Sermon -- Cain & Abel

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The Book of Genesis Chapter 4 Cain & Abel

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The Book of Beginnings

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GENESIS – the Book of Beginnings -- the beginning of created things -- the beginning of the human race -- the beginning of fellowship with God -- the beginning of sin and separation from God -- the beginning of human conflict (Adam and Eve) And now…the beginning of… MURDER

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Genesis 4:1-4 NIV Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firtstborn of his flock.

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Genesis 4:4-7 NIV The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favour. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.

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Genesis 4: 8-10 NIV Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field. And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.

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Genesis 4:11- NIV Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth. Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence;

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Genesis 4:14-16 NIV I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me. But the Lord said to him, “Not so; if any-one kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no-one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the Land of Nod, east of Eden.

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THE STORY OF TWO OFFERINGS

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The two offerings The outcome God’s judgement Cain’s plea God’s protection The end result

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The Detective Story Q. What made one offering acceptable and the other unacceptable? Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

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The Key Point: What made one man kill another? (How did murder begin?) James 4:1-3 NIV What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives,

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James 4:3, 7-8 NIV …that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. The Key sentence in Genesis is this one: sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

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Jesus’ Commentary – The Sermon on the Mount Matt 5; 23-22 NIV You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “Do not murder, and any-one who murders will be subject to judge-ment.” But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement. Again anyone who says to his brother “Raca” is answerable to the San-hedrin. But anyone who says, “You fool!” will be in danger of the fire of hell.

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The problem: anger The problem: disrespect The problem: contempt What twisted in Cain was to make his brother the problem when the real problem was in him! That is where sin crouches at the door!

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CONCLUSION The created order has begun to unravel: The result is disharmony first with God, then with ourselves, and ultimately with one another!

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The Logic of our culture: 1. we are the outcome of infinite time + infinite chance. We have no worth or value. 2. the main principle is “survival of the fittest”. There is no reason to care for the weak and vulnerable. 3. therefore the death of someone who is a liability to your welfare is totally appropriate (abortion, euthanasia, terrorism).

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Can you see how important Genesis is? 1. We are not the consequence of chance but the creation of a loving God. 2. The main principle with God is love – of him, of ourselves, and of others. 3. Life has value and each person is to be treated with love, respect and honour.

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Conclusion: The domino effect of sin has been broken in Jesus Christ. II Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! He is the New Adam, who has launched redemption of humanity. And we are a part of that story – a new Genesis – a new beginning.

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