Every Story has a beginning – God’s amazing grace – Genesis 20

Every Story has a beginning – God’s amazing grace – Genesis 20



The Backstory

Genesis 12 – Abraham is called to go to Canaan. His nephew Lot goes with him.
Famine…goes to Egypt. Fear’s Pharaoh, pretends Sarah is his sister and sells her to Pharaoh.

Genesis 18 – 2 angels and “the Lord” visit Abraham to announce:

  • the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
  • In a year you will have a son

1) Growing Faith

She is my sister then Abimelech, king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.” (Genesis 20:2)

  • Sanctification – the process by which the Holy Spirit transforms Christians into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
  • Entire Sanctification – an erroneous understanding suggesting holiness is an instant gift of the Holy Spirit.

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. [Instead I do]…what I hate. … I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. …So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  (Romans 7:15-25)

  •  sanctification is not instant, but progressive.

“And we all,…are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”. (2Cor.3:18)

I have not “already been made perfect but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Phil.3:12)

“You’re as good as dead because the woman you have taken is a married woman” (Gen.20:3)

2) Four ways to be utterly ineffective for Jesus

i) Assume the worst, and face it alone.

“I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’” (Gen.20:11)

 ” All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples.” (Matthew 28:18-19)

ii) Tell lies and half-truths.

“Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife.” (Gen.20:12)

Jesus said, “let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’” (Matthew 5:37).

CHALLENGE: See how long you can last this week without deceiving anyone, or telling a half-truth.

iii) Blame God, not yourself

“God had me wander from my father’s household.” (Gen.20:13)

iv) Maintaining dumb traditions and habits

This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.” (Gen.20:13)

Jesus came to “proclaim freedom for the prisoners, recovery of the sight for the blind and to release the oppressed.” (Luke 4:18)

 3) Salvation and the grace of God.

i) He stops Abimelech sleeping with Sarah

ii) The Lord humbles Abraham then blesses him.

“He is a prophet and he will pray for you…”



iii) God’s even greater grace


I want to know more:

  • To Read: The Message of Genesis, Atkinson, Bible Speaks Today commentary
  • Entire sanctification: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_perfection
  • Progressive sanctification: http://www.monergism.com/directory/link_category/Sanctification/
  • Free e-book, Sanctification, by John Piper http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/sanctification-in-the-everyday-free-ebook