Summary: Every believer must be aware of how the enemy can strategize to make us compromise our spiritual walk with Christ. Steps on guarding us from this.
"Learning from the Failure of Peter"
John 18:15-18; 25,26
Thank you Rev. Bruce Goetche from the Union Church for this sermon outline. Bruce is a great sermonizer with very relevant sermon content.
Have you ever witnessed a spiritually strong Christian face spiritual defeat or at least you kind of looked up to them as being a model Christian?
We would tend to think or even say to a friend, “I would have expected that to happen to anyone else but to them.”
I first met John in a Christian high school, called Mt. Carmel in Kentucky.
We became very close friends.
When I graduated from High School, John was very instrumental in persuading me to attend Circleville Bible College.
Pastor Joe would tell you that he was probably one of the best piano players around. Could sing!!!
John was the best man at my wedding almost 40 years ago.
We actually found each other when we served in Vietnam. He came down to visit me on some R.R.
John fell from his relationship with Christ into deep sin and as a result of this tragically took his life.
I’ll never forget John. It was one of those times when you wondered how he could have fallen away from Christ.
Peter was one of those disciples who had a strong walk with Jesus for 3 ½ years and then had a spiritual downfall and defeat.
This happens just before the cross.
It says in Luke 22:54-55, 54 So they arrested him (JESUS) and led him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance. 55 The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there.
You see I think the first mistake Peter made was sitting around the fire with the enemy.
This was going to be the mistake that would lead to Peter’s denial and spiritual defeat.
It was going to cause him more heartache then he ever bargained for.
Have you ever had one of those “Kodak Moments” you know – where you said, “Boy, if I would have had my camera and filmed that it would have made Funniest Home Video’s.
It’s just one of those times when we catch that memorable moment that was worthy of capturing on film.
In every one of our memories there are little pictures or clips of detail which are indelibly etched into our minds.
We can see them. If we were to spend some time here or could - many of you would go into great detail about that instance.
You know - We can run occurrences of these incidents clearly and it is likely we will never forget them. They just made an impact of us.
If you are anything like me, I can still recall things that happened to me when I was young, as though they happened yesterday.
I think I was around 4 or 5 years old when I can remember playing in the dirt and making roads for a play car.
Well you know - we all have these frozen images in our minds and they are ready to thaw when the memory is called forth.
In the course of life many people have one or more of what Bill Hybels refers to as "Defining Moments."
These are events or circumstances by which your life will be remembered and defined.
For some people, it is the way they handled a crisis, or an accomplishment, or a particular event in their life
Let me give you some examples . . .what do you think of when I say these names?
* Washington - crossing the Delaware River
* Lincoln - Gettysburg Address
* Benedict Arnold - Act of treason
* Herbert Hoover - The Great Depression
* Neil Armstrong - walk on the moon
* Richard Nixon - Water gate/resignation
* Mike Tyson - biting Evander Holyfield
* Pete Rose - Illegal betting on baseball
The Bible records many such defining moments:
* Adam and Eve - their sin in the garden
* Abraham - His willingness to offer His Son Isaac
* Moses - The Dramatic Exodus from Egypt
* Judas - His act of Betrayal
* Thomas - His expression of Doubt
* Peter - His Thrice-Denial of Jesus
This morning we look at this last defining moment . . .the denial of the strong, confident leader of the Apostolic Band.
The account is really quite straightforward.
Listen to the way Matthew describes it: (26:69-74)
"Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. "You also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said. But he denied it before them all. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said. Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, "This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth." He denied it again, with an oath: "I don't know the man!" After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, "Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away." Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, "I don't know the man!" Immediately a rooster crowed. "