Naked and Empty-Handed Before God
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: Life is hard. Few, if any, would argue that point. Pain and disappointment dominate the emotional landscape of our lives. But … there are also times when everything seems to be clicking. When all is well with the world. When the morning brings with it a new strength and vigor. When the kids are getting along. And the boss is satisfied with out efforts. When every decision seems to be the right one.
How does the gospel speak in times like those?
Questions for Discussions & Discovery
1. How does Lot become a prisoner of war (vv. 11-12)? What does his situation say about the importance of our relationships and allegiances (see also Prov. 13:20-21)?
2. What does Abram’s response to the King of Sodom reveal about his understanding of grace and the inclination of the human heart?
3. The great evangelist, George Whitefield, once wrote: “Like Adam and Eve … the poor sinner, when awakened, flies to his duties and to his performances, to hide himself from God, and goes to patch up a righteousness of his own.” What do you think he meant?
4. What does it mean to “repent of our righteousness”?
5. Are there other “functional saviors” in your life? What are they and how will you address them?
1. Chedarlaomer (Elam) Bera (Sodom)
Arioch (Ellasar) Shinab (Admah)
Tidal (Goiim) Shemeber (Zeboiim)
2. 01. We will necessarily be affected—positively or negatively—by the company we keep.
3. “So it will most commonly happen when a man of God, for worldly ends, joins affinity of makes alliances with the ungodly.”
4. “He who walks with the wise will become wise, but the companion of fools will suffer. Evil pursues sinners, but prosperity will reward the righteous.” – Proverbs 13:20-21
5. “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” – 1 Cor. 15:33
6. “Such a climax shows what was truly at stake in this chapter of international events. The struggle of kings, the far-ranging armies and the spoil of a city are only the small-change of the story; the crux is the faith or failure of one man.” – Derek Kidner
7. “As Adam and Eve hid themselves among the trees of the garden, and sewed fig leaves together to cover their nakedness, so the poor sinner, when awakened, flies to his duties and to his performances, to hide himself from God, and goes to patch up a righteousness of his own.” – George Whitefield
8. 02. Salvation demands recognizing that even our “good” deeds and best performances still fall far short of God’s perfect demands.
9. “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” – Isa. 64:6 NIV
10. 03. Honor and gratitude overflow in abundance from a heart that has been captured by grace.