Hello Project Ezra! I pray you are all doing well and enjoying the Christmas season. This week’s recommended reading is Genesis 4, the story of Cain and Abel. It is a powerful story, and a powerful reminder of the sin and wickedness in the hearts of men. Like so much of the evil we see in the news and in the world, Cain’s sin of murder was borne out of his own envy and pride. Though, like many others, he tried to place the reason for his sin outside of himself, he was born with a sin nature, as we all are. I pray this week’s reading and outline will help you to point this fact out to those who hear you preach, so they may see their need to turn from their sin and put their trust in Christ alone. May God be glorified!
INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND PROJECT EZRA
READ GENESIS 4
Story of the first murder. Cain killed his own brother. Sobering
Why do these kind of things happen? Murder, even of family members, doesn’t seem that unusual these days.
Why would Cain, one of the fathers of the human race, choose to kill his brother?
God told Cain that sin was crouching at his door, and that he must rule over it
Reminds us of the real source of the world’s problems – The wickedness in the hearts of man
Like Cain, many of us try to place the cause for our problems outside ourselves
We may blame our environment, our upbringing, our government, society, or another person
All those things can contribute, but the foundation of our problems is in us
Real cause is our greed, our pride, our lust for power and pleasure, and our desire to be our own gods
The core cause of mankind’s problem is personal sin.
It was the cause of the curse following the fall of Adam and Eve, and that sin was passed on to Cain
Cain’s sacrifice was rejected by God because his heart was not right. Then he killed his brother because of his anger over his own sin and his brother’s righteousness
You don’t have to watch the news long to see the same kind of anger and resentment in our society
And if you look at yourself in light of God’s law, and you will see the same wickedness in your own soul
GO THROUGH THE LAW AND BRING CONVICTION OF SIN
EMPHASIZE TRUTH AND DEPTH OF SIN
EMPHASIZE TRUTH OF HELL AND JUDGMENT
We are all guilty before God, and deserving of nothing but judgment and hell as the just punishment for our sin
But there is hope!
Unlike our problems, which come from within our hearts, the solution of our sin is completely outside ourselves
Why we celebrate Christmas
In that child in the manger was sinless perfection. He was God in human flesh
He was born perfect, lived the perfect life none of us could ever live, and then became the perfect, spotless sacrifice
When Jesus Christ went to the Roman cross, He went willingly (John 10:18)
On the cross all God’s anger and hatred toward sin was poured out on Christ so that it didn’t have to be poured out on us.
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
(Isaiah 53:5 ESV)
And there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved! (Acts 4:12)
As God said to Cain, sin is crouching at your door as well. How can you rule over it?
So how will you deal with your sin? Will you depend on your own perceived goodness to save you when you stand before God?
If you do, you will be found wanting and will receive the just punishment you deserve.
Will you try to shift the blame to something outside yourself?
In the end you cannot truly fool yourself, and you certainly cannot fool God.
Accept God’s gift of grace. Turn from your sins and trust in Christ alone.
When you do, your sins will be paid by Christ’s blood, and you will be seen as righteous because of His righteousness
Only through His sacrifice can you be saved. Only through His perfect sacrifice can that wickedness in your heart be atoned for.
Only through being born again, receiving a new heart and new desires from God, can you escape both the hunger for and the punishment for, sin
Have you done that? Have you turned from your sin and put your trust in Christ alone to save you?
If not, why not? Is there any sin you love so much it is worth death and hell?
Please trust in Christ, while you have been given time. Life is short, and none of us is promised tomorrow!
Turn to Christ today, and live!