The way of Cain is the way of self-performance in the approach of God. But we have been told to receive grace and righteousness as Abraham did, by just saying, “Amen.” Let us not frustrate grace; let us not fall from grace; and let us not fail or miss the grace that is set before us. (Galatians 2:21; Jude 11)
The Amen of Grace
Speaker: John Love
Time: Wed 7:30 pm
P. Love –
I think everyone should know when P. Schaller travels, he arranges his schedule to be back for service,
but he had some flight delays which is why he’s not here tonight. Jen said we can’t find anyone
else to preach. Would you preach? I said you need to know I had some surgery on my face. She
said use it as a commercial. Make sure you wear sunscreen! P. Barry, you talked about the
They always say things that don’t amount to reality. They had to stick several needles near my eye and said this will be a little pinch. One shot after another. I thought I’d like to pinch you like that and see if you think it’s a little pinch! I apologized to her afterwards. I’m sorry for being a bad patient! You chicken! I never liked the needles especially
when they are in your face and you can see them coming. Would you drape something over my
eyes? I had one on the leg, too.
They say I have chicken legs, not a lot of meat. Quite thin. I thought how that pinch would hurt down there. It hurt worse. They always say it will pinch you a little bit. I wanted to scream but I didn’t. I contained myself. Open your Bibles if you have one with you or on your screen to Jude 11. In this short epistle written by Jude, the reason why he
wrote this is told to us in vs. 4. Notice what their objective is: to turn the grace of God into
lasciviousness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Vs. 11.
He’s continuing his statement. They have gone in the way of Cain. 1 Jn 3, there we read a little more about Cain.
Vs. 11. Don’t love each other like Cain. You know what inevitably happened when our children
would get out of control. What would be said? Stop raising Cain. We were concerned about the
threat of them taking each other’s lives. Sometimes they got close to that. When we think of
Cain, vs. 12 we think of the first murder in the Bible.
Cain slew his brother Abel. It tells us why. His own works were evil, and his brothers were righteous. If you weren’t familiar with that account, you might think what did this man Cain do? What were his evil works? What were his
brother’s righteous works? You have to go to the N.T. to understand the story of Cain and
comprehend the way of Cain that we are warned against staying clear of. The best way to do
that is go to the book of Galatians.
Who were the Judaizers? Jewish converts came in behind the Apostle Paul and did everything they could to corrupt the gospel of the grace of God. It’s the finished work of Christ. The combined values of redemption and reconciliation and the fact that God was satisfied with the work of his Son not on the basis of their merits or work but if they believed God’s justice satisfied at the cross, they are made right or just in the sight of God.
Paul preached it to the Galatian provinces.
Right behind him comes the Judaizers questioning the authority of the Apostle Paul. Was he one of the 12? Did he see Jesus? Was he instructed like the others were? They questioned his authority to discredit his message. Behind that, they would say that gospel of grace he preaches to you is only part of the message. Ever have
anyone say that to you? They say I heard about grace too, but we preach something beyond
I’m not sure there is anything beyond the grace of God that saves us, keeps us, causes us
to live godly, clean lives and will present us before God faultless and blameless without a spot.
There are people who attempt to discredit that message to corrupt it. Paul wrote some of the
other epistles and started with greetings and salutations. But not in Galatians.
The Judaizers have come and corrupted the message. He got right to the heart of the matter. The same thing
still exists today. People attempt to come in following the message we have received and live in
an attempt to discredit it and break it down and get us to doubt that God will deal with us
outside of grace or has another way to make us righteous. To go back to Genesis, you read
about Cain. He’s the first one that exhibited these tendencies that the activity of the Judaizers
came from. You could say he was the first Judaizer and he wasn’t even Jewish. This is before the
Jewish nation existed.
He was a Judaizers because both of these brothers came before the Lord.
The right way to approach God and the wrong way. The right way was on a basis of a blood
sacrifice. Heb. 9:22, Adam knew that. He instructed his children you have to approach God on
the basis of the shed blood. No forgiveness outside of the shed blood of Christ. No
reconciliation without shed blood.
There is no remission of sins without the shed blood and he taught them that. The shed blood pointed to the once and for all sacrifice. When they shed the blood of the animals and brought it before God, is it possible the blood of animals saved them? No, we read about it in Hebrews. It’s not possible that the blood of bulls and goats would
cleanse anyone. It was faith that justified them in the sight of God. As they brought the
sacrifice, their faith leapt centuries ahead to the cross and God was able to justify them.
Our faith takes us to Calvary and justified us. Their faith leaped ahead, and our faith goes back
centuries to Calvary to find our justification before God. Throughout every age, it’s always on
the basis of faith. Amen. The just shall live by faith. Yes. Not by human effort or works. This is
where Cain didn’t get it right. He brought the fruit of his own labors. He tilled the land and
thought I’ll put this fruit basket together for God.
I’m sure as I present it, he will declare me righteous. It didn’t happen. God said Cain you know better. You know how to approach me. You know it takes the sacrifice of an animal and shed blood. Abel shows up with the blood of an
animal and is justified in the sight of God. Cain presented his own efforts rather than faith in the
blood sacrifice. Mankind is hoping to substitute that which God says this is the only way you can
be justified or declared righteous.
Man can’t get it out of his system he needs to find another way. It gives him an opportunity to boast or glory in his flesh. It’s one thing God prohibits in the Old and New alike. No flesh can glory in his presence. If our salvation is not a complete work of grace without one inkling of human merit or works, then we can’t be saved. It has to be
altogether the work of grace. Rom 4 he says how is Abraham declared righteous? Was it by
works? If so, he could boast. But he didn’t boast before God.
Abraham did no boasting because he was justified by faith. Abraham believed God and was justified in the sight of God. We do the same thing. It’s hard for me even to think this way. Some of us made that decision a long time
ago. In my case, I made it in 1973. That was when I was saved, justified and made righteous, but
I must be more righteous 45 years later. No! You are no more righteous in the sight of God
today than you were the first day you accepted Christ as your Savior.
If someone in this audience gets saved tonight, they become the righteousness of God the moment they say Jesus
come in and save me. You are just a new, young believer. No you are like me. We are all seated
together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. We all have been perfected forever by his sacrifice
not our puny human sacrifices. It’s Paul’s message. The challenge was met to the Galatians.
They came for one purpose to persuade people it may be grace but must also include some
form of human merit. They believed their salvation depended on good works. That’s how a
person has to be accepted before God. Haven’t we seen people struggle with that falsehood.They can’t receive this grace. Homer Kent wrote that it’s conceivable Christianity might have
become a Jewish sect if the argument to the Galatians had not become the prevailing view of
I think he’s right. God raising up Saul and revealing the grace of God and telling him
to proclaim that grace and not fold under the pressure. It’s my message God said, and you are
responsible to proclaim it. It’s grace and it will never be more than grace. What were these
Judaizers occupied with? Circumcision. They loved to talk about it because it was something a
person could do.
Galatians 6 they persuaded you to be circumcised so they can glory in your flesh. Gal
6:14 he said there they go again! Trying to get you to glory in something other than the cross.
They recognize with the preaching of the cross comes persecution and they wanted no part in
persecution. You have to come from the stock of Israel they said. Jesus would confront the
Pharisees and ever notice what they would say?
They would respond, Abraham is our father. Just as he was touching their heart, Abraham is our father. You can go now. We are blood relatives of Abraham. Jesus said really? If Abraham was your father, why do you want to kill me
and seek to put me to death? Abraham is our father. We’ll kill you later. Maybe it was an
ecclesiastical position. It’s the faithful observance of the law. These are the things they wanted
people to do. R.C. Sproul said this.
Perhaps the most difficult task is for us to rely on God’s grace and grace alone for salvation…we think grace is for other people, for beggars. We don’t want to live by a heavenly welfare system. We would like to think we are going to heaven because we deserve to be there. There is something in all our hearts if we are not careful, – there is a
tendency to drift back into a works program, a merit system. Every time he spoke to these
Galatians, their whole objective is to lead them back into bondage and grace is to bring us
forward into freedom.
All those merits the Judaizers kept talking about – it wasn’t just Paul speaking in Galatians. He spoke in Ephesians and Colossians. He spoke in all his books. Thank you, Lord for sending Paul to prison. That’s where he wrote all these books. He wanted to go to Spain…churches have been built up for centuries with these letters. Without them, we wouldn’t know where we stood before God. Philippians 3, I have abandoned all my merits. I have counted them
as one great loss. He said he would have nothing else except the righteousness of God by faith
Philippians. 3:9 I want to be found in him. Not having my own Righteousness according to the law which is
not possible anyhow but the righteousness by faith in Christ Jesus. Three things in closing we
need to understand about the grace of God:
1) Let’s not frustrate it. Gal 2:21, for if righteousness came by the law – if we could be made acceptable in God’s sight on the basis of law keeping, he said I got news for you. Christ died in vain. No purpose for the cross. I do not
frustrate the grace of God. Frustrate means to thwart the efficiency of something. I don’t
thwart the efficiency of the cross and the grace of God.
When it’s believed, it has the power to save, deliver and change our lives. In the midst of a world corrupt and falling apart at the seams, he said I won’t frustrate the grace of God. The good news about grace is there isn’t
anything we could ever do to be made right in the sight of God. If you could be made righteous
by the law keeping, it’s “if” in the second-class condition. First class is if and it’s possible. If God
be for us, and he is, who can be against us?
If in the second class, if it were possible and it’s not that you could be made righteous by law keeping. That’s not even possible. Isn’t that what they discovered at Act 15, the first counsel of Jerusalem. They said we got saved by grace through faith and what about the Gentiles.
The Judaizers said they have to be circumcised and observe feast days and do law keeping. Peter said why would you want to put a yoke of bondage on these men, these Gentile believers that neither we nor our fathers are able to bear? Peter, where did you get that courage? You used to warm yourself in the fire of the world…now you
won’t tolerate this corruption of the gospel of grace. Paul was listening the whole time. He
didn’t say a word. You got it right. I’m on my way to preach the gospel to the rest of the world.
If he didn’t get it right, Paul would have spoken up.
2) We cannot fall from the Grace of God. Galatians. 5:4 people take it out of context. He’s addressing people who hadn’t made a decision. They were still contemplating law keeping as a means to be righteous in the sight of God. If that’s
your choice, grace can’t do anything for you. For those of us saved by grace, you can’t fall from
grace. If you fall, you fall into more grace. That’s the good news. You fall into the arms of an
Those arms are good, strong, and full of grace. We don’t want to frustrate the
grace of God. We can’t fall from grace. If we did fail, Psalm 37, the steps of a righteous man are
ordered by the Lord and though he fall, it’s not fatal. He rises up again. If you do fail, we know
what to do. We confess it. God says don’t worry if you stumble. I’ll wait to be gracious to you. Isaiah
You can’t fall from it, only into it. Where sin abounds and if we are honest that may be
our experience, when sin abounds grace much more abounds. Sin is abounding in my life. I got
news for you, keep looking for grace and God to be merciful. You will find you are swimming in
an ocean called grace. Heb 12:15.
3) You don’t want to miss grace. It’s available for everyone of us. Lord knows how much we need his grace. Don’t we all go through so many different tests and challenges. Someone once said, it’s always something. If not our finances, it’s our children. If not our children, it’s our marriage. If not our marriage, it’s our grandchildren or someone
else’s grandchildren. It’s always something. I can’t remember the brother. He was with a
student at Colorado University.
One student had an amazing demeanor. He was blind. He said how did you become the kind of person you are? You seem so peaceful. He said it wasn’t always like that. I went blind as a young man and lost my sight. I went to my room and locked the door and determined never to come out again. My dad kept coming to the door. Son, you
have to come out. They would leave my food at the door.
I was angry at the world. One day his dad showed up. He said winter is coming. I’m going to put a ladder outside, and I want you to hang all those storm windows on the house. You will do it, or you won’t see another piece of
food. I wanted to get up on the ladder and fall and break my neck and let my father live with
guilt. I put one window up and another window up and the man listening said that’s incredible.
He said there was never a time my father wasn’t 3 or 4 feet away from me the whole time. He
never took his eyes off of me. He never left me. God does that for us in the same way. How
comforting it is to know though it’s always something, he will always be there. Whatever our
need, he will meet it with his grace. The more grace he gives us, the more glory he will receive.
If he keeps giving us grace so he can be glorified,
I say amen. Just like Abraham. You believe me? I do. You’re righteous. You think he said I’ll live a perfect life and my children will be perfect and we’ll leave a spotless legacy. He said amen! That’s it! He didn’t say I’ll pay you back.
You won’t be sorry. He just said amen. You and I by grace are the righteousness of God tonight.
Amen! Amen! Amen!
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.