Beyond the Broadcast: When God Untied the Death Ropes

“Christ breaks the dominion. He stops the chain. He cuts the rope. He sets you free.” —Charles R. Swindoll

Bold, rough around the edges, and earnest to a fault. Peter spent his days reacting: to the fish that fought to stay in the sea, to his brother Andrew who wanted to introduce him to an uncommon leader, and to his environment fraught with oppression. Then Peter answered Jesus’ call and his world—and destiny—changed forever.

Petros, the name Jesus gave to Peter in Matthew 16:18 is defined as “rock,” taken from the Greek petra—the bedrock, stone, or foundation. Upon the rock of truth—that Jesus is Messiah, Son of the living God, as properly observed by Simon—Jesus promised to build His church.

Yet Peter would demonstrate that the life of a disciple isn’t just one of immutable faith but also of paralyzing sin—the word translated “petrified” also comes from the root petra. Many of us know what it’s like to be chained to sinful patterns to the point of immobilization. This is what death ropes do. They bind. They restrict. They hold hostage.

This seesaw struggle isn’t an indication of salvation. Peter was chosen by Jesus. He has walked, talked, fished, and dined with Jesus and still rebuked, doubted, and denied the Saviour. In the same way, we can be chosen by God yet divided in being ruled by our sin or by our Saviour.

Peter’s transformation from a rash fisherman in the Gospels to a bold witness for Christ in the book of Acts boils down to one Person—the Holy Spirit. This truth should not only take root in your mind but capture your heart and soul as well: the Power that worked in Peter is the Power working in us...when we submit ourselves to Him.

Father, we are free because of Your compassion. We are free because of Your Son’s loving sacrificial work on the cross. We are free because we accept His rescue as the Spirit guides us to faith. Help us to live, move, and have our being in Jesus and outside of the death ropes that no longer hold us captive. Amen.

“When God Untied the Death Ropes” is from Chuck Swindoll’s series A Living Hope. You can stream this message online anytime at