Wednesday, January 18, 2012
“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh” (Hebrews 11:4 KJV).
Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain the farmer and Abel the shepherd (Genesis 4:1,2). When it came time to sacrifice to God, “Cain brought fruit of the ground,” but “Abel…brought the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering, he had not respect…” (verses 4,5). Why did God accept Abel’s offering, but reject Cain’s? How could Abel’s sacrifice be “more excellent than Cain,” as today’s Scripture teaches?
After sin entered the world by Adam (Romans 5:12), God demanded blood sacrifices for atonement (to make God and sinner “at one”). God shed innocent blood to cover Adam and Eve’s sin (Genesis 3:21). Outside of our dispensation, and before Christ came, those who wanted a right standing before God—“righteousness”—had to offer blood sacrifices by faith. “…[W]ithout the shedding of blood is no remission [forgiveness]” (Hebrews 9:22b).
Cain had no faith, so he ignored God’s instructions and brought no blood. He brought the fruit (crops) of his own work, but Abel, by faith, brought blood sacrifices (obeying God). God accepted Abel’s sacrifice because Abel had faith!
Are you like Cain, trying to merit salvation and please God with your own “good” works? Quit please! You lack Christ Jesus’ blood sacrifice because you lack faith in His blood as the fully satisfying payment for your sins. God never told you to work to heaven. You need a blood sacrifice—place your faith exclusively in Jesus Christ’s shed blood and resurrection, and God will “accept you in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6).
God will “have respect” unto Christ’s finished crosswork alone. He will always reject your “good” works for salvation. Those who ignore the sufficiency of Christ’s blood to atone for their sin and sins will suffer the same doom of Cain—paying for their sins in the everlasting lake of fire!