The Best of Saints Are Only Men
Then Peter began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, "I don't know the Man!" Matthew 26:74
Let us mark Peter's history, and store it up in our minds.
1. It teaches us plainly that the best of saints are only men, and men encompassed with many infirmities. A man may be converted to God, have faith, and hope, and love towards Christ, and yet be overtaken in a fault, and have dreadful falls.
2. It shows us the necessity of humility. So long as we are in the body we are in danger. The flesh is weak, and the devil is active. We must never think, "I cannot fall."
3. It points out to us the duty of charity towards erring saints. We must not set down men as graceless reprobates, because they occasionally stumble and err. We must remember Peter, and "restore them in the spirit of meekness." (Gal. 6:1)
J.C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Matthew" 1856