It astounds me how clueless I am about my own weakness! I like to think of myself as a strong Christian. I suppose I am. But my strength comes from a reliance upon Christ not anything inside of me. I have live long enough in this skin as a Christian to know that left to my own devices I am a chief among sinners surely capable of almost anything.
We all like to think we are basically good with a little vein of evil running through. Honestly it’s just the opposite. Peter found this out in a big way.
On the night Jesus was betrayed he told his disciples “Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. ” John 13:33
Peter I am sure was anxious to prove he was not the betrayer Jesus had spoken of short moments before. So he spoke up. “But why can’t I come now, Lord? I’m ready to die for you.” John 13:37
Jesus must have sighed deeply wishing what Peter said was the truth. But prophetic insight had already shown him otherwise.
Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” John 13:39
Of course Jesus was right. He always is. Satan had desired to sift Peter as wheat and Peter’s pride in his own abilities was giving the fallen angel an open door. A few hours later Peter was denying Christ just as Jesus had foretold… just as Peter had thought impossible.
Peter’s denial gives us an insight into our own lives. We are as human as Peter and we don’t have the benefit of walking in the physical presence of Christ for three years. Without a constant reliance on the Spirit of God we too will deny the Christ we have vowed to serve.
So what hope do we have? Are we destined to constantly disown God? No! But the victory will never lie in our own feeble attempts to work up consistent righteousness in our own strength. The answer to a consistent walk is found in the blood of Christ shed on the cross! Jesus died to give us forgiveness and eternal life. But he also died to give us a holy life. The truth is the same blood that purchases our forgiveness and eternal life also changes our behavior.
Paul the apostle wrote“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ” I Cor. 6:11
The blood of Jesus sanctifies us ! ” Sanctifies” is just a churchy term for being made holy and righteous.
So how does the blood of Jesus sanctify us? The same way it saves us, by grace through faith. How did you access salvation? By praying. So it is with sanctification. Ask God for it and ask and ask and ask until it comes to pass.
Our hearts are born deceitfully wicked. But God takes what was and makes it into something new. We cannot remake ourselves. We can only let him in to remake us in the image of the son. Peter had to learn that the seeds of his salvation were not within him. So do we.
How successful have your attempts at holiness been? Have you noticed a difference since you started trusting Jesus?