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October 4 Today’s Reading: Matthew 26
Peter’s Great Fall
Looking back upon the great mercy, love, and grace of God our Savior in the magnificent chapter, how our hearts ought to erupt with praise and gratitude to God our Savior! I n tender mercy, our dear Redeemer established for us the perpetual ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, that by eating the unleavened bread and drinking the wine, His Church might be moved to remember Him and His great sacrifice week by week at the Lord’s Table. O sweet communion feast, a feast for our souls in the presence of our crucified Lord!
Blessed Savior, give me grace often to follow You into Gethsemane. Let me remember without ceasing Your agony of soul as You anticipated being made sin for me, that I might be made the righteousness of God in You! O blessed Lord, let me never forget the cost of my salvation, paid entirely by You!
Then we come to this record of Peter’s great fall. Peter was a true believer, a disciple of Christ, a righteous and godly man. But, in his hour of weakness, he fell into grievous sin, denying his Lord and Redeemer three times. Peter was not the infallible bishop of Rome, as the papists pretend. He was a fallible, sinful man, like the rest of us. (The only thing that wicked man, the pope, has in common with Peter is his denial of Christ.) Peter was tempted, and he fell; but he was not forsaken. The Lord graciously restored his erring child.
Like Peter, we are all fickle, frail, sinful pieces of human flesh. Saved? Yes. Redeemed? Yes. Justified? Yes. Sanctified? Yes. In Christ all these blessings are ours, and more. But none of us are without sin (1 John 1:8-10). Far from it! Sin is mixed with everything we do. There is no evil in the world we would not readily commit, were not the evil passions of our hearts restrained by the grace of our God (Matthew 15:19). Let us not be proud, presumptuous, and self-confident (1 Corinthians 4:7; 10:12). Realizing our own sinfulness, we should never be severe with our brethren (Galatians 6:1). All God’s saints in this world are sinners still.
Salvation is entirely by the grace of God. Surely, this record of Peter’s fall should convince all that salvation is not in any measure whatsoever dependent upon good works (Ephesians 2:8-9). From start to finish, salvation is by grace alone. Our standing and acceptance with God is not determined by what we do, but by what Christ has done for us.
Peter also sets before us an undeniable proof that those who are saved by the grace of God can never be lost (John 10:27-29). Those who are in Christ are secure in Him. We are kept and preserved by the grace and power of God. Nothing can ever sever one of the Lord’s own from Him. As our Lord prayed for Peter, He prays for us; and God will not charge any with sin for whom Christ undertakes to be an Advocate (1 John 2:1-2; Romans 4:8). None of us have reason to boast of our faithfulness. Who would dare? But we all have every reason to boast of the faithfulness of God our Savior, who will not let us perish!