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The text for this lesson is Genesis 4:1–16.

Key Point

  • Even though Cain sinned, God still loved and preserved him. Even though we sin, God, in Christ, still loves and preserves us.
  • Law: I sin when I trust myself or my own deeds to please God.
  • Gospel: God loves me and sent His Son, Jesus, to be the perfect sacrifice for my sin. Through faith in Him, I am marked as God’s child and receive His gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation.

Discussion Points

  1. “I don’t feel like God is really present with me. I don’t feel like He’s here for me.” How would you respond to a friend who said this?
  2. Read Luke 1:30–31, followed by Genesis 4:3–5. What does it mean to say God “found favor” with someone? Read Hebrews 11:1–4. How do we receive faith? Why was Abel’s sacrifice pleasing but Cain’s was not?
  3. Read Genesis 4:6–9. Who was tempting Cain to murder his brother? Though God commanded Cain to “rule over it,” why was Cain unable to resist temptation? Where do Christians find the strength to resist sin?
  4. Read Genesis 4:13–16. Even though Cain failed to confess his sin and turn to God for forgiveness, how did God continue to preserve Cain in spite of his unbelief? What was the worst part of Cain’s punishment?
  5. The Fifth Commandment is “You shall not murder.” Jesus says in Matthew 5:22 that anger and hatred are sins of murder, so we are clearly guilty of breaking the Fifth Commandment. Martin Luther explains the Fifth Commandment in the Small Catechism: “We should fear and love God so that we do not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, but help and support him in every physical need.” How does Luther’s explanation help us see more clearly the extent of our failure to keep this commandment?
  6. Cain was cut off from God’s presence because of his sin and unbelief. Why is it critical to remain in God’s presence? Where do we find God’s presence today?

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