East of Eden: Sin and Grace - Gospel in Life

East of Eden: Sin and Grace

Tim Keller |  November 26, 2000

Download Agreement

By downloading this file, I confirm I understand Gospel in Life's Copyright & Permissions policies and agree to only use this file for personal usage and will not upload it to any third-party platforms.


  • The Fall
  • Sin
  • Salvation
Genesis 4:1-16
RS 122-07

Genesis 4:1–16

The story of Cain and Abel tells us about life when things have gone wrong, where sin, grace, and the chance to make things right are always present. Sin can be sneaky, but God’s grace is always there, nudging us, encouraging us to change. This story reminds us that we always have a chance to turn things around, as we deal with the realities of sin and grace in our lives.

1. The sneakiness of sin

Sin can be tricky. It might appear as small mistakes or even seem like a good thing, but it shows its true harmful nature in the end. It’s not just about making the wrong choice, but it’s a power that can slowly start to control our lives. The things that we sometimes think are okay can be the most harmful, showing us how tricky and dangerous sin can be.

2. The kindness of grace

People sometimes see God as someone who only judges, but He’s more like a kind friend who balances punishment and forgiveness. He’s always active in our lives, like in the story of Cain and Abel, where He helps Cain understand his own anger and jealousy that come from confusion about who he is. It’s important to know that we are loved and forgiven by God, which gives us a strong and unchanging sense of who we are, not like the things of this world.

3. The hidden nature of salvation

The difference between Cain and Abel’s offerings shows us that faith matters more than just good actions when it comes to being saved. Abel’s offering was made in faith and as a response to God’s grace, unlike Cain’s attempt to use his offering as a way to earn salvation. To be like Abel, we need to trust in Jesus Christ, who is the perfect example of Abel, and this helps us feel a deep sense of respect and honor for God, which enables us to love and forgive others, even if they don’t agree with us.



The War Between Your Selves (Part 2)

By Tim Keller

Why Does God Do Nothing?

By Tim Keller

The War Between Your Selves (Part 1)

By Tim Keller

July Book Offer

Reading Galatians Can Change Your Life!

Galatians is a powerful book that shows how people can think they know the gospel but are actually losing touch with it. In this study of the book of Galatians, Dr. Keller helps you understand how this short book in the New Testament can transform your life.