A Tale of Two Cities – Gospel in Life

A Tale of Two Cities

Tim Keller |  February 1, 2009

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  • The Fall
Genesis 4:11-26
RS 310-9


We’re in a series tracing the single storyline of the Bible—the single story that tells us what’s wrong with the human race, what God has done about it, and how history is going to turn out in the end.

We’ve started by looking at the beginning of the biblical story, at what’s wrong with us. We’re at the end of this section of Genesis, at a particular passage that’s not often preached on.

We learn three extremely important things in this passage. We learn about 1) the ruin of Cain, 2) the culture of death, and 3) the future city of grace.

Genesis 4:10–26

The story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4 teaches us important lessons about Cain’s downfall, a harmful culture, and a future city filled with God’s love. While it may not answer all our questions, it shares God’s important message. By understanding these ideas, we can learn more about ourselves and God’s plan to save us.

1. Cain’s downfall

Cain’s story emphasizes the need for true remorse and the damaging effects of selfishness, which is the core of sin. Real remorse means feeling truly sorry for our sins, not just the problems they cause, and it requires us to stop thinking just about ourselves and start focusing on God. Not feeling remorse is a big problem for people, so it’s important to quickly admit when we’re wrong.

2. A harmful culture

Sin doesn’t only affect individuals, it also spreads through society and culture. However, people still have a natural ability to create, which reflects our Creator. This ability shapes culture, even when it’s distorted by sin, resulting in a culture that can either support life or spread death. Cities, which some people wrongly believe are naturally sinful, are actually centers of creativity and culture. They require spiritual strength to avoid negative influences and have the potential to become cities filled with God’s love, reflecting His values in all aspects of life.



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June Book Offer

Deepen and Strengthen Your Marriage!

Marriage is one of the most profound human relationships — but it can also be one of the most challenging. So Tim and Kathy Keller designed a devotional book for married couples to use together.