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January 14, 2022 7:00 am
Now, as you know we been studying the book of Genesis and in the first three chapters God has given us a panoramic look at the earliest days of mankind. God is told us number one about his creation of the universe ex Nilo meaning out of nothing. He's told us number two about his direct creation of Adam and Eve and how he created all biological life himself personally.
Number three God told us about how we put our Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and then number four how Satan tempted them and they fell and then number five about the multifaceted consequences of that fall, number six, God told us about his promise of the Messiah, the seed of the woman who would come and crush Satan and redeem mankind, and finally number seven God told us about his expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden. Not just before God banished Adam and Eve from the garden. Genesis 321 tells us that the Lord killed two animals and quoting now made coverings of skin for Adam and Eve and close up there, symbolizing, of course, that he had covered their sin, and in doing this what God was trying to do was teach Adam and Eve basic underlying principles. The basic operating principle behind this plan of salvation for the human race, and that principle is the principle of substitutionary atonement, meaning that God will accept an innocent substitute dying in the sinner's place to atone for that person. Sin before God is first Peter 318 puts it, if the just for the unjust, the innocent for the guilty, the substitute for the real offender and God taught Adam and Eve that temporarily he would accept an innocent animal as the substitute, but eventually it would have to be the innocent son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ himself who would solve the problem of sin permanently.
God got a lot in those first three chapters, dignity, and if you miss any of that. I urge you to pick up the CDs from the bookstore when were done or to go online and download a podcast are messages that are always free online so you can do that and I urge you to catch up to now today what we want to do is move on into Genesis chapter 4 were God begins to tell us about how things went. In the post garden of Eden, the world and we begin. Of course with the story of Cain and Abel were to go back and look at what happened and then to bring all that forward ever going to talk about. Well, what difference does that make for you and me. So we ready are the stoic Genesis chapter 4 verse one. Now the man Adam had relations with his wife. Even she conceived and gave birth to Cain and she said I have gotten a man child with the help of the Lord. And again she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Many years passed now. The boys grow up. In fact, as best we can tell, according to the biblical record when the rest of this chapter happens. They are both about 100 years old diverted so here we go first three so it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord from the fruit of the ground remember what was Cain was a farmer yeah okay but Abel for his parts brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fact portions. In other words, Abel brought an animal sacrifice. He brought a blood offering to the Lord. Just the way the Lord told Adam and Eve. They had to do in order to approach God. Verse four and the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering. But for Cain and his offering. God had no regard. So Cain became very angry, and his countenance fell. He became disheartened you say women when a stop on, don't you think that Adam and Eve taught their boys about substitutionary atonement. We certainly do and you say and don't you think that they taught their boys that the only way you could approach God was to come by way of a blood offering to come by way of a blood sacrifice. Of course I think they did what you say so that I don't get it. Why would Cain do this, why would he rebel against God's clear instructions friends. I can answer that question with two words, sin nature. You see, the Bible teaches that as soon as Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden.
They immediately brought on themselves a sin nature that is inherent to their fleshly bodies and that the sin nature is passed down to every member of their race, we inherited from birth and that this nature is what drives us to rebel against God. Isaiah 53 verse six tells us about the sin nature. It says all of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to say the next 3 Words His Own Way, welcome to the sin nature there is sin nature says I'm not doing it the way God wants to do and I'm doing it the way I want to do it. This is why we have murders and kidnappings and robberies, and drug abuse and sex scandals and white-collar crime. You know, psychologist and sociologists and anthropologists and criminologists can search wherever they want to find the answer for why there's so much crime in our world and why there's so much violence in our world but friends. The Bible tells us the answer to your and simple.
The Bible says it's because the heart of man is diseased or Jeremiah 79. The Bible says the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately sick because every human being has a sin nature which will never be cured to we get our new bodies as followers of Christ when the Lord comes back. But our point is the Cain had this been nature and this is why he rebel and this is why he tried to approach God. Isaiah 53.
His own way.
Verse six then the Lord said to Cain, why are you angry wise your countenance fallen. I told you how you have to come to me what's wrong with you if you go do right will not your countenance be lifted up, Cain. Go get an animal bring it to me as a blood sacrifice. The way I taught you and I'll have regard for your offering. Just like I have for Abel's offering but if you do not do right. God said to him, sin is crouching at your door and its desire is for you but you must master it. So suddenly. Here we have Cain faced with an enormous crossroads in his life either. On the one hand, he can repent of his rebellion he can surrender his will to God's will and he can go get an animal in doing God's way or he can keep on trying to do it his way and rebelling and do something stupid.
Eventually, what he do per se than Cain said to his brother Abel.
Let's go out to the field while they were there. Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, where is your brother Abel and Cain said I don't know am I my brother's keeper and God said to Cain, what have you done your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground now conversant are you and I will drive you from the ground and opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand, may I point out to us that Cain is the very first person in the Bible, God ever cursed in the garden of Eden.
God cursed the snake and God cursed the devil, but he punished out of anybody did not curse Adam and Eve, he cursed the ground but not Adam and Eve.
This is the first person that God ever curses verse 12. When you work the ground, Cain God says it will no longer yield its crops to you, you shall be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and Cain said my punishment is more than I can bear.
Behold you've driven me away and hid in your face from me and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and it will come about that.
Whoever finds me will kill me. But the Lord said to Cain, not so.
For if anyone kills you, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.
Then the Lord to mark on Cain, so that no one who found him with killing. So Cain went out from the Lord's presence and lived in the land of nod to the East of Eden. Now that the stars were going to go in our passage for right now because were going to stop and ask our most important question and it's Christmas so this is a Christmas so what. This is a December so what are I are we ready for this and I have to tell you today. I mean the other services did really well they did so you got some big shoes to fill.
So here we go only on the Internet or body are Tysons want to pray that you guys are amazing okay you win you in. You say Launcelot say II you know everybody knows the story of Cain and Abel and I my brother's keeper how it was as any of this make to me on every little live to be 100 somewhat different than any of his make to me. Well let's see we can help with that friends we said that the presenting problem here in Genesis 4 is that Cain tried to approach God, his own way with the vegetables if you will of his own human effort instead of the substitutionary blood of an animal, but folks may I point out to all of us. The problem was fixable.
This was not an irreparable problem God told him God said Cain look all you gotta do son is repent and go get an animal and sacrifice it and bring the blood to me the way I told you to and I'll be happy to have regard for your offering. This was not unfixable and yet Cain didn't do that, you say, why not. Well friends because there was another problem going on in this chapter is not quite as obvious, but it's very real and it was that all the problem that compounded with his own sin nature caused Cain to do what he did. It was something else that caused him to refuse to go get that animal and bring it back. It's something else that caused him to kill his brother Abel. Let me show you what it is ready.
Okay, let's remember that God did not allow mankind to eat meat until after the flood. Did you know that Genesis chapter 9 verse three God said to Noah after the flood. He said every moving creature alive shall what's the next word now be food for you. I give it to you as I gave you green plan before yeah friends Cain and Abel were vegetarians. Everybody else on the face of the earth. Up until the flood were vegetarians. As a matter of fact they were probably vegans and ate no meat products of any kind. No animal products so does it strike you strange that the Bible would say that Abel was a keeper of flocks the psyche strange. I mean why would anybody keep cattle. Why would anybody keep goats.
Why would anybody keep sheep or lambs or flocks of anything if they were of no use for food whatsoever. I believe the answer is simple. The answer is if you wanted to make a blood sacrifice to the Lord, you had to go get that animal from someplace and so your options were to go out in the field and try to catch a wild animal or go to Abel and purchase one makes sense yeah okay so now here we got Cain remember we got Cain. Cain is what is a farmer right.
He brings the best he's got to God the best of his vegetables whatever God rejects them says no this is not how you approach me you gotta go get an animal endured by substitutionary blood. Where does Cain have to go to get an animal as gotta go to his brother Abel is going to humble himself and go see his brother. And this brings up the fact that the Bible tells us that between Cain and Abel. There was trouble in River city. There was jealousy there was envy. There was resentment there was hostility that Cain felt towards Abel. He was not going to do it. I'm sure he felt like wait a minute, wait a minute, I give mom while my vegetables as good as his animals. I'm not doing it.
They say will want.
Why would Cain be jealous again stable friends.
I don't know why is anybody jealous of anybody what is anybody resent anybody there's usually no logical reason for it is just the way it is so Cain said I'm not doing it in his jealousy boil over in his resentment towards his brother boiled over and caused him to go out and do something really stupid. In fact, in Genesis 47 remember what God warned Cain, he said, sin is crouching like a lion at your door. It wants to master you. What sin was God talking about was he talking about some you know sin of stealing money no. Was he talking about some sexual sin no.
He was talking about the sin of jealousy, resentment, hatred and the malice that was in his heart, Cain's heart towards his brother. That's what God was talking about seizing resentment which Cain failed to master in which cause the disastrous result, we see now I want to stop talking I Cain and Abel for moment and I want to move all of this forward in the 21st century and talk about you and me, so I want to go from preaching to Medlin. Can I do that yeah okay folks, jealousy, resentment, hostility towards other people is certainly not a problem limited to Cain, Nono the Bible calls it an outworking of the flesh and intrinsic part of our sinful human nature of yours of my of every bodies this in the Galatians 521 it says now the outworking of the sinful flesh, are these immorality, impurity, sensuality, those are sexual sins. Idolatry, witchcraft. Those are spiritual sins.
Now watch here comes six sins, all related to this issue of jealousy here we go, hostility, discord, jealousy, dissension, strife and envy. Six of them and would you notice that God says these are outcroppings of our flesh, they are an inbred part of our sinful human nature. These are things that lurk in the deepest recesses of our soul and that we all secrete from deep within in our hearts. Shakespeare called it the green sickness if you ever wonder where the expression green with envy came from. It came from this expression in Shakespeare. The green sickness and every one of us has God just to make sure were all on the same page.
Can we define it. Just make sure we all got it. This define what is the green sickness will number one, it's that thing inside of us that first of all, causes us to resent what other people have and what they are. If that thing which causes us to flinch on the inside minute their name is ever mentioned in conversation affecting number three. The causes us never to have a good word to say about them. Number four to take pleasure in their every fault number five to hope that they stumble and they fail and number six, to rejoice on the inside when they do not usually most commonly we feel this towards members of our family, brothers, sisters, brother-in-law's sister-in-law's we can feel this towards anybody, a coworker, a fellow student.
A neighbor, a roommate and it's ugly is ugly. It is so ugly that most of us a sophisticated people cultured people. Civilized people, most of us are way too embarrassed to openly admit that we feel this way. That is, unless you're on the real housewives of Beverly Hills.
I don't care. But if you're not on that show most of us try to hide this. Most of us try to camouflage this, but we know it's there. We know it's there and you know the most serious part of all is not just that it sin it is. And not just that it's offensive to God. It is, but what is serious about it is that if we don't deal with it before the Lord in our hearts. Sooner or later. Listen to me, it will boil over, just as it did with Cain and it will cause us to do something or to say something stupid and self-destructive. Just like it did with Cain is a cancer in our hearts as they are long so let's say and I'm not saying but let's say you're right.
And let's say I'm not saying but let's say I really do have this inside of me. I have a friend I know who actually has thought of them so come on, long, let's say I have this inside of me, long you set out what I need to deal with it before the Lord. We all do, how do I deal with it before the Lord.
How do I do that well it's a great question were to answer but if you don't have this problem.
You really nobody came up on the screen we use the words envy, resentment, strife, hostility, you're free to leave nobody okay we have an anybody all morning leave and I can't leave either Because I got the same problem you do so, shall we talk about how to deal with this in our hearts. Yes guy got a four step process that were given in the Bible to deal with this. Here we go number one step number one is we must openly admit that we have the problem. David said Psalm 32 verse three when I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away my strength was drained away as in the heat of the summer. This is what this disabled due to your first five, then I admitted my sin to you, Lord, and I did not cover-up my iniquity friends as ugly as this sin is and it is ugly. Step number one is if we want to be free of it. We have to stop justifying it. We have to stop excusing it. We have to stop pretending it's not there. We have to stop saying that were justified in feeling this way. In light of what they've done or said no, we must confess it openly before the Lord as sin.
We must admit we have a disease in our heart that needs to be cured. This is really the hardest part of the whole thing. If we can get past this step is no place else to go number two we admitted five number two than step number two is we must want to solve the problem. We must want to be said for you.
So long we meet, we must want to be separate what everybody wants to be set free from this know they don't know they don't I meet people all the time who love chewing on other people in their heart and love rooting for them to fail who love just absolutely fashion them every day in their heart and they don't want to give it up.
They enjoy doing this to this person know we've got to understand this is a cancer. As I said, we have to take seriously God's warning to Cain that the sin of jealousy. Genesis 47 is like a lion crouching at our door and that if we don't get on top of it sooner or later it will plunge us into saying something or doing something that we will regret the rest of our life just like Cain regretted what he did the rest of his life. We all want to be free well at Ceylon, I admitted and I really want to be free will comes next.
Well, step number three is we've got to attack the problem correctly spiritually say was that me well. Remember Galatians 517 said it said the jealousy is not just a bad habit like like sucking your thumb or bite your fingernails. No no. The Bible says it is an outworking of our sin nature.
It is a spiritual problem.
The Bible says and folks spiritual problems have to be dealt with spiritually.
The flash cannot fix the flesh.
No amount of BF Skinner. Behavior modification is going to fix this. Walking out of our house in the morning and saying as we go out the door, I will not hate them.
I will not resent them will not withdrawal of the lab to make a difference because the flesh can't fix the flash.
The only way that this can be mortified inside of us is for the spiritual power of the Holy Spirit himself to be applied to this is why David said Psalm 5110 create in me a clean heart, O God, because only you can.
God, because I can't clean my own heart out. This is why the apostle Paul said walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. If we really want to be set free my friends.
Day by day, moment by moment in prayer we must be asking the Holy Spirit to mortify this evil in our heart and we must depend on his power alone to do it is their will on how's he going to do it, friends. I don't know how does God change our hearts.
I don't know you know what, I don't really care what difference does it make as long as he doesn't. And you know what, if you and I really want this cleaned out. If you and I really want this mortified in our hearts.
I promise you got a little which means we have to walk out of our house every morning and instead we need to say no. Lord Jesus, you know, I do resent that person. I am jealous of that person.
I don't I don't like that person. I do hope they fail today. That's my sinful hearts.
But God today by the power of the Holy Spirit kill that inside of me today.
Mortify that side of me today.
Help me rise up above that and help that be crushed inside of me today, not tomorrow. Tomorrow is tomorrow. This is today. That's how we deal with sidelong understand that I can deal with the but you say, let's say you say let's like I get free. Let's say that God frees me of my feelings towards my brother or my sister or my brother-in-law or whoever how I make sure a lot I don't get sucked into this thing again.
I mean going forward fine. He frees me now my heart is so evil. I'll be back to resent somebody in a week if you if something doesn't happen how I keep myself falling back into it is ready.
Think preventative that I can do. Oh yes, and that step number four and finally and that is number four. We must learn to see life through the lens, the of God's sovereignty say. I'm not sure what that means either okay. Jeremiah 2911 for I know the plans I have for said you know anybody else you. Psalm 139 verse 16 David said all the days ordained for me, not somebody else were written in your book God, when as yet there was not one of see friends what God's sovereignty means is that God has a plan for you and God has your life.
All written down in the book before you where born every detail of any dust from onto and friends. Not any single person in this world can change it, and whatever any person does in this world can't stop it. God is sovereign. He's going to get us right where he needs to get us right when we need to be there for his perfect plan in our life and we don't have to put down anybody else in order to go up and we don't have to take anybody else down in order to stay up friends there going down doesn't take us up and for us to go up. We don't have to pull them down you understand what I'm saying to you.
We need to take our eyes off people. That's what makes us jealous, resentful, hateful, spiteful, what they do to us how they have a scheme against a solid plot against us had no no no no, we need to take our eyes upper-level and look at the sovereignty of God and say you know what God's got a plan meeting.
He my days were written in his book and everything these people do is make a bit of difference.
God laughs title. The last Adam and he says good morning. You really think anything you going to do is to stop my plan, and friends. We need to have the same attitude we need to look at that person is plotting against us. And we need to smile out and say you know what you are so inconsequential in terms of what's going to happen in my life in consequential. Now I don't know that I would say it out loud, but that's what we need to say on the inside in consequential. You make no difference. You can plot all you want you scheme all you want you you can do whatever you want. Connive all you want God's got a plan for me.
That has nothing to do with what you do in fact by your conniving and scheming, you're actually going to help me somehow get where I'm going. So this is going to turn around. This is going to be hysterical whenever all done here friends when we see the world through the lens of the sovereignty of God.
Nothing to be jealous about is nothing to be resentful about these people are in consequential to the plan of God in our life. So let's summarize every one of us if were honest have to admit we struggle with jealousy and envy and resentment towards others. Hey, but the good news is that God's given us away in the Bible to get free and stay free number one we have to openly admit we got the problem, then number two, we gotta really be will really want to be set free.
Number three we got to attack the problems.
Actually, by the power the Holy Spirit and then number four we keep from feeling that way again about people by seeing life through the lens of God's sovereignty. Let me say in closing that I learned in my life. The worst kind of bondage is bondage to hating and resenting and envying and being jealous and being jaundiced towards other people. That is a prison that is a cancer and I've also learned the greatest freedom in the world is to be able to be where the apostle Paul said in Romans 1218 he said, but as for you as much as it lies with you. Be at peace with all people friends we can get to the place that our eyes are so fixed on God's sovereignty that where peace were peace with people and what they want as much as it lies with us were peace. There is a freedom there that is indescribable. God wants to guess is there for use. This four-part process he can Sprague or Jesus, thanks for reminding us today that we have evil hearts we know it yeah but it's good to be reminded in Lord. One of the ways that manifests itself is in this area. We've talked about today.
Jealousy, hostility, hatred, resentment, malice, jaundice towards others. Father I pray that you would remind us that if the Son of Man makes you free, you shall be free indeed that there is a way to be free of this, we have to deal with it properly. Biblically, as we talked about today to get free. The flesh cannot fix the flesh so Lord Jesus use what we've talked about today in a mighty way in our lives. Lord help us make it our goal to be able to say every day, as much as it lies me. I am at peace with every person today give us that freedom Lord and that liberty in our soul because we sat under the teaching of the word of God today and we pray these things in Jesus name.
What are God's people say a man