This sermon is the fifth in the Beginnings series, preached for Emmanuel Reformed Church, in Springfield, SD, on Sunday, February 10, 2019.

“God created [people] good and in his own image, that is, in true righteousness and holiness, so that they might truly know God their creator, love him with all their heart, and live with God in eternal happiness, to praise and glorify him.”

~ from Heidelberg Catechism, Question & Answer 6

The story of Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve’s sons, is a tragic, violent narrative that showcases how sin has ruined humanity. But we also see throughout this story that God is not done with us yet. “By no means!”

God pursues Cain, pleads with Cain, and protects Cain, marking him as His own, all in the hopes that Cain will return to God, and worship in appropriately, acceptably. Cain refuses.

God is the same today, finding us where we are, and inviting us to repent: to change our lives by changing our minds. God welcomes us back to Him with love, not wrath, ready to show us His unfathomable mercy.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

~ Romans 12:1-2, ESV

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