Peter’s faith journey gives all believers hope, Smith shares

Peter’s faith journey gives all believers hope, Smith shares

By Jennifer Davis Rash
The Alabama Baptist

In his well-known and well-loved sing-song style of wrapping up a sermon, Robert Smith did not disappoint as he concluded the afternoon session of the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors Conference on June 11.

Smith, the Charles T. Carter Baptist Chair of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in Birmingham, brought those in attendance to their feet following a detailed charting of Peter’s faith journey.

Using a variety of Scripture references from Peter, Romans, Acts, John, Samuel, Psalms and other books, Smith dissected each of Peter’s moments with the Lord and connected dots between the Old Testament, New Testament and believers of today.

“I’m grateful today that this same Peter who failed, this same Peter that disappointed the Lord knew that God is able to take your benediction and write an invocation,” he said. “I’m grateful that God is able to take your epilogue and make a prologue … that God can lift you from the quagmire of defeat and bring you to a place where you can proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The Son of God has finished his salvific work but His refining is ongoing, Smith said. “God sifts us that we might serve Him with integrity and effectiveness.”

And throughout all a believer endures in life, the Son of God is praying and the Holy Spirit intercedes, Smith said, quoting Romans 8:26–27.

“The Son prays to the Father for you, and the Spirit prays to the Father for you,” Smith said. “He doesn’t pray that we will not fall but that our faith may not fail.

“Whatever He does for us He does for His namesake.”

An overconfident Peter wandered from the direction of the Lord, Smith explained. “The problem with Peter is the problem of us — Peter loved sin more than he loved the Savior.”

But “God is in the business of reminding us of where we are and where He wants to take us,” Smith said, noting Peter’s reminder came in the form of a rooster’s crow and the penetrating eyes of Jesus (Luke 22:61). “One may never know the significance of a moment until that moment becomes a memory. … All of us should have some memories now and then to show (us) where (we) could have been had it not been for the Lord on (our) side.”