“And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 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" (Genesis 4:6-7).
Our God has singled out Cain and Abel to teach us two things. First, the only way of acceptance and peace with God is through blood atonement. Abel came to God by faith in the precious blood of the Lamb of God. He was accepted on the sure foundation of redemption accomplished, “God testifying of his gifts” that he was righteous in Christ (Heb 11:4). Second, God condemns the way of salvation by works. Cain came to God rejecting his need of a redeemer, and instead trusted in the fruits of his own merit. He with his offering was rejected by God. Here are five things God said to Cain whereby works religion is condemned:
WHY ART THOU WROTH?
Works religion can give no peace or communion with God. “The law worketh wrath” (Rom 4:15). Works religion only makes its followers “twofold more the child of Hell” (Matt 23:15). The meanest, most hateful and miserable people in this world are self-righteous religionists. And they especially hate and despise the followers of Christ for our liberty. They would try to bring believers into bondage under the law (Gal 2:4). Why are you so filled with wrath, you work-monger? It is even because God has accepted His elect in Christ by free grace, but rejected you with your self-righteous deeds!
WHY IS THY COUNTENANCE FALLEN?
Cain was filled with wrath, but he also felt sorry for himself. But his sorrow was not a godly sorrow that leadeth to repentance. It was a sorrow whereby he condemned the righteous judgment of God. He thought it unfair for God to accept Abel through a particular blood-atonement, but reject his beautiful fruits. So it is with every works religionist when confronted with the sovereign grace of God. Christ is the savor of death in them that perish (2 Cor 2:16).
IF THOU DOEST WELL, SHALT THOU NOT BE ACCEPTED?
In essence God said, “If you trust Christ alone, as did Abel your brother, shall I not accept the righteousness and blood of my own dear Son on your behalf?” This by far is the greatest word of condemnation to the self-righteous, unbelieving Pharisee. If they would come to God by faith in the blood Christ, God would certainly accept them according to the truth and faithfulness of His own word. But they can’t, because they won’t, because they love their own works. “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:19-20). O how great will be the misery of Hell for those who heard the glorious gospel of Christ, but refused to trust in Him!
IF THOU DOEST NOT WELL, SIN LIETH AT THE DOOR
Works religionists leave sin lying at the door. They have no answer to the justice of God for their sin. Sin can only be put away by the all-sufficient sacrifice of Christ the sinner’s Substitute. “By one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Heb 10:14). But by trusting in their works they deny the necessity and the all-sufficiency of Christ alone. Therefore, they have no righteous answer for the holy justice of God. Their sin crouches at the door! It abides at their house. “He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jn 3:18).
UNTO THEE SHALL BE HIS DESIRE, AND THOU SHALT RULE OVER HIM
The Amplified Version reads like this: “Its desire is for you, but you must master it” (v 7). Because works religionists have no just answer for sin, they must master it for themselves. This is the core teaching of all false religion. The work is never finished. The laboring never ceases. Their sin is ever at the door, like a mangy, uncontrollable mongrel, always howling and longing for their constant attention. All works religionists are occupied with cultivating the flesh. Like Cain, they are tillers of the ground from whence they came, and they can never produce anything worthy of acceptance with God.
When Martin Luther was yet in the bondage of Catholicism, he would sleep out in the cold without a blanket, fast for 15 days at a time, whip and beat himself to a bloody pulp, hoping that somehow by punishing his flesh, he could rid himself of sinful thoughts and motives. But in all his works of self-denial and self-punishment, he could not prevent or change the depravity of his evil heart. He could not master his own sin! But then one glorious day, God revealed to him the truth of the gospel. – “The just shall live by faith” (Rom 1:17).
"O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace."
–Helen H. Lemmel, 1922
Look and live! Christ alone has mastered sin and put it away by the sacrifice of Himself. Christ alone must make you free! He alone has freely justified all of God’s elect. All who trust in Him are free from sin’s bondage and curse! “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else (Isa 45:22). Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38-39).
13910 Lyons Valley Road Suite A, Jamul CA 91935
Phone: (888) 602-3456
Phone: (888) 602-3456