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Sin is Crouching, but You Must Rule Over It
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: When Cain’s offering fell short of God’s requirements, the Lord admonished him to recognize the danger that was lurking and called on him to address the situation accordingly. The fact that sin was crouching at his door is evident by Cain’s heart drifting from the Lord and by his resentment toward his brother. Cain’s refusal to deal with his sin led to the commission of more deliberate sins and resulted in a life defined by worldliness rather than godliness. Since believers are warned not to be like Cain, we should readily accept the Lord’s admonition to rule over sin in our lives. We can do this in part by cultivating a heart for God, keeping a short account of our sins, seeking God’s grace after we have sinned, and living intentionally for the world to come. Such a lifestyle is not reserved for the spiritually elite; rather, it is possible for every Christian who seeks to overcome sin through the power of God.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. How does the Lord’s admonition to Cain in Genesis 4:6-7 reveal that Cain was aware of God’s expectations as it relates to offering an acceptable sacrifice? What does this text imply taking heed to our conscience when we are reminded of our sins? What can happen to our conscience if we try to silence it instead of dealing with our sins?
2. What does it mean to cultivate a heart for God? In what ways are you cultivating your heart for God? What things are we called to separate ourselves from as we pursue a life of holiness before God? Are you pursuing holiness out of an obligation to God or out of love to God? Why is this distinction important?
3. Discuss how sin begins in one area of our lives and begins to manifest itself in others, using Cain as an example. How could he have mastered sin in its earliest occurrence? How did his situation become increasingly worse after he ignored the admonition from the Lord? Do you find that failing to deal with a particular sin in one area of your life has an impact on other areas as well?
4. Do you believe Christians can have complete victory over the power of sin in this lifetime? Why is it still important to do battle against our sins? In what way can we say that Christians already have power over the penalty of sin in this lifetime? What will life be like when we have victory over the presence of sin?
5. Who is responsible for pursuing a life of holiness—preachers and missionaries only? What steps can you take to improve your walk with the Lord today? In what ways can you be helped in your walk with the Lord by staying connected with your church family at Northpoint?
For Further Reading: Octavius Winslow, Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in the Soul (originally published, 1841; Banner of Truth, 3rd edition, 2021)