Text: Hebrews 11:4
An exercised faith
- By faith Abel…
- By faith describes the performance of faith as opposed to through faith which receives the promises.
- “By faith” describes an action, while “through faith” describes the same belief where someone receives something.
- Note all the “by faith” phrases in Hebrews 11 until you get to Sara who “through faith” received something (11:11). There was nothing she could do about it.
- Or 11:3, through faith we understand…
- Galatians 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
- Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
- Romans 3:29-30 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
- Genesis 4:3 …process of time…
- The process of time suggests that Cain did the right thing for a while, but over time something changed and he decided to offer something else.
- Perhaps Cain’s fruit trees were in season and he decided to offer something from the garden.
- Time is the trial afforded by God to test the metal of faith.
- Trial of faith
- 1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
- What about tried faith that fails?
An excellent faith
- offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…
- Both of them offered something to God.
- Genesis 4:4-5 …respect unto Abel…Cain and to his offering he had not respect….
- That’s the cry of the world that Christians, the Bible, should respect everyone’s beliefs.
- You could bring your service to God and He might not accept it.
- Excellent because only Abel’s was a SACRIFICE.
- Abel’s offering more excellent because the COST was greater.
- You can’t even approach God without a sacrifice.
- Mark 12:41-44 …two mites…
- Excellent because of obedience.
- Offerings are a response to God’s revelation of Himself.
- Offerings are about God, not about you. Excellent because Abel regarded what God wanted, not what he wanted. Saddleback Church, Purpose Driven Life, ask what the people want then do that.
- Abel was obedient.
An evident faith
- by which he obtained witness that he was righteous…
- The offering wasn’t what made him righteous, his offering was the result of his righteousness.
- Righteousness was obtained in Abel by obeying what God said. And God testified of his righteousness when the sacrifice was made.
An explained faith
- …God testifying of his gifts…
- God’s stamp of approval was on Abel’s sacrifice. And not only did he know it, but Cain also knew it.
- The way God approved sacrifices in the Old Testament was by fire.
- The Lord interrogated Cain about why doing right was so hard to do.
An enduring faith
- …he being dead yet speaketh.
- The first record of the human family are not cave pictures. (No such thing as cavemen.) It is a story of religion, faith, obedience, persecution, hatred, and murder.
- Revealed from faith to faith as faith is passed on, enduring the test of time. Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
- Persecuted for his faith. Abel left a testimony.
- Can you identify your faith in anyone else’s life?