The Anatomy of a Backslider
A. OUR TEXT SPEAKS OF THE DANGER OF BACKSLIDING.
B. PETER HAD A FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE OF BACKSLIDING.
C. BACKSLIDING IS A GRADUAL PROCESS.
D. PETER SERVES AS AN EXAMPLE NOT TO FOLLOW.
A. PRIDE( Mark 14:27-31 ).
1. Peter's boast, the first step in backsliding( Prov. 16:18 ).
2. The first step in entering the kingdom is humility( Mat.18:3-4 ).
3. So if we lose "humility", we take that first step backward
4. Paul's advice to the Corinthians is very apropos in this regard( 1 Cor. 10:12 ).
B. LAZINESS, A LACK OF WATCHFULNESS( Mark 14:32-42 ).
1. Told to keep watch, Peter kept falling asleep
2. The same thing can happen to us!( 1 Thess. 5:1-11 ).
a. Without diligence, we too can be found unprepared( Luke 21:34-36 ).
b. Most often it is gradual drifting that catches us off guard( Heb. 2:1-3 ).
c. When we are proud we become lazy, and that leads to the next step.
C. COWARDICE( Mark 14:54 ).
1. Note that it says "...Peter followed Him at a distance"
2. Without diligent preparation, we too can become guilty of cowardice!
a. Ashamed to be seen carrying a Bible or giving thanks.
b. Ashamed to be seen with other Christians,to let others know that we are Christians!
3. What Jesus thinks of "cowardice"( Mark 8:38; Rev. 21:8 ).
4. It is natural for to fall into the next step of backsliding.
D. WORLDLINESS( Mark 14:54 ).
1. We now find Peter sitting with the servants of the High Priest and warming himself by the fire.
2. But one cannot be "comforted by the fire" of the world, and not be "burned"!
a. Friendship with the world is what?( James 4:4 ).
b. ( 1 Cor. 15:33; Prov. 6:27-28).
3. It is only a short time before we take the next and final step of backsliding.
E. DENIAL( Mark 14:66-71 ).
1. Away from Christ, at comfort with those in the world, Peter finds himself denying His
Lord and Savior!
2. In so doing, he has put himself in grave danger( Matt. 10:32-33 ).
3. Not necessarily in "words", we can deny Him in "action".
F. WITH DENIAL OUR BACKSLIDING IS COMPLETE.
1. Peter realized his sin when the Lord turned and looked( Luke 22:60-62 ).
2. Unlike Judas, Peter had "godly sorrow"( 2 Cor. 7:10-11 ).
A. TO GUARD AGAINST "PRIDE"( 1 Pet. 5:5-6 ).
B. TO WARD AGAINST "LAZINESS".
1. Peter commands "diligence"( 1 Pet. 5:8-9 ).
2. Note especially his words in his second epistle( 2 Pet. 1:5,10; 3:14 ).
C. INSTEAD OF "COWARDICE".
1. Peter charges us to "glorify God"( 1 Pet. 4:16; Rev. 21:8 ).
2. Think not of what it means to you, but what it means to God!
D. INSTEAD OF "WORLDLINESS"( 1 Pet. 2:11-12 ).
E. INSTEAD OF "DENIAL".
1. Peter exhorts us to ever be ready to "give a defense"( 1 Pet. 3:15 ).
2. By careful preparation, we will "defend" Christ, and not "deny" Christ!
A. WE NEED TO LEARN FROM PETER'S GOOD EXAMPLE,
B. AND HIS BAD!( 2 Pet. 3:17-18 ).