Peter's Actions?

Not open for further replies.


Puritan Board Senior
This has come up a few times while I'm reading Acts, so I thought I'd bring it up here for thoughts.

Peter lied and denied even knowing Jesus, three times. Jesus showed Him much grace and gently restored Him.

Shortly after, in Acts, Peter seems to be very blunt and even condemning on multiple occasions of people who sin (Ananias, Sapphira, Simon). I can't help but wonder why he doesn't extend the same grace and gentleness that Jesus showed him. Any thoughts? Thanks!
A lot of moving parts here:

Private actions vs Official Actions, definitions of "condemnation" and "gracelessness," etc.:

Church officers, acting in that capacity, are not free to suspend correction/punishment as is required of them. They are required to act according to the King's commandments. Ananias and Sapphira had not lied to men, but to -as it were- the Holy Ghost, and they were made examples, in this new era, that the people might fear. I don't think there is anything particularly graceless or ungentle of Peter's Words. He would not suffer sin upon them, so he asked them a simple question. It is not entirely untenable that they were true believers, yet Providence had an eye to their being a grave example to others. Peter didn't strike them dead, the LORD did. Peter but did His duty according to his capacity. As for Simon, I am not sure why you think he was condemned? If anything, He was wonderfully corrected by being told the truth, and it seems to have good effect, in that he asks Peter to pray for him. Who knows what became of it? We might also consider some distinctions in Peter's actions, His immediate regret, and subsequent sorrow for sin, with bitter weeping and lament (also procured by the LORD). Christ, the Procurer of Forgiveness, may forgive, withhold correction, to Whomsoever He will. The secret things belong to Him, but to His people, the things revealed.
Jesus was dealing with Peter as a repentant sinner. Peter was dealing with hardened sinners. There's probably more to be said, but I think that's the main difference.
"10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him.”"

First, it's not clear that he's condemning as much as strongly rebuking and warning Simon that what he's doing is dangerously wicked.

I also think there is a pre-meditated sense of deceitfulness on the part of Ananias and his wife. Not to excuse Peter, but he didn't go into the courtyard with the express purpose of denying Christ. For all his faults, Peter wore his sin on his sleeve and not hypocritically. It's not to say that our sins are less severe when we are quick to repent, but that a hardened hypocrisy is much more condemnatory.

Finally, I think the outpouring of the spirit is an important factor. Jesus not only predicts Peter's denial but points out that things would be much worse if Satan had his way with Peter and Christ had not interceded. Peter (or any other Apostle's) denial after Pentecost would have been much more aggravating.
Not open for further replies.