesus. He had broken his fellowship with Jesus. He still had a relationship with God – we see that from the text we read in Mark “go, tell His disciples-and Peter” God made it a point to call Peter out apart from the other apostles. This could be for two reasons:
1. Peter, because of his indiscretion, lost his place as a disciple and his fellowship needed restoration
2. God, knowing that Peter would feel like he had lost his place, wanted him to know that he was still loved but needed to repent and restore fellowship
The point is that Peter had sinned against God by denying Jesus, and he needed to be restored to fellowship – to be restored to fellowship he had to sincerely repent
*Repentance is not often discussed in churches anymore. Most Christians shy away from the life change that is supposed to be associated with salvation. We spend time concerning ourselves with things of the world so much, that worshipping God becomes just another thing that we do, instead of letting Him be the Lord of our lives.
“Fellowship, not relationship” But scripture points out time after time that repentance is essential to stay in fellowship with God. Now notice I am using ‘fellowship’ and not ‘relationship’ – A believer establishes a relationship at salvation when God becomes his Father and the believer is born-again [correctly translated is ‘born from above’] into His family. This is what the Word refers to as our ‘adoption’.
“Parent/Child fellowship” We all have a father and a mother – we may not be in fellowship with them right now, but we have a relationship that came at birth. I am a ‘Foskey’ and I will be a Foskey until I die. Now I may upset my father, and there could be a break in our fellowship, however the relationship is still intact. This simple picture illustrates how God deals with His children, the believers – When we are doing things that are displeasing to God, we can dis-fellowship ourselves with Him. The theological term for this is ‘apostasy’; the more used term among Christians is ‘back-sliding’.
“Complete repentance” Peter had fallen into apostasy. He had denied Jesus. But when Jesus returned he called Peter out to restore him – and He did so by asking Peter three times, “do you love me?” The three times was significant because Jesus was restoring Peter for the three times he had denied Him. Jesus was showing that repentance, true heartfelt and complete repentance, is essential to be in fellowship with God.
How do we apply this to our lives – well we must realize that repentance is our duty, it must be determined, and it must make a difference.
I. Repentance is our duty
a. Jesus made Peter denounce his sin, He did not just glaze over it
b. For every time Peter denied Christ, Peter was asked, “Do you love me?”
i. The first two times Jesus asked the question He used ‘agape’ (volitional, self sacrificing love)
ii. The last time He changed and used ‘phileo’ (brotherly love)
iii. Essentially Jesus was saying, “Peter, are you my friend? Are we in good fellowship?”
iv. This is important, because it is one thing to be in a relationship as a child of God, and quite something different to have God as your friend; no, your BEST friend
c. What keeps us from that friend relationship with God is our inability to convince ourselves of our duty to repent
i. We need to repent of the sins of commission
1. These are those sins that we are committing that are binding us and holding us back from fellowship with God
2. These are the sins we are ‘committing’
ii. We need to repent of the sins of omission
iii. James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
Video clip – “Independence Day”
1. “The boy’s answer” A Sunday school teacher asked “what are sins of omission?” and a little boy piped up, “those are the ones we haven’t gotten around to doin’ yet!”
2. These are those good works that God has called us to do, the fruit God wants us to bear, that we are leaving out that help us grow in fellowship with God
3. These are the natural abilities we have to be God’s instruments in the world that we are letting lie stagnant on the shelf