Sin as predator. Cain and Abel. Genesis 4 – My notes from a Tim Keller sermon. iTunes

Intro. The question for this sermon series is what is wrong with us? One of the things wrong with us is that we underestimate our enemy sin. It is like in Terminator 1 where people continually underestimate the power of the terminator.

The big idea: We learn three things about sin in Genesis 4:7.

Passage: “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.”

Point one. Sin hides itself – it coils like a snake.
It is like a crouching lion – it always looks smaller than it really is.

Point two. Sin is powerful – its desire is for you.
Sin is not only wrong it is stupid and against the grain of the universe. The lier is lied to. The deceived is deceived.

Abel’s offering is not a sin offering, but it is an offering like a wedding ring: a token of giving all of your self to someone else. 1 John 3:12 says in contrast that Cain’s offering was half-hearted.

In a biography of FDR, it is noted that WWII changed his mind about the belief of goodness in everyone. We want to believe that terror is only in the monsters and not in ordinary people. The holocost revealed what ordinary people were capable of in carrying out orders of crimes against humanity.

Point three. What is the hope for the defeat of sin?
In this passage we see that God is the one pursuing Cain. He tells him he is not the victim. He says Cain’ problem is not Abel but what is inside of Cain. Cain is a lesson to us that we are misserable not because of what has happened to us but how we choose to respond to what has happened to us. If sin is your problem, you can master it. But if Cain believes in error that Abel was really his problem, then he thought he had to kill him to fix his problem. Sin is our problem, not our spouse, our kids, our work, etc.

Again, God pursues Cain in mercy to repentance by asking where is Abel. God led Cain to the pool of Abel’s blood because he did not repent.

The New Testament says that Jesus is the ultimate Abel. How so? Hebrews 12:24 says “and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” Abel’s blood cried out to God for vengeance and justice. Cain should not have killed him. Jesus’ blood cries out grace and mercy. In the pool of the blood of Jesus, God gets justice AND the pool cries out MERCY, GRACE. This is a better pool of blood that cries out a better message.

The good news for us is that as followers of Christ, God is not looking for a second payment crying out from the pool of blood. Our sin has received the payment it should have received in justice. There is no payment left!

Everyone has the mark of Cain on them: God’s patience driving us to repentance.

Christ was devoured by our sin that crouched for him so that we do not have to live in sin!

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