Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. (Matt. 26:75). There has been much written and said of Peter's failure and sin when he denied that he knew the Lord Jesus Christ, but not much of Peter's conviction and repentance that was granted and given of the LORD. Peter sinned, but he did not lose his salvation. His faith was weak, but not dead. He sinned and failed miserably, but he was not forsaken (Heb. 13:5). God brought Peter through this trial and granted him strength, recovery and a constant heart of repentance before God (Acts 5:11; 11:18). Here are four things we learn from Peter's trial and repentance.
1). It was the working of God's sovereign providence. "Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew." God used a rooster to bring to Peter's mind what the Lord had said (Matt. 26:34). Often in the believers life God uses small insignificant things to bring us to the gospel of His glorious grace. Despise not the day of small things (Zech. 4:10; Rom. 11:36).
2). It was the working of the effectual word of God. "Peter remembered the word of Jesus." It is the preaching of the Word that God uses to quicken us Himself and to reveal Himself to us (2Cor. 4:5-7; James 1:18; 1Peter 1:23; 1Cor. 1:21). It is through the ministry of the Word, hearing and believing that we grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ (1Peter 2:2; 1Thes. 2:13).
3). It was the working of the powerful grace of God. "The Lord turned, and looked upon Peter." (Luke 22:61). The Lord looked upon Peter in pity, love and pardon and I am sure that Peter also looked upon the Lord. Their eyes were fasted upon one another and Peter's heart melted within him. The reason of any sinner being put in a constant state of repentance is the eternal look of God to His people in irresistible grace (Jer. 31:3)
4). It was the working of Jesus Christ as our blessed Mediator. "The Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:31). Peter's faith was sorely tried, but it was not utterly destroyed (1Peter 1:5). Christ stood as his ever-living Mediator (Heb.7:25)! Peter was made stronger and when he returned to the resurrected Lord of glory and told to go preach the gospel everywhere, he was made an instrument of help to many (Matt. 28:18-20). We know the rest of the story of Peter's life. He stood at Pentecost and preached the gospel to thousands and the Lord added to His church daily such as should be saved (Acts. 2: 41-47).
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