Saved But by Fire (090913p)
This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, September 13, 2009.
Sermon Notes »
Ask most people to describe the difference between the Old and New Testaments and they will say something like, “In the Old Testament God operated through the law but in the New Testament God operates according to grace. In the Old Testament God was seen as a God of vengeance and power. In the New Testament he is revealed as a God of love and mercy as demonstrated by Christ. The problem with that is that it sets up a false dichotomy. It is a false premise. Law and grace weave their way through both the Old and the New Testament. Whenever you find a command – that is Law. When you find a promise – that is grace. Yes God thundered out the Law at Sinai but he also gave the tabernacle that he might dwell with his people (that was an act of grace!). This positioning of Law and grace together is strikingly demonstrated in the text of Genesis chapter 19.
In Genesis 19 we find the story of the destruction of Sodom. Now that is a familiar text. It is one that has been at the heart of great controversy through the years. It is a classic picture of judgement. If you survey a crowd and ask for Bible passages depicting judgement this will be near the top of the list.
But as we explore this passage tonight I want you to also note it is a picture of grace.
Yes God’s judgment is poured out on a wicked city but at the same time God’s grace is also extended to a weak, stumbling saint!
Text: Genesis 19:1-17
You will remember that in chapter 18 God was talking with his friend Abraham.
The Lord let Abraham in on what was about to happen down in Sodom.
The Lord said their sin is so grievous that I must judge them.
Abraham pleaded with God; “Will you destroy the righteous along with the wicked?”
Abraham pleaded with God and finally the Lord agreed to spare the city if he found 10 righteous.
Chapter 19 details the destruction of Sodom and the entire plain for there was not even 10 righteous. As we look at this passage however, I want you to notice:
Thesis: God graciously delivers his people in spite of their own wicked choices.
As the story unfolds I want us to consider three things.
- First of all we must take note of a foolish believer.
- Second we must take note of a wicked city.
- Finally we must note the gracious act of salvation.
The doctrine of perseverance is not limited to the New Testament. God’s grace preserved Lot in spite of Lot. It is all of grace.