Small Group Outline (Sin 10-4-2015)

Below is our small group outline for Sunday morning. If you do not attend Sunday School with us, we encourage you to use this outline in your small group elsewhere. Parents are encouraged to use this outline as families spend time in scripture together at home.

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Where does sin come from?

Genesis 4:1-8

Opening Questions

  • Sin is disobedience toward God.
    • Where does this disobedience begin?
    • Does it start with our desires? Does it begin with temptation?

Genesis 4:1-8 (HCSB)

Adam was intimate with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, “I have had a male child with the Lord’s help.” Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of flocks, but Cain worked the ground. In the course of time Cain presented some of the land’s produce as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also presented an offering- some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he looked despondent.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you furious? And why do you look despondent? If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you but you must rule over it.”

Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

What sins can you find in this short passage?

  • Cain did not give the best of what he had when he gave an offering to God.
  • Cain became angry and dissatisfied toward God because God did not have regard for his offering.
  • Cain also murdered his brother.

Let’s think about these sins.

  • Why might Cain not have given the best of what he had?
    • There was some degree of selfishness in Cain’s heart.
    • He did not give God his best because, for some reason, he wanted to keep his best for himself.
    • In this case, sinful action began in the heart. I literally started with Cain’s desires. When he acted to fulfill his own selfish desire, the result was sin.
  • Why might Cain have been angry or dissatisfied toward God?
    • Because God did not regard his offering.
    • God did not have regard for his offering because he did not give his best.
    • He did not give his best because of his own selfish desire.
    • What do you notice about sin?
      • It always leads to more sin. This is called a vicious cycle.
      • The more we sin, the harder it is to resist sin.
      • Sin always begins in the heart.
    • Why did Cain murder his brother?
      • His was jealous of his brother’s standing before God.
      • He wanted God’s acceptance for the offering he gave, but Abel had it instead.
      • Again we see human selfishness as the starting point for sin.
      • Again we see that sin leads to more sin.
      • We also notice that smaller sins can lead to bigger sins.

Where does sin seem to start?

  • Sin begins with selfish human desire.
  • Knowing this, what is the best way that we can resist sin in our lives?
    • We focus our heart and our desires toward God.
    • If we live for God, then we will not live for self.
    • Striving to live a godly life and to desire the things of God is the best way to defend against sin.

Ask group for examples of sin today. See if you can trace these sinful actions back to selfish human desire.

  • Examples:
    • Stealing
    • Murder
    • Cheating on a test
    • Taking shortcuts on homework or at work
    • Disobeying parents
    • Bullying
    • Discriminating against a person because of ethnicity, gender or religion
    • Premarital sex

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