Preaching: Pastor Troy Martin
Text: Genesis 4:6-26
Hamartiology is that branch of theology that studies sin. ἁμαρτία (hamartia - sin) + -λογια (logia - the study of). Using the Bible, hamartiology looks at the fall of Man generally, the weakness of the flesh personally, and the victory on the cross ultimately.
The first hamartiology was done by God in this section of Genesis. Though brief, in these verses we see the maturation of Adam and Eve’s sin through seven generations. We also hear the cautious explanation of sin God gives Cain. And finally, there’s that foreshadowing hope in the birth of a new son with whom, “men began to call upon the name of the Lord” Genesis 4:26.
v. 6-7 God teaches Cain (and us) that sin is predatory and that he was to be careful with those feelings he is feeling, and the anger he’s entertaining.
v. 8-9 Instead of guarding against anger, he acts on it. When confronted, unlike Adam, Cain lies and gives a retort that has no respect or reverence for God.
v. 10 It's worth noting that while Adam and Eve felt shame, Cain’s sin reaches a new level in anger and violence. Sin, though it starts small, matures.
v. 11-15 Like his father, Cain is banished from earth and God; but unlike Adam, his major concern is human reprisal, showing that we are hard-wired for justice.
v. 23-24 Seven generations later, sin is still maturing. Lamech goes even beyond his forefather Cain. Lamech is not angry, he exalts in his brutality. Sin has matured.
The most thorough hamartiology of what happened between Cain and Abel is given us in James’ epistle. “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?” James 4:1 Conflicts start within. Worse, however, is James’ implication that those internal conflicts need external enemies in order to justify their conflict. In sin, we are our source of conflict.
Therefore, looking at this section, note three things...
1. Sin starts ____________________________. “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” 1 Cor 5:6, “How great a matter a little fire kindleth!” Jam 3:5. The Bible is clear, great evils don’t begin as great evils.
2. War looks for _________________________. We were made in the image of a just God, so once we sin, our whole nature scrambles to replace what was lost. Often that means we justify our conflict by imputing evil on others and imputing victimization to ourselves.
3. Justification begets ___________________ . For a sinner, there is no escape from justification. We were made to be just. But there are two ways to be justified. Either self-justification, or we seek God’s justification in Christ. Only the latter way makes peace.
Questions for Household Growth
From Adam to Lamech, what different responses to sin show that sin is maturing in the hearts of mankind?
How does Jesus invert Lamech’s brutal pronouncement?
Where does James say every war comes from?