THE TRUTH ABOUT PETER'S LIE
Christian ministries are reporting mass revivals where multitudes of
people are becoming "born-again" yet a news survey shows that ninety-one
percent of U. S. citizens say they lie routinely.*
All of these "born again" liars have been deceived by false teachers who
say that God will give eternal life to those who simply "believe". But
the apostle John tells of the horrible penalty that Christian liars can
expect on judgement day:
"...All liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire
and brimstone: which is the second death." Rev 21:8
Since lying lips are an abomination to the Lord (Prov 12:22), we need to
clarify what it means to tell a lie. "Lying is the willful perversion
of truth; any means whereby a false impression is conveyed to the mind
of another"... WHAT EVER IS NOT TRUE IS FALSE...and "Little white lies"
are sin just as stealing is sin.
The scriptures teach that all men are liars; however, no one who is born
again will ever tell intentional lies. Lying is one of the works of the
devil that Jesus came to destroy. Let's consider these words of the
"He that committeth sin is of the devil; ...For this purpose the Son of
God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
WHOSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD DOTH NOT COMMIT SIN." l John 3:8-9.
When people are told that they must stop committing willful sin
completely and forever to qualify for eternal life, they will often ask
"What about Peter's lie to the servant girl the night that Jesus was
betrayed? He had been a disciple of Jesus for over three years and then
denied even knowing Jesus three times."
The answer to this question becomes clear when we come to understand
that at the time Peter told his lies, his faith was still in the embryo
stage. He was not yet born again nor had he received the Holy Spirit.
In the following verse, we see that not one of the apostles received the
Holy Spirit until after Jesus was resurrected:
"...He showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the
disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 'Then said Jesus to them
again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I
you.' And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto
them, 'RECEIVE YE THE HOLY GHOST.'"
Let me repeat:
PETER DID NOT HAVE THE
HOLY SPIRIT WHEN HE LIED,
NOR WAS HE BORN AGAIN!
Many teachers today are saying that a person receives the Holy Spirit
and is born of God the moment he believes in Christ; however, the Bible
teaches that a believer does not receive the "Holy Spirit" the moment he
believes. In Acts, chapter 8, we see the conversion of Simon the
sorcerer in Samaria. Verse 13 says:
"Even Simon himself believed and after being baptized he continued with
Philip. "Simon "believed" and yet verse 14 says:
"Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the
word of God, they sent down Peter and John, who came down and prayed for
them that they MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT; FOR IT HAD NOT
YET FALLEN ON ANY OF THEM, but they had only been baptized in the
name of the Lord Jesus."
Simon and all the believers in Samaria had "believed" and had even been
baptized in the name of Jesus, but they had not received the Holy
The teachers who say that a person is "born again" when he receives the
Holy Spirit must admit that these Samarian Christians had not been "born
of God" the moment they first believed.
A careful study of Peter's life will help us see the steps of growth
that lead to the perfection of character that God requires for eternal
life. Peter was called to repent, he was a follower of Jesus, and he
believed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. More
importantly, Peter wanted to be faithful to Jesus even at the cost of
his own life; yet in spite of all his good intentions, Peter sinned by lying.
After the cock crowed, Peter was a most miserable man because he was
awakened to the reality of his own corrupt nature. He knew that God
required obedience to The Ten Commandments and yet now he must face the
fact that in his own strength he had no hope of meeting God's demands
because of the wickedness and deceit of his own heart.
Each believer who goes on to receive eternal life must experience the
same mortification of the old self-life as Peter did after he denied
Jesus. We must all come to this state of desperation before we will cry
out for deliverance from the controlling power our sin nature has over
us in this "body of death." When we admit our helplessness, then and
only then, will we receive power over sin through Jesus Christ our risen
Lord and the in- dwelling Holy Spirit. (See Rom 7:25.)
In Romans 7:24, Paul describes how he felt before he received his
deliverance from the power of sin, when he cried out: "O wretched man
that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"
In the next sentence, Paul tells us who will deliver us from our slavery
"I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Friends, We will never see ourselves as wretched people unless we
understand that we must stop willful disobedience to the Ten
Commandments completely and forever to qualify for eternal life. Only
then will we see that all our good intentions and self-will are no match
for the power of sin. At that point, we realize that if Jesus doesn't
make it possible for us to stop committing sin - WE ARE DOOMED!
NO ONE COMMITTING SIN HAS ANY HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE.
It is just this simple, we are either a child of God or a child of the
devil. We are either committed to obey God or we are committed to obey
the devil. If we are still telling intentional lies, we are a child of
the devil -- and we can be sure that no child of the devil will spend
eternity with God!
* Gannett News Service reports the survey results are in "The Day
America Told the Truth." (Prentice Hall)