If there is one statement in the bible that concludes an individual is responsible for his own actions, it is this verse found in Genesis 4:7. Genesis, means the beginnings, which indicates to us as Christians, we can go to and find out about, not only how the beginning happened (i.e. creation) but how other beginnings happened as well. We learn of the first sin , we learn of the first sacrifices, and we also learn of the first people of faith. Faith, is more than just an acknowledgement of God but about becoming a master of sin. God in his conversation with Cain, is trying to explain to Cain that he could have changed his situation if he would have just done what he ought to have done. ” ‘Why are you angry? and why has your countenance fallen?'” ask God. Here is God’s response to His own question, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted? It is as simple as 1, 2, 3 to be pleasing in the eyes of God, Trust and Obey.
Given the understanding about doing well, God also gives the flip-side of the coin, “if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you…” God here personifies sin as searching you out and wanting to destroy you. This seems an awful lot like Satan, the roaring lion who searches for someone to devour. So what is God’s advice? What has the wisdom of our God told us to do about this sin that has it’s desire for you, which by the way is the same desire Eve was to have for Adam? He says, “you must master it.” I find this statement in its simplicity to be both profound and encouraging, God not only says Cain had to deal with sin when it comes but that he had the god-given ability to master it. Now I am not saying and neither is God, that Cain had the ability to wash away his own sin, but what God is saying is that the struggle that Cain was going through with his insufficient sacrifice to God, was able to be mastered and overcome, “Go and do well.”
Being made in the image of God has many implications, we can master our sin problem (not wash our sin problem) but we can control our lives in such away to overcome sin. John writes this very thing in 1 John 2:1, “My little children, I write these things to you so that you may not sin.” We have choice, we have free will, and God has given us all things for life and godliness. We have been given the guide for our lives, the Bible, and since we have what is pleasing to God and we need to be seeking it out daily and doing it (Ephesians 5:9-10).
Sin is looking for you, sin is at the door; God’s advice is to “do well.” Get in God’s word and things will work. Trust in God and His promises for our life and you will become a master of your own sin.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who dos not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
“Submit therefore to God. Resit the devil and he will fee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:7-8).