“Deliberate Transgressions a Biblical Reality” Part 2 of 3


For those who may have missed Part 1, for the time being, it remains available under the opinion section on the Daily Mountain Eagle web-page at http://mountaineagle.com/stories/deliberate-transgressions-a-biblical-reality-part-1-of-2,20384

As with Part 1, from a Biblical perspective, the practice set forth in our title, is found repeatedly throughout both the Old and New Testaments, may we begin by defining the words of our title.

First, is the word “deliberate” an “adjective, which depicts and action, done consciously and intentionally”. Among the synonyms, is the word volitional, defined as relating to the use of one's will? This is from the noun, volition, which means the faculty or power of using one's will. 

Secondly, is the word “transgressions”, “a plural noun, defined as an act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct; an offense”. In the list of synonyms, was the word sin, defined as an immoral act considered being a transgression against divine law, this usage will be set forth in this article.  

Thirdly, is the word “biblical”, “adjective, relating to or contained in the Bible”.

Fourthly, is the word “reality”, “the quality or state of being real”?

At the close of our previous treatise, I mentioned that in this article, the blameworthy would be taken from the New Testament; Simon Peter, has been selected as the example, guilty of a deliberate transgression, in his deplorable denial of Jesus Christ, unlike our previous article, I’m reserving my comments as an epilogue, essential to purpose, is some background information regarding Peter, please note carefully his association with the Jesus from their first meeting, until the time of his denial. 

His first appearance in the Gospel of Matthew, is with his brother Andrew, as they’re casting a net into the sea of Galilee Matthew 4:18, which is called Tiberius, John 6:1; 21:1, Jesus approached them, and in verse 19, “And He saith unto them, Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men”, at the words of Jesus in verse 20, “And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. The quick reaction of Simon and Andrew to the request made by Jesus, might at first glance, appear rather unusual, but their response wasn’t to a stranger, because they’d met and spent time with Jesus previously, the account of this is found in John 1:35-42. From verse 35, standing with John were two of his disciples, in verse 36, John as he looked and in seeing Jesus, declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God, his first declaration of this was back in verse 29, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” in verse 37, John’s two disciples, in seeing and hearing the words of John, left him to follow Jesus. From verse 40, we learn that one of the two was Andrew the brother of Simon, who in verse 41, hastened to find his brother, and “saith unto him. We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ”. In verse 42, “And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, He said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shall be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A Stone”. The other of John’s disciples, that stood with Andrew, was “the Beloved Disciple (the apostle John), who records this incident with happy memories”. Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol. V, A.T. Robertson, pg.25.

Back in Matt. 4:21-22, as Jesus continued His walk by the sea, accompanied by Andrew and Cephas, “And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. And they immediately left the ship and followed Him. Thus, being their first encounter with Jesus, seeing both Andrew and Cephas, in the Lord’s company prompted them to do the same.

From this point on, for the next 3-1/2 years, Jesus will be involved in His personal ministry, in Matt. 4:18, Simon is called Peter, during this period, he’ll be in the forefront, actively involved in some very significant events, in Matt. 8:14, present when Jesus healed his mother in law, in Matt. 10:2, his name appears first on the list of the 12 apostles, in Matt. 14:28-31, attempted walk on water, but with fear and weakness of faith, he began sink, in Matt. 16:13-16, Jesus ask, “Who do men say that I the Son of man am? Simon Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God”, in verse 19-20, upon this confession Jesus would build His church and Peter was given the keys of the kingdom, used by him in Acts 2, in Matt. 17:1-5 Peter along with James and John, were present on the mount of transfiguration, he made a suggestion and a voice from heaven corrected him, which was of monumental importance, regarding the authority of Jesus, in Matt. 18:21, he ask, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times..until seventy times seven”. In chapter 26, Peter is named 8 times, in verses 17-35, the Passover is prepared, eaten, Jesus confronts his betrayer, a memorial is instituted (the Lord’s Supper), and Jesus reveals to His apostles, that they would be offended because of Him, in verses 33-35, Peter spoke up by saying, “yet I will never be offended, Jesus answered, “this very night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice, Peter’s reply, “Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee, Likewise also said all the disciples. In verses 36-46, from the disciples, Jesus took Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee, “and began to be sorrowful and very heavy, he instructed them to tarry and watch, while He went a short distance away to pray, he returned to them three times and they were asleep, in verses 47-56, the arrest of Jesus takes place, in verse 51; John 18:10, Peter struck, Malchus a servant of the high priest, and smote off his right ear. Jesus rebuked Peter for his action. 

In Matt. 26:57-27:10, on Friday is found the trials by the Jews, couched in verses 69-75 is Peter’s Denial. The Gospel of Matthew, Kenneth L. Chumbley pages 456-484.The other three gospels also record Peter’s three denials of Jesus Christ, Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-62 and John 18:15-27. 

Of the four recording accounts listed above, please note from the NASB, Matt. 26:69-74,”Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean”. But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” When he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and *said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the man.” A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.” The he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed.” “Peter cursed Jesus as a way of firmly disassociating himself” Douglas Hare R.A. Matthew Louisville, John Knox Press 1993, pg. 311. Cf. 1 Cor.12:3. 

One of the passages noted earlier was Matt.10:2 which showed Simon Peter named  first among the 12 disciples of Jesus, the NASB, has this chapter broken down into four divisions, verses 1-15,The Twelve Disciples Instructions for Service, verses 16-23, A Hard Road before Them, verses 24-39, The Meaning of Discipleship, verse 33, is of special interest in this discussion, “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven”, in verses 40-42, The Reward of Service.      

But in all fairness to Peter, I must include Matt. 26:75, “And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly”. Unlike Judas, Peter demonstrated genuine repentance, in our next article, Part 3; Peter’s full restoration and work in the kingdom of Christ will be discussed.      

Don Craven is a member of the McArthur Heights Church of Christ, and can be reached at doncraven@juno.com.