Summary: How can we recover when we have failed God miserably? We trace the path of Peter's failure through his restoration.
HAVE YOU HEARD THE ROOSTER CROW?
Surving Life's Failures
SHOW “FAMOUS FAILURES” VIDEO CLIP (1:15)
From failing at show business to failing at sports or politics, it was amazing to see some of those names on the screen, don’t you think?...Think how different society would be today if Abraham Lincoln had decided to quit, if Thomas Edison had gone into “a different line of work” or if Walt Disney had packed it in.
The people mentioned in the video clip certainly had their impact upon our world, but I suggest that their influence pales in comparison with the influence of the Apostle Peter, another individual who could have been highlighted in that video, for Peter’s life was marked by failure as well…But far more serious than failing acting or basketball, Peter failed God…But out of his life are some great lessons that should encourage us in SURVIVING FAILURE…And specifically, we’re going to talk about how we should respond at those times when we fail God.
We're going to explore this subject by looking at some events in the life of the Apostle Peter.
Peter: brash, bold, impulsive, speaks before he thinks…But he was committed to Jesus.
From Jesus' first words to Peter: "Come ye after me" to the last conversation recorded by John in which the Lord tells Peter to "Follow me", Peter followed the Lord…He stumbled/faltered...but he continued to follow…Like many of us.
Let's start this morning in the 16th chapter of Matthew and note, first of all, PETER'S REGENERATION.
I. PETER'S REGENERATION
REGENERATION = rebirth, born again.
• Acknowledge you're a sinner.
• Sin separates you from God.
• Jesus is the bridge between us and God.
The exact moment of Peter's conversion is not recorded; but there is evidence of his salvation:
A. He Acknowledges Jesus As Christ
Peter speaks up.
Jesus is the Christ--long awaited, long-promised Messiah; fulfillment of OT prophecy.
B. He Acknowledges Jesus As Lord
Passover supper completed...disciples oblivious to what is going to take place over the next several hours and over the next few days...Judas' plan of betrayal in place... Jesus takes towel, fills bowl with water and begins washing disciples' feet like a household servant; Peter speaks up: JOHN 13:6-10
Some are critical of Peter.
• He still does not understand Jesus' ministry.
• But the thought of not being a part of Christ is so abhorrent to Peter, that he responds this way.
Have you experienced regeneration?...Is there evidence of your salvation?...Have you committed your life to Christ?
II. PETER'S REGRESSION
We either move forward (progress) in our relationship with Christ, or we move backward (regress; backslide)
MARK 14:27-31 records a period of regression in Peter's life:
• Jesus: All of you will fall away…You’ll all abandon me tonight.
• Peter’s reply: “Not me…You’re mistaken, Jesus!”
This illustrates the First of three elements of regression:
REGRESSION OCCURS WHEN WE FAIL TO BELIEVE & FOLLOW THE WORD OF THE LORD.
• Preacher preaches: "You must be talking to someone else...my situation is different."
• We read the Word and think of a dozen people we wish would read that Scripture.
God's people must spend time in His Word if they desire to spend time in His will.
MARK 14:32-41: Jesus & disciples depart for Gethsamane…Jesus asks Peter, James and John to go in to garden and pray.
• MARK 14: 33 describes Jesus as deeply distressed and troubled.
The MESSAGE says of Jesus: He plunged into a sinkhole of dreadful agony.
THE POINT IS THIS: Jesus reveals the troubled condition of his soul…Jesus asks these disciples to watch and wait; goes to pray; returns to find disciples sleeping--wakes them up.
MARK 14:37, 38
Jesus directs comments to Peter.
• Peter, who has just promised intense loyalty, falls asleep even after the Lord has revealed his anguish.
2nd principle of regression: REGRESSION OCCURS WHEN WE FAIL TO PRAY.
As the events of the 14th chapter unfold, Jesus is met by Judas and those who will take Jesus captive. Our Savior is betrayed by a kiss.
MARK 14: 50 Then everyone deserted him and fled.
• When Jesus offers no resistance to arrest, disciples all flee.
MARK 14:54a Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest.
Peter follows from afar, but probably should not have followed him at all.
14:54b There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.
He warms himself by the enemy's fire.
3rd principle of regression:
REGRESSION OCCURS WHEN WE GET TOO CLOSE TO THE ENEMY'S FIRE.
The Enemy's Fire: materialism, activities of the world, etc.
v. 66: Maid I.D.s Peter as on who had been with Jesus…Peter: "I neither know nor understand what you are saying."