Genesis 4:1-15: Cain's offering was rejected because the faith of his heart was wrong. He trusted in himself and believed the Lord owed him because of his goodness. Abel's offering was accepted because the faith of his heart was in the mercy of God.
Ephesians 2:1-10: This classic passage on salvation by grace alone teaches that man is spiritually dead in trespasses and sins apart from the operation of the Holy Spirit and that even faith in Christ itself is a gift of God's grace.
Luke 18:9-14: “The Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering” (Genesis 4:1–15). For unlike Abel, Cain’s offering did not proceed from a heart that revered and trusted in the Lord. Thus, the lowly tax collector who prayed, “God be merciful to me, sinner!” was the one who went down to his house justified before God, not the respectable, outwardly righteous Pharisee who trusted in himself and his own good living (Luke18:9–14). “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:1–10). The one who penitently despairs of his own righteousness and relies completely on the atoning mercy of God in Christ is the one who is declared righteous. For Christ died for our sins and rose again the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1–10). Therefore, “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (LSB hymnal notes)
Readings for the Week of 10th Sunday after Trinity
August 28 Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem—Luke 19:41-48
1 Samuel 28:3-25, 1 Corinthians 6:1-20
August 29Paul’s Third Missionary Journey—Acts 18:23—19:10
1 Samuel 31:1-13, 1 Corinthians 7:1-24
August 30The Miracles Worked by Paul—Acts 19:11-20
2 Samuel 1:1-27, 1 Corinthians 7:25-40
August 31The Riot at Ephesus—Acts 19:21-41
2 Samuel 5:1-25, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
September 1Eutychus Falls from a Window at Troas—Acts 20:1-16
2 Samuel 6:1-19, 1 Corinthians 9:1-23
September 2Paul’s Farewell to the Ephesians Elders—Acts 20:17-38