Christ's Object Lessons
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 13: Two Worshipers
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Then he received his commission. A work broader and
more delicate than had heretofore been his was appointed
him. Christ bade him feed the sheep and the lambs. In
thus committing to his stewardship the souls for whom the
Saviour had laid down his own life, Christ gave to Peter
the strongest proof of confidence in his restoration. The
once restless, boastful, self-confident disciple had become
subdued and contrite. Henceforth he followed his Lord in
self-denial and self-sacrifice. He was a partaker of Christ's
sufferings; and when Christ shall sit upon the throne of
His glory, Peter will be a partaker in His glory.
The evil that led to Peter's fall and that shut out the
Pharisee from communion with God is proving the ruin of
thousands today. There is nothing so offensive to God or
so dangerous to the human soul as pride and self-sufficiency.
Of all sins it is the most hopeless, the most
incurable. [p. 155]
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. God's word
declares, "Many shall be purified, and made white, and
tried." Dan. 12:10. 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.
They lose sight of their own weakness and their constant
need of divine strength. They are unprepared for Satan's
devices, and under temptation many, like Peter, fall into the
very depths of sin. We are admonished, "Let him that
thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall." 1 Cor. 10:12.
Our only safety is in constant distrust of self, and dependence
It was necessary for Peter to learn his own defects of
character, and his need of the power and grace of Christ.
The Lord could not save him from trial, but He could
have saved him from defeat. Had Peter been willing to
receive Christ's warning, he would have been watching unto
prayer. He would have walked with fear and trembling
lest his feet should stumble. And he would have received
divine help so that Satan could not have gained the victory.
It was through self-sufficiency that Peter fell; and it
was through repentance and humiliation that his feet were
again established. In the record of his experience every
repenting sinner may find encouragement. Though Peter [p. 156] had grievously sinned, he was not forsaken. The words
of Christ were written upon his soul, "I have prayed for
thee, that thy faith fail not." Luke 22:32. In his bitter
agony of remorse, this prayer, and the memory of Christ's
look of love and pity, gave him hope. Christ after His
resurrection remembered Peter, and gave the angel the
message for the women, "Go your way, tell His disciples
and Peter that He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall
ye see Him." Mark 16:7. Peter's repentance was accepted
by the sin-pardoning Saviour.
And the same compassion that reached out to rescue
Peter is extended to every soul who has fallen under
temptation. It is Satan's special device to lead man into
sin, and then leave him, helpless and trembling, fearing to
seek for pardon. But why should we fear, when God has
said, "Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make
peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me?" Isa.
27:5. Every provision has been made for our infirmities,
every encouragement offered us to come to Christ.
Christ offered up His broken body to purchase back
God's heritage, to give man another trial. "Wherefore He
is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto
God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession
for them." Heb. 7:25. By His spotless life, His obedience,
His death on the cross of Calvary, Christ interceded for
the lost race. And now, not as a mere petitioner does the
Captain of our salvation intercede for us, but as a
Conqueror claiming His victory. His offering is complete, and
as our Intercessor He executes His self-appointed work,
holding before God the censer containing His own spotless
merits and the prayers, confessions, and thanksgiving of
His people. Perfumed with the fragrance of His righteousness,
these ascend to God as a sweet savor. The offering
is wholly acceptable, and pardon covers all transgression. [p. 157]
Christ has pledged Himself to be our substitute and
surety, and He neglects no one. He who could not see
human beings exposed to eternal ruin without pouring out
His soul unto death in their behalf, will look with pity and
compassion upon every soul who realizes that he cannot
He will look upon no trembling suppliant without raising
him up. He who through His own atonement provided
for man an infinite fund of moral power, will not fail to
employ this power in our behalf. We may take our sins
and sorrows to His feet; for He loves us. His every look
and word invites our confidence. He will shape and mold
our characters according to His own will.
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