In Genesis 4 we see the depth and weight of Cain’s sin, and the liberating grace of God. Cain offered a sacrifice so that God would be pleased with him, whereas Abel offered a sacrifice because he trusted that God was going to be pleased with him through the promised Savior. Cain became furious when his self-salvation project failed, and his fury lead him to kill his brother. He then realizes the judgement and death he deserves, but God responds with grace. Though Cain deserves death, he got life. The truth is that we are a worse Cain and Jesus is a better Abel. Abel’s blood cried out for Cain’s condemnation—it cried out for judgement. But the blood of Jesus cries out for our salvation—it cries out for our forgiveness. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all our sin.
Genesis 4:1-16 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” 2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Then 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. 16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
1. Was there anything from Sunday’s Sermon or the Big Idea that had an affect on you? What remaining questions do you have?
2. What stands out to you in Genesis 4 and why?
3. Why did God not regard Cain’s sacrifice? In what ways have you done things like Cain—things outwardly seen as good but in your heart it was more out of religious duty than delight in Jesus? Try and be specific. What does this tell us about the depth of sin?
4. How does the story of Cain and Abel reveal our need for Jesus? How is the gospel challenging the way you’ve previously thought about yourself and about God? How does Jesus’ gospel free us from the ceaseless pressure of being “good enough”?
5. Spend some time praying for one another, praying for the lost, praying for your city, and praying for God to provide for the future church plant in Checotah.
We’re a worse Cain and Jesus is a better Abel. Because Jesus wasn’t just killed because of our sin; Jesus was killed for our sin. In Christ, we are free from having to achieve our worth through our works. In Christ, we are free to find all of our worth and all of our satisfaction in who he is and what he’s done.
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- Community Group Discussion 1.21-22.14 PDF