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Christ’s Remedy for Christian Failure – Luke 22:31-34

27/03/2015

Christ’s Remedy for Christian Failure

Text: Luke 22:31-34, 54-62

We sin, and betray the Saviour every bit as much as Peter did, and the answer is not to attempt to depend on our own strength to stop sinning, it is to bring all of that sin to Jesus for forgiveness, so that we can be restored as Peter was, and then minister the fruit of that forgiveness to others. To see this principle set out for us, let’s look at Peter’s betrayal in the light of his earlier conversation with the Saviour. Note then Jesus’s…

1. Insight. 31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.

Jesus knows Peter:-

  1. He knows Peter’s enemy! James 4:7 our OT reading we seen the devil at his work, Job 1:6ff
  2. He knows Peter’s weakness! that your faith should not fail; εκλιπη The devil would attack in the most vulnerable area. Perhaps that’s the devil’s aim with Peter, and with us, too, to bring something between us and God, so that our faith in him begins to fade. Beware f his methods.
    1. He knows that Peter will betray him.
    2. He knows that Peter will repent.
    3. He knows that Peter will become a useful pastor.

In fact he knows Peter better than Peter knows himself. 33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Who would have thought that Peter would have betrayed the Lord so tragically? But Peter is what all men are, a sinner, prone to failure, a beggar with nothing of their own to offer God, a man, who without Jesus is nothing. He will fail. Of course he will, and Jesus knows exactly how and when that will happen. Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

2. Intercession. 32 But I have prayed for you.

This is what makes all the difference. This is the provision that has been made for each and every Christian believer, and it’s called the intercessory work of Christ.

  1. Why we need divine help to endure. Because the Devil DESIRES US as much as he desired Peter! In v31 the AV reads, ‘Satan hath desired to have YOU.’ ‘You’ is PLURAL. We are all under the devil’s attack – just as much a Peter was on that day, and we are all prone to failure – we do not have the strength, humanly speaking, to preserve ourselves from this attack, or to fend off the devil’s advances. Left to ourselves we would fail spectacularly!
  2. But there is a relief and a rescue! Jesus Intercedes for Peter. Christ intercedes for us continually. Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. We are sustained in our Christian walk, through Christ’s intercession for us. Notice that when Peter is warned about the devil’s attack the YOU is PLURAL. All believers will be attacked. But when he assures Peter of his prayers, he says, (AV) I have prayed for THEE. Singular! He prays for each of us, (for ME, for YOU) as individuals! Romans 8:34

DO YOU SEE THE COMFORT THAT WE HAVE IN THIS PASSAGE? We know that Jesus loves us, for He is praying for us! He strengthens us by his prayers, he identifies with us in our sorrows and troubles in his prayers. There are two further things we ought to note about this intercessory work of Christ:

  • His ministry of intercession on our behalf did not commence with his resurrection.   Jn 17:9ff
  • He is not in any way to be seen as wringing favours on our behalf from a reluctant God. Jn 17:22  His intercession is in complete harmony with the Father’s will to love us and give us all spiritual blessings as his children.

3. Instruction. and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Knowing that peter will fail, Jesus already has a plan in place to pick him up and bring him back to himself, through the convicting work of the Holy Spirit:-

  1. Repentance. Look at the depths of Peter’s sorrow. Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.
    1. He saw the Lord, standing there in that courtyard, and as the rooster crowed, Jesus turned his head toward Peter, and in that moment Peter was awakened to the depth of his betrayal. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.
    2. Conviction. Peter remembered the word of the Lord, It is always through the Word of God that conviction of sin begins and it is always thus that we are brought to the point were we:-
    3. Sorrow over sin. So Peter went out and wept bitterly. Do you see that all of this is God’s work, the Holy Spirit’s role in bringing us to Christ. And after repentance comes…
  2. Restoration. The AV Reads ‘when you are CONVERTED’ – but this is not a reference to ‘conversion’ in the sense we usually understand it. This is a ‘return’ – a return to God’s grace, seeking his forgiveness and pardon, and in consequence, a turning away from our sin.
  3. Reassurance of others. When he has gone through this time of failure, Peter will know that he has brothers and sisters who need his love and his help and encouragement, not his pride. The psalmist had exactly the same experience in Psalm 51:12

Christians, like Peter (plagued by mortal sin) do stumble and fall, more often than we care to acknowledge, but God already knows us so well, and he has already provided a remedy. When we fall and stumble, when we sin and let him down, Jesus is interceding for us before the throne of God, and through the Holy Spirit, he convicts us of our sin, hurts our conscience, and brings us thereby to repentance, and when we repent he restores us, and uses our experience to help us to strengthen others.

© Bob McEvoy

 

From → Luke

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