The Humility of Peter

You stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.
ROMANS 11:20
The Humility of Peter
This [Peter's temptation to deny Christ] was also necessary for Peter in his own person, so that he might be humbled. For Peter was eventually to be filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Then it would have been impossible for him not to have become arrogant and presumptuous and finally to have departed with the devil into the pit of hell. This is why God permits him to fall, so that he might remain humble and have to take off his hat not only before the Virgin Mary but also before you and me. Thus, no matter how great a sinner you may be, look at Peter. You will not find any sin to equal his, except for obduracy and presumption, which is a sin unto death (1 John 5:16) . . .. Thus Peter's example should be taken to heart, for it is helpful and salutary to sinners and to saints alike: to sinners, that they may not despair; to saints, that they may not become presumptuous and proud.

From Sermons on the Gospel of John, Chapters 17-20 (Luther's Works 69:187-88)
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