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
This morning, we are looking at a man who is included in the hall of faith in Hebrews 11. When we closely examine this man’s life, Jesus calls him “righteous Abel” in Matt. 23:35. Though he is only referred to in a few verses, Abel is a man who inspires us about the victorious Christian life.
We see Abel and his FAMILY.
Abel was the second son of Adam and Eve. Though his parents were created perfect, they sinned against God and brought the curse of sin upon the human race. Abel was born with a cursed sin nature. Sin has brought the curse of death upon every man. The reality of our mortality is that it is appointed unto man once to die, and after this, the judgment.
We see Abel and his FAITH.
In Heb. 11:4, we are told, “By faith Abel…” Abel is marked by his faith. First, he had a saving faith. He learned from his father, Adam, that the shed blood and death of an acceptable sacrifice needed to be made for his sin. This sacrifice would be an unblemished lamb of the first year. Since there is none righteous, faith in the shed blood of the unblemished lamb enabled him to have a righteousness which is by faith. Abel’s faith in the sacrificial death of the lamb made him righteous and accepted before God. Notice, Able offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous. This death of the lamb served as an atonement for Abel’s sin. Second, he had a serving faith. Each time he offered a blood sacrifice, he was expressing his worship of God through service. After we get saved, God wants us to be actively serving Him. God wants us intensely involved in serving Him.
We see Able and his FAVOR.
God was pleased with Abel’s gifts. “And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering.” God was pleased with Abel’s obedience. God says, “To obey is better than sacrifice…” Obedience demonstrates our love for God. God was pleased with Abel’s faithfulness. Abel made recurring offerings to God. Each was executed in exact detail and with a heart of true devotion and fervor. Sometimes, we can become repetitive in our duties and have no heart in what we do. Abel was moved to tears and tenderness every time he offered his sacrifices. He enjoyed coming to God, and God enjoyed having him in His presence.
We see Abel and his FATE.
Abel’s brother became angry that God accepted Abel and not himself. Cain rose up and murdered Abel. Abel became the world’s first martyr. He gave his life in order that he might please God. He chose to walk by faith when even his own brother would not. He lived unashamedly for the Lord. When we have an undaunted faith, hold the Word of God true and high, and live above the world, we will face persecution. Paul said that all who live godly will suffer persecution. If we choose Jesus, we must be willing to carry our cross.
We see Abel and his FOREWARNING.
The last thing said about Abel is that “he being dead yet speaketh.” His life testimony is an ongoing warning. First, we must have faith in the shed blood and death of Christ on the cross for our sins in order to be saved. Second, we must have courage to live for the Lord and obey Him, even if members of our own family do not. Third, we must be an avid witness of what Christ has done for us. Last, our testimony for the Lord should testify for and of Him, even when we are dead. We should be leaving a godly legacy of fervor and faith for those who follow us. Abel was someone who was “willing and able!”
Abel inspires us to live godly in an ungodly world. Look beyond your lifetime, and be someone of whom it will be said, “He being dead yet speaketh.”
Have an “able” God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Chronicles 25-27