Choosing the Right Clothes

New Philly Sillim
Preached by John-Michael Becker on April 5, 2015, Sunday.
Duration: 40 minutes (audio)


Discussion Questions


  1. Fear and pride were two extremes that P. JM mentions we can find ourselves in when we value physical works. Which if any, do you tend to lean towards?
  2. Adam and Eve attempted to cover their shame with fig leaves. In biblical times, under the fig trees was where many Pharisees and studiers of the Word would have their quiet times. While reading the Word and praying are important for us as believers, we cannot use our spiritual walk to either justify us before the Lord if we are doing well or condemn us before Him if we are struggling. Instead, our approach to God should be like the priests in linen in Ezekiel 33:17-18 who were supposed to approach God comfortably and without exertion (without sweat). What should our mindset and our motivation be in approaching God through prayer and through reading His Word? How can we balance discipline and grace?
  3. Read Isaiah 64:6-8. All our deeds, whether righteous or not, are like a polluted garment (or in the Hebrew, “menstrual rags”) before God. The wording in this verse is meant to be shocking and repulsive. Anytime we use our works to determine our identity, whether for good or for bad, we are choosing to clothe ourselves in used menstrual rags before God. Often times, if we are struggling, finding our identity in our works can lead to self-condemnation and despair. As our Father in heaven, how do you think God feels when He sees His children clothing themselves in condemnation? How can we find comfort in knowing that God is the potter and we are the clay?
  4. The nation of Israel has prospered economically despite persecution, threats, and attacks from all around their borders. One of the chief reasons for their economic growth has been a “there are no failures” mentality. In Israel there is zero shame if a business fails or someone makes a horrible mistake. Instead, there is a strong culture of simply learning from mistakes and moving forward. How can we at Sillim help establish this culture and protect the family from any self-condemnation or shame? What are some false mentalities or fears that need to be confronted among us individually and also among the culture we live in?
  5. One of the ways we can experience being clothed in God’s grace is by opening up and receiving prayer from fellow believers. Take some time to share among the group any struggles (particularly any unhealthy spiritual clothes you feel the Lord is calling you to exchange for grace) and then pray for each other.


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