Monday, June 27, 2016

Genesis 4:6-7 comments: Are you Cain or are you Abel?

6 ¶  And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Here is one of those particularly interesting verses, chapter 7. Cain has no excuse to be angry at either God or his brother. The sin belongs to him. If he were only to repent of what he is holding onto, to change his mind, to reverse his thoughts he would be given victory over his sin. Much is made of repenting in American Christian fundamentalism. It has been made a condition for salvation and eternal life, repentance of your sins that is. However, as explained previously, although you will be sorry for being a sinner against God and, truly, if you are a mature Christian, sorry for the sin of Adam’s children, mankind, in general and all that it has caused, you must repent of what you are holding onto that you think justifies you that is not of God as Paul said in Hebrews.

You must repent of your dead works, which is what Cain was performing to justify himself.

Hebrews 6:1 ¶  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

It is amazing how a faith tradition like fundamentalism that will take one passage in the book of Hebrews to justify slavish devotion to church attendance neglecting all else in life in Hebrews 10:24, 25 will choose to ignore the doctrine of Christ which Baptists in the 1600’s held onto so dearly. Also, notice how John the Baptist, in the context of what is said in the following while he is having the people be baptized and confess their sins, is referring to what the Jews believe justifies them and makes them righteous, as American Christians so often do with being American and an Evangelical Christian.

Matthew 3:7 ¶  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9  And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10  And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Here again, God is asking a rhetorical question as part of an argument and is not asking a question to which he does not know the answer, a method of speaking you will find yourself doing from time to time, especially with children.

We must ask ourselves this question. Are we worshipping and serving God in the way He has prescribed or are we simply serving ourselves and performing rituals that confirm us, justify us, and make us feel some personal or group definition of spiritual?

Christians have the Bible definition of religion, the outward expression of our inner faith.

James 1:27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Christians have the Bible definition of the proof or fruit of the Spirit of God dwelling inside of us.

Galatians 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Are our lives and our worship pleasing to God or simply pleasing to ourselves, our own fears, our own bigotry, or our own paranoia and self-justification? Are we Cain or are we Abel?

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