- That we all are capable of falling, of doing the one thing we most dread.
- That Peter's resolve and boast that he would never deny his Lord, proved to be his downfall (Matt. 26:33-34; Mark 14:29-30). Should we not resolve to follow our Lord and Savior fully? A thousand times yes! But resolve is but the constraint of love in the heart. It is the caboose in the train of faith and love, and never the engine (Ps. 119:32; 2 Cor. 5:14).
- Threats of hell may sober our mind, but they cannot bind our heart to Christ.
- Only one thing will enable us, will keep us from falling: Him whose love and grace has power to raise dead sinners to life and keep living sinners in life and faith in Christ! His power alone, not mine, will keep and bring and perfect me (Ps. 50:15; 57:2; 119:133; Isaiah 26:1-3,12; John 15:5; Rom. 5:10; 6:14; 7:24-25; 8:25-39; Philip. 1:6; 2:12-13; Heb. 7:25; 10:10-23; 13:20-21; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; Jude 1:24-25).
- The greatest and only motive put in the heart of a believing sinner, to hold to Christ in faith until the end, is love for Him. O! who can describe the bitterness of soul that would overwhelm me were I to lose my beloved Master's smile, to see His lovely face no more, to never hear of His sovereign mercy and grace for a sinner like me?!
- And nothing produces love in the heart, not true love, but this precious faith by which we see our all in Him (1 John 4:9-10,19; Luke 7:47).
Even in life, it is a mother's love that causes her to rush into a burning building or cast herself into a raging flood to save her child. Among men, what but love motivates one brother or sister to give their organs to save another sibling? What but love causes a man to give himself faithfully to his wife and for his children all the days of his life?
This is the question Jesus put to Peter after he was restored from his denial: "Peter, do you love me" (John 21:15)?! The first time Jesus asked him this question, Peter must have thought his Master intended to teach him some lesson. Therefore, the inquiry of love did not grieve him. But the third time Jesus asked him, Peter was grieved. Didn't his Master know all things? Could it be that Peter had after all been self-deluded? Was Jesus probing to uncover iniquity and insincerity in him? No. His probing was to draw forth the response of His own Spirit of grace in the heart of Peter, that law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, that sees Christ as all in my salvation, all in life, my hope and joy for eternity: "Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love Thee" (John 21:17)!
Let us therefore be driven by the prospect of falling from our beloved Master to look more earnestly, more intently, more ardently to Him and find ourselves -- though undeserving -- lost in love and wonder, adoration and worship; that He would love and give Himself to save me (Gal. 2:20)!? In so doing, we will see our Lord to be infinitely gracious, full of compassion, always giving Himself, fulfilling all, suffering and enduring, and doing all to save me (Rom. 8:34-39)! And let this sight of Him by faith endear Him to my soul in honest assessment of my utter sinfulness and weakness, so that I find Him to be my all in all!
Let us be done with introspection! Not what I am, or even what I will be, but what He is and has done, and what I am in Him! This is all my assurance and peace and joy! This produces love and puts me in the posture of adoring wonder (Eph. 3:16-21)!
Faith sees that He abides faithful. An honest heart owns that it is capable of denying its beloved Master. But faith and the love that springs from it by the Spirit of Christ in me, drives me to my Master's bosom. If it is I who have so sinned, then let the LORD accept a sacrifice, the offering of His Son in my nature, that I might be recovered from the error of my way (1 Sam. 26:19)! Lord, I have but one place to go (John 6:67-69). In body and soul, in life and in death, I belong to my faithful Savior (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23)! "Upon a life I did not live; upon a death I did not die, I stake my whole eternity" (Horatius Bonar)!