On Peter’s Confession

J.C. Ryle writes concerning the Apostle Peter after he confess “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God:”

“We shall do well to copy that hearty zeal and affection which Peter here displayed. We are perhaps to much disposed to underrate this holy man, because of his occasional instability, and his thrice-repeated denial of his LORD. This is a mistake. With all his faults, Peter was a true-hearted, fervent, single-minded servant of Christ. With all his imperfections, he has given us a pattern that many Christians would do wisely to follow. Zeal like his may have it ebbs and flows, and sometimes lack steadiness of purpose. Zeal like his may be ill-directed, and sometimes make sad mistakes. But zeal like his is not to be despised. It awakens the sleeping. It stirs the sluggish. It provokes others to exertion. Anything is better than sluggishness, luke-warmness, and torpor, in the Church of Christ. Happy would have been for Christendom had there been more Christians like Peter and Martin Luther, and fewer like Erasmus.”

Think about those words dear readers. We often times blast blind zeal that we end up with no zeal at all. Let us encourage those who are encouraged and be encouraged by them. The deadwood does nothing at all for the Kingdom of God. Often times, they are worse than doing nothing in that they prevent others who have zeal. Their sin is not just sin of omission, but commission as well. Where the zealous for the LORD would act, the deadwood stop it with the smirk, the negative attitude, the hopeless outlook and lack of faith. May the Lord remove the deadwood from our churches, from our pews and replace it with those who are alive for the LORD.