By Faith... Abel Sacrificed

Faith of Our Fathers  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  48:46
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Last week in our Introductory message of this series ‘The Faith of Our Fathers’, we examined man’s CONTEMPORARY - AND CONTRARY definition of what Faith is, vs. what we find in the Scriptures.
Man’s current view of faith states:
(From (def) a(1): belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2): belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b(1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust
The main aspect for which to attend to is the part which states ‘belief in something with no proof’
God’s definition of faith states:
Heb. 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Paraphrased would be ‘a belief in something for which proof is provided’ (though that proof may be invisible)
(Ill.) I have faith that there is oxygen in this room. I can’t see it, but there is surely evidence / proof that there is, because my body requires it, and I’m still alive.
One other aspect of last weeks message that we need to reiterate is that true faith in something will move you to act accordingly.
The book of James tells us: Jam. 2:17-18 “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” Jam. 2:20 “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” Jam. 2:26 “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
Works is not the means of, or substitute for Faith, it’s the EVIDENCE of FAITH
(Ill.) I don’t study & preach to get faith or replace faith - I preach, because I HAVE Faith! I have faith in a God that can help! I have faith in a God that is able!
Faith as we will demonstrate in this series, moves to act. Today we’re looking at this example given of Abel - Adam & Eve’s second son. And concerning his faith, we’re going to see that his Faith moved him to Sacrifice

I. The Comparison to Abel’s Sacrifice

The Inadequacy of Cain’s Offering (Gen. 4:3)
It was not a Special Sacrifice
As we read, we notice that what Cain brought was nothing out of the ORDINARY. Just ‘of the fruit of the ground’. There was nothing special nor sacrificial as to what he gave.
Unfortunately, there are many Christians who make this same mistake in what they are willing to offer unto the LORD. Oftentimes what they offer God is nothing more than what they offer to anybody else.
(Ill.) I have a dear friend in NC that grows an amazing garden. He’s got corn, maters, sweet tators, melons, etc. And he’s always good about giving me of the fruit of that garden whenever he has opportunity to. But let me ask you this: Should he treat me and God the same? What would you think if I were there and Jesus was there and he didn’t offer Him up any more than he gave me?
Christians give God oftentimes no more (and usually less) than what their willing to give either to themselves or others.
(Ill.) We train our children to spend hours on schoolwork & ball practice - 3-4 hours a night, yet we’ll not make sure that they’re at God’s House for 4 hours a week.
(Ill.) We’ll give more on car payments & Cable TV than we give to God in a month.
(Ill.) We’ll study up on what’s the best fishing lures to use, but neglect to study on fishing for men.
God deserves a Special Offering, not an ordinary one like Cain gave.
It was a Self-Absorbed Sacrifice
We see in v2 that Cain was a tiller of the ground - and then brought unto God the fruit of his hands.
Cain must’ve thought he was something presenting his offering unto the LORD. ‘Here you go God - look at what I did! I’ve raised up all this crop, and this is just a portion of what I have brought forth’.
It was self-centered & egotistical - for various reason, but one of them being #3 - It was a Self-Appointed Sacrifice
It was a Self-Appointed Sacrifice
It’s what he chose to give - not what God ordained he give
God didn’t ordain that whatever man thought to give unto God would be accepted, God had a very specific way that sinful man was to approach a Holy God - and if you’ll look in the previous chapter, IT WAS BY THE BLOOD!
Gen. 3:7 “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”
Cain’s daddy & momma tried to fix their own sin - they way that THEY CHOSE. But it took God to do it, and it took the blood!
Gen. 3:21 “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”
There’s going to be an innumerable amount of people in Hell that though the same way that Cain did.
There’s a great many of people who think that:
They can earn their way to Heaven
That they can be ‘good enough’
That their ‘good outweighs the bad’
Do you know what all of these are? This is US bringing OUR fruit to God and EXPECTING HIM to accept it. It’s doing the SAME THING that Cain did so many years ago.
We see the Inadequacy of Cain’s Sacrifice
The Superiority of Abel’s Sacrifice (Gen. 4:4)
It was what God Commanded
What God commanded, was (as we saw) illustrated in Gen. 3, a blood sacrifice, which is what Abel brought unto the LORD.
God has ONE SACRIFICE that is acceptable for Salvation:
In the garden to properly clothe Adam & Eve after their sin, it took the blood of an animal (probably a lamb)
Upon the mountaintop, it took the blood of a Ram to keep Isaac from the Judgement of God
In Egypt when the sentence of death was upon the firstborn, it took the blood of a Lamb to cover the damned
In the wilderness, it took the blood of various animals to atone for the sin of the people
An all of if was a foreshadowing of (as John put it) ‘The Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world’ - speaking of course of Jesus!
Heb. 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”
God commands a blood Sacrifice which is what Abel provided
It was a Choice Offering
In contrast to Cain’s offering, this wasn’t just another offering from the flock of Abel. This wasn’t some middle-aged half worn out animal - it was a CHOICE offering.
In other words, it COST him something - that’s why we call it a ‘SACRIFICE’. He sacrificed the best of his flock - BECAUSE GOD DESERVES THE BEST!
It was a Choice Offering
It was a Complete Offering
Abel didn’t just give unto God part of the lamb - he gave it all!
Just as Jesus gave all for you and I, we should give unto God complete autonomy over our lives - and God deserves no less! Just as God has one Sacrifice that’s acceptable for Salvation, God has one that is acceptable for service.
God has ONE SACRIFICE that is acceptable for Service:
The Bible tells us: Rom 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
Many Christians are willing to give God offerings:
They will offer God an 1-1.5 hrs most Sunday mornings (providing they don’t have anything else going on)
Some will offer God a little monetarily, some will offer much - but few will offer SACRIFICIALLY. Few will give until it costs them something.
Let me tell you somethings:
God doesn’t want your leftovers or hardly missed. He doesn’t want a part of you - HE WANTS ALL OF YOU! AND ACCORDING TO ROM. 12:1 - THAT’S REASONABLE!
Abel’s Sacrifice was Superior to Cain’s offering because: It’s what God Commanded. It was the BEST that he had to offer, and his offering was Complete - nothing left back for himself. Secondly, let’s look at the ‘WHY’ - the Cause of Abel’s Sacrifice

II. The Cause of Abel’s Sacrifice

According to Heb. 11:4, it was because of Abel’s Faith.
It’s because Abel knew God - not as some grand abstract idea, but personally, intimately - as one to whom he had a duty to OBEY.
By Faith Abel KNEW God - and he acted accordingly!
His Faith brought Conviction (Lev. 1:4)
Abel understood that he was a sinner - and was solely, wholly & completely dependent upon God’s GRACE.
The sacrifice that Abel performed would what we would be later expounded upon in Lev. 1 called a ‘Burnt Offering’ and we see an interesting attribute in Lev. 1:4 “And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.”
Abel identified with his sacrifice. Which is a two-fold application:
He Acknowledged the Substitution
Just as our sin caused the atonement death of Christ, Abel’s sin caused the Substitutionary death of his sacrifice
He Embodied the Sacrifice
He was saying ‘I am this sacrifice - wholly given unto you!
His Faith brought Conviction - BECAUSE His Faith Convinced him that God was Worthy
By Faith was Convinced that God was Worthy
The Bible tells us: Rev. 4:10-11 “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
And let me say this: Every knee will bow unto Him! Every soul will one day recognize the FACT that Christ is WORTHY!
He’s Worthy of our Adoration
He’s Worthy of our Obedience
He’s Worthy of our Attention
He’s Worthy of our Oblations
He’s Worthy of our Trust & Confidence
He’s Worthy to Sacrifice our Time, our Treasures, our Talents
He’s Worthy to give ALL! Everything we have!
You see, Abel’s Faith convinced him of that. That’s why he did it.
His Faith put God’s Commands before His Convenience
It certainly would have been more convenient if Abel had taken some taters & maters & corn up to the altar.
It certainly would have been cheaper had Abel taken a half dead old goat to the altar.
It wouldn’t have been nearly as traumatizing to lay hand upon the lamb, then taking a blade to his throat knowing that it was your sins that cost the life of that little one.
Everything would have been easier, cheaper, less mentally & emotionally taxing to go the same route that Cain did… But instead, Abel displayed His FAITH in God and put God’s Commands before His Convenience.
Christianity today is more concerned about what God will do for them than what they can do for God!
There’s a reason why there’s a 7-11, GoMart, Quickstop, Sheetz on every corner in America that sells all the things that they do - AND WE BUY THEM AT PREMIUM PRICING, because we are a society that is driven by CONVENIENCE.
Well let me give you a very inconvenient truth. God deserves better! If your Christianity isn’t costing you something, your Christianity isn’t worth a wooden nickel. EVERYTHING ABOUT CHRIST WAS CENTERED AROUND SACRIFICE!
Abel had Faith to put God’s Commands before His Convenience
Abel’s Sacrifice was Superior to Cain’s offering because: It’s what God Commanded. It was the BEST that he had to offer, and his offering was Complete - nothing left back for himself. Secondly, the Cause of Abel’s Sacrifice - His Faith brought Conviction, it Convinced him that God was Worthy, and it Caused him to put God’s Commands before his Convenience. Lastly, I want to look at the outcome of it all, The Consequence of Abel’s Sacrifice

III. The Consequence of Abel’s Sacrifice

Because Abel displayed great faith in God, and it prompted him to Sacrifice accordingly, we see:
He Enjoyed God’s Respect
Gen. 4:4 “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:”
Respect (def) To take notice of; to regard with special attention; to regard as worthy of special consideration;
I desire for my labor & sacrifice for the LORD to gain God’s favor. I want Him to take notice and pay attention to my sacrifice for Him. In short, I want what I do for God to matter to Him!
Make no mistake - Abel’s Sacrifice God had respect for, but Cain’s He didn’t.
Church, don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you’re putting on a show and making a bunch of noise with what you offer God that He is somehow impressed. Don’t forget Jesus’ example He gave: Mar. 12:42-44 “And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”
Abel’s Sacrifice brought God’s Respect
He Had a Righteous Testimony
Heb. 11:4By 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.”
Because Abel Sacrificed, he had a Righteous Testimony
What the church needs today is Christians with Righteous Testimonies. Jesus said: Mat. 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Your testimony before men will either draw them unto God, or push them away. Abel had a Testimony - but he had that testimony, BECAUSE HIS FAITH MOVED HIM TO SACRIFICE!
He had a Righteous Testimony
He was Relevant - Even After Death
Heb. 11:4 “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.
Able’s life meant more than the number of years he lived. Isn’t that what it’s all about? A Legacy?
You can live a hundred years and not make a bit a difference once you’re gone - and yet, you can live just a few, and continue to impact the world for years to come.
(Ill.) Many consider me to be ‘middle aged’ now I guess. But as of right now, I’ve already lived about 14 years longer than Jesus did. Jesus’ time upon this earth was not great, but great was the impact of that time!
The writer of Hebrews spoke of Abel thousands of years after his murder, and we are discussing him thousands of years after that!
Abel is still relevant today - BECAUSE HIS FAITH COMPELLED HIM TO SACRIFICE! Will your faith compel you to do the same?


By Faith Abel Sacrificed. This is what Abel’s faith moved him to do.
Question: If God were to evaluate your testimony right now, would that testimony be one of Sacrifice or Selfishness?
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