I love this story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4. We started it last week and we will finish it on Sunday. I love that God comes to Cain and gently grabs him by the arm, looks him in the eyes, and says,
Be careful. The anger you are cradling will destroy you. Sin is crouching– just out of sight, but ready to pounce. If you don’t evade and change course, it will destroy you.
God does not mess around with him. Sin is never a one and done act. It changes you. It gets in you. It deteriorates you. We are complete fools if we think we can fondle sin and come out unscathed. Much stronger and better people than you or I have been destroyed by that conviction.
So God reminds Cain.
You don’t have to do this. I can see your heart. I know what you are considering. You don’t have to do it…
Sin desires to have you. You must rule over it. You don’t have to go this direction.
I want to remind you of the way we ‘rule’ over sin: God has made a way because of the cross, the Spirit, and the Church. Remember ‘rule’ doesn’t mean sin goes away. It is there, but we have authority over it. God is instructing Cain to be in charge of his sin.
If you are a follower of Jesus, this is how we do it:
Jesus has delivered you from the penalty and power of sin. Romans 6.6-7 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Jesus has made it possible for us to be freed from sin. It is possible for us to rule over sin. It is possible for us to NOT sin because of what Jesus did.
The Holy Spirit now lives in you to talk to you. Romans 8.10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Not only are you forgiven, God is living inside of you. Killing sin creates the opportunity to have the Holy Spirit inside you. God is in you. He is talking to you. You can talk about your temptation. He will show you what sins are hidden and desiring you. The Lord talked to Cain and told him that he was in danger. The Holy Spirit will do that for you.
The Church is around you. Hebrews 3.13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. We rule over sin alongside the people God gives us to walk with us. You have a small group because you cannot rule over sin on your own. You need a church because you need good teaching about the crouching sins and you need good strategies for how to rule over them.
Many of us do not take our sin seriously enough.
Most of us don’t embrace what God has done with enough hope. Sin is dead. The Holy Spirit is in you. The church is around you. His divine power has granted you everything you need for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3)