Cain and Abel


Sermon Notes & Group Questions

Genesis 4:1-2 - “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, ‘I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.’ And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.”

Genesis 4:3-4 - “In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions.”

From the beginning of time, what has God wanted from His people?

Worship!

True worship involves:

  • Intimacy

Genesis 1:26 - “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’”

  • Obedience
  • Sacrifice

Genesis 4:4-5 - “And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard.”

What was the difference between Cain and Abel’s offering of worship?

  • Cain’s offering was given out of pride, closed fists and a hardened heart.

1 John 3:12 - We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous.

Jude 1:11 - “Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error and perished in Korah's rebellion.”

  • Abel’s offering was given out of humility, open hands and a heart of true worship.

Hebrews 11:4 - By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.

  • Notice that it says that Abel gave the firstborn of his flock. 

What’s was Cain’s response to God?

  • Anger, jealousy and bitterness

Genesis 4:5-7 - “So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 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.’”

  • I find it interesting how God describes sin to Cain – He gives Sin a personality! It’s crouching at the door and it’s desire is for you! It’s like a wild beast waiting to devour you.
  • And God says to Cain, don’t let it control you! Don’t give into it! 
  • Deliberate disobedience

Genesis 4:8 - “Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.”

What happened as a result of Cain’s actions?

  • God seeks after Cain.

Genesis 4:9-10 - “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ He said, ‘I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?’ And the Lord said, ‘What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground.’”

  • Cain reaps the consequences of his sin.

Genesis 4:11-12 - “And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”

  • He loses his job
  • He is driven from his home.

Genesis 4:13-14 - “Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, You have driven me today away from the ground, and from Your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.’”

  • Cain experiences God’s grace.

Genesis 4:15-16 - “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.’ And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.”

What does God want from us today?

  • Worship!
  • Intimacy

James 4:8 - “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”

  • Obedience

1 John 5:3 - “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

1 John 2:5 - “...but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.”

  • Sacrifice

A true sacrifice involves humility!

What does He promise? Grace!

Question: What are you holding back?

Notes:

Q1: How do you define worship? Do only Christians worship? How does Christian worship differ from other forms of worship in society?

Read Genesis 4:1-15, then 1 John 3:12 and Jude 1:11

Q2: What do these verses seem to be saying about Cain’s heart? How does Cain's heart seem to differ from Abel's heart?

Read Hebrews 11:4

Q3: The writer of Hebrews credits Abel’s faith for God’s acceptance of his sacrifice. This is because Abel’s sacrifice cost him something. What did it cost him and what does that say about the meaning and value of worship? What does it mean when Hebrews says that Abel’s sacrifice “still speaks”?

Read Luke 21:1-4 and Luke 10:27

Q4: Jesus doesn’t seem impressed with the gifts of the rich people in the temple. What was it about the widow’s gift that was important to Jesus? How does Jesus give us the ability to be “all in” in relationship to God?

Q5: What do you think is most difficult to give to God as an act of our worship? How does knowing about the extent of God’s grace to Cain help to encourage you with that thing or things?

End your group with a time of prayer and thanksgiving. If you have a favorite worship song consider playing the song and invite everyone to listen to it’s message.

Remember to look for authentic relationships, spiritual transformation, and missional living as a group!

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Cain and Abel
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