Deliberate Transgressions a Biblical Reality: Part 3 of 3 Peter’s Sin, Repentance and Restoration

Posted 6/29/19

The doing of, as set forth in our title, is found repeatedly throughout the Old and New Testaments please note each word and its meaning.“Deliberate” an “adjective, which depicts and action, …

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Deliberate Transgressions a Biblical Reality: Part 3 of 3 Peter’s Sin, Repentance and Restoration

Posted

The doing of, as set forth in our title, is found repeatedly throughout the Old and New Testaments please note each word and its meaning.

“Deliberate” an “adjective, which depicts and action, done consciously and intentionally” by using one's will. 

“Transgressions”, is “a plural noun, defined as an act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct; an offense”. Sin is a synonym, an immoral act against divine law.  

“Biblical”, is an “adjective, relating to or contained in the Bible”.

“Reality”, is “the state of being real”?

As a preface, I’d like to briefly mention, Matthew’s account of Peter’s denial of Jesus, found in Matt. 26:69-74 NASB,”Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean”. But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” When he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and *said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the man.” A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.” Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed.” “Peter cursed Jesus as a way of firmly disassociating himself” Douglas Hare R.A. Matthew Louisville, John Knox Press 1993, pg. 311. Cf. 1 Cor.12:3. 

Peter’s actions were unwarranted, in Matthew 10:1, “Jesus called unto Him his twelve disciples”, the purpose, to equip and send them out, on what is referred to as the limited commission, “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”, “He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease”. Of significance here, is verses 32-33, where Jesus with clarity and simplicity said, “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” A short time later in Matthew 16:16, Peter confessed, that “You are the Christ, the Son of God.” 

In knowing Jesus, and being in His presents for over three years, yet, Peter, whose name appeared first on the list of the twelve apostles in Matthew 10:2, denied the Lord, three times, in spite of earlier saying, that he wouldn’t Matthew 26:35. As overwhelming as this event was, as the rooster crowed verse 74, in all fairness to Peter, I must include here Matt. 26:75 NASB, “And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly”. Unlike Judas, Peter demonstrated genuine repentance; this becomes evident on the occasion of John 21; only seven disciples of the twelve were present.  

In John 21:15-19, after breakfast, Jesus turned his attention, focusing on Simon Peter, and unassumingly posed to him three questions, in verse 15, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? “Yes, Feed My Lambs”.  Secondly, in verse 16, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” “Yes, Feed My Sheep”. Thirdly, in verse 17,”He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas,”lovest thou me?” And he said unto Him, Lord thou knowest all things: thou knoweth that I love thee, Jesus saith unto him, Feed My Sheep.” “The threefold challenge to Peter may well have been designed to parallel his threefold denial. The apostle is thereby given the opportunity by Jesus to confess his love for him three times. The qualifications for doing the work which the Lord is here describing are revealed through the questions which Jesus asks of Peter. Simon, are you devoted to Me? The word that Jesus chose at first to use agapao, is a far more profound and demanding than the term which Peter chose to answer, phileo, which carries with it the idea of brotherhood, implying fondness or fellowship, human liking or affection. It is the same root as the word used in the name Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love?”Truth Commentaries John, Daniel H. King pgs.474-475.

“The restoration process is now over; the impetuous disciple has faced up to the sobering realization that he was far from wise in his earlier words and actions and that his disposition of over-confidence must henceforth be restrained. The Lord had lovingly led him to see that he cannot longer rely on his natural strength and that his motivation must come from his devotion and dedication to the Lord whose cause he was thereforth to serve with valor, courage and unremitting toil” Commentary on the Gospel According to John, Guy N. Woods, pgs.443-444. 

From Luke 24, the apostles receive their final instructions from Jesus, before his ascension in verse 51. The key element of instruction is verse 49, “And, behold, I sent the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” 

Luke the writer of both, The Gospel According to Luke and Acts, continued his narrative in Acts 1, where we find the apostles and others in an upper room in Jerusalem, waiting and while there, in verse 15, Peter stands and speaks regarding the vacancy left by Judas, in his stead, Matthias is selected and numbered with the eleven, this was Peter’s first work after his restoration. In Acts 2:1, “the day of Pentecost was fully come”, ten days after the ascension of Jesus, with it, the coming of Holy Spirit verse 2, which Jesus promised to the apostles in John 16:17, Peter preached the first gospel sermon in the name of the resurrected Lord, in verse 38 told the sinners on that day to repent and be baptized every one of you for the remission of sins.

The next mention of Peter is in Acts 3:1, where he and John are together at the temple, where the lame man was healed, and where he preaches his second sermon beginning in verse 12. Both Peter and John continue their work of preaching, in Acts 4:2 Peter preached that, “through Jesus the resurrection from the dead” this stirred the Sadducees, in verse 7-12, they were questioned regarding where their authority to heal the lame man came from, in verse 10, Peter tells them that “by the name of Jesus Christ-even by him doth this man stand here before you whole”. In Acts 5 we find Peter, confronting Ananias and Sapphira his wife for lying. Later in the chapter, Peter and other apostles were imprisoned due to jealousy because of the signs and wonders which they performed, but they were released. In Acts 8:1, the church at Jerusalem, was greatly persecuted and scattered, Phillip went down to Samaria and preached Christ, when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God both Peter and John were sent there, and through the laying on of their hands the Holy Spirit was given. Simon, a previous sorcerer, now a new convert, saw this and offered them money, which he too could have this power, for which he was chastised and called upon to repent. Peter is found in Acts 9, 10 and 11, regarding the conversion of Cornelius, the first Gentile convert and his household. In Acts 12, we find Peter back in prison; the church again vexed by Herod the king. Peter was miraculously released, and later in verse 21, “Herod was arrayed in royal apparel”, in verse 23, “the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory, And he was eaten by worms.”In Acts 15:7, Peter rehearses before the church in Jerusalem, “that God had made choice that the Gentiles by his mouth should hear the word of the gospel and believe.” In Gal. 2:12, 14, we find Peter showing partiality to the Jews, and was rebuked by Paul for doing so, no doubt Peter received the rebuke and corrected the matter, because later he was guided by the Holy Spirit to write the epistles of First and Second Peter, please take the time to read them, you’ll be glad that you did. 

Peter’s death, “according to the early writers, he suffered at or about the same time with Paul, and in the Neronian persecution, A.D. 67, 68. All agree that he was crucified. Origen says that Peter felt himself to be unworthy to be put to death in the same manner as his Master” Smith’s Bible Dictionary, Pg. 504 

Like Peter, do we remember the words of Jesus as in John 8:24; Lk. 13:3; Matt, 10:32; Mark 16:16 and John 14:15, which simples says, “If you love Me, you’ll keep my commandments. In refusing to heed the words spoken by Jesus, in humble obedience, we also in reality have denied the Lord, having “put Him to an open shame” Hebrews 6:6.  


Don Craven is a member of the McArthur Heights Church of Christ and can be reached at doncraven@juno.com.