Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3


The Faith of Abel (The Sacrifice of Faith)


Hebrews 11:4


Introduction:

·         At the beginning of man’s history, we see faith was on display in Abel’s life

·         We also see here that the early history of man was not with Neanderthals hiding out in caves for tens of thousands of years. We see agriculture and the domestication of animals were practiced among the earliest humans. We also see the first offerings of worship presented to God, and also the first one rejected by Him. The goal of an offering, or worship is to please God.

·         WH Griffith Thomas- Worship is giving, not getting; ascribing not appropriating.

·         Worship is not primarily evangelistic. The goal is God’s enjoyment!

·         Hebrews 11:6- But without faith it is impossible to please God

 

I.                    The false religion of Cain- see Genesis 4:1-10

a.      Brought an offering of the fruit of the ground- v. 3

b.      Rejected by God- v. 5 (Was not arbitrary)

c.       Cain’s was a bloodless sacrifice

                                                              i.      Hebrews 11:4- by faith Abel brought a more excellent sacrifice

1.      Abel’s faith presupposes some Divine Revelation- faith in what God said. V. 3- process of time: Perhaps Adam and Eve explained God’s covering with animal skins and maybe God himself disclosed the where and how of worship.

2.      Satan’s goal is to cast doubt, or fear (the opposite of faith) in what God said!

3.      Cain’s offering was not prompted by a faith that was resting or responding to God’s will.

d.      Cain’s offering was the fruit of his own works

e.      God desires the shedding of blood- Heb 9:22 “without shedding of blood is no remission.”

f.        Cain’s offering came with sin in his heart- v. 5-Proverbs 15:8- The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD

g.      See I John 3:12

h.      False religion of human effort

                                                              i.      Works-based

1.      Cain’s offering represents man’s failed attempt to approach God (self- will, self-determination)

2.      We must approach God on His terms, not ours

3.      False religion of human effort leaves man frustrated, and vexed

4.      Jude v. 11- the way of Cain

                                                            ii.      Ignores revelation

1.      Illustr. “I want to find God my own way!”  or “I’m waiting for God to show me a sign!”- God’s Word!

2.      Rejecting the claims of the gospel- “it can’t be that simple!”

II.                  The faith of Abel

a.      A more excellent sacrifice

                                                              i.      Abel had faith and obeyed God- His worship was an act of faith

                                                            ii.      “There was a difference in the principle upon which they went. Abel offered with an eye to God's will as his rule, and God's glory as his end, and in dependence upon the promise of a Redeemer” - M.H.

                                                          iii.      His offering pictured Christ

                                                           iv.      Here, it is one lamb for a man. Later, at the Passover, it will be one lamb for a family. Then, at the Day of Atonement, it was one lamb for the nation. Finally, with Jesus, there was one Lamb who takes away the sin of the whole world (John 1:29)

b.      But the key was faith- Abel could have brought the lamb and still be rejected by God!

c.       Carnal motives in worship will not be accepted either!

                                                              i.      We can be guilty of doing the right thing, the wrong way- Isaiah 1:13-16, 18

                                                            ii.      Our motives matter- I Corinthians 3:13

1.      Notice that the amount of the work isn't going to be evaluated (though it does have some relevance). Paul says the work will be tested to see what sort it is. If one did a lot of the wrong sort of work, it will be as if he did nothing. His work will be burned and will vanish in eternity.

2.      Unworthy manner (in the flesh, to please man, to please your own pride, etc.)

d.      Colossians 2:6- Everything we do as Christians ought to sprinkled with faith 

III.                The legacy of Abel

a.      A legacy of faith

                                                              i.      Jesus declared Abel righteous- Mt. 23:35

                                                            ii.      The things we do in faith are eternal

                                                          iii.      God Himself testifies to the righteousness of the faithful. Abel’s blood still speaks to us, reminding us of the value of eternity.

Illustr: A wealthy woman died one day and went to heaven. An angel then took her to her heavenly abode, which was a plain old ordinary building. Right next door to her was her gardener who had a palatial mansion. She said, “How did my gardener get a mansion and I get a plain old ordinary building?” The angel then said, “Well, we only build with the materials you send us.” If you’re sending to heaven junk, junk is then what God uses. He uses only what you send Him!

 

a.      Revelation 14:13- Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

b.      Faith enables a man’s vocal chords to go on functioning long after his body is lying in the grave!

c.       Faith sacrifices- first Abel sacrificed/dedicated/consecrated himself!

d.      The way of faith is the blood sprinkled way- the way of sacrifice

e.      Worship is not a band rocking out on stage- it is a yielding of ourselves to God!

f.        God testified “of his gifts” plural- it was a regular thing and the Greek suggests many sacrifices

Conclusion:

·         What a legacy and example for us tonight! Tonight we depend on Christ’s far better, once-for-all sacrifice! But, we are called to present ourselves a living sacrifice of worship unto God.