The Depth of the Spread of Sin (Gen 4:1-15)

Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can listen to the sermon below and download it here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.

We move on now in our study of Genesis to the fourth chapter — Genesis 4 — where you might say we begin the rest of the story. Through Adam, sin has entered into the perfect world God created, and death through sin. The serpent has been cursed, the woman has been cursed, the man has been cursed. All of creation has been cursed. The man and woman have been driven out of the Garden of Eden by God; the perfect, sinless, communion, the fellowship they knew with God, be it ever so briefly, being corrupted. Everything in the world has been corrupted.

And yet there is no lack of hope. God has promised already, in Genesis 3:15, the seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent. One day Satan and sin and death will themselves be dealt a fatal blow. So moving on from Genesis 3, on the one hand we are looking forward to the day that will happen, but on the other hand, until then, sin is in the world, the wages of sin is death, and since all who come from Adam will be born sinners, we see the spread of sin… the spread of sin.

If you want an overarching theme to Genesis 4 that’s it: the spread of sin. Let’s begin by reading our text: Genesis 4:1-15… 

Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.”  Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to theLord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”  He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear! Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” So the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him.

We do indeed see the depth of the spread of sin here. In just about every way, this account represents a decline even from what happened in the Garden of Eden. There man died spiritually and now, ejected from the Garden, this account shows him taking his own shovel to make his grave a deeper grave. Continue reading “The Depth of the Spread of Sin (Gen 4:1-15)”

The Wages of Sin (Gen 3:8-24)

Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can listen to the sermon below and download it here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.

In our previous study we got into Genesis 3, where in verses 1-7 we read about the beginning of sin. In the first two chapters God created the heavens, the earth, and all that is in them, and He declared everything very good, including the man and man, whom He created in His image. But the beginning of sin was where the serpent deceived Eve, the man and woman chose to believe Satan instead of God. They weren’t satisfied with what God gave them. They coveted His divinity (being like God). So they took the fruit and ate, and as a result, spiritually died. Sin was introduced into the world. Death came in due course. Shame was introduced. The man and woman realized they were naked and they became ashamed. And if you recall from verse seven, they made for themselves coverings from sewn together fig leaves. That was the beginning of sin.

In the following passage, then, we see the wages of sin… God is holy and does not and will not leave sin unpunished, so now we see what happened when God confronted the man and the woman. So let’s now consider Genesis 3:8-24: Continue reading “The Wages of Sin (Gen 3:8-24)”

Come out from among them: A strong recommendation for Christians to flee government schools

The time has come to make a strong plea based on a conviction my wife and I have had for quite some time.

Christian, get your children out of government-run (i.e. public) schools.

As a believer and as a pastor, I have never hesitated when the topic of schools has come up to let my opinion be known about them. Before I was married and had children of my own I had decided that, as a father, I would not send my children to public schools. As a matter of fact, my then-girlfriend, presumptive fiance, and future wife had a pretty heated argument about it. I won. But the point is, I’ve long felt the way I do about public schools. When asked I’ve given my opinion. When discussions of schools have come up I’ve given my opinion. But as a pastor I have not gone all the way in telling others they needed to get their children out of public schools.

That has to change. Continue reading “Come out from among them: A strong recommendation for Christians to flee government schools”

The sermon on the Sunday after the Supreme Court legalized so-called “same-sex marriage” everywhere

The following is the audio and transcript of my sermon this morning from Romans 1:18-32, given the Lord’s Day after the Supreme Court made so-called “same-sex marriage” legal in all fifty states.

Father, You know the burden upon me this morning. I pray You might guard my heart, my mind, and my mouth right now. I want my words to be Your words, my thoughts Your thoughts, my heart Your heart. Help me to speak truth, and truth only. Help me shepherd Your people by turning our hearts toward You, the Good and Perfect Shepherd and Guardian of our Souls. Where repentance is needed, may it be. Where confession is necessary, may it be. Where a shake-up of the way we think has to happen, I pray it will. Above all, though, Father, I pray You might be glorified, and as a result, Your people be strengthened. May grace and truth win the day through Your Son Jesus, in whose holy name we ask this. Amen. Continue reading “The sermon on the Sunday after the Supreme Court legalized so-called “same-sex marriage” everywhere”

I cannot pledge my allegiance

I love my country. Let me make that clear. If you know me in the least you are more than aware I am not part of the hate America or blame America wing of the political spectrum. On the contrary, I am a patriot. I love my country.

I love its flag. Our flag. I love how it represents men who fought that I might be free. I love how it represents men who died to set other people free. And if you want to get silly, attach the flag to any sporting event and the chances of me getting interested increase exponentially. I love that Superman’s outfit deliberately includes American colors. Captain America is even my favorite Avenger.

I love my country. I love the flag.

I just can’t pledge allegiance to it any longer.

Some Christians do not say the Pledge because, as Paul writes in Philippians 3:20, our citizenship is in heaven. I understand that point of view and, to a degree, sympathize with it. However, I also understand that as Christians, while we are on this earth, we have a dual-citizenship. We are not to have friendship with the world, for that is enmity with God (Jas 4:4). We are not of the world, but we are in it (at least for now). My home is with Christ and that is much to be desired, but for now I am also an American. So that’s not why I can no longer say the pledge. Continue reading “I cannot pledge my allegiance”

Esse quam videri: Why Southern Baptists’ declining numbers isn’t all a bad thing

ncsealcolorAs a child matriculating my way through the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system, I learned the motto of my beloved home state was Esse quam videri, which is Latin for To be rather than to seem. It seems to be a good choice for a state which grew up situated between our big bad, powerful colonial neighbor to the north — Virginia — and our uppity neighbor to the south with a (pardon the anachronism here) Napoleon complex — South Carolina. North Carolina was the humble colony (then state) in the middle, content to be what it is rather than seem more than it is. Whether that remains true today is a matter of opinion, but the state motto does seem fitting. To steal an oft-used phrase from a former head coach of the Carolina Panthers, when it comes to North Carolina, “It is what it is.”

What the Southern Baptist Convention is remains a matter of opinion as well. Numbers released the week before our Convention’s Annual Meeting, concluding in Columbus, Ohio, as I write this, have received a great deal of virtual ink from bloggers and pundits. And while I haven’t been able to watch or listen in to all of the goings on in the Buckeye State (We are first in flight!), I’m sure the numbers have been discussed from the podium and in the convention and exhibit halls as well. I know because I’ve been to those meetings before. Continue reading “Esse quam videri: Why Southern Baptists’ declining numbers isn’t all a bad thing”