Clear views of Christ's priestly office and intercession
(J.C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Luke" 1858)
"But I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail." Luke 22:32
We see in this verse—one great secret of a believer's perseverance in the faith.
It was owing to Christ's intercession—that Peter did not entirely fall away.
The continued existence of grace in a believer's heart, is a great standing miracle. His enemies are so mighty—and his strength is so small; the world is so full of snares—and his heart is so weak; that it seems at first sight impossible for him to reach Heaven.
The passage before us explains his safety. He has a mighty Friend at the right hand of God, who ever lives to make intercession for him. There is a watchful Advocate, who is daily pleading for him—seeing all his daily necessities, and obtaining daily supplies of mercy and grace for his soul. His grace never altogether dies—because Christ always lives to intercede for him! (Hebrews 7:25)
If we are true Christians, we shall find it essential to our comfort in religion—to have clear views of Christ's priestly office and intercession. Christ lives—and therefore our faith shall not fail. Let us beware of regarding Jesus only as one who died for us. Let us never forget that He is alive for evermore. Paul bids us to especially remember that He is risen again, and is at the right hand of God, and also makes intercession for us. Romans 8:34
The work that He does for His people, is not yet over. He is still appearing in the presence of God for them, and doing for their souls, what He did for Peter. His present life for them—is just as important as His death on the cross eighteen hundred years ago! Christ lives—and therefore true Christians "shall live also."