Transquotation: Genesis 4:3-7

06 Dec

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:


In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”  (Genesis 4:3-7)


In the course of time we brought to the LORD an offering of our own works and efforts, and Christ brought Himself. And the LORD had regard for Christ and His offering, but for us and our offering He had no regard. So we continued trying to work our way to Heaven, and sank into depression. The LORD said to us, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? Why will you not accept Christ’s offering for you? Sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must let Christ rule over it.”

Explanation of the transquotation

So often we try to simply “stop doing this.” What we don’t realize is that it doesn’t work. We can’t “simply stop,” the Devil won’t allow it. Ephesians calls our struggle a battle for a reason: you can’t simply decide to walk away from the battle (leaving your struggle behind as well) and still expect to not get shot full of arrows as you ‘leave’.

People today (myself included) have a condition, which I will call, “Instant Results Condition.” It’s characterized by learning about something, and instantly trying to have it. You want results now, you don’t want to wait. Now in some limited contexts this condition can be good (there’s a place and time for everything), however, there comes a problem when we attempt to carry this over into our Christian lives. A little more specifically, the problem comes when we, ourselves, try to work towards whatever the goal might be. On the other hand though, Christ does produce in us, for   lack of any better words, “instant results”: from sinner to saved. From relying on ourselves to relying entirely on Him. That’s why we must trust in Him and not ourselves. Because by ourselves, we’ll fail every time. Picture it like this: trying to work towards righteousness in our own power is the Spiritual equivalent of trying to wash ourselves clean with filthy rags. We only manage to make ourselves dirtier… No matter how much sweeping we do:

43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” (Matthew 12:43-45)

But again, with every transquotation we make, we still have to find both New Testament confirmation and confirmation in the surrounding context:

New Testament confirmation:

4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. (1 John 3:4-10)

Context confirmation:

Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. (Genesis 4:8-10)

Every time we see someone trying to get to Heaven by themselves, we see immediately after, more sin. Take the pharisees: they tried to be perfect through their own works, and they ended up crucifying the son of God! In the case of Cain, after he offered fruit rather than a sacrifice, he killed his brother. Thus we see that these verses align with the transquotation: we can’t trust in ourselves, we must trust in Christ. — Otherwise we’ll end up with eight demons rather than one.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland


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