Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OTC Day 2: Genesis 3-4

While everyone agrees the world has problems, few agree on the solution because they disagree about the cause. We have to agree on the nature of a problem before we can develop a solution.

If you start with the idea that men are good, then the problem is always “out there” somewhere. If we can just create the right environment or address a few basic issues, then we can fix it. The problem always belongs to someone else.

D.A. Carson sums up the Christian perspective on the problem this way:

“The Bible insists that the heart of all human problems is rebellion against the God who is our Maker, whose image we bear, and whose rule we seek to overthrow. All of our problems, without exception, can be traced to this fundamental source: our rebellion and the just curse of God that we have attracted by our rebellion.”[1]

The Bible shows that our struggle is not “out there,” but inside our own heart. This is the fatal flaw with which all men must wrestle. Adam is our representative and his sin condemns us all. He sinned first, but each of us has sinned since. We are born in sin; there are none who are righteous and none who seek God. We have all gone astray and turned to our own way. We are sinners by both nature and choice.

Our struggle with sin shows up early and often. God tells Cain, “. . . sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." (Gen. 4:7) Rather than fighting sin as God intended, Cain succumbed to it and suffered for it, just as we do. As you read Genesis, notice the wreckage that sin brings.

God knew that we would not master sin on our own, so He promised another representative. This one did not represent us in sin but in righteousness. Rather than sinning, He lived a perfect life and died as our substitute, His perfect life paying for our sin. His name is Jesus and He defeated Satan, sin, and death on the cross.

Jesus redeemed all that Adam lost. Through faith in Him we can move from being under the condemnation of Adam into the salvation of Jesus, the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:20-22).

1. How does your sin affect you personally? How does your sin affect others? How does the sin of others impact you?

2. What do you learn about temptation from Satan’s interaction with Eve? How do we see similarities between Satan tempting Eve and the way he tempts us (see 1 John 2:16)?

3. Are attitudes or actions more important when you worship God? Why?

[1] D.A. Carson, For the Love of God, from the entry January 3rd.


  1. When Cain was sent away who was he supposed to be afraid of and who/how dis he marry somebody else?

  2. God doesn't give us details for everyone in Genesis. Instead, He gives us key details on key people. With that in mind, we can't answer those questions specifically.

    However, we do know that Adam lived 930 years (Gen. 5:5) and had other sons and daughters. Cain may have feared retribution from other brothers, sisters, or even nieces and nephews.

    Cain would have married either his sister or niece. This wasn't the result of perversion but rather necessity. Everyone descended from Adam and Eve, so there were no other options. God outlawed this, but it came later (Lev. 18:9).