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Abounding Grace (Vol 03) - Great Sin, Greater Grace (Part-1)

Sunday English Service - 12 JUL 20

Transcript

I trust that all of you are doing well by the grace of God. Let me go into the subject that we have chosen recently to study. And that is the subject of grace. Remember two weeks ago we started on this new subject, and we have titled it as “Grace that Abounds Much More”. I want to give it a shorter title because “Grace that Abounds Much More” is a little long I think. So I'm going to call it “Abounding Grace”. Better that it's a little shorter, “Abounding Grace”. I taught a few years ago on “Amazing Grace”. Now it's “Abounding Grace”.

Where do we get the title from? We get it from Romans chapter 5 verse 20, the later part of verse 20. And what does it say? Paul makes a wonderful statement here, quite a famous statement. He says where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. Abound means to increase. Abound means that sin increases; increases its influence and power and dominion. And so sin abounds. And sin gets in somewhere. It always abounds. It just spreads everywhere. It's like cancer. It gets in there in a small way but then spreads to the entire system – to his thinking, to his words, thoughts, heart, mind, affects his family, relationships, work, his world. Everything is affected. Soon, man's total life is affected by sin because sin is a terrible, evil power very much like cancer. It won't leave you until it totally destroys you and kills you and pushes you to the grave and then on to eternity in hell. That's the way sin operates. Sin is an evil power.

But where sin abounds like that, when sin tries to take a person and push him to the ultimate end, God's grace is something that counters that sin. God has got something to counter that sin. And that is grace. And this is a power that is greater power than sin’s power. It is like darkness and light. Darkness is powerful, but light is more powerful. When light comes, darkness has to leave. So when grace comes in a person's life, that person's life is uplifted, changed, transformed, made beautiful. Everything that is ruined and destroyed, and broken in thousand pieces is put back together and made beautiful, wonderful. And a person's life becomes a life that can be useful for many others and be a blessing to so many others. That's how God takes lives and changes lives.

I think that is why this subject is so important. It helps us to understand our Christian life, what it's based on. What is happening? What is this salvation all about? What has happened to us? Where are we headed? What is taking place in our life as a result of God coming into our life?

I would say it in this way, that grace is abounding in our life. Whereas sin abounded before, before we knew God, it was taking us in the wrong direction and pushing us to the ultimate end of hell. But now Grace has taken over. It abounds much more and it’s taking us towards eternity with God, towards the blessings of God, towards a glorious future for now and forevermore. That is what is happening. So that is why I think it's a very important subject.

We began to study it from Genesis chapter 1 itself because we wanted to show you how human life began with grace. When God created everything, God made Adam and Eve. And there we saw that grace begins. And so we started studying from that. The first week, we spent time on studying creation and the fall and so on. Then next week, I jumped over to Abraham. I wanted to kind of push it fast and go fast, because I had a lot of things to cover, come into the New Testament, and go through a lot of things.

I was in a hurry. But I realized I was wrong. I need to go back a little bit because there are some wonderful, beautiful pictures of grace in the Old Testament itself. And we don't want to miss them. What a wonderful opportunity to study these things. I'm not going anywhere and I'm sure you're not going anywhere unless Jesus is going to come and we're going to all go. So we're here and I'm there every week. I'm here to teach and to speak about these things. And you’re here to tune in and listen. And let's get the best out of it. Let's enjoy it. Let's rejoice over it.

So I want to spend a little more time here, in the first section of the book of Genesis. The book of Genesis can be divided into two parts. The first part is chapters 1 to 11, what is called primeval history. It is ancient history. And chapter 12 to 50 is what we call patriarchal history.

In the primeval history, there are five incidences that highlight grace, how it counters sin and abounds much more than sin. There are five instances. What are those five instances?

First of all, the fall and how sin came in and tried to destroy everything and how grace comes in and abounds much more. We want to study that.

The second incidence is the incidence where Cain murders his brother. Sin again trying to have its way. Sin abounds. But I want to show you how grace abounded even much more, even in that situation.

The third story is a story of universal depravity. What do I mean? In chapter 6, we have the story of how God surveyed the whole earth and all human beings and found that every thought of every man was only wicked continually, all the time, not even one good thing in him. That's how much sin has affected them. It has affected them totally. This cancer has spread from head to toe. He cannot even think one good thought. It's continually wicked. That’s how it's become. So ultimately God had to destroy everything except one man who was righteous, that is Noah. So that is a story of universal depravity in chapter 6.

And then fourthly, in chapter 6 and 7, there is a story of the flood during Noah's time, where sin tried to abound but grace, I'll show you, abounded much more even in that situation.

And then fifthly, the story of the Tower of Babel recorded in the 11th chapter of Genesis, where sin tried to abound once again and grace abounded much more. These five instances are the main stories found in the primeval history; that is the first 11 chapters of Genesis.

From chapter 12 to 50, of course, there is patriarchal history where we study about our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, four personalities, and how the grace of God worked in their lives. Sin tried to take them in a different direction but grace succeeded. Grace was pushing them in the right direction. Grace was taking them in the right direction and brought to pass the great plan of salvation. So this is a wonderful story. It's a story of redemption. It’s amazing, amazing. That's why I like the Bible. And we need to study it very clearly.

So we're going to look at these five instances in the first 11 chapters and study them thoroughly. But I want to also tell you there is a similar structure in all these five stories. The way it is told, there is a structure to it. How does the structure work?

In the way the stories are told, you'll find first of all, sin is described. It tells about what happened, what actually took place. Secondly, there is always there God shows up and gives a speech about that sin and the consequences and the punishment as a result of the sin. God’s speech is there. And thirdly, immediately after God's speech, grace is revealed in some way in order to mitigate the misery that sin has brought, in order to reduce, lessen, the effects of that sin. It’s very important. Grace is revealed. And then fourthly, judgment is imposed. So sin is described, God gives a speech after that and describes the punishment, the consequences for that sin. And immediately after that grace is revealed in order to mitigate the miseries of sin, not to reduce the miseries of sin and fourthly, the judgment, that is the sinner is punished. Punishment is imposed. This is the structure. I just want you to keep in mind as we look at this.

Let us go to chapter 3 of the book of Genesis. I know that I've touched upon it and explained a few things. And we have, in the past, studied a lot from these chapters. So I don't want to touch on the same things. And whatever I've said in the last two weeks, I don't want to really go through it. But I do want to touch upon a lot of things that I have not said anything. We have not completely looked at it. I was in a kind of a hurry. I thought I'll just push over those things and just go on. But those are important. So I want to pay some attention to it.

In chapter 3, we have sin happening, the fall of man happening, right? In the first few verses of chapter 3, we see the serpent comes to Eve and Eve is deceived and she takes the forbidden fruit and eats it and gives it to her husband. Sin is committed. And as soon as sin is committed, God shows up. And God shows up and God begins to speak to them and listen to them. It's amazing how God comes to such a sinner who has committed high treason against God who gave him everything and trusted him and entrusted everything in his hands and made him the Lord over all creation. He has sinned and betrayed God. And God comes in, He’s talking to that man.

God could have come in and cut his head off, thrown him in the grave, sent him to hell for eternity. But God calls him out, compassionately listens to him, allows him to tell his story, how it happened, why it happened, and so on. Allows the woman to speak also, listens to them. And then God begins to speak. And from verse 14 onwards, God begins to speak and pronounces a curse upon the serpent because the serpent was used by the devil in this situation. And then in verse 15, as God begins to speak itself, as soon as He pronounces the curse upon the serpent, immediately God brings out a promise of the coming Savior; the Messiah that is to come, the salvation that is to come, the deliverance that is going to come from all the miseries that sin has brought in.

So chapter 3 verse 15 is very important. The first promise of the coming Messiah, I'll make enmity between your seed and her seed; He will crush your head and you will bruise His heel. And then He proceeds to speak. Verse 16 is about the consequences of sin in the life of the woman. 17th is judgment upon Adam. And then God talks about death that's going to happen.

Then verse 20 to 24 is what I want to pay attention to it because that's the thing that we have never looked at very much in detail. So, look at verse 20. The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

Now, God is beginning to reveal grace. Grace is being revealed in this situation where sin has abounded. Sin has come in, ruined man's life, brought great pain and childbearing tension between husband and wife. Man's life is now threatened with work becoming a toil, because the earth is cursed. He’s going to eat in pain all the days of his life. Out of the sweat of his brow he’s going to eat. And then it's going to mean a lot of trouble for him. And then finally, he's going to end up in the grave. This is how it goes.

But now, God begins to bring in the grace aspect here. And man, who was listening to God speak all this time, now he bursts out speaking. And look at what he says, man called his wife's name Eve because she was the mother of all living. Man begins to rename his wife as Eve. And Eve means the mother of all living. Why does he rename Eve? Because he's been listening to God. Because he got some hope in the midst of all that is happening, in the midst of this hopeless situation where he has fallen and lost all the blessings. Now he is receiving some hope of some good things happening.

God has said that the Savior will come as a woman's seed. Even though there is going to be pain in childbearing, she's going to bear children. So there is hope. The Savior will come. In spite of the fact that there will be pain in childbearings, the child will come, the Savior will come, will be born and the devil will be dealt with. Sin problem will be handled. The sin problem will be taken care of.

So Adam actually prophetically speaks this saying that she's the mother of all living. He was declaring. It was a shout of hope, literally. The name Eve literally celebrates the survival of the human race and the victory over death. There is some hope in it.

Man is not at all heartbroken and all dejected and all downhearted. In the midst of all that punishment, everything that he lost, God has put enough hope in there that man is now literally celebrating and proclaiming his hope and declaring his hope by faith because it has brought up some good news.

So look at the grace of God. See, this is what grace does. When grace comes into your life, no matter how down you are, how everything is broken to pieces, when the grace of God comes, one of the first things that it gives you is hope that things can change, that things don't have to stay like what they are today. That there is hope, that something else is going to come and by the grace of God, you will be able to return to normal, that you will be able to fix everything again. That's what grace is all about.

Then verse 21, look at verse 21. And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Now, this is God providing for the covering of their nakedness. This is really amazing because man thought, “Well, since we're naked and we are ashamed and we are to cover or nakedness, we got to do something about it.” So He goes about, he brings in some leaves from trees somewhere and puts them together and makes clothing for himself and his wife. They tried to cover themselves but naturally, that was inadequate and it will never do.

And God comes in here and does something that is unimaginable. They never thought of anything like that. They have never seen anything done like that. They've never thought about something like that. Nobody has ever done like that. They never required clothes before. And they have never thought that this is what they need. And God comes in there. And where did He get the coats of skin? He must have killed an animal. So God kills an animal, pulls out the skin, and clothes them with coats of skin.

This is God's doing. Amazing picture. That when man falls into sin and sin comes in and does its damage, there is nothing that you can do about it. There is nothing that you can do to redeem yourself, save yourself. Only what God has done will take care of it. That’s the picture there.

Your fig leaves won't be enough. Your fig leaves will tear up. Your fig leaves are never going to do the job. Everybody is making their best fig leaves possible because they don't know about what God has done. And the good news is that God has done something. Only what God has done is going to fix the problem. And that's the whole thing there. So, He dresses them with coats of skin.

Now, there is also a wonderful revelation concerning actually salvation itself. First of all, as I told you, it's nothing that you can bring about by your own works. Your fig leaves won’t do. God has to do something. Another thing is, it has to be the gift from God; gift of righteousness, gift of the robe of righteousness. God must give you just like God gave Adam the coats of skin and Eve the coat of skin. God must give us. God must do something for us.

This is an amazing truth that is revealed so early. By making coat of skin for them, God is showing them look, I am the one that's got to do something about your salvation. See Martin Luther was so distressed because he was a man who was very sincere trying to live for God, wanted to live a holy life. Tried very hard but found out that no matter how holy he lived, his guilt never was gone and he was always condemned and got very tired and went and complained to an older preacher. And that priest told him, “Well, God will show you.”

Martin Luther’s complaint was how come God is requiring from me a righteousness that I cannot produce, that I cannot give? And He says my righteousness, no matter how good it is, it is like filthy rags, that it will not be acceptable. I try very hard, but God calls it filthy rags. So what kind of righteousness should I bring? God says only the kind of righteousness that He Himself has. How can I be as holy as Him? He's God. How can I give Him the kind of righteousness that He has? Only that is acceptable, He says. If He demands something that I cannot give, how can He be a good God?

This is something that distressed Martin Luther very much. He began to turn against God, literally, and think, “How can God demand something from me that I cannot give? It's impossible for me to give.” And as he meditated upon the Word of God, as he looked more, the Holy Spirit enlightened him one day and he began to see that God has designed salvation in this way that nothing that we do will suffice. Our best will not be enough and is not enough. And what will be enough? Only what God does will be enough.

That is why God demands the righteousness that we can never come up with, that we can never produce. God demands that kind of righteousness so that we will come and stand before Him and say, “Lord, I cannot do it.” And then God says, “Don't worry, I will do it for you. I will do it for you.”

The light was shed upon Scriptures for him one day and he began to see that God is a good God. He is not like what he was thinking. That He was not a cruel God demanding what he cannot bring. He is a good God who knows that he cannot bring the kind of righteousness that is needed in order for him to qualify before God. Therefore, God Himself provides that righteousness by sending His Son Jesus, having Him die on the cross, making Him to be sin, and through that making us to be the righteousness of God in Christ. Jesus becomes sin and we become righteous in the sight of God. This is how salvation comes. God takes our sin and puts them on Jesus. And God takes the righteousness of Jesus and puts it on us.

And Galatians 3:27, have you ever read that wonderful verse there? Let me read it for you. Galatians 3:27 says, For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Just take in that statement there. If you've been baptized into Christ, you have put on Christ. You have put on Christ. He is talking about every believer, a baptized believer. And he's talking about what does it mean to be a believer? What are you? What has happened to you? What is a believer? He says believer is one who has put on Christ. That means when you look at a believer, you don't really see him dressed in his fig leaves. You don't see him dressed in his best good works. You don't see him dressed in the qualifications that he brings to qualify himself before God. He's dressed with the righteousness of Christ. He has put on Christ.

Literally what he is saying is, what is a believer? A believer is one when God looks at him, He doesn't see him. He sees Christ. He is clothed with Christ, covered with Christ. He is dressed with Christ. He sees His son Jesus Christ, the perfect, sinless Son of God. That's what He sees when he sees you and I. Are you there? What a thrilling amazing truth it is. It dawned upon Martin Luther, and that's the beginning of the Protestant movement. Praise God. Amazing truth.

 A lot of people don't even understand that today. A lot of people are trying to still make fig leaves only. A lot of fig-leaves makers. A lot of times, churches are fig leaf factories where they're making fig leaves clothing. Only teaching about how our good works will qualify and how our bad works have disqualified us. They do not understand anything about the abounding grace of God. They don't understand this method that God has: where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. They don't understand how God counters sin by grace

This is the amazing grace of God. That God knows that we can never come up with that kind of righteousness. He simply clothes us with that righteousness, gifts that righteousness. He gives us the robe of righteousness just like He gave Adam and Eve the coat of skin. The coat of skin is a picture of the robe of righteousness. Even in Genesis chapter 3 verse 21, the gospel is revealed.

What an amazing revelation. In other words, as God was putting on the coat for man, I bet he didn’t even know how to cover himself. God put that coat on him, looked at him, and probably said him, “Don't worry. I got that taken care of. I will take care of that. I know you've sinned. You know you've done terribly wrong. But you need Me. You can't do it without Me. There is nothing that you can do that will solve this. Except I do something, this is not going to be solved. You're going to be naked, you’re going to be hiding all the time. Let Me cover it. Let Me bring dignity to you. Let Me make you look good again. Let Me fix this problem for you. Let Me shed your sin from you. Let Me clean you out. Let Me cleanse you. Let Me make you a person who don't have to hide, but you can come out. You don't have to be in shame. But come and stand before God.” See, that's what grace does. Amazing picture. Think about that.

And further then, you go into verse 22. Then the Lord God said, “Behold the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil.” See 22 to 24 is very important aspect. “Man has become like one of us knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever.” Therefore, the Lord God sent him out from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man and at the east of the Garden of Eden, He placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

He drove off the man. See when you read it, it looks like so rude, so unkind. He drove off the man. And this makes a lot of that kind of preachers happy. They can talk about how God drove out the man. But it's all kindness. Verse 22 to 24 is full of kindness, grace, God's goodness. Why? God says, “They’ve become like one of us knowing good and evil. And now we don't want them to take of the fruit of the tree of life and eat and live forever.” That is why he is thrown out.

God is doing him a favor. Because he has now sinned, he has fallen, death has set in. He is under punishment. Death has set in, the earth is cursed, and he's under punishment, and he's going to live a very complicated life. And if he takes and eats of the tree of life, that fruit will cause him to live forever.

And what a sad thing for man under punishment, in a fallen condition with all the problems, with a body that is carrying the signs of fallenness. Death has set in, sickness has set in, weakness has set in, and man's Earth is not producing as it should. There is pain in all main aspects of life. And like that man if he continued to live for years and years and years, just imagine if he just lived thousand years. That’ll be even worse punishment.

Have you ever seen really old people when they become very weak and very old and reach beyond 90 and their body is not cooperating and they just can't make it anymore? They just can't get up and go like before and their brain is not working as before. Their body is not cooperating like before. They realize that they're just barely living.

Now, as a pastor, I’ve seen people that said, “Please pray. I want to go. This is enough. I want my life to end like this because I've lived well enough, enjoyed life, done everything. And I'm ready to go to be with the Lord because right now I'm feeling like I can't do anything. My body is not cooperating, my mind is not cooperating.” And I've seen that for those people that are very old, that want to really go, death is something they appreciate. They're happy that it's ending, that their life is coming to an end. Especially if they're Christians, they’re happy that it’s coming to an end so that they can shed this body, shed this body that is under punishment, a dying body, a weak body, a sickly body, a fallen body, and wait for Jesus to come so that they can put on incorruption and a body that does not die and live forever and ever. So there is hope. And with their hope only they're happy to die. They want this to go and that the come.

So God is doing them a favor by sending them out as He doesn't want them to eat of the tree of life. Just imagine for man to live that long, would have been very hard for him and it would be a greater curse for him and God relieved him of that. That is what is happening here. Therefore, the Lord God sent him out from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man and at the east of the Garden of Eden, He placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. 

Now, listen to this. This is ultimate grace, really. And it's talking about placing the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way at the east of the Garden to guard the way to the tree of life so that man will not enter in again.

That is a perfect picture of presenting the Garden of Eden like a temple. In the Old Testament days, the temple had a place called Holy of Holies. And people believed that's where God lived, that's the place of the presence of God and man cannot enter there. Only once a year the high priests entered there after shedding the blood of an animal and taking the blood and sprinkling it there for himself and for the people. Once a year only he can enter in. If he does not do the sacrifice and the shedding of the blood properly and enter using that method, he will die as soon as he enters. So dangerous because they believed that God dwells there. In the tabernacle and in the temple, the Holy of Holies was such a place in that curtain that divided the rest of the area from the Holy of Holies. On that curtain they say in the temple was the cherubims embroidered. And the cherubims are mentioned here.

Now that provides some idea of what they're thinking. Man was sent out of the Garden of Eden, from the very presence of God, from the Holy of Holies, which was the Garden of Eden where God dwelt, where God was. Man was living in the Holy of Holies where God came and walked with him in the cool of the day, fellowshipped with him. Man was no more allowed there. He was sent out of there. And now it is all shut. Man cannot enter there.

Now when you come to the New Testament, the New Testament says that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, tabernacled among us. In other words, when Jesus came into this world, the tabernacle of God, the dwelling place of God descended. God was not dwelling in some temple anymore. He tabernacled among us through Jesus. He saw Himself as the tabernacle of the temple, because He said, “Destroy this temple and I will raise it up in three days.” Have you read that? And people said, “Well, He is blaspheming now. How can He destroy this temple and build it up in three days? This took years to build.” They’re thinking about the temple in Jerusalem and He was talking about the temple of His body. His body is the temple. They could not understand and they used that as one of the accusations in crucifying him.

So, look how they're thinking. Cherubims are kept there and cherubims are embroidered in the temple curtains that hung there. And when Jesus died on the cross, the curtain that was hanging in the temple, dividing the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple - Holy of Holies, where God dwelt - from the rest of the temple, it was a big curtain. And the curtain was about four inches thick, they say. Amazing. This is not something you just tear. It tore from the top to bottom in one shot just like that when Jesus died on the cross.

Now what is the meaning of that? Why did it tear? Why did it tear? Well, some people say, “Well, now we can enter into the place where we were forbidden before.” See, where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. They were sent out of the Garden of Eden because they sinned. They could not live in the presence of God. They cannot walk into the presence of God, go into the presence of God. They were sent out. The gate was guarded. They cannot enter in.

When Jesus Christ came in, when salvation through Jesus Christ came in and the grace of God came through Jesus Christ and saved us, it is not simply reversing and taking us back to the Garden of Eden and entering us into the presence of God. It is not that now we can enter into a temple, into the Holy of Holies. Why did the curtain tear? Not so that it can tell us we can enter in. It was torn to show that God is not there anymore.

Where is He then? Where is God there now? When Jesus was there in this earth, God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, Paul says. So when Jesus was here itself the temple had been emptied out. God is not there. God was in Jesus. God was walking around in Galilee, Capernaum, and all these places ministering to people in and through Jesus. He tabernacled among us, walked among us.

Where is God now? Where does He live? That curtain rented into two. See grace has abounded much more. What sin has damaged, grace has fixed in a more than enough way. That's what it means.

What does grace done? What grace has done is described by Paul. He says, “Know ye not that you are the temple of God?” I tell you, my friends, what God has done through this grace that He has shown to us is that He has not taken us back to the Garden of Eden. He has not given us permission to peek into the presence of God or enter into the presence of God. He has made us the temple of God. He has made us the dwelling place of God, the God of heaven and earth, the God who created us, the God before whom Adam and Eve stood one day and they were thrown out of the Garden of Eden, because of their sin. Sin has damaged them so much.

Now grace has come. And grace what has it done? Today man cannot just enter into the presence of God. Man has himself become the temple of God, where God dwells in us. Amazing. All that gospel is available in the 3rd chapter of Genesis itself. The picture of the gospel is presented there in the 3rd chapter of Genesis itself.

Let's go to the next one. Let's go to the next incidence that is Cain and grace. The story of Cain in chapter 4. In chapter 4 as it begins, it talks about how Eve gave birth to Cain. She was expecting a child to be born through her that will crush the head of Satan. So she said, “I've gotten a man from the Lord.” That's the first verse. She thought that child is born now. As such was their expectation. Such was their faith. That was their expectation. No wonder Adam expressed this faith in that way by naming her Eve, the mother of all living. He was expecting, they were expecting a savior to come.

But that happened to be Cain, not the Savior. Cain became the first murderer. You know the story of Cain and Abel. And we are not going to go into that because that is not our subject today. But let me simply say they brought offerings to God in order to worship God. Abel brought from the flock that he had and Cain brought from the field. And God accepted Abel’s offering. God rejected Cain’s offering, something's wrong with it. Abel brought the first and the best, the Bible says. Regarding Cain, it doesn't say that. Plus what may have been wrong is that Cain did not bring what God has ordered to bring, God has taught already to bring and that is something where the blood can be shared for the remission of the sin.

So these two things were the issues. The issue was that he did not bring the first and the best and did not bring what God has instructed to bring. Because God was teaching them how they can come to Him, that sin is a factor and sin keeps them away from God and how problem of sin will be solved was taught to them by these pictures. And Cain did not obey that. He thought, “Well, good enough for God,” brought his offering and God accepted Abel’s offering and Cain’s offering was rejected.

And look at what the Bible says in verse 5. Cain was very angry, and his face fell. And the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted?” Imagine God when He rejected the offering that he brought, did not reject him totally. He was counseling him. He was telling him, “Why are you angry? Why has your face changed? Go bring the offering that you're supposed to bring. Make it right. If you do well, will you not be accepted? Why would I accept him and reject you? You do well, you'll be accepted also. You know what to do, you have not done it. You do well, you'll be accepted.” God is counseling him.

And then Cain, a hard-hearted fellow, still didn't rectify what he has done wrong. He continues in his erring ways. And finally, him and his brother go to the field and they're talking and it ends up in the murder of Abel. Cain murders his brother Abel.

And in verse 9 we read, Then the Lord said the Cain… See, speech starts. Sin is described in the first eight verses, speech starts. Then the Lord said the Cain, “Where is Abel, your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you’re cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. And when you work the ground it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”

So God pronounces, in His speech, the punishment for Cain’s sin. That he shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on this earth because of what he has done. Because he has spilt his brother’s blood on the earth, the earth is cursed and he is cursed. And the earth will not produce for him and Cain is a man who lived by producing crops. And now the earth will not produce for him. So he feels like this punishment is too harsh, too unbearable, because his livelihood is affected. Now he's going to be hungry and there'll be nothing to feed him. There'll be nothing for him to eat. His livelihood is challenged. He’s worried about that.

 And so he said to the Lord in the next verse, verse 13, Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.” He complains to God, “My punishment is too harsh, it’s unbearable. It’s greater than I can bear.” Now God could have left him just like that, “You killed your brother, man. You die. Just like he died, you die.” He could have left him just like that. But look at God's grace. He appeals to God, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.” “Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground,” means that's where he depended for his food, for his livelihood. “And from your face, I shall be hidden.” I cannot even come before your face. And I'm driven from the ground off which I lived. “I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on this earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 

And look at the Lord's response to him. The Lord said to him, “Not so. If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

Now, listen to this. Cain was a cursed man, having committed a murder, separated from God, cannot come into the presence of God, thrown out of God's presence. Cursed but God Himself guards him, protects him. Amazing. God's grace is amazing. His fear of violent death is removed. God does him a favor. Just imagine living with the fear of violent death, being killed by someone. God removes his fear so he can live with some peace. God is so merciful.

He puts a sign on him, showing that if anybody touches him, anybody kills him, vengeance shall be taken on that person sevenfold. Sevenfold. Nobody will touch him. His life is somewhat guaranteed. And a minimum peace is guaranteed. Violent death will not happen. He doesn't have to be afraid. Look at God's grace. I'm amazed at the way God shows His grace.

Let me summarize what happened here. God did not abandon guilty Cain even when he brought his offering and his offering was not accepted. When God saw his anger, God did not turn away from him. God counseled him. God talked with him. That's grace. Engaged him in a fatherly manner, probing him, and asking him some questions to solve the problem, help him do it right. Look at God's grace. God did not leave him exposed to Satan, to go out there and die. And God literally pleads with Cain to resist temptation.

When God said to him, “Why are you angry? Why is your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not only not be accepted?” And then look at what He says, “If you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door.” Verse 7, “Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” God says, “Hey, I'm counseling you. I'm telling you go do it right and you'll be accepted. If you don't do it right, sin is ready to dominate you. It's crouching at your door. You're going to do something terrible, like a murder. Sin is crouching at the door. It's going to drag you into the mud, kill you, destroy you, ruin you completely.” Please, don't do it, He says. He’s asking him to resist temptation.

And even after he murdered, he was unrepentant. He never said, “I'm sorry I murdered.” No. He was only sorry that God has punished him so much that he is not able to bear the punishment. He’s only sorry that the earth will not yield him anymore, that his crops will not come up. He's only sorry that he's going to be wandering everywhere and he may get killed. He's unrepentant. He never talked about his sin, never talked about his murder. He never talked about how he dishonored God. And that's why his offering was unacceptable. He was never repenting, unrepentant. He was only having self-pity. But the Lord listened to him. And God placed the sign on him and protected him for the remainder of his natural life. That is amazing grace. Praise God.

So we looked at grace and grace is amazing grace, literally. Sin does so much damage. Sin drags a person into such terrible situations. But grace always reaches out. Grace is always ready to help. Grace is always ready to lift. Grace is always ready to give victory.

Look at how God is counselling him. God is ready to keep him out of it, out of the trouble, out of the sin, out of the murder. God reaches out to him. Grace is like that. The grace of God. Oh, praise God for that. The grace of God reaches out to us every day in our shortcomings. God's grace is the thing that makes up where we lack.

The grace of God is so amazing that when you understand it, you begin to show grace to others. And God's grace is such that no matter who you are, how wrong you've been, what you've done, how ruined and destroyed you are and what bad shape you're in, I'll tell you, the grace of God is more than enough to put you back and make it all good and make something beautiful and wonderful out of that broken life. That's what the grace of God can do. The amazing grace of God can take you and fix you like nothing can. See, that's the good news about the grace.

So I say to you today, as Christians, cling to the grace God. There are people today in the world that don't understand the grace of God, that talk about God as somebody who is just so cruel, that’s just looking to punish anyone that does any wrong and that's all He wants to do, that kind of a thing. God is not like that. God is looking to help. God is looking to reach out.

At one point Jesus said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you.” That one line has so much in it. My grace is sufficient for you. Today, no matter who you are, what you're going through, God's grace is more than enough for you. If you've a believer and if you’ve walked away from God, if you messed up your life, if you've broken that into thousand pieces, if you've been crushed, if you're down and out and failed and you worry that your life may not count for anything, that you may just disintegrate and just be lost, I'm telling you today, God's grace is much more than enough. It is a grace that abounds much more than what sin has done.

Sin may have abounded in your life, sin may have entered into your life and ruined everything and destroyed everything and even destroyed all hope. But God's grace brings hope. God's grace brings faith. God's grace brings expectation. God's grace is like bright light in the midst of darkness. It'll come in, it’ll lift you up, it will put back everything that needs to put back together. It will not just take you back to where you were. It will literally take you to a higher level than you ever were, than you have ever imagined. That's the grace that abounds. That's what abound means. That means it does much more than what sin has damaged. It doesn't simply just rectify and repair what sin has damaged, it does much more. It brings much more benefits. It brings much more blessings into your life.

Even if you're an unbeliever, you don't know Christ and you have never had an experience with Christ, you've never known Christ in any way and you're listening to this message, I'm telling you to Christ, nobody is an alien. Nobody is unknown person. Because He's the maker of heaven and earth. He's the God, the living God and you are His creation. He knows you. He knows you by name.

You may have allowed sin to come into your life. Take over your life, rule your life, destroy your life, completely damage your life. That's what sin does. You ask people, wherever sin is there'll be destruction, ruin, chaos. It may have brought all these things into your life, you may be in the thousand pieces, broken without any hope. And I say to you, there is a savior. There is a God, there is a savior. There is a heavenly Father, who cares about you.

If you'll just open your heart to Him, and if you say, “Lord, you come into my life. I need your grace that I heard about today. Your Grace, they say, is more than enough. I believe it, oh God. That's what I need. I need to be set to aright. All the mess has to be cleared. All the damage has to be made right. I need to be healed. I need to be delivered. I need to be renewed, restored. Help me, Lord. I need your help. I realize that I cannot live without you. I need your help. I've lived my life on my own strength, with my own intelligence. But I now depend on you. I invite you into my heart. Come in Lord Jesus. Make me a new person. Give me a new future.” If you'll pray that today, I tell you, amazing things will happen because God's grace is amazing.

And no matter who you are believer, unbeliever, new to this, old to this, it doesn't matter. Doesn't matter what background you're from. You pray this prayer, the prayer that I just showed just now. You pray this prayer. Speak to God, open your heart, invite Him in. And we'll display our number, telephone number on the screen. If you'd like, we'll send you some material as a link so that you can hear some messages and be encouraged. If you wish, we will do that. Let us know and we’ll pray for you also.

Let's pray.

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