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Origins: The Effects of Sin (A Case Study) | Genesis 4:1-16
Use this review as a means for digging deeper into these verses and growing in your understanding of God’s Word this week. Here’s a few tips:
Begin by reading Genesis 4:1-16.
This account serves as a great case study for the three major themes of our series: God’s design, sin’s disaster, and the hope of deliverance.
Verse 5 tells us that not only did God reject Cain’s offering, he rejected Cain himself. Why? Well, 1 John 3:12 gives us insight into the reasoning. It says, “We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous.” The motivation behind Cain’s offering was not pure because Cain did not truly worship God.
God’s design for us is to worship him with authenticity. What does this mean and what should this look like in your life?
Sin’s disaster is that it always produces evolving corruption. It has a natural progression of growing and getting worse inside of you over time. Look at the flow of this story and how sin’s degrading power grew inside of Cain. After God rejects his offering, Cain is overwhelmed with anger that leads him to wallow in self-pity (verse 5-6). God comes to Cain and offers a chance for him to make this right. He offers Cain an exit ramp off of this dangerous road he is heading down (verse 6-7). However, Cain doesn’t heed the warning and so his anger evolves and begins to control him. This eventually leads him to commit premeditated murder against his own brother (verse 8).
How many times in your life has God extended grace to you by offering you an opportunity to repent and get off of the dangerous road you were on? How did you respond?
In the midst of this terrible tragedy, there is still hope for deliverance, a promised redemption. God said in Genesis 3:15 there would be a male offspring of Adam and Eve who would one day defeat the Serpent. Ultimately, that male offspring would be born many years later in a small village named Bethlehem. His blood would cry from the ground like Abel’s, but his blood “speaks a better word” than Abel’s (Hebrews 12:24), for it is the power to save people from their sins.
Only through faith in Jesus and his life, death, and resurrection are we freed from the bondage of sin that held Cain captive and holds us captive today.
How does knowing how much Jesus has sacrificed for you affect the way you sacrifice for others?
Thank Jesus for being the promised One. Praise him for his powerful transforming grace. Ask him to help you treat others with brotherly love.
For further study: read 1 John 3:11-16