Genesis 4:1-12

Talks for Growing Christians

Cain and Abel

Genesis 4:1-12

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Lesson Number 11

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God does not accept Cain-type offerings.
  2. God does accept Abel-type offerings.

Practical Application

  1. We are our brother’s keeper.


  1. Who was the first person ever born?
  2. Why was Cain angry? Was his anger justified?
  3. How is faith defined in Scripture?
  4. Was Cain rejected by God because he was a farmer and not a shepherd?
  5. Abel came to God by way of animal sacrifice. What does animal sacrifice represent?


  1. Cain. Adam was not born, but created by God.
  2. Cain was angry because God did not accept his sacrifice. His anger was not justified, because God had revealed to Cain the acceptable way of sacrifice to Cain, yet Cain chose to do it his own way.
  3. Faith is defined as a reasonable step, a belief, based on God’s revelation. See also Hebrews 11:1.
  4. No, Cain was rejected because he came to God in his own way and not by God’s revealed way of sacrifice.
  5. It is a picture of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus, going to the cross and dying for the sins of the world. Abel’s sacrifice looked forward to the one great sacrifice to come in the future.


  1. What are Cain-type offerings? Why doesn’t God accept Cain-type offerings? Do you ever offer Cain-type offerings to God and expect to be justified by Him?
  2. What is God’s way of sacrifice today? By what sacrifice can we approach God? Are there other ways?


  1. We are our brother’s keeper. Read 1 John 3:11-12. We are warned not to have a Cain-like spirit. Do you ever catch yourself displaying a Cain-like spirit toward your brothers and sisters in Christ?

Key Verses

  • “Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.” Genesis 4:2
  • “Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering.” Genesis 4:3-5
  • “The Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ Cain said, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’“ Genesis 4:9

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