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Sin, What Can We Do About It?




“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” - Genesis 4:7

These are the words God spoke to Cain before he killed his brother Abel. It was a warning to Cain as he contemplated a temptation that would change his relationship with God. The Lord saw the power Cain’s anger had over him, but offered Cain encouragement and the opportunity to correct his thinking. This passage gives us the same insight about how to overcome sin.


1. We can “do well.”

We can be busy doing good deeds, planning service to God and others and thinking righteous thoughts. Philippians 4:8 encourages us to think about things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise. Thoughts tend to domino, but if we can interrupt a sinful train of thought and think of noble things, we can interrupt the process of our thoughts becoming sinful actions. “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin and sin when it is fully grown, brings forth death.” James 1:14-15

Brother Moorer mentioned on the last night of our gospel meeting that ‘taking up our crosses daily,” means keeping our relationship with Christ in the forefront of our minds. He encouraged us to be willing to sacrifice any earthly thing, including our lives, for the sake of staying in fellowship with our Savior.


2. Sin’s desire is for us, but we can rule over it.

We know we have an adversary seeking any opportunity to separate us from God. Jesus     told Peter that Satan demanded to have him that he could sift Peter like wheat. (Luke 22:31) Later, Peter described Satan as a “roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Often we hear these passages and we think of the devil as a “giant monster” who could easily overpower us. But God tells us we are more powerful that the devil! Let us not forget this! Psalm 27:1 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” We know we will not be tempted more than we are able to endure.


3. We can trust God to give us the tools we need to conquer sin.

1 Corinthians 10: 13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.   God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Just as God gave   Cain the words and warning to overcome sin, He has given us His perfect and complete word. It equips us for every good work. (2 Timothy 3: 16-17) His word is complete. It is belt of Truth (Ephesians 6:14), it is living and active and is our double-edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12) We also have Jesus as our advocate. (1 John 2:1) Jesus told Peter that He prayed for him, that Peter’s faith would not fail. He gave His life that we might live eternally. God desires that all men will come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) 1 Peter 5:10 tells us, “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” God wanted Cain to live and not die.

Let us not make Cain’s mistake.  Let us choose life.


Trevor West