THE L.I.F.E. PLAN CAIN AND ABEL BLOCK 1. THEME 6 - PEOPLE PROFILES LESSON 1 (21 of 216)

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1 THE L.I.F.E. PLAN CAIN AND ABEL BLOCK 1 THEME 6 - PEOPLE PROFILES LESSON 1 (21 of 216)

2 BLOCK 1 THEME 6: PEOPLE PROFILES LESSON 1 (21 OF 216): CAIN AND ABEL LESSON AIM: Briefly survey the lives of Cain and Abel. SCRIPTURE: (Genesis 4: 1-16) Genesis 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. In the beautiful Garden of Eden which God had made for man and woman, sin entered the heart of man and the world. In Genesis three, we see that sin was passed on to the entire race. In Genesis four, we see how sin is passed from person to person through physical reproduction. The children of Adam and Eve were conceived in iniquity, as we all are, and were born with sin. In the Garden, sin was unleashed upon the human race. We see it in the very first offspring of Adam and Eve. Cain and Abel were brothers born to Adam and Eve. They were growing up and becoming men of their own. They had occupations and had an understanding that they had to go before God with their personal problem with sin. God had already demonstrated to their parents that blood was required for the remission of sins. Obviously, their parents had taught this to their sons. Although Jesus would not come for thousands of years, they could bring an offering to God representative of him and find atonement. The problem between the brothers began from the offerings they each brought to God. Abel s offering was a blood sacrifice from the very best of his flock. Cain s offering was of the fruit of the ground from the works of his hands. God received Abel s offering but rejected the offering of Cain. Why did God do this? Cain s offering could have been the very best of what he had to offer as well. It could have been the firstfruits of his increase. It could have been the very best fruits and vegetables he had ever raised. What then was the problem? The problem was simply this: God had already established the kind of offering he required and Cain offered an offering other than what God required. This is what made his offering unacceptable. Man does not have the prerogative to dictate to God what kind of offering he must accept. God specifies what he requires and man must comply. When God rejected the offering of Cain, Cain grew angry at his brother. This is what sin will do to us. It will cause us to not accept our own guilt but attempt to transfer it to someone else. Cain could not see that he was wrong. He became angry with his brother and murdered him. One sin led to another. God confronted Cain and pronounced judgement upon him. In God s confrontation of Cain, God said, And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. God was saying to Cain that sin is loose in the world, and one of two things is going to happen: either sin is going to control you, or you are going to have to control it. Up to this point, sin was in control in the heart of Cain. It caused him to bring an unacceptable offering to God, to be angry with his brother for no legitimate reason, and to commit murder. Sin had won on two fronts in Cain s life. It had cost him a relationship with God, and it had caused him to do the worst thing one person can do to another; the taking of a life.

3 In the life of Cain, we are not given an example of how he could have brought sin under control. The unfolding of Scripture does give us this information in specific terms. However, what we do see from the example of Cain is two important truths about bringing sin under control. One, in ourselves, we cannot win over sin. Sin is too powerful and the fallen, fleshly nature of man is no match for it. Man, left to himself, will fall to sin every time. We need outside help. We have to face sin under the protection of the blood of Christ and the righteousness this brings to our life. This is the only way man can overcome sin. Second, we have to face sin in God s prescribed way. If Cain had come to God on God s terms, he would have been accepted. Instead, he attempted to come to God on his own terms and he was rejected. Let us learn from this example. It did not work for Cain, and it will not work for us. We can see also from this terrible event in Cain s life that sin has devastating consequences. Let s pick out several of the consequences that Cain experienced. First, he was rejected by God. Murder was terrible, but this is not the basis of his rejection before God. God rejected him because he attempted to have salvation by another means than what God required. Cain never repented of his sin. He faced the eternal consequences of this action which was separation from God for ever. This is illustrated in the text as it says that Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, east of Eden. Not only was Cain s relationship with God changed forever, but his relationship with other people was also affected. He had to leave his home and his family. He would be a fugitive the rest of his life among other people. He would never be able to escape the fact that he had killed his brother in the minds of other people. To others, Cain would always be not only a murderer, but the murderer of his brother. The sin always seems to be worse when it is against those to whom we are the closest. Cain also faced more consequences of sin in his everyday life. He was a farmer by trade, a tiller of the ground. God said that now that this had happened, he would continue to work as a farmer but now the ground would not produce for him as it would have otherwise. His crops were going to be diminished both in quantity and quality. He would have to work harder for less produce from then on. Sin affects the work of our hands. With this consequence of sin, it would now be much harder for Cain to make a living and to provide for his family. Just as sin was passed through the human bloodline from Adam to Cain and Abel, we see it passed also to the offspring of Cain. Lamech, the great-grandson of Cain also committed murder. He too, attempted to make up his own rules for life by saying, If Cain shall be avenged seven-fold, then I shall be avenged seventy-seven fold. Cain not only reproduced physical offspring, but he also reproduced his sinful qualities in his family for generations to come. The story of Cain and Abel is illustrative of the struggle that every human being faces on earth. We were born in sin. We will struggle with sin as long as we live in these mortal bodies. Like Able, we can come to God in the way God has prescribed, by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the blood he shed to cover our sins. We can be declared righteous, just as Abel was, and stand before God a new creature in Christ. From this position, and with the help of God living within us, we can control sin and live victoriously over it. We do not have to be the slaves of sin any longer. And, the better job we do with sin, the less consequences of sin we will have to deal with in our lives and in the lives of our family.

4 LESSON OUTLINE BLOCK 1 THEME 6: PEOPLE PROFILES LESSON 1 (21 OF 216): CAIN AND ABEL I THE STORY OF CAIN AND ABLE II SIN S CONTROL A. Sin s control over us B. Our control of sin III SIN S CONSEQUENCES A. Relationship problems 1. With God 2. With other people B. In life 1. Work 2. Family SCRIPTURES TO BROADEN YOUR UNDERSTANDING 1. Victory over sin Romans 7 1 John 1:9, 2:1 2. Cain and Abel Matthew 23:35 Luke 11:51 Hebrews 11:4; 12:24 1 John 3:12 Jude Salvation by grace Ephesians 2:8-9

5 LINES OF THEOLOGICAL CONNECTION 1. SOTERIOLOGY Justification by faith Righteousness 2. THE DOCTRINE OF GOD Approaching God in his prescribed way 3. THE DOCTRINE OF SIN The fall Specific sins The consequences of sin QUESTIONS ANSWER KEY 1. What was the difference between Cain s and Abel s offering to God? Abel s offering was according to what God required; Cain s was not 2. Where in the Scriptures to this point did God demonstrate the shedding of blood to cover man s sin? Genesis 3:21 3. What did a blood sacrifice look forward to? The offering of Christ on the cross 4. Cain was angry that God did not accept his offering. What other sin did this lead to? The murder of his brother Abel 5. Why is it important to know the ways God has revealed about how he is to be approached? Because he will not be approached in any other way 6. Have you ever blamed another person for something you did wrong? Student response 7. Have you come to God in his prescribed way, through his Son, Jesus Christ? Student response 8. How are you doing with your responsibility to control sin in your life? Student response

6 BLOCK 1 THEME 6: PEOPLE PROFILES LESSON 1 (21 OF 216): CAIN AND ABEL QUESTIONS TO INSPIRE THOUGHT 1. What was the difference between Cain s and Abel s offering to God? 2. Where in the Scriptures to this point did God demonstrate the shedding of blood to cover man s sin? 3. What did a blood sacrifice look forward to? 4. Cain was angry that God did not accept his offering. What other sin did this lead to? 5. Why is it important to know the ways God has revealed about how he is to be approached? 6. Have you ever blamed another person for something you did wrong? 7. Have you come to God in his prescribed way, through his Son, Jesus Christ? 8. How are you doing with your responsibility to control sin in your life?

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