DCL 4.4 Instruction | Biblical Case Studies | Peter and King Saul

Video Presentation: John Hull, President / CEO, EQUIP

Biblical Case Study: Peter (Luke 22:54-62; Acts 2:1-4:22; 1 Peter 1: 13-16)

The Bible is full of stories of leaders who learned from their mistakes. Jacob, David, Peter and others failed God miserably, but eventually served Him effectively. Peter – the one who walked on water, correctly identified Jesus as the Christ, witnessed the transfiguration, saw countless miracles, and heard Jesus teach daily – denied his Lord three times on the night of His arrest. Perhaps no New Testament leader realized more deeply his own failure than Peter (Luke 22:62). Here are some observations about Peter:

1.  He was a key leader of the disciples.

2.  He followed Jesus at a distance.

3.  He fellowshipped with the wrong crowd.

4.  He showed his cowardice.

5.  He denied his Lord.

7.  He realised his failure.

8.  He wept bitterly.

9.  He continued to gather with the other disciples.

10. He ran to visit the empty tomb.

11. He obeyed the Master’s command to wait for the day of Pentecost.

12. He was filled with the Holy Spirit.

13. His cowardice was replaced with boldness.

14. He encouraged other believers to stand firm in the face of fiery trials.

15. He became a highly influential leader in the early Church.


Peter learned important lessons the hard way – from failing miserably. Based on lessons learned from experience, he gave clear warnings to other leaders (1 Peter 1: 13-16):

1.  Gird your minds. Focus your thinking on Christ.

2.  Guard your hearts. Stay close to Christ and stay clean.

3.  Guide your lifestyle. Imitate Christ in all of your conduct.




  • Do you think Peter’s past failures reminded him daily of his need to depend on the empowerment of the Holy Spirit?
  • How did lessons from past failures help Peter mature in his faith?


Biblical Case Study: King Saul (1 Samuel 13:1-22; 15:1-35)

Saul seemed to never take time for reflective thinking. He certainly did not learn from past experiences. When Saul realized that his troops were abandoning him, he decided to take matters into his own hands rather than follow the very clear counsel that the prophet Samuel had given to him. The prophet strongly rebuked him for his disobedience. But Saul did not learn from his failure. He committed the very same sin shortly thereafter. He lied to Samuel by arguing, “But I did obey the Lord.” Saul stubbornly refused to reflect and learn. The prophet reminded Saul that “stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” and declared that “the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.”



  • Both Saul and Peter experienced public failure. How did each respond after they were con­fronted about their failures?




When was the last time you stopped to think reflectively about a past experi­ence? Did you write down the lessons learned? How have you applied them in your life?



At the end of this month, set aside at least two hours to do a review of your activities for the month. As you look at individual items on your calendar, ask the following questions:

  • What went right?
  • What went wrong?
  • What did I learn?
  • What can I do differently next time?

DCL Meditation and Inspiration Media and Notes © Willow Creek Association.
DCL Instruction Media and Notes © EQUIP Million Leaders Mandate Volume 2