If we fall as Peter fell

(J. C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Luke" 1858)

"And Peter left the courtyard, crying bitterly."
    Luke 22:62

See how bitter sin is to believers, when they
have fallen into it and discovered their fall.

Peter found out by experience the truth of
Jeremiah's words, "It is an evil and a bitter
thing that you have forsaken the Lord."

He felt keenly the truth of Solomon's saying,
"The backslider in heart shall be filled with
his own ways."

No doubt he could have said with Job, "I
abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

Sorrow like this, let us always remember, is
an inseparable companion of true repentance.

The falls of a 'graceless professor' are falls from
which there is no rising again. But the fall of a
'true believer' always ends in . . .
  deep contrition,
  and amendment of life.

Let us take heed, before we leave this passage,
that we always make a right use of Peter's fall.
Let us never make it an excuse for sin. Let us
learn from his sad experience—to watch and
pray, lest we fall into temptation. If we do fall,
let us believe that there is hope for us as there
was for him.

But above all, let us remember, that if we fall
as Peter fell
, we must repent as Peter repented;
or else we shall never be saved.

"And Peter left the courtyard, crying bitterly."