6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: We must find a commitment to perseverance in our Christian walk.

Acts 12:16 KJV But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.


-It is perilous to judge a person by a single action. Life is far too complex and intricate for that.

-Every man who has ever lived has had purpose and passion in his life. Yet when under pressure that very same man can be greater than he really is or less than he really is.

-For instance you see that in the life of Peter. There are moments when he flashes with greatness and then there are moments when he appears to be nothing more than a pawn in the hand of the devil.

-In fact, one need look no further than the waning hours of the Lord’s life to see what I am having reference to. One moment he has grabbed a sword and is cutting off the ear of Malchus, one of the high priest’s soldiers, and Peter is in the fray to defend the Lord.

-If you look a few hours later, Peter has muddled off into the terrible throes of denying the Lord. He drifts from defense to denial. It would be a terrible thing to judge Peter in that single night of his life.

-Furthermore, notice the variableness of what Peter’s words say to us from the New Testament.

• Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. (Luke 5:8)

• Lo, we have left all and followed thee. (Luke 18:28)

• What shall we have therefore? Be it far from Thee, Lord. (Matthew 16:22)

• Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water. (Matthew 14:28)

• Lord, save me. (Matthew 14:30)

• The crowd press Thee, and how sayest Thou, Who touched me? (Mark 5:31; Luke 8:45)

• Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God. (Matthew 16:16; Mark 8:29; John 11:27)

• To whom can we go but unto Thee? Thou hast the words of eternal life. (John 6:68)

• Lord, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three tabernacles: one for Thee and one for Moses, and one for Elias.(Matthew 17:4; Mark 9:5; Luke 9:33)

• How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? (Matthew 18:21)

• Though all men deny Thee, yet will not I. (Matthew 26:35; Mark 14:31)

• Thou shalt never wash my feet. (John 13:8)

• Lord, not my feet only, but my hands and my head. (John 13:9)

• I know not the man. (Matthew 26:74)

• Lord, Thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love Thee. (John 21:15-17)

• Not so, Lord, for I have never eaten anything that is common and unclean. (Acts 10:14; 10:28; 11:8)

• Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us; what was I that I could withstand God? (Acts 11:17)

-This is just a sampling of some of Peter’s comments. His words mark him just as ours do. He would often hastily rush into sacred territory like a blind bull, full of arrogance.

-But on the other hand, despite these heady remarks that Peter made, his heart was always close to repentance. Therefore it would do all of us well when we look at men to make sure that we don’t judge them for a day but rather for the course of their life over time.

-I am thankful that the Lord does not take my own life and sum it up in single moments when I am at my worst or for that matter the times when I am at my best. Our worst times and our best times are not really good indicators of what we are on the whole.


Acts 12:16 KJV But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.

-If I am to scrutinize the life of Peter and make a determination as to who he really is, this text from Acts is a good indicator of what made the man. The Bible says that he “continued knocking.”

-There are some great lessons that we find from this passage of his life.

A. It Takes Courage to Keep Knocking

-This common act of Peter knocking proves to us a courage that was deep within his heart. The time is somewhere around 3-6 AM as the Bible notes that the angel set him free on the fourth watch.

-Somewhere in the distant east, the sun is starting to show over the horizon. The roosters are beginning to stir in the chicken coops. The people who are sleeping are in the range between a deep sleep and a restless movement of a man who is just settling in for a long nap.

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