Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12.
Peter’s fall was not instantaneous, but gradual. Self-confidence led him to the belief that he was saved, and step after step was taken in the downward path, until he could deny his Master. Never can we safely put confidence in self or feel, this side of heaven, that we are secure against temptation. Those who accept the Saviour, however sincere their conversion, should never be taught to say or to feel that they are saved. This is misleading. Every one should be taught to cherish hope and faith; but even when we give ourselves to Christ and know that He accepts us, we are not beyond the reach of temptation. . . . Only he who endures the trial will receive the crown of life (James 1:12).
Those who accept Christ, and in their first confidence say, I am saved, are in danger of trusting to themselves. . . . We are admonished, “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Our only safety is in constant distrust of self, and dependence on Christ.
There are many who profess Christ, but who never become mature Christians. They admit that man is fallen, that his faculties are weakened, that he is unfitted for moral achievement, but they say that Christ has borne all the burden, all the suffering, all the self-denial, and they are willing to let Him bear it. They say that there is nothing for them to do but to believe; but Christ said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). . . .
We are never to rest in a satisfied condition, and cease to make advancement, saying, “I am saved.” When this idea is entertained, the motives for watchfulness, for prayer, for earnest endeavor to press onward to higher attainments, cease to exist. No sanctified tongue will be found uttering these words till Christ shall come, and we enter in through the gates into the city of God. Then, with the utmost propriety, we may give glory to God and to the Lamb for eternal deliverance.
Maranatha p. 236
Other than Janie, Gary was the only other child in the neighborhood. He lived several blocks away, but was, from the age of five, allowed to come to my house to play. Over the years, we talked about what we would do when we grew up. He had it all figured out. We would graduate from high school together. Then, while I was a stay-at-home mom, he would go to college to become an architect. He even drew detailed plans for our house. For a lonely little girl, these plans seemed like a dream come true.
One day, when we were about nine, we were walking by the playground of the school across the street. Some girls Gary knew came walking toward us. When they got near us, Gary began talking with them. Soon, they asked him who I was. To my disappointment, he introduced me as his cousin. I felt like crying. I felt betrayed. After the girls left, Gary tried to rationalize his actions, but it did no good: I knew that he was ashamed of me. Our friendship cooled considerably after that.
How often we treat our Loving Saviour like Gary treated me. How often we pretend that we don’t even know Him. How many times we break His Great Heart of Love by acting ashamed of our Best Friend. How many times we attempt to rationalize away our denial just like Gary did. Jesus warns, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matt 10:32,33 Paul adds, “if we deny him, he also will deny us.” 2 Tim 2:12 Solemn thought with eternal consequences.
Often we are like Peter. We do not really know ourselves and think that we would never deny our Lord, but when the test comes, we do as did he. When Jesus told His disciples that they would deny Him, Peter stood up and proclaimed that although everyone else would deny Him, he never would. “But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.” Mark 14:29-31 Peter could not believe it, but when he was “backed into a corner,” he denied his Master. He denied the One Who was sacrificing His life for him. “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 That was the start of a new life for this outspoken disciple. From that moment he stood firm for his Saviour no matter what the consequences might be.
May we love our Dear Saviour so much, that we will never deny Him. May we invite Him to dwell with us and in us as we walk along life’s road. May we introduce Him to all we meet is my prayer.