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Don’t Be Like Cain

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Don’t Be Like Cain

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"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."

(1 John 3:12, ESV)

1.Cain was from the family of Satan, not the child of Satan as some cults have defined.

" Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord."" (Genesis 4:1, ESV)

2. Cain slaughtered his brother Abel [Greek: Spazo] because his deeds were evil and his brothers were righteous.

And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous." (1 John 3:12, ESV)

3. John makes a clear statement here about the family of Satan. It was not that Cain murdered and became a child of the devil; rather, because Cain belonged to Satan, his anger and jealousy drove him to murder.

"You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies." (John 8:44, ESV)

4. With the children of the devil hatred reigns - becoming the centerpiece of their lives. John uses Cain as an example of this hatred. (we will see more in the next verse) This should not surprise us because the opposite of love is hate and anger, jealousy & hatred finally lead even to murder. Cain is an example of a life of hatred.

5. It is important to note that Cain and Abel, being brothers, had the same parents, and they both brought sacrifices to God. Cain is not presented as an atheist; he is presented as a worshiper. And this is the point: children of the devil masquerade as true believers. They attend religious gatherings, as Cain did. They may even bring offerings. But these actions in themselves are not valid proof that a man is born of God. The real test is his love for the brethren and here Cain failed.

6. Every man has a spiritual lineage as well as a physical, and Cain’s spiritual father was the devil. This does not mean, of course, that Satan literally fathered Cain. It means, rather, that Cain’s attitudes and actions originated with Satan. Cain was a murderer and a liar like Satan (John 8:44). He murdered his brother, and then he lied about it.

"Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”" (Genesis 4:9, ESV)

"By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother." (1 John 3:10, ESV)

7. John dealt with false believers leaving the church and so do we. In 1 John false believers left the church because they were jealous of John and after they departed their goal was to poison others against John and those with him. Diotrephes was likely such a poisoner.

"I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God." (3 John 9-11, ESV)

8. People who are doing good because of Christ, expose and shame those who aren’t. Those who live for God will be hated by the world because they make the world painfully aware of its true nature.

9. The Greek word evil is the same word John uses to describe Satan (1 John 2:13, 14; 3:12; 5:18, 19). John shows that Cain’s deeds originated with Satan. The word righteous, however, is a term that refers to Jesus Christ (1 John 1:9; 2:1, 29; 3:7). In other words, Cain belonged to Satan and Abel belonged to Christ.

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