1 John 3:11-16 ESV
“For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 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. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
Cain and Abel
Who was Cain? He was the firstborn son of Adam and Eve who were the first humans God created. Their second born son was Abel. Abel was a keeper of the sheep and Cain was a worker of the ground. In the course of time they each brought an offering to the Lord. The Lord accepted Abel’s offering, but he rejected Cain’s, so Cain was very angry with God.
“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 contrary to you, but you must rule over it.’” Genesis 4:6-7 ESV
Wow! That says a lot, doesn’t it! God is not going to accept us if we do not do what he commands, and I am not teaching just Old Testament here. This is what the New Testament teaches, too. We must obey the Lord or we are not accepted by him. It doesn’t mean we will be absolutely perfect in every way, but it means that our lives are dedicated to our Lord, to doing what he says to do, and that obedience to him is what we practice, and we don’t practice sin. For faith is obedience. It is surrender to the will of God.
Also, instead of getting angry with God, Cain should have sought the Lord’s counsel, and he should have inquired of him as to what he did wrong, and then he should have repented of his sin, i.e. he should have turned from his wrongdoing to do what was right in the eyes of God. He should have asked God for direction in what to do, and then he should have followed the Lord in what he showed him was the right thing to do. But he didn’t, even though the Lord was giving him that opportunity to repent and to be restored.
For, the Lord had not shut the door in Cain’s face. Yes, he did not accept his offering, but he was still giving him a chance to change, and he was letting him know that he had two choices, either to obey, and to do what was right, and to not obey, and to do what was wrong, but that there would be consequences if he continued to do wrong and to not do right. If we do not repent of sin, then sin continues to have us, and it is our master, and our Lord is not our master, and soon we add sin upon sin and we are enslaved to sin and not to God and not to doing the will of God.
But you must rule over it. There, we are taught how to conquer sin in our lives in the 4th chapter of the Bible. We are taught all throughout the Scriptures how to conquer sin in our lives, and yet many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ continue in their sin and they do not do what the Bible says we must do to be free from our slavery to sin. And sin ends up owning and possessing them, and although they claim to be “free in Christ,” they are not free, for Satan still has control over their lives.
For, God’s grace to us is not just forgiveness of sins so that when we die we can go to heaven. God’s grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the power and wisdom of God while we wait for our Lord’s soon return. We must deny the flesh and daily reject sin and say “Yes!” to God and to his will for our lives, or sin will have us in its grips. For in Christ Jesus we have the power and ability to conquer sin in our flesh if we will.
But Cain chose the way of sin and the way of the flesh, instead, and out of anger and resentment and bitterness against his brother, he killed him. And then God cursed him. But he let him continue to live on the earth and to marry and to bear offspring. Yet, I am not aware that the Scriptures teach that Cain ever repented of his sin, and so that meant he was eternally condemned. And all because he refused God and he chose the way of sin, instead. And sadly this is where many people are, even many who profess the name of Jesus but yet continue in their sins.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
Love One Another
So, here we have our counsel from God so that we do not end up like Cain. We are to love one another, and this love comes from God, and God is love, so this love is pure, honest, obedient to the Lord, faithful, upright, godly, and righteous. It is of the Spirit and not of the flesh, therefore it will prefer what God prefers, and in the strength of the Lord it will do what God commands. And it is not based in how we feel, but it sometimes even goes against our emotions, and we do what is right no matter how we feel.
And if we are loving others with this love that comes from God, and we are doing right, we should expect to be hated by others who are not doing right. They will hate us because we are doing right and they know they are doing wrong. And it isn’t just those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ who will hate us, but it is many who profess faith in Jesus Christ but know they are doing wrong and so they hate (reject) us because we are doing right and they know we are accepted of God and they are not.
But we are to return their hate with love, for we are to love even our enemies, and we are to do good to them, and pray for them, and say to them and do for them what will benefit them spiritually. And we should be willing to be hated and even put to death in order to see others go free from their slavery to sin and to now follow Jesus Christ with their lives. For this is how Jesus loved us, and this is how we should love others.
He Lifted Our Burdens
An Original Work / February 15, 2014
Based off Isaiah 9:2-7
People walk in darkness.
They abide in their sin.
It has power o’er them.
True belief escapes them.
Jesus Christ came to save them.
He gave His life up for them;
Crucified; died for our sin,
So we might be forgiven,
And have life up in heaven.
Many come to know Him.
God’s love now o’erflows them.
They rejoice in vict’ry.
Their sin is but hist’ry.
We were once bound in slav’ry.
Jesus lifted our burdens;
Set us now free from Satan,
So we now walk in freedom.
Sin has no more dominion.
Praise be to our Savior!
He showed us His favor.
He took all our burdens;
Cast them all upon Him.
He is our mediator;
The Light which shines in darkness.
Counselor in our troubles;
He gives peace now in our hearts;
Joy which is everlasting.