Faithlife Sermons

Abel the Faithful Servant

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 367 views
Notes
Transcript

Sermon: Abel the Faithful Servant

Gen.4:1-10 Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. 

Abel teaches us about faith through his offerings and his righteousness and his testimony

Able teaches us about faith

            See Hebrews 11:1

Able teaches us about faith through his offerings

            See Deuteronomy 12:6

Able teaches us about faith through his offerings and his righteousness

            See Hebrews 12:24 and Matthew 23:35

Able teaches us about faith through his offerings and his righteousness and his testimony

            See Hebrews 10:38; Habakkuk 2:4

Sermón: Abel el Siervo Fiel

Able nos enseña acerca de la fe por medio de sus ofrendas y su justicia y su testimonio

            Vea Hebreos 11:4; Génesis 4:1-11

Abel nos enseña acerca de la fe

            Vea Hebreos 11:1

Abel nos enseña acerca de la fe por medio de sus ofrendas

            Vea Deuteronomio 12:6

Abel nos enseña acerca de la fe por medio de sus ofrendas y su justicia

            Vea Hebreos 12:24 y Mateo 23:35

 Abel nos enseña acerca de la fe por medio de sus ofrendas y su justicia y sus testimonio

            Vea Hebreos 10:38 y Habacuc 2:4

 

Sermon: Abel the Faithful Servant

Gen.4:1-10 Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.  (RVR)  Por la fe Abel ofreció a Dios más excelente sacrificio que Caín,  por lo cual alcanzó testimonio de que era justo,  dando Dios testimonio de sus ofrendas;  y muerto,  aún habla por ella. (DHH)  Por fe, Abel ofreció a Dios un sacrificio mejor que el que ofreció Caín, y por eso Dios lo declaró justo y le aceptó sus ofrendas. Así que, aunque Abel está muerto, sigue hablando por medio de su fe.

Abel teaches us about faith…….. through his offerings and his righteousness and his testimony

What is faith?

Heb.11:1  Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (RVR)   - Es, pues, la fe la certeza [garantía] de lo que se espera, la convicción de lo que no se ve. (DHH)   Tener fe es tener la plena seguridad de recibir lo que se espera; es estar convencidos de la realidad de cosas que no vemos

Faith, another word is “trust

Faith is being sure.and certain about unseen hopes and realities

Faith is our obedient response to what God has revealed in His Word.

*“by faith” mentioned 3xs

*First person mentioned in this chapter of the Hall of Faith

*First person mentioned to exercise faith outside the Garden of Eden

*First martyr of the faith

Who is your example of faith (trust)? in Jesus.....Are you an example of faith for others?

Lk 17:5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” (RVR)  Dijeron los apóstoles al Señor:  Auméntanos la fe.

 

It is very significant that this great chapter on faith begins with a worshiper—because worship is fundamental to everything else we do in life…..and worship is reflected in our giving

Abel teaches us about faith through his offerings

 

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even thou he is dead. 

(RVR)  Por la fe Abel ofreció a Dios más excelente sacrificio que Caín,  por lo cual alcanzó testimonio de que era justo,  dando Dios testimonio de sus ofrendas;  y muerto,  aún habla por ella. (DHH)  Por fe, Abel ofreció a Dios un sacrificio mejor que el que ofreció Caín, y por eso Dios lo declaró justo y le aceptó sus ofrendas. Así que, aunque Abel está muerto, sigue hablando por medio de su fe.

 

Gen.4:1-10 Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.

DHH El hombre se unió con su esposa Eva. Ella quedó embarazada y dio a luz a su hijo Caín, y dijo: "Ya tengo un hijo varón. El Señor me lo ha dado." (2)  Después dio a luz a Abel, hermano de Caín. Abel se dedicó a criar ovejas, y Caín se dedicó a cultivar la tierra.  (3)  Pasó el tiempo, y un día Caín llevó al Señor una ofrenda del producto de su cosecha.  (4)  También Abel llevó al Señor las primeras y mejores crías de sus ovejas. El Señor miró con agrado a Abel y a su ofrenda,  (5)  pero no miró así a Caín ni a su ofrenda, por lo que Caín se enojó muchísimo y puso muy mala cara.  (6)  Entonces el Señor le dijo: "¿Por qué te enojas y pones tan mala cara?  (7)  Si hicieras lo bueno, podrías levantar la cara;[2] pero como no lo haces, el pecado está esperando el momento de dominarte. Sin embargo, tú puedes dominarlo a él."  (8)  Un día, Caín invitó a su hermano Abel a dar un paseo,[3] y cuando los dos estaban ya en el campo, Caín atacó a su hermano Abel y lo mató.  (9)  Entonces el Señor le preguntó a Caín: --¿Dónde está tu hermano Abel? Y Caín contestó: --No lo sé. ¿Acaso es mi obligación cuidar de él?  (10)  El Señor le dijo: --¿Por qué has hecho esto? La sangre de tu hermano, que has derramado en la tierra, me pide a gritos que yo haga justicia.  (11)  Por eso, quedarás maldito y expulsado de la tierra que se ha bebido la sangre de tu hermano, a quien tú mataste.

Are you a faithful tither?.........

Your checkbook does not lie!

Starting point = 10%

 

Deut 12:6 there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts [sacred offerings; heave offerings; contributions], what you have vowed to give [votive offerings; your offerings to fulfill a vow] and your freewill offerings [voluntary], and the firstborn of your herds and flocks.  VP - Allí sacrificarán y quemarán animales en su honor, y le llevarán sus diezmos, contribuciones, promesas y ofrendas voluntarias, así como las primeras crías de sus vacas y ovejas.NBLH - “Allí llevarán sus holocaustos, sus sacrificios, sus diezmos, la contribución de su mano [la ofrenda elevada], sus ofrendas votivas (de sus votos), sus ofrendas voluntarias, y el primogénito [primicias] de sus vacas y de sus ovejas.

Abel teaches us about faith through his offerings

George Barna: 5% of adults tithe, Evangelicals 11% tithe,

Cf  about ½ of church members gave nothing at all.

 

Giving is more than just giving your tithe…..it is giving by faith

Lk.18:12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. / ayuno dos veces a la semana, doy diezmos de todo lo que gano

“God loves a cheerful giver” (2Cor. 9:7)….God loves a “faith”ful giver

 

Everybody is expected to give to God

Ex.23:15….. No one is to appear before me empty-handed. / y ninguno se presentará delante de mí con las manos vacías / Y nadie podrá venir a verme, si no trae algo

Compare Cain’s offering w/ Abel’s

Prov 14:12 “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (RVR)  Hay camino que al hombre le parece derecho;  Pero su fin es camino de muerte.

Reasons I don’t’give my tithes in offerings
            Ignorance (didn’t know I was suppose to)

            Lack of faith (don’t trust God to provide if I do give him his portion first)

            Lack of love (don’t care or care more about myself and things of this world)

            $ represents security…….$ represent identity……….$ represent pleasures

How does God uses finances to mature us in our faith?

            Opportunity to please and serve God

-8231 w/o outside help   -5633 w/ outside help     4583  short ps

Our offerings are a reflection of faith in God and our love for Him

Abel teaches us about faith through his offerings and his righteousness

 

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.  RVR Por la fe Abel ofreció a Dios más excelente sacrificio que Caín,  por lo cual alcanzó testimonio de que era justo,  dando Dios testimonio de sus ofrendas;  y muerto,  aún habla por ella (DHH)  Por fe, Abel ofreció a Dios un sacrificio mejor que el que ofreció Caín, y por eso Dios lo declaró justo y le aceptó sus ofrendas. Así que, aunque Abel está muerto, sigue hablando por medio de su fe.

Hebrews 12:24  to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel (NBLH)  y a Jesús, el mediador del nuevo pacto, y a la sangre rociada que habla mejor que la sangre de Abel.

Matthew 23:35  And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. (RVR)  para que venga sobre vosotros toda la sangre justa que se ha derramado sobre la tierra,  desde la sangre de Abel el justo hasta la sangre de Zacarías hijo de Berequías,  a quien matasteis entre el templo y el altar.

Are your actions right before God?

Everything is either the Right thing or Wrong thing / Abel (rt actions) VS Cain (wrong actions)

Quiz: Who was the 3rd person to sin against God

What was his sin? Not honoring God with his offerings (doing things his way instead of God’s way) …..it wasn’t his anger, that was a result of God’s disapproval of his offering!

Abel teaches us about faith through his offerings and his righteousness and his testimony

 

Heb.4:11 “he still speaks, even though he is dead” (DHH)  Por fe, Abel ofreció a Dios un sacrificio mejor que el que ofreció Caín, y por eso Dios lo declaró justo y le aceptó sus ofrendas. Así que, aunque Abel está muerto, sigue hablando por medio de su fe.

Gen.4:10 “Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground” (NBLH)  Y el SEÑOR le dijo: "¿Qué has hecho? La voz de la sangre de tu hermano clama a Mí desde la tierra.

How does a dead person speak?

           

John Wesley: “God buries His workman, but His work goes on

G. Campbell Morgan: Commit your life to God, see vision, do the work that’s nearest, the work

He appoints, truly and well and faithfully, and die knowing that you have started delicate influences, dynamic forces which will proceed through every succeeding generation until they gather up the harvest of glorious result about the throne of the Eternal. The man of God has not finished his work in the world when they put him in a coffin.

James Moffatt: “Death is never the last word in the life of a righteous man. When a man

leaves this world, be he righteous or unrighteous, he leaves something in the world. He may leave something that will grow and spread like a cancer or a poison, or he may leave something like the fragrance of perfume or a blossom of beauty that permeates the atmosphere with blessing.”

How does a dead person speak?

            Hebrews 11 witnesses

 Heb. 10:38 But My righteous one shall live by faith” (RVR)  Mas el justo vivirá por fe           

 

Faith is the way to life, and faith is the way to live.

True faith is confident obedience to God’s Word in spite of circumstances & consequences.

This faith operates quite simply.

God speaks and we hear His Word.

We trust His Word and act on it no matter what the circumstances are or what the consequences may be. The circumstances may be impossible, and the consequences frightening and unknown; but we obey God’s Word just the same

We trust him with the results of our obedience, believing Him to do what is right and what is best for His glory

BE AN ABLE AND GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR OFFERINGS

Abel teaches us about faith through his offerings and his righteousness and his testimony

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

Gen.4:1-11 Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. *The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. *So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” 8 *Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.

….25 Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.”

Gen. 4:1 Conoció Adán a su mujer Eva, la cual concibió y dio a luz a Caín, y dijo: Por voluntad de Jehová he adquirido varón.

(DHH)  El hombre se unió con su esposa Eva. Ella quedó embarazada y dio a luz a su hijo Caín, y dijo: "Ya tengo un hijo varón. El Señor me lo ha dado."[1]

(NBLH)  Y el hombre (Adán) se unió a Eva, su mujer, y ella concibió y dio a luz a Caín, y dijo: "He adquirido varón con la ayuda del SEÑOR."

4:2 Después dio a luz a su hermano Abel. Y Abel fue pastor de ovejas, y Caín fue labrador de la tierra.

(DHH)  Después dio a luz a Abel, hermano de Caín. Abel se dedicó a criar ovejas, y Caín se dedicó a cultivar la tierra.

 (NVI)  Después dio a luz a Abel,  hermano de Caín.  Abel se dedicó a pastorear ovejas,  mientras que Caín se dedicó a trabajar la tierra.

 4:3 Y aconteció andando el tiempo, que Caín trajo del fruto de la tierra una ofrenda a Jehová.

(DHH)  Pasó el tiempo, y un día Caín llevó al Señor una ofrenda del producto de su cosecha.

(NBLH)  Al transcurrir el tiempo, Caín trajo al SEÑOR una ofrenda del fruto de la tierra.

(NVI)  Tiempo después,  Caín presentó al Señor una ofrenda del fruto de la tierra.

4Y Abel trajo también de los primogénitos de sus ovejas, de lo más gordo de ellas. Y miró Jehová con agrado a Abel y a su ofrenda;

(DHH)  También Abel llevó al Señor las primeras y mejores crías de sus ovejas. El Señor miró con agrado a Abel y a su ofrenda,

(NBLH)  También Abel, por su parte, trajo de los primogénitos de sus ovejas y de la grasa de los mismos. El SEÑOR miró con agrado a Abel y su ofrenda,

(NVI)  Abel también presentó al Señor lo mejor de su rebaño,  es decir,  los primogénitos con su grasa.  Y el Señor miró con agrado a Abel y a su ofrenda,

5pero no miró con agrado a Caín y a la ofrenda suya. Y se ensañó Caín en gran manera, y decayó su semblante.

(DHH)  pero no miró así a Caín ni a su ofrenda, por lo que Caín se enojó muchísimo y puso muy mala cara.

 (NVI)  pero no miró así a Caín ni a su ofrenda.  Por eso Caín se enfureció y andaba cabizbajo.

(RV2000) y a Caín y a su presente no miró. Y se ensañó Caín en gran manera, y decayó su semblante.

6Entonces Jehová dijo a Caín: ¿Por qué te has ensañado, y por qué ha decaído tu semblante?

(DHH)  Entonces el Señor le dijo: "¿Por qué te enojas y pones tan mala cara?

 (NVI)  Entonces el Señor le dijo:  "¿Por qué estás tan enojado?  ¿Por qué andas cabizbajo?

7Si bien hicieres, ¿no serás enaltecido? y si no hicieres bien, el pecado está a la puerta; con todo esto, a ti será su deseo, y tú te enseñorearás de él. 

(DHH)  Si hicieras lo bueno, podrías levantar la cara; pero como no lo haces, el pecado está esperando el momento de dominarte. Sin embargo, tú puedes dominarlo a él."

(NBLH)  "Si haces bien, ¿no serás aceptado? Pero si no haces bien, el pecado yace a la puerta y te codicia, pero tú debes dominarlo."

(NVI)  Si hicieras lo bueno,  podrías andar con la frente en alto.  Pero si haces lo malo,  el pecado te acecha,  como una fiera lista para atraparte.  No obstante,  tú puedes dominarlo."

8Y dijo Caín a su hermano Abel: Salgamos al campo. Y aconteció que estando ellos en el campo, Caín se levantó contra su hermano Abel, y lo mató.

(DHH)  Un día, Caín invitó a su hermano Abel a dar un paseo, y cuando los dos estaban ya en el campo, Caín atacó a su hermano Abel y lo mató.

9Y Jehová dijo a Caín: ¿Dónde está Abel tu hermano? Y él respondió: No sé. ¿Soy yo acaso guarda de mi hermano?

(DHH)  Entonces el Señor le preguntó a Caín: --¿Dónde está tu hermano Abel? Y Caín contestó: --No lo sé. ¿Acaso es mi obligación cuidar de él?

 (NVI)  El Señor le preguntó a Caín:   ¿Dónde está tu hermano Abel?   No lo sé respondió.  ¿Acaso soy yo el que debe cuidar a mi hermano?

(NBLH)  Entonces el SEÑOR dijo a Caín: "¿Dónde está tu hermano Abel?" Y él respondió: "No sé. ¿Soy yo acaso guardián de mi hermano?"

10Y él le dijo: ¿Qué has hecho? La voz de la sangre de tu hermano clama a mí desde la tierra.

(DHH)  El Señor le dijo: --¿Por qué has hecho esto? La sangre de tu hermano, que has derramado en la tierra, me pide a gritos que yo haga justicia.

(NBLH)  Y el SEÑOR le dijo: "¿Qué has hecho? La voz de la sangre de tu hermano clama a Mí desde la tierra.

(NVI)  ¡Qué has hecho!  exclamó el Señor.  Desde la tierra,  la sangre de tu hermano reclama justicia.

11Ahora, pues, maldito seas tú de la tierra, que abrió su boca para recibir de tu mano la sangre de tu hermano.

(DHH)  Por eso, quedarás maldito y expulsado de la tierra que se ha bebido la sangre de tu hermano, a quien tú mataste.

 (NVI)  Por eso,  ahora quedarás bajo la maldición de la tierra,  la cual ha abierto sus fauces para recibir la sangre de tu hermano,  que tú has derramado.

Heb 11:4

(RV60)  Por la fe Abel ofreció a Dios más excelente sacrificio que Caín,  por lo cual alcanzó testimonio de que era justo,  dando Dios testimonio de sus ofrendas;  y muerto,  aún habla por ella.

 (DHH)  Por fe, Abel ofreció a Dios un sacrificio mejor que el que ofreció Caín, y por eso Dios lo declaró justo y le aceptó sus ofrendas. Así que, aunque Abel está muerto, sigue hablando por medio de su fe.

(NBLH)  Por la fe Abel ofreció a Dios un mejor sacrificio que Caín, por lo cual alcanzó el testimonio de que era justo, dando Dios testimonio de sus ofrendas; y por la fe, estando muerto, todavía habla.

(NVI)  Por la fe Abel ofreció a Dios un sacrificio más aceptable que el de Caín,  por lo cual recibió testimonio de ser justo,  pues Dios aceptó su ofrenda.  Y por la fe Abel,  a pesar de estar muerto,  habla todavía.

Both offered something

Our offerings are a reflection of faith in God and our love for Him

Only God can truly see the “amount” we give

God uses our tithes/offerings as a testimony for his glory

Quiz: Who was the 3rd person to sin against God

What was his sin? Not honoring God with his offerings (doing things his way instead of God’s way) …..it wasn’t his anger, that was a result of God’s disapproval of his offering!

What made his offering better? (it was offered by faith, not sight)

Does God compare offerings? Cf Widow and rich people’s offerings

Who commended Abel? God

Did Abel give his offering to be commended by God?

Both brothers started on an even plane – both knew what God required

Contrast between Abel and Cain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11:4. Abel represents the righteous man referred to in 10:38, whose acceptance before God was based on a superior sacrifice. Like Abel, the readers found acceptance before God on the basis of the better sacrifice of the New Covenant. Their unbelieving brethren, like Cain, found no such divine approbation. Even death does not extinguish the testimony of a man like Abel.

12:24 Mediator. See 7:22 (8:6–10; 9:15). better things. See 6:9; 9:23. Abel’s sacrifice was pleasing to God because it was offered in faith and obedience (11:4), but it had no atoning power. Jesus’ blood alone was sufficient to cleanse sin (1 John 1:7). The sacrifice of Christ brought redemption (9:12), forgiveness (9:26), and complete salvation (10:10,14). than that of Abel. The blood of Abel’s sacrifice only provided a temporary covering, but Christ’s blood sacrifice declares eternal forgiveness (Col. 1:20)

11:4 Abel. See Gen. 4:1–15. more excellent. The precise reason for the excellence of Abel’s sacrifice is not specifically revealed by the writer of Hebrews, but implied in 12:24 . Here his concern is with Abel’s faith. Both brothers knew what God required. Abel obeyed and Cain did not. Abel acted in faith, Cain in unbelief (Gen. 4:4,5). through which … it. The antecedent of both “which” and “it” is Abel’s faith, not his offering. Through that faith, he left testimony to all succeeding generations that a person comes to God by faith to receive righteousness. righteous. Because of his faith, evidenced in obedience to God’s requirement for sacrifice, Abel was accounted as righteous by God (Rom. 4:4–8). Christ Himself referred to the righteousness of Abel (Matt. 23:35). Cain’s sacrifice was evidence that he was just going through the motions of ritual in a disobedient manner, not evidencing authentic faith. Without faith no one can receive imputed righteousness (Gen. 15:6). testifying of his gifts. Abel’s offering proved something about his faith that was not demonstrated by Cain’s offering

11:4 Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable to God because of his faith, and was therefore declared righteous. Evidently Cain offered his sacrifices without faith (Gen. 4). Abel still speaks to us because his righteous deeds have been recorded in Scripture

11.4 Caín y Abel fueron los primeros hijos de Adán y Eva. Abel ofreció un sacrificio que agradó a Dios; en cambio, el sacrificio de Caín fue inaceptable. El perfil de Abel se halla en Génesis 6. El perfil de Caín se encuentra en Génesis 7. El sacrificio de Abel (un animal expiatorio) fue más aceptable a Dios porque fue un sacrificio de sangre y, más importante aun, por la actitud con que Abel la ofreció

The contrast between faith and unbelief is exemplified in the lives of the forefathers. The writer presents the positive element faith; nevertheless, by mentioning the name Cain, he introduces an example of disobedience and unbelief.

4. By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. The author places the name of Abel, and by implication that of Adam, at the beginning of his list of Old Testament saints. Adam’s son Abel occupies a special place in sacred history, for even Jesus calls him righteous (Matt. 23:35; Luke 11:51). With reference to Abel, note the following points:

a. Abel presented a “better sacrifice” than did his brother Cain. As a tiller of the soil, Cain brought some of its fruits. Abel, the shepherd, sacrificed the fat of “some of the firstborn of his flock” (Gen. 4:4). Is the word better (literally, “greater”) an indication that animal sacrifices were more acceptable to God than were the fruits of the field? No. We should look not at the gifts but at the giver. The historical context is quite explicit. In Genesis 4:6–7 we read: “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.’ ”  The Septuagint version of verse 7 reads, “Did you not sin when you offered [your sacrifice] correctly, but did not divide it correctly?” Throughout his epistle the author of Hebrews shows that he depends on this Greek translation of the Old testament. But the author’s choice of version is not at issue. The fact remains that Cain’s attitude toward God was sinful. In effect, God pleaded with him to repent, to change his way of life, and to conquer sin. However, the writer introduces Cain’s name only for contrast; he is interested in Abel’s faith. Notice, for example, that the expression by faith occurs three times in this verse .

b. Abel was a “righteous man.” He lived in harmony with God and man and therefore became known as a righteous man. How God communicated with Abel is not known. One assumes that as God spoke directly with Cain, so he addressed Abel. There is no reason to resort to interpretations that hold that God communicated through symbols, such as fire that came down from heaven to consume Abel’s sacrifice or smoke that ascended from this sacrifice. The Genesis account provides no further information on how God “looked with favor on Abel and his offering” (4:4). God looked on Abel’s heart and was pleased with the motives of the giver. As Paul puts it, “God loves a cheerful giver” (II Cor. 9:7).

c. Even after his death, Abel is a constant witness. The text (“he still speaks, even though he is dead”) can be interpreted to refer to Abel’s blood. God says to Cain, “Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground” (Gen. 4:10; Matt. 23:35; Luke 11:51; Heb. 12:24). But the writer of Hebrews stresses the concept faith, not the avenging of Abel’s blood. The difficulty of relating faith to blood that has been shed ought not be bolstered by a quick reference to Rev 6:10, where the souls under the altar cry out, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Not the blood of Abel, but the faith of Abel is important; therefore, the reference to the souls under the altar is of little consequence. The author places Abel before the readers as a righteous man who lived by faith (Heb. 10:38 But my righteous one will live by faith and if he shrinks back I will not be pleased with him). Abel is at the top of the list of the Old Testament heroes of faith. Even after his death, his example encourages people to seek the Lord, because he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Abel, then, is the father of believers of the time before Abraham. His faith in God still speaks as a constant witness.

[“A coffin in Egypt” may appear to be a discouraging way to close a book, but from the viewpoint of faith, it couldn’t be more encouraging. After all, even though Joseph was dead, his witness was still going on. As John Wesley said, “God buries His workman, but His work goes on”; and the Apostle John wrote that “he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17, nkjv). G. Campbell Morgan said: Commit your life to God, see vision, do the work that’s nearest, the work He appoints, truly and well and faithfully, and die knowing that you have started delicate influences, dynamic forces which will proceed through every succeeding generation until they gather up the harvest of glorious result about the throne of the Eternal. The man of God has not finished his work in the world when they put him in a coffin.Yes, Joseph is still blessing us today even as we study his life!]

The Demonstration of Faith (Heb. 11:4–40) Abel—faith worshiping (v. 4). The background story is in Genesis 4:1–10. Abel was a righteous man because of faith (Matt. 23:35). God had revealed to Adam and his descendants the true way of worship, and Abel obeyed God by faith. In fact, his obedience cost him his life. Cain was not a child of God (1 John 3:12) because he did not have faith. He was religious but not righteous. Abel speaks to us today as the first martyr of the faith. Enoch—faith walking (vv. 5–6).  Noah—faith working (v. 7).  The patriarchs—faith waiting (vv. 8–22).

11:4 Abel…todavía habla. En Gn 4:10, 11 la sangre de Abel clama por justicia y venganza. Sin embargo, en este libro se habla de su fe y el mejor sacrificio que señala el sacrificio superior de Cristo (12:24) en relación con el perdón de los creyentes (9:13–14). un mejor sacrificio. Ni Gn 4:1–5 ni He 11:4 explican porqué el sacrificio de Abel fue mejor sacrificio. Algunos sugieren que Abel ofreció un sacrificio de sangre por fe (9:22; 12:24) y otros que no fue la clase de sacrificio que lo hizo mejor, ya que Dios aceptaba ofrendas de cereal (Lv 2:1), sino que Abel lo ofreció por fe y no en incredulidad como Caín (Gn 4:4, 5)

11.4 La adoración de Abel demuestra que quien adora de verdad debe acudir con fe y presentar el sacrificio que Dios requiere.

4. By faith Abel offered, etc. The Apostle’s object in this chapter is to show, that however excellent were the works of the saints, it was from faith they derived their value, their worthiness, and all their excellences; and hence follows what he has already intimated, that the fathers pleased God by faith alone. Now he commends faith here on two accounts, — it renders obedience to God, for it attempts and undertakes nothing, but what is according to the rule of God’s word, — and it relies on God’s promises, and thus it gains the value and worth which belongs to works from his grace alone. Hence, wherever the word faith is found in this chapter, we must bear in mind, that the Apostle speaks of it, in order that the Jews might regard no other rule than God’s word, and might also depend alone on his promises. He says, first, that Abel’s sacrifice was for no other reason preferable to that of his brother, except that it was sanctified by faith: for surely the fat of brute animals did not smell so sweetly, that it could, by its odor, pacify God. The Scripture indeed shows plainly, why God accepted his sacrifice, for Moses’s words are these, “God had respect to Abel, and to his gifts.” It is hence obvious to conclude, that his sacrifice was accepted, because he himself was graciously accepted. But how did he obtain this favor, except that his heart was purified by faith. God testifying, etc. He confirms what I have already stated, that no works, coming from us can please God, until we ourselves are received into favor, or to speak more briefly, that no works are deemed just before God, but those of a just man: for he reasons thus, — God bore a testimony to Abel’s gifts; then he had obtained the praise of being just before God. This doctrine is useful, and ought especially to be noticed, as we are not easily convinced of its truth; for when in any work, anything splendid appears, we are immediately rapt in admiration, and we think that it cannot possibly be disapproved of by God: but God, who regards only the inward purity of the heart, heeds not the outward masks of works. Let us then learn, that no right or good work can proceed from us, until we are justified before God. By it he being dead, etc. To faith he also ascribes this, — that God testified that Abel was no less the object of his care after his death, than during his life: for when he says, that though dead, he still speaketh, he means, as Moses tells us, that God was moved by his violent death to take vengeance. When, therefore, Abel or his blood is said to speak, the words are to be understood figuratively. It was yet a singular evidence of God’s love towards him, that he had a care for him when he was dead; and it hence appears, that he was one of God’s saints, whose death is precious to him.

11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. Jesus put Abel at the head of the list of righteous people whom the Jews had killed in their resistance of God’s invitations to them: And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar (Matt 23:35; Luke 11:51). Abel is also the first hero of faith named in this list. His death, literally his blood, will be mentioned again in 12:24 in contrast with the blood of Jesus to which all Christians have come. Cain is mentioned outside of Genesis 4 only three times in the Bible. In 1 John 3:12 he is held up as a bad example who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother because his deeds were evil while his brother’s were righteous. It becomes the basis for explaining that the wicked world will hate righteous people. Jude 11 mentions “the way of Cain” as one illustration of godless people who speak abusively against whatever they do not understand. They are “like unreasoning animals.” Even after God confronted him, Cain invited Abel out to the field where he killed him. His anger certainly made him act “like unreasoning animals.” The point of this passage is that God commended Abel as a righteous man because his faith led him to do what God asked to be done. His obedience is held up before us as an example to be copied even though it eventually cost him his life. This is why he still speaks, even though he is dead. Cain and Abel may have talked about what God required as a sacrifice before either of them brought his sacrifice. Let Abel’s determination to obey God whatever others would do be an encouragement to us. In the face of the speculation about what made Abel’s sacrifice better than that of Cain, our text simply explains that it was because of his faith. There is no suggestion that God required an animal which Cain refused, or that Cain did not bring the best from what he had. The very anger of Cain upon having his offering refused indicates an arrogant distrust of God (Gen 4:5). Cain knew better than God what he should offer! Faith is so important that Paul could say whatever does not originate in faith is sin (Rom 14:23). Jesus explained to the disciples that the reason the Holy Spirit would convict people of sin was because they did not believe in him (John 16:8–9). Disbelief is the central problem of sin. Belief is mandatory. Our author waits till after his third illustration of faith to explain this same concept that w/o faith it is impossible to please God 11:6

*The sacrifice was the sign of the righteousness—the true relation to God by faith—which he had inwardly. Through this the witness came, as God bore witness on occasion of his gifts. Comp. v. 7. The express title of ‘righteous’ is not given to Abel in the O. T. narrative, but to Noah first (v. 7). The character however is given to him, and the title in later times: Matt. 23:35; 1 John 3:12

*By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. (11:4) James Moffatt wrote, “Death is never the last word in the life of a righteous man. When a man leaves this world, be he righteous or unrighteous, he leaves something in the world. He may leave something that will grow and spread like a cancer or a poison, or he may leave something like the fragrance of perfume or a blossom of beauty that permeates the atmosphere with blessing.” Man leaves this world either a Paul or a Nero.

Dead men do tell tales. They are not silent, but still speak to those who will listen. From many thousands of years ago, Abel speaks to twentieth-century man. This man who lived when the earth was new, who was of the second generation of mankind, has something to teach modern, sophisticated, technological man. He lived in a far distant age, in a far different culture, with far less light from God than we have. But what he has to tell us is more relevant than anything we are likely to read in our current newspapers or magazines. The obvious theme of Hebrews 11 is faith, and it is about faith that Abel speaks to us. He is the first in a long line of faithful persons who can teach us about the life of faith. He, and the others mentioned in chapter 11, illustrate a pure kind of faith that sharply isolates it from works. It is this distinction that the Jewish readers especially needed to see. They had to be shown that, from the very beginning, faith has been the only thing that God will accept to save fallen man. Adam and Eve could not have been persons of faith in the same way as their descendants. They had seen God face-to-face, fellowshipped with Him, talked with Him, and had lived in the garden of paradise. Until they sinned, they had no need for faith, because they lived in God’s very light. Even after they sinned, they had the memory and knowledge of this unique and beautiful relationship with their Creator. Their children were the first to have need of faith in its fullest sense. Abel was the first man of faith, and it is important to understand that his faith had to do with his personal salvation. Abel’s faith led to three progressive things: true sacrifice, true righteousness, and true witness. Because he believed, he offered a better sacrifice. Because he offered a better sacrifice, he obtained righteousness. Because he obtained righteousness, he is for all the ages a living voice saying, “Righteousness is by faith.” God put Adam and Eve out of the Garden because of sin. Sin violated their fellowship with God and forfeited their right to be in His presence. But even as His judgment sent them out, His grace promised a way back. Through woman a man would be born whose heel would be bruised by Satan but who would bruise Satan on the head (Gen. 3:15). That is, this One who would be born from the seed of woman would conquer and destroy Satan, and thereby deliver mankind from sin’s curse. Within the very curse itself, a Redeemer was promised. While judgment was being executed, mercy was being offered. Only one woman, the mother of Jesus, has ever possessed a seed apart from its being implanted by a man. The Holy Spirit placed the seed in her, and in this way it was the seed of woman that gave birth to Jesus, the promised Savior. Not only the coming of the Redeemer but also His virgin birth was prophesied in the first part of the first book of God’s Word. From her comments after the birth of Cain, it is possible that Eve thought her firstborn would be the promised deliverer. His name probably means “to get” or “to get something,” and her statement, “I have gotten a man-child with the help of the Lord” (Gen. 4:1), might be rendered, “I have gotten ‘He is here.’ ” If she thought this son was the deliverer, she was greatly mistaken. This son became mankind’s first murderer, not its savior. Even apart from Cain’s wickedness and faithlessness, he could not have been the savior, nor could any of Adam and Eve’s physical descendants. Flesh can only produce flesh. In Adam all died, and the sons of Adam could not give a life which they themselves did not have. We do not know their age difference, but Abel was born some time after Cain. The basic meaning of Abel could be “breath,” “weakness,” or “vanity,” carrying the idea of brevity. In any case, his life was indeed brief, cut off by his jealous brother. Abel was “a keeper of flocks,” while Cain was “a tiller of the ground.” One was a shepherd, the other a farmer. Both were conceived after the fall and were born outside of Eden. They were therefore both born in sin. They were the second and third men ever to live on earth. They lived and functioned as all mankind since their time has lived and functioned. They had the same natures and capacities and limitations and inclinations that every person since then has had. In other words, in all the essentials of human nature, they were exactly as we are. In no way do they resemble the primitive beings of evolutionist fantasy. Showing their preconceptions and biases, evolutionists and various interpreters of Scripture have argued that the Genesis account of man’s beginnings cannot possibly be correct, because Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, and the others mentioned in the earlier chapters are far too advanced to have been the first human beings. Besides the impossible super natural claims of Adam and Eve talking with God, critics reason that original man could not have domesticated animals, as Abel did, or plowed and planted fields, as Cain did—much less have invented musical instruments or metal tools (4:21–22). The Bible is clear, however, that Adam and Eve were highly intelligent when God created them. Adam named all the animals, which required devising a creative vocabulary. Their sons understood animal husbandry and farming, and within a very few generations came the tools and musical instruments already mentioned. The Genesis account, brief as it is, gives the definite picture of people who were well-developed in language and in general culture.The first human inhabitants of earth, Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel, lived and functioned as human beings in the ways that we do today.

Abel Made a True Sacrifice By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain. (11:4a) This verse takes us back to Genesis, where we read of Abel’s sacrifice: “So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard” (Gen. 4:3–5). A Place to Worship Cain and Abel had a place to worship. Because they brought offerings, some sort of altar must have been used on which to make the sacrifices. There is no mention of their erecting an altar at this time, and it may be that an altar already existed near the east side of the Garden of Eden, where God had placed the cherubim with the flaming sword to prevent man from reentering. It seems perfectly consistent with God’s grace that, from the beginning, He would have provided for some means of worship. Perhaps the altar here was a forerunner of the mercy seat, a place where man could come for forgiveness and atonement. Very early in man’s history God promised a future Deliverer, and very early He provided a temporary means of worship and sacrifice. A Time for Worship There seems also to have been a time for worship. “In the course of time,” means literally, “at the end of days,” that is, at the end of a certain period of time. It may be, therefore, that God had designated a special time for sacrificing. God is a God of order, and we know that in later centuries He did prescribe definite times and ways of worshiping. The fact that Cain and Abel came to sacrifice at the same time also suggests that God had specified a particular time. A Way to Worship I also believe that God had designated a way to worship. Cain and Abel would know nothing about the need for worship or sacrifice, much less the way, had they not been told by God—perhaps through their parents. It is especially significant that the first recorded act of worship was sacrifice, a sin offering, the supreme act of worship in all of God’s covenants with His people. Abraham sacrificed to God, and through Moses came the complicated and demanding rituals of sacrifice of the Old Covenant. The heart of the New Covenant is Jesus’ perfect, once-for-all sacrifice on the cross. It is inconceivable that Cain and Abel accidentally stumbled onto sacrifice as a way of worshiping God. The fact that God accepted only the one sacrificial offering also seems to indicate that He had established a pattern for worship. Abel offered his sacrifice by faith. Since “faith comes from hearing” (Rom. 10:17), Abel must have had some revelation from God on which his faith was based. He must have known the place and time and way in which God wanted the sacrifice for sin to be offered. There was nothing intrinsically wrong with a grain or fruit or vegetable offering. The Mosaic covenant included such offerings. But the blood offerings were always first, because only the blood offerings dealt with sin. Here is where the life of faith begins, with a sacrifice for sin. It begins with believing God that we are sinners, that we are worthy of death, that we need His forgiveness, and that we accept His revealed plan for our deliverance. That is the beginning of the life of faith. It was in such faith that Abel presented his sacrifice to God. And it was because of such faith that his sacrifice was acceptable to God.When Abel did what God said, he revealed his obedience and acknowledged his sinfulness. Cain, on the other hand, was disobedient and did not acknowledge his sin. Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain because God had prescribed a blood sacrifice. Somehow Abel, and Cain as well, knew what God wanted. The difference between the two was that Abel gave what God wanted, whereas Cain gave what he himself wanted. Abel was obedient and Cain was disobedient. Abel acknowledged his sin. Cain did not. Abel approached God and said, in effect, “Lord, this is what You said You wanted. You promised that if I brought it, You would forgive my sin. I believe You, God. I acknowledge my sin and I acknowledge Your prescribed remedy. Here it is.” Cain had the same knowledge of God’s requirements, but decided to worship in his own way. In the tradition of his parents, he did his own thing. In effect, he was denying his sin. Cain believed in God, else he would not have brought Him a sacrifice. He acknowledged a supreme being and even that he owed Him some sort of worship. He recognized God, but he did not obey God. He believed in God, but he did not believe God. He thought he could approach God in whatever way he wanted, and expected Him to be impressed and satisfied. In so doing, Cain became the father of all false religion. False religion is trying to come to God by any other way than the way God has prescribed. It says, “I can get to God by thinking myself into Nirvana,” or, “I can please God by meditation,” or, “I can satisfy God by my works or by following the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, Joseph Smith, or Charles Taze Russell.” God’s Word says, “There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). False religion says that there is another name, another way. False religion is any way to God that God Himself has not ordained. Proverbs 14:12 marks this truth: “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” The idea that one way is just as good as another does not seem to be accepted in any area of life except religion and morality. When a person goes to a doctor with a problem, he first of all wants to know the truth. No one likes to hear a diagnosis of a terrible disease. But the sensible person would rather know the truth than live in ignorance of something that could ruin his health or even take his life. Once knowing the diagnosis, he then wants the right cure, not just any cure. He wants the best treatment he can find and will usually go to any lengths to get it. He would be insulted and infuriated with a doctor who told him simply to go home and do whatever he thought best—that one person’s opinion was just as good as another’s. The reason we think this way about medicine is that we believe there are medical truths. Medical science does not have all the answers, but a great deal is known and accepted as factual, reliable, and dependable. The reason this same kind of reasoning is not applied to spiritual and moral issues is that the absolute truths and standards God has given are rejected. In fact, the very notion of spiritual and moral absolutes is rejected. Cain rejected God’s standards and became the first apostate.Cain failed to acknowledge his sin and refused to obey God by bringing the sacrifice God required. He did not mind worshiping God, as long as it was on his own terms, in his own way. And God rejected his sacrifice and rejected him. Cain’s disobedience of God and setting up his own standards of living were the beginning of Satan’s world system. Cain “went out from the presence of the Lord” (Gen. 4:16) and into a life of continuous self-will, which is the heart of worldliness and unbelief. By his own decision, his own volition, he turned away from God and God’s way to himself and his own way. We should not be sorry for him because God refused to honor his sacrifice. He knew what God required, and he was able to do it. But he chose instead to do what he himself wanted. There are all kinds of people around under the guise of religion, even Christian religion, who are denying God. “Woe to them!” Jude says, “For they have gone the way of Cain” (v.11). Cain is an example of the religious natural man, who believes in God and even in religion but after his own will and who rejects redemption by blood. Paul says of such people that, “they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God” (Rom. 10:2–3). In addition to being wicked and unbelieving, Cain was a hypocrite. He did not want to worship God but only give the appearance of worship. His purpose was to please himself, not God. His sacrifice was simply a religious activity designed to suit his own purposes and fulfill his own will. Cain was like the Pharisee in the Temple who Jesus said was praying “to himself” (Luke 18:11). He was patronizing God and worshiping himself. Also like the Pharisee, Cain went home unjustified; whereas Abel, like the penitent tax gatherer, went home justified. God is not arbitrary or whimsical or capricious. He was not playing a game with Cain and Abel. He did not hold them accountable for what they could not have known or could not have done. Abel’s sacrifice was accepted because he knew what God wanted and obeyed. Cain’s was rejected because he knew what God wanted, yet disobeyed. To obey is righteous; to disobey is evil. Abel was of God; Cain was of Satan (1 John 3:12). Abel offered a better sacrifice because it represented the obedience of faith. He willingly brought God what He asked, and he brought the very best that he had. In Abel’s sacrifice, the way of the cross was first prefigured. The first sacrifice was Abel’s lamb—one lamb for one person. Later came the Passover—with one lamb for one family. Then came the Day of Atonement—with one lamb for one nation. Finally came Good Friday—one Lamb for the whole world.

Abel Obtained Righteousness Through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous. (11:4b) The only thing that obtained righteousness for Abel was that, in faith, He did what God told him to do. That is the only thing that changes a man’s relationship to God. It is not how good we are, but whether or not we trust in Him, that counts with God. That trust is evidenced in obedience to His Word. Abel was sinful, just as Cain was. But it is quite possible, even likely, that Abel was a better person than Cain. He was probably more moral, more dependable, more honest, and even more likable than Cain. It was not, however, these qualities of Abel that made his sacrifice acceptable, or the lack of these qualities that made Cain’s sacrifice unacceptable. The difference was the way in which the sacrifices were made. One was made in obedient faith; the other made in disobedient unbelief.Abel’s was the kind of faith that allows God to move in on our behalf and make us righteous. True faith is always obedient. Jesus said “to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine’ ” (John 8:31). These people believed Jesus, but they had not yet trusted in Him, which Jesus said would be marked by obedience to His word. Obedience does not bring faith, but faith will always bring obedience and the desire to live righteously. Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 3–4) We cannot claim to have faith in God and then continually disregard His Word. James must have known some people who thought this way, for he wrote, “What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? … Faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself” (James 2:14, 17). Nonworking faith, disobedient faith, is not saving faith. It is not valid faith at all. Cain believed that God exists. Even the demons believe this, James goes on to say. “But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?” (2:19–20). James then drives the point home by reminding his readers that Abraham’s faith, for which he was counted righteous, was demonstrated by his obedience in offering his son Isaac as God commanded. “You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected” (2:21–22). James does not teach salvation by works. He is saying that our faith is only real when it issues in works. We cannot work our way to God, but having come to Him, works will become evident—and prove that our faith is genuine. The Christian, in fact, is “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). It seems to me that God’s testimony that Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable and that He counted Abel as righteous could have been indicated by His causing this offering to be consumed. On at least five occasions recorded in Scripture, God showed His acceptance of a sacrifice by sending fire to consume it (Lev. 9:24; Judg. 6:21; 1 Kings 18:38; 1 Chron. 21:26; 2 Chron. 7:1). In any case, it is clear from Genesis that God made His approval and disapproval of the sacrifices known to Cain and Abel. He did not leave them in doubt as to their standing before Him.Abel was counted righteous, not because he was righteous, but because he trusted God. He stood righteous before God because He had faith in God. Abel was the same sinner as he was before he made the sacrifice. He did not even receive the Holy Spirit, as do believers today. He walked away with the same problems he had before. But He had God’s approval, and God’s righteousness credited to his account. Abel Speaks from the Dead God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. (11:4c) When the Lord confronted Cain after Abel’s murder, He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground” (Gen. 4:10). Abel’s first “speaking” after death was to God, asking for his murder to be avenged. Like the souls underneath the altar “who had been slain because of the word of God” (Rev. 6:9–10), Abel asked the Lord to avenge his blood. His voice also spoke to his brother. “And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you cultivate the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you; you shall be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth” (Gen. 4:11–12). Every bit of soil on which Cain placed his feet would remind him of his wicked deed. The earth, in effect, rejected Cain as he had rejected God and his brother. Abel, though dead, continued to speak to his brother. The primary meaning of Hebrews 11:4, however, has to do with Abel’s speaking to later generations of believers and potential believers. He still speaks. He says three things: man comes to God by faith, not works; man must accept and obey God’s revelation above his own reason and self-will; and sin is severely punished. This is Abel’s timeless three-point sermon to the world, which he has been preaching for thousands of years to those who will hear. It could be titled, “The Righteous Shall Live by Faith.”

The Qualities of Faith (11:4–7)* Though the writer has, throughout the epistle, held up Abraham as our model of faith and perseverance, verses 4–7 indicate that true faith was practiced from the very beginning, even before the Flood. As in a modern docudrama, Abel appears first to testify to the value of faith. He and his older brother Cain lived when the world was young. They enjoyed what we would call today “the simple life,” which clearly included a recognition of God and a need for a personal relationship. Each brought an offering which reflected his occupation: Cain, the farmer, brought fruits and grains; Abel, the shepherd, brought fat from the firstborn of his flock. It is a mistake to read into this Genesis account any hidden reasons for God’s acceptance of Abel’s offering and rejection of Cain’s. Various explanations have been offered, but the writer is silent about everything except that God “spoke well” of Abel’s offering because it was “better” than Cain’s. The word “better” is pleiona, which means “greater” or “more important” as suggested by its use in Luke 12:23: “Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.” If Abel’s sacrifice was more important than Cain’s, what made it so? The reason suggested is that it came from a heart made righteous by faith! If Abraham’s faith was “credited to him as righteousness” (Rom 4:9), so also was Abel’s. Bruce comments on this, “Sacrifice is acceptable to God not for its material content, but in so far as it is the outward expression of a devoted and obedient heart” (1964:283). We are not told just how God made known to the two brothers his acceptance of one and rejection of the other. Genesis 4:7 indicates that when Cain learned that his offering was unacceptable, he grew angry and rebellious. This revealed the attitude of his heart toward the sovereign choices of God. Cain’s subsequent murder of his brother showed his stubborn rejection of the opportunity God gave him to repent and to offer again, presumably with a contrite spirit. Cain’s offering was rejected because a heart of pride and self-sufficiency lay behind it. This explanation fits well with the context of Hebrews where the writer repeatedly warns against possessing “an evil heart of unbelief.” The focus in 11:4, however, is not on Cain but on Abel. By faith he still speaks, says the author, even though he is dead. This is a direct allusion to Genesis 4:10, “Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” It must be linked also with Hebrews 12:24, where our author states that the blood of Jesus “speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” It is often suggested that the blood of Abel cries out for the final vindication promised to all the saints (2 Thess 1:6–7), but the blood of Jesus speaks of proffered forgiveness. This seems a likely explanation of the continuing testimony of Abel. His faith in God was one of trust and loving acceptance of whatever God sent. He was willing to wait for ultimate vindication of injustice and mistreatment. His faith teaches us that we must often wait for God’s redress of injustice. We do so because we know God cannot ultimately fail to act.

11:4      By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. Abel’s faith is the first demonstrated in the Old Testament. Cain and Abel were Adam and Eve’s first two sons (Genesis 4:2–5). Cain, a farmer, brought an offering to God from the ground. Abel, a shepherd, brought firstborn sheep. Abel’s sacrifice (an animal substitute) was a better sacrifice because it was acceptable to God, while Cain’s sacrifice was unacceptable. Cain became so angry that he killed his brother, Abel. The Bible does not say why God rejected Cain’s sacrifice. Perhaps Cain’s attitude was improper, or perhaps his offering was not up to God’s standards. Proverbs 21:27 says, “The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable—how much more so when brought with evil intent!”. God evaluates both our motives and the quality of what we offer him (Genesis 4:7). From the very beginning of creation, God was concerned more about the heart than the actual sacrifice. God, who later accepted grain offerings, would have accepted Cain’s sacrifice if Cain’s spiritual state had been proper (1 John 3:12). The real difference in the sacrifices seems to be that Abel offered his by faith. Therefore, Abel was commended as a righteous man (Matthew 23:35). Because of Abel’s faith, he still speaks by his example, even though he is dead. These words play on Genesis 4:10, “Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground”. Abel continues to be an example, therefore “he still speaks” to us. PLEASING TO GOD Hebrews reminds us that God spoke well of Abel’s offering. Yet Abel was murdered. The first victim of crime in recorded history was a person at whose burial it could have been said, “He followed God.” Why did God allow this to happen? For similar victims, Abel’s appearance as first in the “faith hall of fame” is encouraging. God hates evil, but in his providence he allows evil to happen, even to people very close to him. Through it all, God’s will is accomplished, mysteriously and sometimes painfully. Nonetheless, •     Abel’s life was good. He did his work and worship well.•     Abel’s life was complete—shorter than most, but God was pleased.•     Abel’s life was faithful, for which he is remembered even today. Other victims of crime or disease, take heart. God leads you through the dark valleys to a sunlit home.

* Abel’s Faith Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. (11:4) First read, without prior explanation, the story of Cain and Abel is mysterious and enigmatic. Adam and Eve had two sons—Cain, who went into agriculture—and Abel, who took up shepherding or animal husbandry. Both were religious men, and when it came time to worship each brought an offering appropriate to his profession—Abel from his flock, and Cain from his fields. But curiously, God favored Abel’s sacrifice and rejected Cain’s. Cain, in turn, became angry. God warned him, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it” (Genesis 4:7). But Cain nursed his rage and murdered Abel, whose blood cried out to God from the ground. The story ends in tragic closure: “So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden” (Genesis 4:16). What a strange story, one thinks. What is the reasoning behind this primitive drama? St. Augustine understood it and penetrated to its very core in his famous City of God when he explained: “Cain was the first-born, and he belonged to the city of men; after him was born Abel, who belonged to the city of God.”  Augustine correctly saw that each was representative of radically different approaches to religion and to God. There was the way of Cain—a way of unbelief and of self-righteous, man-made religion. Jude 11 warns, “Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain.” In contrast was the way of Abel—a way of faith described in the present text: “By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead” (11:4). So the theme of this first example of faith in Hebrews 11 is a contrast of two cities, two streams—the two ways of faith and unbelief. As such, it provides unique insight into the anatomy of an authentic faith—a faith that endures. Abel’s faith produced and was characterized by three things that are consecutively mentioned in verse 4: 1) authentic worship, 2) authentic righteousness, and 3) authentic witness. BY FAITH: AUTHENTIC WORSHIP The authentic nature of Abel’s worship is explicitly attributed to his faith in the opening sentence of our verse: “By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice [i.e., better worship] than Cain did.”

Approved Through Obedience To do a thing “by faith,” you must do it in response to and according to a word from God. You hear God’s word indicating his will, and “by faith” you respond in obedience. “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). From this we must understand that God evidently had given explicit instructions to Cain and Abel indicating that only animal sacrifices were acceptable. Very likely they learned this through their parents, Adam and Eve, because Genesis 3:21 indicates that after that couple’s sin and fall, God provided garments of animals slain to clothe their nakedness—an implicit inference that animal blood was spilled in direct response to their sin. While it is true that the categories of ritual animal sacrifices were not established until Moses’ time, the earliest believers nevertheless met at the altar on the basis of blood sacrifice (Genesis 8:20–22; 15:1–11). Not only had God communicated his will regarding the necessity of animal sacrifices, but if, as we think, he communicated this first to Adam and Eve, then Cain and Abel had been conforming to the practice for some 100 years, because Cain was 129 years old? at this time! Moreover, Genesis 4:3 says, “In the course of time Cain brought… an offering,” and “course of time” is literally “at the end of days” (Young’s translation), indicating the end of a specific period of time—very possibly a time God had designated for regular sacrifice. T’herefore, we surmise that both Cain and Abel had known God’s word regarding the necessity of animal sacrifice ever since they were children and had obeyed it for years. To this may be added the thought that Cain and Abel both understood the substitutionary atoning nature of the blood sacrifice because when God provided the skins to clothe their parents, he established the principle of covering sin through the shedding of blood. Abel’s faith was an expression of his conscious need for atonement. But not so with Cain! He came his own way—“the way of Cain.” By refusing to bring the prescribed offering, and instead presenting his garden produce, he was saying that one’s own good works and character is enough. Cain may have reasoned, “What I am presenting is far more beautiful than a bloody animal. I myself would prefer the lovely fruits of a harvest any day. And I worked far harder than Abel to raise my offering. It took real toil and sweat. And it is even of greater market value! Enough of this animal sacrifice business, God. My way is far better!” Cain’s offering was a monument to pride and self-righteousness—“the way of Cain.” Abel, on the other hand, believed and obeyed God: “By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did.” He brought God what God wanted. This was acceptable worship. Approved Through Attitude

The other reason Abel’s offering was accepted was his heart attitude. Cain’s attitude puts it all in stark perspective. The Scriptures indicate that when God rejected Cain’s offering, Cain became “very angry, and his face was downcast” (Genesis 4:5), thus revealing just how shallow his devotion was. And when God pleaded with Cain to desist and do what was right, warning him with powerful metaphorical language that sin was crouching like a monster at his door and desiring to have him (Genesis 4:6, 7), God’s plea was met by ominous silence. Whereas Cain’s mother had been talked into sin, Cain would not be talked out of it. It seems that Cain was determined to stay angry. He liked being mad. And so it has been with Cain’s children—like the famous author Henrik Ibsen, who was a specialist in anger, a man to whom anger was a kind of art form in itself. For example, when he wrote the ferocious play Brand, he recorded: “I had on my table a scorpion in an empty beer glass. From time to time the brute would ail. Then I would throw a piece of ripe fruit into it, on which it would cast itself in a rage and inject its poison into it. Then it was well again.”  Cain too drew strength from his rage. The release of venom was his elixir. He would rather kill than turn to God’s gentle pleadings and repent. So he directed his hatred for God at his brother Abel and killed him. But Abel had come to God with a completely different spirit—a submissive, devoted heart. Abel brought “portions from some of the firstborn of his flock” (Genesis 4:4)—his best. This was in accord with the later directives of God’s Word—for example, “Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce” (Proverbs 3:9, NASB). God saw Abel’s heart and was pleased with his motives, for “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). How God desires devoted hearts in his worshipers! Jesus said that the time “has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23, 24). God longs for those who worship him with the complete devotion of their human spirits. In fact, nowhere in the entire corpus of Holy Scripture do we read of God’s seeking anything else from a child of God. God desires sincere heart worship above all else! The Psalmist recognized this and sang, “My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul” (Psalm 108:1)—saying in effect, “Everything in my human spirit shall be engaged in worshiping and praising you, O God.” When the disciples harshly rebuked Mary for anointing Jesus’ head and feet, he in turn rebuked them: “Leave her alone.… She has done a beautiful thing to me” (Mark 14:6). It is very significant that this great chapter on faith begins with a worshiper—because worship is fundamental to everything else we do in life. [and worship is reflected in our giving] As we shall see when we come to Abraham, everywhere he went, he built an altar. He knew that faith and service grow out of authentic worship. So there we have it. The opening sentence of our text tells us that faith is essential to acceptable worship: “By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did.” Why? First, because Abel’s faith produced faithful obedience to God’s expressed will and word. Cain did it his way, but Abel did it God’s way. Abel brought God exactly what he asked for. Today, if we would come to God we must come not with our own works, but rather with and through the sacrifice of Christ—the way of Christ, not “the way of Cain.”Second, we must come with the heart attitude with which Abel brought his “better sacrifice”—joyously giving his very best from his very first. This is what the Lord is looking for—followers who bring what he asks for with a joyous heart. This is approved, authentic worship, and it can only happen through faith! BY FAITH: AUTHENTIC RIGHTEOUSNESS Having taught us that authentic worship comes through faith, the preacher in the next sentence shows that authentic righteousness also results from faith: “By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings.”Just how God spoke well of (or attested) Abel’s offerings is not indicated. Jewish tradition and then Christian tradition have it that fire came down from Heaven and consumed Abel’s offering but not Cain’s. And Scriptures do record fire descending on acceptable offerings in at least five other instances (cf. Leviticus 9:23, 24; Judges 6:21; 13:19, 20; 1 Kings 18:30–39; 2 Chronicles 7:1). Such greats as St. Chrysostom, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Owen, and Franz Delitzsch believe that fire did, indeed, descend on Abel’s offering. And it is very likely—especially at this primal event. Perhaps it was memorably spectacular, like the experience of Manoah and his wife when fire fell from Heaven incinerating the sacrifice, and the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame! However it was, we do know that God “spoke well” of Abel’s offerings and that on account of his faithful offerings he was “commended as a righteous man”—a right-living man. In fact, Jesus called him “righteous Abel” (Matthew 23:35). And St. John emphasized a life of love by contrasting Cain’s evil actions with Abel’s righteous actions (1 John 3:12). So Abel rightly has a huge reputation for righteous living.

Here’s the connection: When there is authentic faith, which in turn authentically worships (obediently bringing to God what he asks for in joyful attitude), that faith will produce practical, living, authentic righteousness. James says essentially the same thing when he argues that faith and works are inseparable (James 2:17, 18). True, living faith produces fruit—living action. Faith and righteous works are like the wings of a bird. There can be no real life, no flight, with a single wing, whether works or faith. But when the two are pumping in concert, their owner soars through the heavens. Authentic faith produces an authentic life that flies high, like Abel of old. BY FAITH: AUTHENTIC WITNESS Now comes the final logic of Abel’s faith: authentic faith produces an authentic witness—“And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead” (v. 4). Among William Blake’s most famous paintings is one depicting the murder of Abel. In the background lies Abel’s muscular body, pale grey in death. In the foreground flees Cain. His body is moving away as he sprints by, but his torso is twisted back so that he faces the observer. His eyes are wide in terror, his mouth gaping in wrenching agony. And his hands are stopping up his ears in an attempt to shut out the wail of his brother’s blood screaming from the ground. In Genesis we see Abel’s blood crying for retribution! But here in the present text, it is Abel’s illustrious example of faith that sweetly calls to us in profound witness—“And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.” There is great power in example. St. Francis once called to one of his young monks, “Let’s go down to the town to preach.” The novice, delighted at being singled out to be the companion of Francis, quickly obeyed. They passed through the principal streets, turned down many of the byways and alleys, made their way out to some of the suburbs, and at length returned by a winding route to the monastery gate. As they approached it, the younger man reminded Francis of his original intention. “You have forgotten, Father,” he said, “that we went down to the town to preach!” “My son,” Francis replied, “we have preached. We were preaching while we were walking. We have been seen by many; our behaviour has been closely watched; it was thus that we preached our morning sermon. It is of no use, my son, to walk anywhere to preach unless we preach everywhere as we walk!” This could be genuinely said of Abel. Though none of his words have been preserved, he has been eloquently preaching for thousands and thousands of years about authentic faith.And what does he say to us? First, that true faith spawns authentic worship—“By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did.” It was “better” because it was obedient to God, giving him what he asked for. This tells us that we dare not bring anything to God until we bring the blood of Christ. It was “better” because it was presented with a joyful attitude of the heart—“But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock” (Genesis 4:4). Faith produces authentic worship, which gives God what he wants with all one’s heart. This is what God is looking for today. Second, Abel’s life witnesses to us that authentic faith produces a life of authentic righteousness—“By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings.” Abel walked his talk. His authentic faith produced authentic worship, which in turn produced authentic righteousness.

Third, Abel’s life testifies that true faith’s worship and righteousness produce an eternal authentic witness—“and by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.”This is what the world has always needed!

*The author proceeds to demonstrate the universality of faith in those God approves. He selects a number of men and women universally regarded among the Jews as especially outstanding (though we cannot always see why he has chosen one and not another). He begins by looking to remote antiquity and showing that faith was manifested in the lives of certain great men who lived before the Flood.

4 The first example of faith is Abel, who brought God a more acceptable sacrifice than did his brother Cain (Gen 4:3-7). Bruce canvasses a number of opinions as to the reasons for the superiority of Abel's offering: it was living, whereas Cain's was lifeless; it was stronger, Cain's weaker; it grew spontaneously, Cain's by human ingenuity; it involved blood, Cain's did not. But all such suggestions seem wide of the mark. Scripture never says there was anything inherently superior in Abel's offering. It may be relevant that there are some references to Abel as being a righteous man (Matt 23:35; 1John 3:12), while the author of Hebrews insists on the importance of Abel's faith. Abel was right with God and his offering was a demonstration of his faith. Once again, NIV's "commended" represents the passive of the verb "to witness": "it was witnessed" or "testified" that he was righteous (cf. v. 1). This is explained as that God "bore witness" to (NIV, "spoke well of") his offerings. This indicates the importance the author attached to Abel's sacrifice offered in faith, for very rarely is God said to have borne witness. The meaning may be either that on the basis of Abel's sacrifice God testified to his servant or that God bore witness about the gifts Abel offered. We should probably accept NIV's "And by faith he still speaks," though the Greek is simply "through it," where "it" might refer either to "sacrifice" or to "faith." Whichever way we resolve this problem, the main point is that Abel is not to be thought of as one long-since dead and of no present account. He is dead, but his faith is a living voice.

11:4 See Ge 4:2–5. commended as a righteous man. The chief reason for the acceptance of Abel’s sacrifice was that he offered it “by faith.” It is implied that Cain’s sacrifice was rejected because he offered it without faith, as a mere formality (see Ge 4:3–4; 1Jn 3:12).

Cain and Abel were Adam and Eve's first two sons. Abel offered a sacrifice that pleased God, while Cain's sacrifice was unacceptable. Abel's Profile is found in Genesis 6. Cain's Profile is in Genesis 7. Abel's sacrifice (an animal substitute) was more acceptable to God, both because it was a blood sacrifice and, most important, because of Abel's attitude when he offered it.

—Life Application Bible Note 11:1 Two words describe faith: sure and certain. These two qualities need a secure beginning and ending point. The beginning point of faith is believing in God's character — he is who he says. The end point is believing in God's promises — he will do what he says. When we believe that God will fulfill his promises even though we don't see those promises materializing yet, we demonstrate true faith (see John 20:24-31).

THE FAITH OF THE ACCEPTABLE OFFERING (Heb 11:4)

11:4 It was by faith that Abel offered to God a fuller sacrifice than Cain and so gained the verdict of being a just man, for God himself witnessed to that fact on the grounds of the gifts he brought: and although he died because of his faith, he is still speaking to us.

The writer to the Hebrews begins his honour roll of faith with the name of Abel whose story is in Gen 4:1-15. Cain tilled the ground and brought to God an offering of the fruits of the ground; Abel was a flock-master and brought to God an offering from his flocks. God preferred the gift of Abel to the gift of Cain who, moved to bitter jealousy, murdered his brother and became an outcast upon the earth. In the original, the meaning of the story is difficult. There is no indication why God preferred the gift of Abel to the gift of Cain. It may well be that the only offering which a man can properly bring to God is his most precious possession. This is life itself, and to the Hebrews blood always stood for life. We can well understand that, because when the blood flows away, life ebbs away. On that principle the only true sacrifice to God was a sacrifice of blood. Abel's sacrifice was of a living creature, Cain's was not; therefore Abel's was the more acceptable. But it may well be that the writer to the Hebrews is thinking not only of the story as it is in Genesis but also of the legends which gathered round it in Jewish folk-lore. The Jews themselves found the story puzzling and elaborated it in order to find a reason for God's rejection of Cain and for Cain's murder of Abel. The earliest legend tells how every time Eve bore children she bore twins, a boy and a girl, and that they were given to each other as man and wife. In the case of Abel and Cain, Adam tried to change this and planned to give the twin sister of Cain to Abel. Cain was bitterly dissatisfied. To settle the matter, Adam said to them: "Go, my sons, sacrifice to the Lord; and he whose sacrifice is accepted shall have the young girl. Take each of you offerings in your hand and go, sacrifice to the Lord and he will decide." So Abel, who was a shepherd, took his best lamb to the place of sacrifice; but Cain, who was a tiller of the ground, took the poorest sheaf of corn he could find and laid it on the altar. Whereupon fire descended from heaven and consumed Abel's offering so that not even the cinders were left while Cain's was left untouched. Adam then gave the girl to Abel and Cain was sorely vexed. One day Abel was asleep upon a mountain; and Cain came upon him and took a stone and crushed his head. Then he threw the dead body on his back and carried it about because he did not know what to do with it. He saw two crows fighting and one killed the other, then dug a hole with its beak and buried it. Cain said: "I have not the sense of this bird. I, too, will lay my brother in the ground," and he did so. The Jews had still another story to explain the first murder. Cain and Abel could not agree as to what they should possess. So Abel devised a scheme whereby they might bring an end to contention. Cain took the earth and everything stationary; Abel took everything moveable. But in Cain's heart there was still bitter envy. One day he said to his brother: "Remove thy foot; thou standest on my property; the plain is mine." Abel ran to the hills but Cain pursued him, saying: "The hills are mine." Abel took refuge on the mountains but Cain still pursued him saying: "The mountains, too, are mine." And so, in his envy, he hunted his brother until he killed him. At the back of this story lie two great truths. First, there is envy. Even the Greeks saw its horror. Demosthenes said: "Envy is the sign of a nature that is altogether evil." Euripides said: "Envy is the greatest of all diseases among men." There was a Greek proverb which said: "Envy has no place in the choir of God." Envy leads to bitterness; bitterness to hatred; and hatred to murder. Envy is that poison which can poison all life and kill all goodness. Second, there is this strange and eerie thought that Cain had discovered a new sin. One of the old Greek fathers said: "Up to this time no man had died so that Cain should know how to kill. The devil instructed him in this in a dream." It was Cain who introduced murder into the world. There is condemnation for the sinner; but there is still greater condemnation for the man who teaches another to sin. Such a man, even as Cain was, is banished from the face of God.
So the writer to the Hebrews says: "Although he died for his faith, he is still speaking to us." Moffatt finely comments: "Death is never the last word in the life of a righteous man." When a man leaves this world, he leaves something in it. He may leave something which will grow and spread like a canker; or he may leave something fine which blossoms and flourishes without end. He leaves an influence of good or ill; every one when he dies still speaks. May God grant to us to leave behind not a germ of evil but a lovely thing in which the lives of those who come afterwards will find blessing. —Barclay's Daily Study Bible

(11:4-5) Faith, Power of— Abel— Enoch— Cain: the spiritual power of faith. The power of faith is the message of the glorious gospel, the glorious hope that God has given from the beginning of time. The power is twofold and it is given in the most meaningful way possible, by showing how the power takes effect in the lives of believers. Two believers who experienced the power of faith were Abel and Enoch.

1.  Faith has the power to be counted as righteousness. No greater gift could be given us than to give us the glorious privilege of being counted righteous by God.

Þ  To be counted righteous is the great need of man, for we are not righteous. And unless some way can be found to cause God to count us righteous, we shall never be allowed to live with God. Abel tells us there is a way to be counted righteous. How? By approaching and worshipping God exactly like He says, that is, by the sacrifice of blood. What does this mean? When Adam and Eve sinned, they became aware of their nakedness. Nakedness is a symbol of their being aware and conscious of sin (cp. Genesis 3:9-10). God loved them; therefore, He provided clothing to cover their nakedness. Note what the clothing was. It was coats or skins from animals, a symbol that sin had to be covered by the shedding of blood. This was a symbol that pointed to the blood of Jesus Christ, the blood of God's Son, that had to be shed in order to cover the sins of men. The point is this: from the very first parents on earth, God laid it down that the sin and guilt of man had to be borne by either man himself or by a substitute. Man had to die for his own sins or else a substitute had to be sacrificed for his sins. Adam and Eve taught this to their children. Note what happened.

"And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the lord. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the lord. 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: but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the lord said unto Cain, Why are thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him" (Genesis 4:1-8).

"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).

The difference between the two offerings was this: Abel believed God and approached and worshipped God exactly as God said: through the sacrifice of another, the sacririce of an animal. But Cain did not believe God. He did not accept God's Word; he did not approach God through the sacrifice of another. He made a material sacrifice and offering to God: he approached God through money and earthly gifts, through the efforts and fruits of human works, the fruit borne of the earth, the fruit borne by his own human, frail, aging, and dying hands. Very simply, Abel believed God. He recognized just what Scripture says: that he was sinful and imperfect and that he could never be acceptable to God who is perfect and holy, not until his sins and their guilt had been paid for and removed. Abel knew that his sins had to be removed—that he had to be counted righteous before he could ever be accepted by God. Therefore, he believed God would count him righteous if he let another bear his sins for him. He believed exactly what Scripture proclaims to us. 

"[Jesus Christ] who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed" (1Peter 2:24).

"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (1 Peter 3:18).

This is the power of faith: faith gives us the power to be counted righteous.

"And he [Abraham] believed in the lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness" (Genesis 15:6).

"And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses" (Acts 13:39).

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:23-24).

"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness" (Romans 4:3).

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).

"Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him" (Romans 5:9).

"For he that is dead [counted dead, justified] is freed from sin" (Romans 6:7).

"Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth" (Rom 8:33)

"And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Cor. 6:11).

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" (Galatians 2:16).

"Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness" (Galatians 3:6).

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith" (Galatians 3:24).

"And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" (Phil. 3:9).

Thought 1. Note that Cain approached God; he was religious. But his religion was a formal religion:

Þ  a religion of ritual, form, and ceremony.

Þ  a religion of personal sacrifice and works, of doing good and even of sacrificing in order to do good.

Þ  a religion of man, of his own choosing, of his own ideas and imaginations as to how he was to approach God.

What an indictment of so many religions! What a challenge to search our hearts and lives to make sure that we are worshipping God through His own dear Son who died for our sins.

Deut 12:6 there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts [sacred offerings NLT; heave offerings KVJ; contributions of your hand NASB], what you have vowed to give [votive offerings NASB; your offerings to fulfill a vow NTL] and your freewill offerings [voluntary offerings], and the firstborn of your herds and flocks

NASB  -  “There 8033  you shall bring 935  your burnt 5930a  offerings 5930a , your sacrifices 2077 , your tithes 4643 , the contribution 8641  of your hand 3027 , your votive 5088  offerings 5088 , your freewill 5071  offerings 5071 , and the firstborn 1060  of your herd 1241  and of your flock 6629 

KJV - 6 And thither 8033  , ye shall bring 935  , your burnt offerings, 5930  ,, and your sacrifices, 2077  ,,, and ¢  853 Í your tithes, 4643  ,, and ¢  853 Í heave offerings 8641  , of your hand, 3027  , and your vows, 5088  ,,, and your freewill offerings, 5071  ,,, and the firstlings 1062  ,,, of your herds 1241  , and of your flocks: 6629 

NLT There you will bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, your sacred offerings, your offerings to fulfill a vow, your voluntary offerings, and your offerings of the firstborn animals of your herds and flocks

NBLH - “Allí llevarán sus holocaustos, sus sacrificios, sus diezmos, la contribución de su mano [la ofrenda elevada], sus ofrendas votivas (de sus votos), sus ofrendas voluntarias, y el primogénito [primicias] de sus vacas y de sus ovejas.

VP - Allí sacrificarán y quemarán animales en su honor, y le llevarán sus diezmos, contribuciones, promesas y ofrendas voluntarias, así como las primeras crías de sus vacas y ovejas.

RVR - Y allí llevaréis vuestros holocaustos, vuestros sacrificios, vuestros diezmos, y la ofrenda elevada de vuestras manos, vuestros votos, vuestras ofrendas voluntarias, y las primicias de vuestras vacas y de vuestras ovejas;

NVI - Allí llevarán ustedes sus holocaustos, sacrificios, diezmos, contribuciones, promesas, ofrendas voluntarias, y los primogénitos de sus ganados y rebaños

RVA - Allá llevaréis vuestros holocaustos, vuestros sacrificios, vuestros diezmos, la ofrenda alzada de vuestras manos, vuestras ofrendas votivas, vuestras ofrendas voluntarias y los primerizos de vuestras vacas y de vuestras ovejas

LBA - Y allí traeréis vuestros holocaustos, vuestros sacrificios, vuestros diezmos, la contribución de vuestra mano, vuestras ofrendas votivas, vuestras ofrendas voluntarias, y el primogénito de vuestras vacas y de vuestras ovejas

Deut 12:6  there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks

Deut 12:11 Then to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name—there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the Lord

Deut 26:12 When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied

Neh 12:44 At that time men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the contributions, firstfruits and tithes. From the fields around the towns they were to bring into the storerooms the portions required by the Law for the priests and the Levites, for Judah was pleased with the ministering priests and Levites

Mal.3:8  “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings

12:6. The burnt offerings (Lev. 1), to be brought to the place of worship, were to be completely burned on the altar. They were given at various times to express the worshiper’s total dependence on the Lord. The word translated sacrifice (zeḇaḥ) refers to a sacrifice given as an expression of appreciation, and it involved a communal meal. It may have been given as a thank offering (Lev. 7:12-15; 22:29-30) for something specific God had done for a worshiper. Or it may have been offered as a votive offering to fulfill a vow made to the Lord (Lev. 7:16-17; 22:18-23). Or it may have been offered as a freewill offering in which the person thanked God (Lev. 7:16-17; 22:18-23) but not necessarily for anything specific. (On tithes see Lev. 27:30-32;  Deut. 14:28. On the law of the firstborn see 15:19-23.) The special gifts (lit., ”what is lifted up in the hand“) were for the priests

12:6 The Hebrew word for sacrifices always designates an offering of an animal. Often the word is used to describe a sacrifice offered to the Lord but eaten by the people. The heave offering was a communal offering, which the priest lifted up to signify that it was a gift to the Lord (Ex. 29:27, 28; Lev. 7:34). The priest took his due (Lev. 7:14, 32, 34), while the worshiper and his family ate the rest of the offering. A vowed offering was made in fulfillment of a vow (Lev. 7:16, 17; 22:21; Num. 6:21; 15:3–16; 30:11). A freewill offering was voluntary (23:23; Ex. 35:27–29; 36:3; Lev. 7:16; Ezek. 46:12)

One altar for sacrifices (vv. 6–7, 12–14). Canaanite worship permitted the people to offer whatever sacrifices they pleased at whatever place they chose, but for Israel there was to be but one altar. The Jews were allowed to kill and eat livestock and wild game at any place (vv. 15, 21–22), but these animals were not to be offered as sacrifices when they were killed. The only place where sacrifices were accepted was at the altar of God’s sanctuary, and the only people who could offer them were the Lord’s appointed priests. The Lord didn’t want His people inventing their own religious system by imitating the practices of the pagan nations. During the decadent days of the Judges, that’s exactly what some of the people did (Jud. 17–18).

The burnt offering (Lev. 1) symbolized total dedication to the Lord, for all of it was consumed on the altar. Paul may have had this image in mind when he commanded us to present ourselves wholly to the Lord to do His will (Rom. 12:1–2). The peace offering or fellowship offering (Lev. 3) spoke of communion with God, and the worshiper shared the meat with his family and with the priests. They had a joyful meal as they celebrated the goodness of the Lord (Deut. 12:12, 18; 26:11). While worship is certainly a serious thing, it need not be grim and somber. True worship not only draws believers closer to God, but it also draws God’s people closer to each other.

The tabernacle was not only a place where the Jews brought their sacrifices, but it was also where they brought their tithes and offerings. The tithe was 10 percent of what their land had produced, and this was shared with the priests and Levites. The priests also received a certain amount of meat from some of the sacrifices, and this was how they and their families were supported. Moses frequently reminded the people to support the Levites by faithfully bringing tithes and offerings to the sanctuary (12:12, 18–19; 14:27, 29; 16:11, 14). God promised to bless His people abundantly if they would faithfully bring their tithes and offerings to His sanctuary (Mal. 3:6–12; 1 Kings 7:51 and Neh. 13:12).

Deut. 12:6, 7. Thither they were to take all their sacrificial gifts, and there they were to celebrate their sacrificial meals. The gifts are classified in four pairs: (1) the sacrifices intended for the altar, burnt-offerings and slain-offerings being particularly mentioned as the two principal kinds, with which, according to Num. 15:4ff., meat-offerings and drink-offerings were to be associated; (2) “your tithes and every heave-offering of your hand.” By the tithes we are to understand the tithes of field-produce and cattle, commanded in Lev. 27:30–33 and Num. 18:21–24, which were to be brought to the sanctuary because they were to be offered to the Lord, as was the case under Hezekiah (2 Chron. 31:5–7). That the tithes mentioned here should be restricted to vegetable tithes (of corn, new wine, and oil), is neither allowed by the general character of the expression, nor required by the context. For instance, although, according to vv. 7 and 11, 12, as compared with v. 17, a portion of the vegetable tithe was to be applied to the sacrificial meals, there is no ground whatever for supposing that all the sacrifices and consecrated gifts mentioned in v. 6 were offerings of this kind, and either served as sacrificial meals, or had such meals connected with them. Burnt-offerings, for example, were not associated in any way with the sacrificial meals. The difficulty, or as some suppose “the impossibility,” of delivering all the tithes from every part of the land at the place of the sanctuary, does not warrant us in departing from the simple meaning of Moses’ words in the verse before us. The arrangement permitted in Deut. 14:24, 25, with reference to the so-called second tithe,—viz., that if the sanctuary was too far off, the tithe might be sold at home, and whatever was required for the sacrificial meals might be bought at the place of the sanctuary with the money so obtained,—might possibly have been also adopted in the case of the other tithe. At all events, the fact that no reference is made to such cases as these does not warrant us in assuming the opposite. As the institution of tithes generally did not originate with the law of Moses, but is presupposed as a traditional and well-known custom,—all that is done being to define them more precisely, and regulate the way in which they should be applied,—Moses does not enter here into any details as to the course to be adopted in delivering them, but merely lays down the law that all the gifts intended for the Lord were to be brought to Him at His sanctuary, and connects with this the further injunction that the Israelites were to rejoice there before the Lord, that is to say, were to celebrate their sacrificial meals at the place of His presence which He had chosen.—The gifts, from which the sacrificial meals were prepared, are not particularized here, but are supposed to be already known either form the earlier laws or from tradition. From the earlier laws we learn that the whole of the flesh of the burnt-offerings was to be consumed upon the altar, but that the flesh of the slain-offerings, except in the case of the peace-offerings, was to be applied to the sacrificial meals, with the exception of the fat pieces, and the wave-breast and heave-shoulder. With regard to the tithes, it is stated in Num. 18:21–24 that Jehovah had given them to the Levites as their inheritance, and that they were to give the tenth part of them to the priests. In the laws contained in the earlier books, nothing is said about the appropriation of any portion of the tithes to sacrificial meals. Yet in Deut this is simply assumed as a customary thing, and not introduced as a new commandment, when the law is laid down (in v. 17, Deut. 14:22ff., 26:12ff.), that they were not to eat the tithe of corn, new wine, and oil within their gates (in the towns of the land), any more than the first-born of oxen and sheep, but only at the place of the sanctuary chosen by the Lord; and that if the distance was too great for the whole to be transported thither, they were to sell the tithes and firstlings at home, and then purchase at the sanctuary whatever might be required for the sacrificial meals. From these instructions it is very apparent that sacrificial meals were associated with the delivery of the tithes and firstlings to the Lord, to which a tenth part of the corn, must, and oil was applied, as well as the flesh of the first-born of edible cattle. This tenth formed the so-called second tithe, which is mentioned here for the first time, but not introduced as a new rule or an appendix to the former laws. It is rather taken for granted as a custom founded upon tradition, and brought into harmony with the law relating to the oneness of the sanctuary and worship. “The heave-offerings of your hand,” which are mentioned again in Mal. 3:8 along with the tithes, are not to be restricted to the first-fruits, as we may see from Ezek. 20:40, where the terumoth are mentioned along with the first-fruits. We should rather understand them as being free gifts of love, which were consecrated to the Lord in addition to the legal first-fruits and tithes without being actual sacrifices, and which were then applied to sacrificial meals.—The other gifts were (3) נְדָרִים and נְדָבֹות, sacrifices which were offered partly in consequence of vows and partly of their own free will (see at Lev. 23:38, compared with Lev. 7:16; 22:21, and Num. 15:3; 29:39); and lastly (4), “firstlings of your herds and of your flocks,” viz., those commanded in Ex. 13:2, 12ff., and Num. 18:15ff. According to Ex. 13:15, the Israelites were to sacrifice the firstlings to the Lord; and according to Num. 13:8ff. they belonged to the holy gifts, which the Lord assigned to the priests for their maintenance, with the more precise instructions in vv. 17, 18, that the first-born of oxen, sheep, and goats were not to be redeemed, but being holy were to be burned upon the altar in the same manner as the shelamim, and that the flesh was to belong to the priests, like the wave-breast and right leg of the shelamim. These last words, it is true, are not to be understood as signifying that the only portions of the flesh of the firstlings which were to be given to the priest were the wave-breast and heave-leg, and that the remainder of the flesh was to be left to the offerer to be applied to a sacrificial meal; but they state most unequivocally that the priest was to apply the flesh to a sacrificial meal, like the wave-breast and heave-leg of all the peace-offerings, which the priest was not even allowed to consume with his own family at home, like ordinary flesh, but to which the instructions given for all the sacrificial meals were applicable, namely, that “whoever was clean in the priest’s family” might eat of it (Num. 18:11), and that the flesh was to be eaten on the day when the sacrifice was offered (Lev. 7:15), or at the latest on the following morning, as in the case of the votive offering (Lev. 7:16), and that whatever was left was to be burnt. These instructions concerning the flesh of the firstlings to be offered to the Lord no more prohibit the priest from allowing the persons who presented the firstlings to take part in the sacrificial meals, or handing over to them some portion of the flesh which belonged to himself to hold a sacrificial meal, than any other law does; on the contrary, the duty of doing this was made very plain by the fact that the presentation of firstlings is described in Ex. 13:15, in the very first of the general instructions for their sanctification, since even in the patriarchal times the זֶבַח was always connected with a sacrificial meal in which the offerer participated. Consequently it cannot be shown that there is any contradiction between Deuteronomy and the earlier laws with regard to the appropriation of the first-born. The command to bring the firstlings of the sacrificial animal, like all the rest of the sacrifices, to the place of His sanctuary which the Lord would choose, and to hold sacrificial meals there with the tithes of corn, new wine, and oil, and also with the firstlings of the flocks, and herds, is given not merely to the laity of Israel, but to the whole of the people, including the priests and Levites, without the distinction between the tribe of Levi and the other tribes, established in the earlier laws, being even altered, much less abrogated. The Israelites were to bring all their sacrificial gifts to the place of the sanctuary to be chosen by the Lord, and there, not in all their towns, they were to eat their votive and free-will offerings in sacrificial meals. This, and only this, is what Moses commands the people both here in vv. 7 and 17, 18, and also in Deut. 14:22ff. and 15:19ff. “Rejoice in all that your hand has acquired.” The phrase מִשְׁלַח יָד (cf. v. 18, Deut. 15:10; 23:21; 28:8, 20) signifies that to which the hand is stretched out, that which a man undertakes (synonymous with מַעֲשֶׂה), and also what a man acquires by his activity: hence Isa. 11:14, מִשְׁלֹוחַ יָד, what a man appropriates to himself with his hand, or takes possession of. אֲשֶׁר before בֵּרַכְךָ is dependent upon מִשְׁלַח יֶדְכֶם, and בֵּרֵךְ is construed with a double accusative, as in Gen. 49:25. The reason for these instructions is given in vv. 8, 9, namely, that this had not hitherto taken place, but that up to this day every one had done what he thought right, because they had not yet come to the rest and to the inheritance which the Lord was about to give them. The phrase, “whatsoever is right in his own eyes,” is applied to actions performed according to a man’s own judgment, rather than according to the standard of objective right and the law of God (cf. Judg. 17:6; 21:25). The reference is probably not so much to open idolatry, which was actually practised, according to Lev. 17:7, Num. 25, Ezek. 20:16, 17, Amos 5:25, 26, as to acts of illegality, for which some excuse might be found in the circumstances in which they were placed when wandering through the desert,—such, for example, as the omission of the daily sacrifice when the tabernacle was not set up, and others of a similar kind.

* WAYS OF WORSHIP - Overview

This section of Deuteronomy contains the detailed stipulations of the covenant which governed the relationship between God and His Old Testament people. Chapters 5–11 of Deuteronomy affirmed the basic principle of love which God’s gift of Law expresses. Then Moses reviewed the Law given earlier at Sinai, and highlighted specific ways in which God’s people could express their love for Him. In essence this chapter explores a variety of ways of worship: ways in which God’s people can honor, glorify, and love the Lord their God.

Ways of Worship

One place chapters 12; 16
One God chapters 13; 17–18
Tithes chapters 12; 14
Clean and Unclean chapters 14; 23
Compassion chapters 15; 24–25
Justice chapter 19
War chapter 20

     Worship. In the Old Testament, “worship” is usually sahah, “to bow down” or “to prostrate oneself out of respect.” ˓Asab, “to serve,” is also translated “worship.” The underlying idea is to show respect and reverence, not only in a worship service where God is praised, but in every aspect of one’s life. Our lives are to be expressions of worship of God.

     Tithe. Ten percent of all that the Promised Land produced was to be set aside by Israelites as “holy to the Lord” and to be used as He commanded.

Commentary The people of Israel, who were so deeply loved by God, were to return that love in worship by showing respect and reverence for God in every way. In these chapters of Deuteronomy we find a number of mixed themes—special instructions about tithes, about ritual cleanness, about war, justice, and compassion. At first glance they seem unrelated. But what ties them together is the fact that every action commanded describes another aspect of a life so intimately linked to God that all the godly Israelite said and did could be considered an act of worship.

12.6 Vuestros holocaustos: Véase la nota a Lev 1.3, 4. Los sacrificios consistían de ofrenda elevada... votos... ofrendas voluntarias, todos los cuales eran distintas clases de «ofrendas de paz» (véase Lv 3.1). Las primicias de vuestras vacas y de vuestras ovejas se refiere a los primogénitos durante la edad fértil de los animales. Estos serían utilizados en numerosos sacrificios, incluyendo los votos

a. El santuario único, 12:1–7. Las leyes que establecen el culto de Jehovah en el santuario central es una aplicación de los Diez Mandamientos a la vida social, civil y religiosa del pueblo de Israel. El primer versículo de este capítulo sirve como una introducción para todo el Código Deuteronómico. Por cuanto la próxima introducción de una sección mayor del libro no aparece hasta 29:1, esto indica que en su redacción final, 12:1–26:19 representa una unidad literaria en el libro. La centralización de la adoración de Dios en el templo único presupone la destrucción de los santuarios donde se adoraba a los dioses cananeos. La exclusividad de Jehovah en la vida religiosa de Israel está basada en el primer mandamiento donde Jehovah es introducido como el único Dios de Israel (5:7). Jehovah había redimido a su pueblo de la casa de servidumbre. La redención de Israel de la esclavitud de Egipto fue una demostración visible de que Jehovah era un Dios poderoso y como tal, él no podía ser comparado con ningún otro Dios. El segundo mandamiento prohíbe la adoración de los ídolos (5:8–10). Por esta razón, la ley deuteronómica demandaba la destrucción de los santuarios cananeos. La mayoría de los templos cananeos estaban en las colinas y en los montes altos (v. 2). Los lugares altos eran lugares sagrados porque los cananeos creían que la altura del monte indicaba que el adorador estaba más cerca de Dios.

La adoración de la diosa Asera debajo de todo árbol frondoso (v. 2) estaba asociada con el culto de la fertilidad. La germinación de los árboles en la primavera era una evidencia que Asera iba a producir la fertilidad de la tierra y de los animales. Moisés enumera una vez más (vea 7:5) los objetos en los santuarios que debían ser destruidos (v. 3). Todos los objetos mencionados aquí estaban asociados con los dioses de Canaán. Las piedras rituales eran los pilares asociados con los altares en los templos cananeos que servían como símbolo de Baal (Exo. 23:24). Los árboles de Asera eran símbolos de la diosa Asera, la consorte de Baal. Los altares cananeos eran similares a los altares israelitas (Exo. 20:25, 26) pero el propósito de la destrucción de los santuarios cananeos era remover la tentación de adorar a los dioses de la tierra y evitar la contaminación de la adoración de Jehovah con las prácticas religiosas de los cananeos. La destrucción de los templos significaba el rechazo de los dioses que eran adorados allí. Otra razón para la destrucción de los templos cananeos era hacer desaparecer los nombres de los dioses cananeos de aquel lugar (v. 3). Hacer desaparecer el nombre significaba eliminar la memoria de los dioses cananeos, porque lo que no tiene nombre, no tiene existencia. Israel no podía seguir las prácticas religiosas de los cananeos (v. 4). La adoración de Jehovah debía ser contraria a las prácticas religiosas de los pueblos que Israel iba a conquistar. Israel tenía que adorar a Jehovah en el lugar escogido por el Señor, en una de las tribus para allí poner su nombre (vv. 11, 21; 14:23, 24). Después de la destrucción de los santuarios de los cananeos, Dios iba a escoger un lugar especial en Israel y allí colocaría su nombre y viviría con su pueblo. Poner allí su nombre significa manifestar su presencia divina (12:21; 14:14). Esta expresión también es sinónima de la expresión “hacer habitar su nombre (12:11; 14:23; 16:2). Jehovah iba a establecer su residencia en el templo y allí el pueblo de Israel debería recurrir para adorar, para presentar sus diezmos y para entregar sus ofrendas. El santuario sería la morada eterna del Señor con su pueblo (2 Crón. 6:2). El texto claramente indica que la adoración de Israel era comunitaria (vosotros, v. 7). Toda la congregación debía venir delante de Jehovah en el lugar escogido y allí presentar sus ofrendas. El sacrificio de animales tenía un motivo religioso y un motivo humanitario, el de proveer alimentos para las personas pobres en la sociedad israelita (16:11; 26:11). Según las instrucciones de Levítico 1, los animales ofrecidos en holocausto eran quemados por completo sobre el altar. La persona que ofrecía el sacrificio ponía su mano sobre la cabeza del animal como símbolo de su identificación con el animal y de la expiación de su pecado y de su reconciliación con Dios. Joya bíblica Allí comeréis delante de Jehovah vuestro Dios, y os regocijaréis vosotros y vuestras familias por todo lo que vuestras manos hayan emprendido conforme a lo que Jehovah vuestro Dios os haya bendecido (12:7). Los sacrificios eran ofrendas de gratitud a Dios (Lev. 7:12–15). El propósito de los sacrificios era expresar acción de gracias por bendiciones recibidas de Dios. La persona que sacrificaba celebraba una fiesta de comunión delante de Jehovah con su familia y amigos. Los diezmos, o la décima parte del grano, del vino, del aceite y de la primicia de los animales, eran presentados en el templo como una expresión de adoración a Dios. Las ofrendas alzadas eran sacrificios levantados ritualmente delante de Dios para indicar que la porción del sacrificio era entregada a Dios. La ofrenda votiva era ofrecida a Dios y representaba promesas hechas por medio de votos. Las ofrendas voluntarias eran presentadas como acción de gracias (Lev. 7:16, 17). Todas las ofrendas presentadas a Jehovah debían ser traídas al santuario y ser ofrecidas según las estipulaciones de la ley. La presentación de los sacrificios en el templo durante los festivales eran ocasiones de gozo y celebración por las bendiciones recibidas de las manos de Dios. La comida consistía principalmente de la carne de los animales presentados al Señor como sacrificios de paz. Esta celebración generalmente era hecha durante uno de los días de fiestas anuales (Lev. 23). La exhortación de que Israel debería regocijarse en la presencia de Jehovah aparece diversas veces en Deuteronomio (12:7, 12, 18; 14:26; 16:11). La familia del adorador israelita generalmente incluía la esposa, los hijos, los esclavos y aun los levitas que vivían en su ciudad. La presentación de estas ofrendas en el lugar donde Jehovah había escogido y manifestado su nombre era una manera de reconocer y conmemorar públicamente las bendiciones recibidas de las manos de Jehovah, el Dios que provee para su pueblo.

burnt offering, i.e., an offering of the entire part of a sacrifice that was clean and acceptable for sacrifice (Lev 1:3). 5930. עֹלָה ˓ōlāh: A feminine noun meaning a whole burnt offering, that which goes up. The primary discussion of this offering is found in Leviticus 1; 6:9[2], 10[3], 12[5]). The noun is a feminine participial form of the verb meaning to go up, to ascend. The offering was voluntary. The Israelites understood the animal or fowl that was being sacrificed as a gift to God and thus ascending to God as smoke from the altar (Lev. 1:9), hence its name. The sacrifice was a pleasing odor acceptable to the Lord (Lev. 1:9). Those presenting the animal laid hands on the sacrifice—possibly to indicate ownership or to indicate that the animal was a substitute for themselves (Lev. 1:4). The blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled against the altar (Lev. 1:6). The offering and its ritual properly carried out atoned for the offerers, and they became acceptable before the Lord. The total burning of the sacrifice indicates the total consecration of the presenter to the Lord. The animals that could be offered were bulls, sheep, rams, or male birds (Lev. 1:3, 10, 14). The ashes of the offering remained on the altar overnight. The priest removed them and deposited them in an approved location (Lev. 6:9[2], 10[3]). The burnt offerings were presented often in conjunction with the peace and grain offerings (Josh. 8:31; Judg. 6:26; 1 Kgs. 3:4; 8:64). The burnt offerings, along with other offerings, were employed in the various feasts, festivals, and celebrations recorded in the prophetic books. Often, however, the burnt offerings were condemned as useless because the Israelites didn’t have their hearts right before God (Jer. 6:20; 7:21). Ezekiel foresaw renewed burnt offerings in a new Temple (Ezek. 40:38, 39). When Israel returned from exile, burnt offerings, along with others, were once again presented to the Lord (Ezra 3:2; 8:35). David’s observation was correct and to the point, for he noted that whole burnt offerings did not satisfy or delight the Lord. Only an offering of a broken spirit and humble heart could do that (Ps. 51:16[18]). Only then could acceptable sacrifices be given to the Lord (Ps. 51:19[21]; 66:13).

BURNT OFFERING (5927)  The Hebrew word ‘ōlāh denotes that which ascends, that is, in smoke to God, being wholly reduced to ashes. While parts of every offering were burnt, this was a “whole burnt offering” (hence also called kālîl ). It is first mentioned in Genesis 8:20, and is the one sacrifice in Genesis (15:9, 17; 22:2, 7, 8, 13). It was the highest gift of God and betokened the complete, unreserved consecration of the offerer, in his entire being, to God (Psalms 40:6—9). In certain passages the sin offering came first (Exodus 29:36-38; Leviticus 8:14, 18; 9:8, 12; 16:3, 5). Only when our sin is put away through the sacrifice of Christ can we present our bodies a living sacrifice. The burnt offering of any Israelite was to be offered “at the door of the tent of meeting,” that it might be accepted before the Lord, and slain after he had laid his hands on its head, indicating that it was his representative; it was to be flayed and cut into pieces. Aaron’s sons, the priests, were to put fire on the altar, lay the wood in order upon the fire and on this the pieces, the head and the fat, washing the inwards and the legs with water, and the whole was to be burnt on the altar, “an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD (Leviticus 1:9; see also the remainder of the chapter). A meal offering ac companied it (Leviticus 9 16, 17), representing the sinlessness of Him who ever did God’s will For “the law of the burnt offering” by the priests see 6:8-13 For the burnt offering by Aaron, to make atonement for himself and the people, see 9:7, 17 There was a daily burnt offering, a lamb of the first year, every morning and evening (Exodus 29:38-42); a double one on the sabbath; an offering at the new moon of the three great feasts, Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles, on the great Day of Atonement and the Feast of Trumpets; also private offerings at the consecration of a priest (Exodus 29:15) Vast numbers were offered at Solomon’s dedication of the Temple, but ordinarily they were divinely restricted, to prevent the idea that man could buy God’s favor with costly gifts Jephthah’s vow was unwarranted by God (Judges 11:30, 31)  On occasions of great solemnity the burnt offering was offered without any other sacrifice, for example, after the Flood, Genesis 8: 20; or at a special revelation of God, Genesis 22:13; Judges 13:16; or when entering on a dangerous enterprise, Judges 6:23-26; or in a condition of extremity through a powerful enemy, 1 Samuel 26:19.

sacrifice, i.e., an offering killed and presented as an act. of worship, expiation or propitiation to a deity (Ge 31:54)

2077. זֶבַח zeḇaḥ: A masculine noun meaning sacrifice. This word refers to the kind of flesh sacrifice the offerer ate after it was given to God (parts of the flesh went to God and to the priests as well). This practice was ancient and did not solely apply to sacrifices to the true God of Israel (Ex. 34:15; Num. 25:2). Other sacrifices of this type included the covenant between Jacob and Laban (Gen. 31:54); the Passover Feast (Ex. 34:25); the thank offering (Lev. 22:29); the annual sacrifice (1 Sam. 1:21); the sacrifice of a covenant with God (Ps. 50:5). See the related Hebrew verb zāḇaḥ (2076)

(zebaḥ). Sacrifice. Generic noun often linked with offerings (Ps 40:6 [H 7]) or burnt offerings (I Sam 6:5; Ex 10:25). It is frequently used in connection with peace offerings (šĕlāmı̂m, cf. Lev 3:1; 17:5), but on occasion it is distinguished from peace offerings (Num 15:8: Josh 22:27). Often zebaḥ is a cognate accusative to zābaḥ, but sacrifices can also be “made” (Num 6:17; I Kgs 12:27), “brought” (Amos 4:4; Deut 12:6) or “brought near” (Lev 7:11)

4643. מַעֲשֵׂר ma˓aśēr: A masculine noun meaning tithe, tenth. This word is related to ˓es;er (6235), meaning ten, and often means tenth (Gen. 14:20; Ezek. 45:11, 14). In the Levitical system of the Old Testament, this word refers to the tenth part, which came to be known as the tithe. Israelites were to tithe from their land, herds, flocks, and other sources (Lev. 27:30–32). Such tithes were intended to support the Levites in their priestly duties (Num. 18:21, 24, 26, 28); as well as strangers, orphans, and widows (Deut. 26:12). When Israel failed to give the tithe, it was a demonstration of their disobedience (Mal. 3:8, 10); when they reinstituted the tithe, it was a sign of reform, as in Hezekiah’s (2 Chr. 31:5, 6, 12) and Nehemiah’s times (Neh. 10:37[38], 38[39]; 12:44).

8641 תְּרוּמָה [târuwmah, târumah /ter·oo·maw/] n f. From 7311; TWOT 2133i; GK 9556; 76 occurrences; AV translates as “offering” 51 times, “oblation” 19 times, “heave” four times, “gifts” once, and “offered” once. 1 contribution, offering. 1a a heave offering. 1b any offering. 1c an offering to God. 1d an offering (of grain, money, etc). 1e contribution. [special gifts NIV]

8641. תְּרוּמָה terûmāh: A feminine noun meaning offering. This word comes from the verb rûm (7311), meaning to be high or to lift up. The basic idea of this Hebrew noun is something being lifted up, i.e., an offering. It is normally used to describe a variety of offerings: a contribution of materials for building (Ex. 25:2; 35:5); an offering of an animal for sacrifice (Ex. 29:27; Num. 6:20); a financial offering for the priests (Num. 31:52); an allotment of land for the priests (Ezek. 45:6, 7); or even the materials for an idol (Isa. 40:20). In one instance, this word is used to describe a ruler who received bribes (Prov. 29:4)

5088 נֵדֶר [neder, neder /neh·der/] n m. From 5087; TWOT 1308a; GK 5624; 60 occurrences; AV translates as “vow” 58 times, and “vowed” twice. 1 vow, votive offering. [NIV=what you have vowed to give] 5624 נֵדֶר (nē∙ḏěr): n.masc.; ≡ Str 5088, 5886;—LN 33.463-33.469 vow, i.e., a binding promise made to deity, often with conditions and particular results on both parties, implying failure to keep will result in disfavor (1Sa 1:11). 5088. נֵדֶר nēḏer, נֶדֶר neḏer: A masculine noun meaning vow. The word is found twenty-five times in the Old Testament and basically means a solemn promise to God or the thing promised. Several times, the word refers to the specific words given in a vow. Jacob vowed that the Lord would be his God and he would give Him a tenth of everything the Lord gave him (Gen. 28:20; 31:13; Num. 21:2; Judg. 11:30). The word is used to describe the object or intent of vows: a Nazirite vow (Num. 6:2, 5, 21); a vow made by a wife (Num. 30:9[10]); or by people in a difficult situation who made a promise before the Lord (Jon. 1:16). The object of the vow can be a sacrifice (Lev. 7:16; 22:21); or a person dedicated to the Lord (Lev. 27:2). Neither money earned by prostitution nor deformed animals could be used as part of a vow (Lev. 22:23; Deut. 23:18[19]). Once made, a vow had to be paid by the one who made it, for if he or she did not pay, it was considered a sin (Deut. 23:21[22]; 2 Sam. 15:7; Ps. 56:12[13]). Proverbs 20:25 warned against making a vow before carefully considering the wisdom of doing so. Jephthah made a rash vow without considering its implications and suffered greatly for it (Judg. 11:30, 39). The word also describes the vow of some of the Israelites and their wives to burn incense and give libation offerings to the Queen of Heaven in the time of Jeremiah (Jer. 44:25).

1062 בְּכֹרָה [bâkowrah, or (short), bâkorah /bek·o·raw/] n f. From 1060; TWOT 244c; GK 1148; 15 occurrences; AV translates as “birthright” nine times, “firstling” five times, and “firstborn” once. 1 birthright, primogeniture, right of the first-born.

1062. בְּכוֹרָה beḵôrāh, בְּכֹרָה beḵōrāh: A feminine noun meaning birthright, firstborn, right of firstborn. The firstborn son was a symbol and proof of the strength and virility of his parents (Deut. 21:17). The word refers to the rights and privileges of the firstborn (Gen. 25:31–34; 43:33). This right could be sold or forfeited through deception (Gen. 27:36) or grave sin (1 Chr. 5:1, 2). The word also means firstborn in some contexts (Gen. 4:4; Deut. 12:6; Neh. 10:36[37])

1062 בִּכּוּרִים Primicias de los frutos, especialmente de las uvas (Núm. 13:20; 18:13)

NASB 1060 בְּכֹר [bâkowr /bek·ore/] n m. From 1069; TWOT 244a; GK 1147; 117 occurrences; AV translates as “firstborn” 101 times, “firstling” 10 times, “eldest” four times, “firstborn + 1121” once, and “eldest son” once. 1 firstborn, firstling. 1a of men and women. 1b of animals. 1c noun of relation (fig.)

1. LN 10.43-10.44 firstborn, usually, the first male offspring, the oldest son, with the associative meaning of prominence in the clan and privileges pertaining to clan and inheritance (Ge 43:33; Ne 10:37), see also 1142; 2. LN 4.1-4.37 firstborn animal, i.e., the physical firstborn of a domestic animal, apparently either male or female, implying a choice or best product (Ge 4:4; Lev 27:26); 3. LN 23.142-23.184 unit: בְּכֹר מָוֶת (beḵōr mā∙wěṯ) deadly disease, formally, firstborn of death, the figurative extension of a fatal sickness or condition (Job 18:13); 4. LN 57.49-57.54 unit: בְּכֹר דַּל (beḵōr dǎl)2 extremely poor, formally, firstborn of the poor (Isa 14:30)

1060. בְּכוֹר beḵôr, בְּכֹר beḵōr: A masculine noun indicating the firstborn. The word refers to the firstborn of animals (Gen. 4:4), as well as of persons (Gen. 25:13). The firstborn of sons in Israel were redeemed, not sacrificed (Num. 3:40–43; 18:15, 17). The firstborn of clean animals were sacrificed to the Lord (Deut. 12:6, 17), but the firstborn males of unclean animals could be redeemed (Num. 18:15). A donkey, though clean, was redeemed because of its use as a beast of burden (Ex. 13:13; 34:20). It is used metaphorically to refer to Israel as the Lord’s firstborn son (Ex. 4:22). In combination with the word death, it means firstborn of death (Job 18:13), indicating a most powerful attack of ill health and death on a person. This is the fate of the wicked. The firstborn son held special privileges called his birthright (Gen. 25:5–6; 27:19–36; 43:33; Deut. 21:15–17). This special standing could be lost (Gen. 25:31–34). Esau is described as despising his birthright (Gen. 25:34) as the firstborn of Isaac

the advance of sin in cain’s murder of abel (4:1-16) The subject of chapter 4 is the spread of godless society. Here is man in rebellion against God—man who did not obey and who destroyed the godly and denied his responsibility and culpability for it. The ungodly here are portrayed as living on in the world (with a protective mark of grace; cf. comments on v. 15) without being saved. Their sense of guilt was eased by their cultural development and their geographical expansion.Under Moses’ leadership Israel would move into a world of cultures. Civilizations with music, art, industry, and enterprise would be on every side. These would be antagonistic to Israel, and would help cause God’s people to reject the sacrifices and live as cursed people. Israel needed to be warned against such arrogant opposition.In the story of Cain and Abel the seed of the woman met the seed of the serpent (3:15). Cain fell to the prey of the crouching evil and eventually went out to form a godless society, rejecting God’s way. The “way of Cain” (Jude 11), then, is a lack of faith which shows itself in envy of God’s dealings with the righteous, in murderous acts, in denial of responsibility, and in refusal to accept God’s punishment. 4:1-5. Cain and Abel were played off against each other, reversing the subjects clause after clause. In fact, the entire chapter contrasts them: Cain is mentioned 13 times in verses 1-16. Seven times Abel is mentioned, and three other times “brother” is substituted. Rightly the Apostle John saw murder as a sin against one’s brother (1 John 3:12, 15).The nature of rebellious man unfolds in the person of Cain who had an auspicious beginning as the child of hope. But the narrative lines him up with the curse; he worked the soil (lit., ground, ’ăḏāmâh, Gen. 4:2; 3:17). Abel, however, seems to be lined up with man’s original purpose, to have dominion over life (1:28); he kept flocks. These coincidental descriptions are enhanced with their actions in worship. Abel went out of his way to please God (which meant he had faith in God, Heb. 11:6), whereas Cain was simply discharging a duty. Abel’s actions were righteous, whereas Cain’s were evil (1 John 3:12). These two types of people are still present.Cain’s lack of faith shows up in his response to God’s rejection of his offering of fruit (Gen. 4:5). Rather than being concerned about remedying the situation and pleasing God, he was very angry. 4:6-7. Cain was so angry he would not be talked out of his sin—even by God. Eve, however, had to be talked into her sin by Satan; but Cain “belonged to the evil one” (1 John 3:12). It is as if he could not wait to destroy his brother—a natural man’s solution to his own failure. God’s advice was that if Cain would please God by doing what is right, all would be well. But if not sin would be crouching (rōḇēṣ is used here in the figure of a crouching animal) at his door, ready to overcome him. Sin desires to have Cain (these words show God’s interpretation of “desire,” the same Heb. word, in Gen. 3:16), but Cain could have the mastery over it. Here is the perpetual struggle between good and evil. Anyone filled with envy and strife is prey for the evil one.4:8-16. After murdering his brother (v. 8) Cain repudiated responsibility for it (v. 9) and claimed that God’s punishment (cropless soil and wandering, vv. 10-12) was too severe (v. 13). God graciously protected him by some mark or sign that would be a deterrent to an ave nger (v. 15—nowhere is the nature of this “mark” clarified), but God condemned him to a life of ceaseless wandering (v. 12). This was his curse, to be banished from God’s presence (v. 14). But Cain defied that curse by living in a city in the land of Nod (lit., “wandering”), east of Eden (v. 16).

Several Mosaic motifs were founded here: (1) Sacrifices should be offered to God from a heart of faith, and should be the best of the livestock, the firstborn (v. 4). (2) Israelites had responsibilities to their brothers—they were each others’ keepers and must not kill one another. (3) Homicidal blood polluted the land, crying out for vengeance—spilled blood raised its voice of accusation (v. 10). (4) Blood revenge was averted by God through protective care, just as later removal to a city of refuge would avert an avenger. (5) Punishment for guilt was at the foundation of Israel’s theocracy. (6) Life without God is a dangerous life without protection. (7) Sometimes the elder was rejected in favor of the younger, turning the normative societal custom around.

Heb 11:1

11:1-3. In a brief Prologue the author set forth three fundamental considerations about faith: its basic nature, the honor associated with it, and its way of seeing things. In its essence faith is being sure (hypostasis, rendered “being” in reference to God in 1:3) . . .and certain (elenchos, from the verb elenchō, “to prove or convince”) about unseen hopes and realities. That this is honorable is seen in the fact that Old Testament worthies, the ancients, were commended for it. Faith is also a way of viewing all experience since it is the way in which believers see the universe (tous aiōnas, lit., “the ages,” also rendered “the universe” in 1:2) for what it is—a creation by God.

11:1–40 The 11th chapter is a moving account of faithful OT saints and given such titles as, “The Saints’ Hall of Fame,” “The Honor Roll of OT Saints,” and “Heroes of Faith.” They all attest to the value of living by faith. They compose “the cloud of witnesses” (12:1) who give powerful testimony to the Hebrews that they should come to faith in God’s truth in Christ.

11:1 This verse is written in a style of Heb. poetry (used often in the Psalms), in which two parallel and nearly identical phrases are used to state the same thing. Cf. 1 Pet. 1:7—God tests our faith in the crucible. substance. This is from the same Gr. word translated “express image” in 1:3 and “confidence” in 3:14. The faith described here involves the most solid possible conviction, the God-given present assurance of a future reality. evidence of things not seen. True faith is not based on empirical evidence but on divine assurance, and is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8).

11:1 This verse is not a definition of faith, but a description of what faith does. Substance means “essence” or “reality.” Faith treats things hoped for as reality. Evidence means “proof” or “conviction.” Faith itself proves that what is unseen is real, such as the believer’s rewards at the return of Christ (2 Cor. 4:18).

11:1 The faith by which the righteous live (10:38) is certain that things hoped for, God’s promised blessings, will be fulfilled. It is also confident of things not seen, God’s power and faithfulness in life today. For OT saints Christ’s sacrifice and entrance into heaven were only things hoped for. For us they are a blessed present reality, although not seen. Both they and we grasp them by faith

11.1 Dos palabras describen nuestra fe: confianza y certeza. Estas dos cualidades necesitan un punto inicial y final seguros. El punto inicial de la fe es creer en el carácter de Dios: Él es quien dice ser que es. El punto final es creer en las promesas de Dios: Él hará lo que dice. Cuando creemos que Dios cumplirá sus promesas, a pesar de que todavía no las vemos hechas realidad, mostramos verdadera fe (véase Juan 20.24–31)

*The writer delights in recounting the history of the heroes of faith recorded in Scripture. Before he cites examples, however, he composes a brief definition of faith. He does not write a dogmatic exposition. Instead he formulates a few clear, straightforward sentences.

1. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

As we study this verse, let us note the following points:

a. Faith

The word faith in the New Testament has many aspects. For example, when the Judean Christians, whom Paul had sought to destroy, spoke of their belief in Christ, they said, “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy” (Gal. 1:23). Faith, then, is a confession, much the same as we call the Apostles’ Creed the articles of our Christian faith. However, this is not the meaning of faith that the writer of Hebrews conveys.

For the evangelists who wrote the Gospels, Jesus Christ is the object of faith. John summarizes this emphasis when he states the purpose of his Gospel, namely, “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). Also, the Acts show that in the first century, “a personal faith in Jesus was a hallmark of the early Christians.” Still another aspect of faith is Paul’s emphasis on appropriating, that is, claiming salvation in Jesus Christ. Paul contends that God puts the sinner right with him through faith: “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Rom. 3:22). And Paul explains that faith comes from hearing the Word proclaimed (Rom. 10:17). The author of Hebrews recognizes these same aspects of faith featured by other writers of the New Testament. However, his use of the concept faith must be understood primarily in the context of the eleventh chapter of his epistle. The heroes of faith have one thing in common: they put their undivided confidence in God. In spite of all their trials and difficult circumstances, they triumphed because of their trust in God. For the author, faith is adhering to the promises of God, depending on the Word of God, and remaining faithful to the Son of God. When we see chapter 11 in the context of Hebrews, the author’s design to contrast faith with the sin of unbelief (3:12, 19; 4:2; 10:38–39) becomes clear. Over against the sin of falling away from the living God, the writer squarely places the virtue of faith. Those people who shrink from putting their trust in God are destroyed, but those who believe are saved (10:39).

b. Assurance

What is true faith? In 1563 a German theology professor, Zacharias Ursinus, formulated his personal faith: True faith—created in me by the Holy Spirit through the gospel—is not only a knowledge and conviction that everything that God reveals in his Word is true, but also a deep-rooted assurance that not only others, but I too, have had my sins forgiven, have been made forever right with God, and have been granted salvation. These are gifts of sheer grace earned for us by Christ.-- The author of Hebrews expresses that same assurance in much more concise wording: “Faith is being sure of what we hope for.” The expression being sure of is given as “substance” in other translations. The difference between these translations arises from understanding the original Greek word hypostasis subjectively or objectively. If I am sure of something, I have certainty in my heart. This is a subjective knowledge because it is within me. Assurance, then, is a subjective quality. By contrast, the word substance is objective because it refers to something that is not part of me. Rather, substance is something on which I can rely. As one translation has it, “Faith is the title-deed of things hoped for.” That, in fact, is objective.

To come to a clear-cut choice in the matter is not easy, for the one translation does not rule out the other. The translation confidence or assurance has gained prominence, perhaps because 3:14 also has the same word: “We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.” In the case of 11:1, even though the objective sense has validity, the subjective meaning is commended. The author teaches the virtue of hope wherever he is able to introduce the topic (3:6; 6:11, 18; 7:19; 10:23). Hope is not an inactive hidden quality. Hope is active and progressive. It relates to all the things God has promised to believers: “all things of present grace and future glory.”

c. Certainty

Although the brief statement on faith consists of only two phrases, they are perfectly balanced. Note the structure:

Faith is

Being sure of certain of
what we hope for what we do not see

In short, assurance is balanced by certainty. These two nouns are in this text synonymous. Certainty, then, means “inner conviction.” The believer is convinced that the things he is unable to see are real. Not every conviction, however, is equal to faith. Conviction is the equivalent of faith when certainty prevails, even though the evidence is lacking. The things we do not see are those that pertain to the future, that in time will become the present. Even things of the present, and certainly those of the past, that are beyond our reach belong to the category of “what we do not see.” Comments B. F. Westcott, “Hope includes that which is internal as well as that which is external.” Hope centers in the mind and spirit of man; sight relates to one of his senses (Rom. 8:24–25). Faith, therefore, radiates from man’s inner being where hope resides to riches that are beyond his purview. Faith demonstrates itself in confident assurance and convincing certainty.

* The Description of Faith (Heb. 11:1–3) This is not a definition of faith but a description of what faith does and how it works. True Bible faith is not blind optimism or a manufactured “hope-so” feeling. Neither is it an intellectual assent to a doctrine. It is certainly not believing in spite of evidence! That would be superstition.

True faith is confident obedience to God’s Word in spite of circumstances and consequences. This faith operates quite simply. God speaks and we hear His Word. We trust His Word and act on it no matter what the circumstances are or what the consequences may be. The circumstances may be impossible, and the consequences frightening and unknown; but we obey God’s Word just the same and believe Him to do what is right and what is best.  The unsaved world does not understand true Bible faith, probably because it sees so little faith in action in the church today. The cynical editor H.L. Mencken defined faith as “illogical belief in the occurrence of the impossible.” The world fails to realize that faith is only as good as its object, and the object of our faith is God. Faith is not some “feeling” that we manufacture. It is our total response to what God has revealed in His Word. Three words in Hebrews 11:1–3 summarize what true Bible faith is: substance, evidence, and witness. The word translated “substance” means literally “to stand under, to support.” Faith is to a Christian what a foundation is to a house: it gives confidence and assurance that he will stand. So you might say, “Faith is the confidence of things hoped for.” When a believer has faith, it is God’s way of giving him confidence and assurance that what is promised will be experienced. The word evidence simply means “conviction.” This is the inward conviction from God that what He has promised, He will perform. The presence of God-given faith in one’s heart is conviction enough that He will keep His Word. Witness (kjv, “obtained a good report”) is an important word in Hebrews 11. It occurs not only in verse 2, but twice in verse 4, once in verse 5, and once in verse 39. The summary in Hebrews 12:1 calls this list of men and women “so great a cloud of witnesses.” They are witnesses to us because God witnessed to them. In each example cited, God gave witness to that person’s faith. This witness was His divine approval on their lives and ministries. The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that faith is a very practical thing (Heb. 11:3), in spite of what unbelievers say. Faith enables us to understand what God does. Faith enables us to see what others cannot see (note Heb. 11:7, 13, 27). As a result, faith enables us to do what others cannot do! People laughed at these great men and women when they stepped out by faith, but God was with them and enabled them to succeed to His glory. Dr. J. Oswald Sanders put it perfectly: “Faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen.”

The best way to grow in faith is to walk with the faithful. The remainder of this chapter is devoted to a summary of the lives and labors of great men and women of faith found in the Old Testament. In each instance, you will find the same elements of faith: (1) God spoke to them through His Word; (2) their inner selves were stirred in different ways; (3) they obeyed God; (4) He bore witness about them.

* The heroes of the faith (11:1–40) The writer gives a team-talk on faith. Faith is trusting God. Faith is believing that God made the world. Faith is Abel giving his best animal for a sacrifice. Faith is Noah building an ark, because he believed judgment was about to fall as a flood. Faith is Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, living as wandering strangers in the land God had promised them … And so the list goes on. None of these people saw the fulfilment of God’s plan — but they all lived in the light of it. At the end of his life, the only land Abraham owned was his wife’s grave; and yet he believed God was using him to build a city — a new community to transform the world.

11:1 la fe es. No se trata de una definición teológica o filosófica de la fe, más bien es una declaración de cómo opera la fe y el resultado de la fe (10:39). La fe es la certeza basada en las promesas de Dios (10:36). Esta fe se ilustra con la experiencia de hombres y mujeres que han encontrado que fiel es el que prometió (10:23). Concretamente, la fe es la respuesta del hombre a la fidelidad divina, y es la creencia o la convicción segura de lo que no se ve

11.1 El autor apoya sus recomendaciones de permanecer firmes en la fe con las experiencias triunfantes de los héroes hebreos. Primero ofrece, no una definición, sino una descripción de cómo obra la fe. La fe es una firme convicción de cosas que no se ven, y segura esperanza de una recompensa futura. La palabra griega que se traduce certeza es literalmente «pararse debajo», y se usaba en el sentido técnico de una «escritura de propiedad». La idea básica es situarse debajo del derecho a la propiedad para apoyar su validez. De esa manera, la fe es la certeza de lo que se espera. A través de este capítulo su autor hace énfasis en que esa seguridad descansa en las promesas de Dios

11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. The chapter begins with a general description of faith that is twofold. Faith is (1) the ὑπόστασις (hypostasis), the essence, the realization (NIV: “being sure”) of what we hope for, and (2) the ἔλεγχος (elengchos), the proof, the conviction (NIV: “being certain”) of what we do not see. The precise meaning of these two nouns has been widely discussed. The problem is more difficult because of the infrequent use of both words in the NT. The word hypostasis occurs five times, three in Hebrews (1:3; 3:14; and here); while elengchos occurs only twice (2 Tim 3:16 and here).

* Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. (11:1–3)

“The Saints’ Hall of Fame,” “The Heroes of Faith,” “The Honor Roll of the Old Testament Saints,” “The Westminster Abbey of Scripture,” and “The Faith Chapter” are but a few of the titles that have been given to Hebrews 11. This chapter deals with the primacy and the excellency of faith, and fits perfectly into the flow of the epistle, that the new is better than the old. First-century Jews saw everything as a matter of works. Even after being shown the basic truths of the New Covenant, the tendency was for them to try to fit these new principles into the mold of works righteousness. By the time of Christ, Judaism was no longer the supernatural system God had originally given. It had been twisted into a works system, with all kinds of legalistic requirements. It was a system of self-effort, self-salvation, and self-glorification. It was far from the faith system that God had given. In many ways it was a religious cult built on ethics. (And even the divinely ordained Judaism was falsified without its fulfillment in Christ.) As all works systems, it was despised by God—particularly because it was a corruption of the true system He had given. God has never redeemed man by works, but always by faith (cf.Hab. 2:4). As this chapter makes clear, from the time of Adam on, God has honored faith, not works. Works have always been commanded as a by-product of faith, never as a means of salvation. God does not tolerate any self-imposed ethical system as a means of reaching Him. This theme of faith connects with chapter 10, where the writer has already presented the principle of salvation by faith, of which the saints named in chapter 11 are examples. He quoted from Habakkuk, a Jewish prophet, reinforcing the truth that this was the principle of redemption that God had always honored. “But My righteous one shall live by faith” (Heb. 10:38; Hab. 2:4). Faith is the way to life, and faith is the way to live. There has never been any other way. These Jews who have heard the powerful arguments for the superiority of the New Covenant over the Old are being told that, in regard to faith, the two covenants are the same. That is, the faith principle did not originate with the New Covenant. It was also active in the Old. In fact, it was active the moment man fell and needed a way back to God. It originated even before the earth began. Since God chose us in Christ “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4), and since the only way God accepts us in Christ is by our faith, then God obviously established salvation by faith at that time. The way back to God, as far as man’s part is concerned, is by faith—it has always been by faith and only by faith. Between the statement of the faith principle and the long list of Old Testament men and women who illustrated it, is a brief definition of this faith. The Nature of Faith Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (11:1) In a form the old Hebrew poets often used, the writer expresses his definition of faith in two parallel and almost identical phrases. It is not a full theological definition, but an emphasizing of certain basic characteristics of faith that are important in understanding the message the writer is trying to get across. The Assurance of Things Hoped for In Old Testament times, men and women had to rest on the promises of God. God had told them of a coming Messiah, a Deliverer who would take away sin. He told them that one day all Israel would be made clean and be ruled by this righteous Messiah. God’s faithful believed God’s promises, as incomplete and vague as many of those promises were. They did not have a great deal of specific light, by New Testament standards, but they knew it was God’s light, and put their full trust and hope in it. That is what faith is. Faith is living in a hope that is so real it gives absolute assurance. The promises given to the Old Testament saints were so real to them, because they believed God, that they based their lives on them. All the Old Testament promises related to the future—for many believers, far into the future. But the faithful among God’s people acted as if they were in the present tense. They simply took God at His word and lived on that basis. They were people of faith, and faith gave present assurance and substance to what was yet future. Faith is not a wistful longing that something may come to pass in an uncertain tomorrow. True faith is an absolute certainty, often of things that the world considers unreal and impossible. Christian hope is belief in God against the world—not belief in the improbable against chance. If we follow a God whose audible voice we have never heard and believe in a Christ whose face we have never seen, we do so because our faith has a reality, a substance, an assurance that is unshakable. In doing so, Jesus said, we are specially blessed (John 20:29). Moses considered “the reproach of Christ [Messiah] greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward” (Heb. 11:26). Moses took a stand on the messianic hope, and forsook all the material things he could touch and see for a Messiah who would not come to earth for more than 1400 years.Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were confronted with the choice of obeying Nebuchadnezzar, whom they could see very well, or God, whom they had never seen. Without hesitation, they chose to obey God. Man’s natural response is to trust his physical senses, to put his faith in the things he can see, hear, taste, and feel. But the man of God puts his trust in something more durable and dependable than anything he will ever experience with his senses. Senses may lie; God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). The philosopher Epicurus, who lived several hundred years before Christ, said the chief end of life is pleasure. But he was not a hedonist, as many people think. He was talking of pleasure in the long view—ultimate pleasure, not immediate, temporary gratification. He held that we should pursue that which, in the end, will bring the most satisfaction. Understood in the right way, this should also be the Christian’s objective. Christians are not masochists. Quite to the contrary, we live for ultimate and permanent pleasure. We live in the certainty that whatever discomfort or pain we may have to endure for Christ’s sake on earth, will more than be compensated for by an eternity of unending bliss, of pleasure we cannot now imagine. The Greek word hupostasis, translated here as assurance, appears two other times in Hebrews. In 1:3 it is rendered “exact representation,” speaking of Christ’s likeness to God, and in 3:14 it is rendered “assurance,” as in 11:1. The term refers to the essence, the real content, the reality, as opposed to mere appearance. Faith, then, provides the firm ground on which we stand, waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promise. Far from being nebulous and uncertain, faith is the most solid possible conviction. Faith is the present essence of a future reality.The Old Testament saints “died in faith, without receiving the promises, but … welcomed them from a distance” (Heb. 11:13). They saw the fulfillment of God’s promise with the eye of faith, which, when it is in God, has immeasurably better vision than the best of physical eyes. They held on to the promise as the ultimate reality of their lives, as the most certain thing of their existence. The Conviction of Things Not Seen Conviction of things not seen carries the same truth a bit further, because it implies a response, an outward manifestation of the inward assurance. The person of faith lives his belief. His life is committed to what his mind and his spirit are convinced is true. Noah, for example, truly believed God. He could not possibly have embarked on the stupendous, demanding, and humanly ridiculous task God gave him without having had absolute faith. When God predicted rain, Noah had no concept of what rain was, because rain did not exist before the Flood. It is possible that Noah did not even know how to construct a boat, much less a gigantic ark. But Noah believed God and acted on His instructions. He had both assurance and conviction—true faith. His outward building of the ark bore out his inward belief that the rain was coming and that God’s plan was correct for constructing a boat that would float. His faith was based on God’s word, not on what he could see or on what he had experienced. For 120 years he preached in faith, hoped in faith, and built in faith. The natural man cannot comprehend that kind of spiritual faith. We see Him who is invisible (Heb. 11:27), but the unsaved man does not, because he has no means of perception. Because he has no spiritual senses, he does not believe in God or the realities of God’s realm. He is like a blind man who refuses to believe there is such a thing as light because he has never seen light. Yet there is a sense in which all men live by faith. As illustrated in an earlier chapter, society is built on a foundation of faith. We drink water out of a faucet, with perfect confidence it is safe. We eat food in a restaurant, confident that it is not contaminated. We willingly receive our pay in the form of a check or paper money—neither of which has any intrinsic value at all. We accept them because of our faith in the person or the company or the government that issues them. We put our faith in a surgeon, and in medical science in general, though we may not have the least training, competence, or experience in medicine ourselves. We submit to the surgeon’s knife entirely by faith. The capacity for faith is created in us. Spiritual faith operates in the realm of that capacity. It willingly accepts and acts on many things it does not understand. But spiritual faith is radically different from natural faith in one important way. It is not natural, as is our trust in water, money, or the doctor. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). Just as natural trust comes by natural birth, so spiritual trust comes from God.

* The Nature of Faith (11:1–3) Hebrews 11 has been called the great faith chapter. What, exactly, is faith? If it is so important to the redemptive process, we must have a clear understanding of its nature. That need is supplied in verses 1–2. Faith, according to the NIV text, is always two things: (1) a sense of assurance within us (being sure of what we hope for) and (2) a certainty that there are realities which we cannot see with our physical eyes (certain of what we do not see). A slightly different sense is conveyed by the KJV text, which I prefer at this point. Paul, in Colossians 1:5, sees faith and love as flowing out of the hope awakened by the gospel. Hope, which “springs eternal in the human breast,” comes first. Then, faith sees freedom from sin on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice, a consequent loving relationship to God, peace with one’s neighbors and joy in the midst of life (all what we hope for). These realities, though invisible, are personally appropriated; as a result, love for both God and others flows from the sense of gratitude which faith has awakened. Thus, the famous triumvirate of “faith, hope, and love” are central to all Christian living. This quality of faith is what the ancients were commended for. This is the theme of the rest of the chapter, consisting of a list of those who triumphed in God’s eyes because of their faith. Verse 3 provides an example of faith’s ability to see invisible realities. No one can see the words by which God brought the universe into being, but since that is the statement of Scripture (Genesis 1 records 9 times “God said”), faith understands that behind everything visible is the invisible command of God. The statement what is seen was not made out of what was visible constitutes a scientific truth which modern physicists recognize: behind everything visible is invisible energy. Faith in God’s revelation is a way of grasping reality, without necessarily comprehending all the steps that may be involved. Verses 4–38 list examples of this kind of faith in men and women of the biblical past. The American philosopher Henry David Thoreau is famous for the remark, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.” That is a good description of the men and women listed here. They hear another drumbeat which others do not, and this accounts for the way they often act contrary to normal expectations. The first three examples, Abel, Enoch and Noah, show us the nature of faith. The rest show how faith behaves in real life

* 11:1      Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Chapter 11 serves as a parenthesis; 12:1 resumes the theme of the last part of chapter 10. The words of 10:39 regarding “those who believe” lead to the description of the faith that causes Christians to hold on and not lose hope in the face of persecution and trials. In this wonderful and well-known chapter (probably the most well-known in the entire book), “faith” is explained as the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Two words describe faith: “assurance” and “conviction.” Faith starts with believing in God’s character, that he is who he says he is. Faith culminates with believing in God’s promises, that he will do what he says he will do. When we believe that God will fulfill his promises even though we don’t yet see any evidence, we demonstrate true faith (see John 20:24–29). “The assurance of things hoped for” means the person has complete confidence that God will fulfill his promises. We often think of the word “hope” in terms of uncertain desire—“I hope it doesn’t rain on Saturday,” “I hope I do well on this test.” For believers, however, “hope” is a desire based on assurance, and the assurance is based on God’s character. “The conviction of things not seen” means that the person believes in the reality of something that he or she cannot see, taste, hear, or touch. The “things not seen” include eternal life, future rewards, heaven, and so forth. Faith regards these to be as real as what can be perceived with the senses. Faith means that if God promised something, he will fulfill that promise. Faith allows Christians to make God-honoring decisions based on unseen realities. This conviction about God’s unseen promises allows Christians to persevere in their faith regardless of persecution, opposition, and temptation. BETTER VISION Faith gives believers confidence to see more clearly. Faith is like putting on glasses

•     fisherman’s sunglasses that remove much of the glare so that you can see the fish better. Faith enables you to perceive realities most people cannot because they can’t see beneath the surface; they are blinded by the glare of sinful attractions.

•     night-vision lenses that penetrate the darkness surrounding you, enabling you to identify enemies or see danger ahead. Faith enables you to follow God’s clear leading, even though Satan attempts to deceive you and places pitfalls in your path.

•     corrective lenses that compensate for weaknesses in your eyes. Faith corrects your perception so that God’s teaching makes sense to you, and you can see his leading in your daily activities.

Want to see better? God is the great optometrist. Utilize his lenses of faith. The lenses he crafts are just right for you.

* 1–3. Faith is the substance. The old meaning of substance, as well as of Hupostasis, the Greek word here used, is “stand under,” that is to be a foundation. Faith is the foundation on which all our hopes for the future are built. The evidence. Rather, the conviction or persuasion of things not seen. Without faith we would be limited to the very narrow world comprehended by the senses

* Hebrews 11:1–3 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (11:1–3)

As the story goes, a man despairing of life had climbed the railing of the Brooklyn Bridge and was about to leap into the river when a policeman caught him by the collar and pulled him back. The would-be suicide protested, “You don’t understand how miserable I am and how hopeless my life is. Please let me jump.” The kind-hearted officer reasoned with him and said, “I’ll make this proposition to you. Take five minutes and give your reasons why life is hopeless and not worth living, and then I’ll take five minutes and give my reasons why I think life is worth living, both for you and for me. If at the end of ten minutes you still feel like jumping from the bridge, I won’t stop you.” The man took his five minutes, and the officer took his five minutes. Then they stood up, joined hands, and jumped off the bridge! Gallows humor to be sure, but it is painfully parabolic of today’s culture, which has abandoned its Christian roots for vacuous secularism. Indeed, if one factors God out of life’s equation and adopts the view that we are little more than cosmic accidents, life, with its inevitable hardships and suffering, becomes hard to defend. In fact, suicide has been considered intellectually consistent, even stylish, by some existential intellectuals in recent years. But for the Christian there is substantial reason for hope in this life and the life to come because of the promises of God’s Word. In fact, 1 Peter 1:3 tells that we have been “born again to a living hope” (NASB). The degree of our experience of hope is proportionate to the degree of our faith. The more profound our faith, the more profound our hope. A deeply intense faith spawns a deeply intense hope. This was important to the writer of Hebrews because of the rising storm of persecution that was about to fall on the church. He knew that the key to survival was a solid faith and an attendant hope. That is why in Hebrews 10:38 he quoted Habakkuk 2:4, “But my righteous one will live by faith.” There is a spiritual axiom implicit here: faith produces hope, and hope produces perseverance. Without faith one will inevitably shrink back. This understood, the preacher launches into an eloquent song of faith that occupies the whole of Chapter 11, beginning with a brief description of faith in verses 1–3 that is followed by a lyrical catalogue of grand examples in verses 4–40. As we take up verses 1–3 and the theme of what “faith is,” we must keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive definition, but rather a description of a faith that perseveres. We will consider faith under three headings: Faith’s Character, v. 1; Faith’s Activism, v. 2; and Faith’s Understanding, v. 3.

FAITH’S CHARACTER (V. 1) The character of faith is spelled out with great care in the famous lines of verse 1: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Faith’s character is, in a word, certitude—a dynamic certainty about what God has promised. It is not optimism or bootstrap positive thinking either. It is not a hunch. It is not sentimentality. An old song says, “You gotta have faith”—the sentiment being that if you somehow have faith in faith, you will be okay. And faith is not brainless. The cynical Ambrose Bierce wrongly described faith in his Devil’s Dictionary as “belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge of things without parallel.” True faith is neither brainless nor a sentimental feeling. It is a solid conviction resting on God’s words that makes the future present and the invisible seen. Faith has at its core a massive sense of certainty. The great Bishop Westcott says of verse 1, “The general scope of the statement is to indicate that the future and the unseen can be made real by faith.”  What is the huge certainty of faith like? Future Certitude The first half of the verse expresses the future certitude that faith brings: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for.” The words “being sure” are a translation of a single Greek noun—hupostasis, which literally means, “That which stands under” or “foundation” and hence “substance.” This word has appeared twice earlier in Hebrews where it was translated objectively (“being”) in 1:3 and subjectively (“confidence”) in 3:14. The KJV here uses the objective translation: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for.” Likewise, the NEB says, “Faith gives substance to our hopes”—the idea being that faith grabs hold of what is hoped for, as something real and substantial. Most other translations render the word subjectively—“the assurance” (RSV, ASV, NASB, NAB) or “the guarantee” (JB) or “being sure” (NIV). Actually, the objective and subjective tenses of the word are not at odds because genuine faith does bring an assurance of what we hope for that is solid and substantive. The subjective certainty in our hearts has an objective solidity to it—real certitude! “Now faith is a solid sureness, a substantial certitude of what we hope for” (author’s interpretive paraphrase). The solid certainty is about the future—“what we hope for.” What are the things we hope for? We hope for Christ’s return—“for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). We hope for the resurrection because “in his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).We hope for glorification—“But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure” (1 John 3:2, 3).We hope to reign with him, for “if we endure we will also reign with him” (2 Timothy 2:12). “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:5).The believer’s faith gives him such an inner certitude that the return of Christ, the resurrection, the glorification, a place in Heaven, and a coming reign all become present to him! As William Lane explains:

Faith celebrates now the reality of the future blessings which make up the objective content of Christian hope. Faith gives to the objects of hope the force of present realities, and it enables the person of faith to enjoy the full certainty that in the future these realities will be experienced. Think of the staying power that comes to a life where, through faith, all the above are present realities! Church history illustrates this as it records that in the early days of persecution, a humble Christian was brought before the judges. He told them that nothing they could do could shake him because he believed that if he were true to God, God would be true to him. “Do you really think,” asked the judge, “that the like of you will go to God and His glory?” “I do not think,” said the man. “I know.” Visual Certitude The second half of verse 1 joins faith’s future certitude to the parallel visual certitude that comes through faith, because faith means being “certain of what we do not see.” The KJV translates this, “the evidence of things not seen,” and the RSV says, “the conviction of things not seen.” These translations augment each other because the evidence by which a thing is proved brings conviction and certainty to the mind.Our faith is the organ by which we are enabled to see the invisible order—and to see it with certainty, just as our eyes behold the physical world around us. What do we see? As we have mentioned, we see the future because it is made present to us through faith. But we also see more—namely, the invisible spiritual kingdom around us. Genesis 28 records how Jacob, on that miserable night he fled from Esau into the wilderness, forlorn and alone, laid his weary head on a rock to sleep and “had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it” (28:12). In a flash he saw what had been around him all the time—angelic commerce between Heaven and earth on his behalf! The account records that “When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.’ He was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven’ ” (vv. 16, 17). Jacob saw the unseen spiritual order, and that is what we see by faith. There truly is an active spiritual order around us. If we could see it, it would change our lives! But we can see it, and we do see it! Faith brings visual certitude so that we are “certain of what we do not see.” I have never seen a flaming seraph or cherub or one of the lesser angels with my physical eyes. But I do see them every day through my eyes of faith. They are everywhere around me ministering to me and my family and my church—in fact, to all those who are God’s elect children. Faith brings a dynamic dual certitude to everyday life. First, there is future certitude as that which is to come becomes present to us. Second, there is a visual certitude as we see the invisible. So here is the possibility we must consider if we are serious about following Christ: it is possible by faith to live in future certitude—to be present at Christ’s return, to be present at our resurrection and glorification, to be present in Heaven, and to reign with him. It is also possible by faith to live in visual certitude—in the supernatural—to see all the mountain flaming with light—to see the traffic between Heaven and earth in our behalf. This is what our passage is calling us to, just as Abraham by faith put his stock in the future heavenly country, and just as Moses saw him who is invisible.

* 1. Faith defined (11:1–3).(11:1) The mention of a faith that is answered by salvation (10:39), leads the writer to speak about it now in detail. The word “faith” occurs without the article here, indicating that it is treated in its abstract conception, not particularly as New Testament faith. Vincent says, “It is important that the preliminary definition be clearly understood, since the following examples illustrate it. The key is furnished by verse 27, as seeing him who is invisible. Faith apprehends as a real fact what is not revealed to the senses. It rests on that fact, acts upon it, and is upheld by it in the face of all that seems to contradict it. Faith is real seeing.”

*The word “substance” deserves careful treatment. It is hupostasis (ὑποστασις), made up of stasis (στασις) “to stand,” and hupo (ὑπο) “under,” thus “that which stands under, a foundation.” Thus it speaks of the ground on which one builds a hope. Moulton and Milligan report its use as a legal term. They say that it stands for “the whole body of documents bearing on the ownership of a person’s property, deposited in archives, and forming the evidence of ownership.” They suggest the translation, “Faith is the title-deed of things hoped for.” The Holy Spirit energized act of faith which a believer exercises in the Lord Jesus is the title-deed which God puts in his hand, guaranteeing to him the possession of the thing for which he trusted Him. In the case of this first-century Jew, his act of faith in Messiah as High Priest would be the title-deed which God would give him, guaranteeing to him the possession of the salvation for which he trusted God. Thus, he would have assurance. Vincent translates, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for.” He says that “It is the firm grasp of faith on unseen fact.”The word “evidence” is the translation of elegchos (ἐλεγχος) which means, “a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested.” Thayer in commenting on its use here defines it as follows: “that by which invisible things are proved and we are convinced of their reality.” His second definition of the word is “conviction.”Vincent says: “Observe that hupostasis (ὑποστασις) and elegchos (ἐλεγχος) are not two distinct and independent conceptions, in which case kai (και) (and) would have been added; but they stand in apposition. Elegchos (Ἐλεγχος) is really included in hupostasis (ὑποστασις), but adds to the simple idea of assurance, a suggestion of influences operating to produce conviction which carry the force of demonstration. The word often signifies a process of proof or demonstration. So von Soden: ‘a being convinced. Therefore not a rash, feebly-grounded hypothesis, a dream of hope, the child of a wish.’ ”The word “things” is the translation of pragma (πραγμα), “a thing done.” Vincent says that it introduces a wider conception than “things hoped for.” It embraces not only future realities, but all that does not fall under the cognizance of the senses, whether past, present, or future. Translation. Now faith is the title-deed of things hoped for, the conviction of things which are not being seen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trust VV

Exodus 14:31 And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

Exodus 19:9 The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said.

Numbers 20:12 (NIV)
12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”

Deuteronomy 1:32 (NIV)
32 In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God,

Deuteronomy 9:23 (NIV)
23 And when the Lord sent you out from Kadesh Barnea, he said, “Go up and take possession of the land I have given you.” But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. You did not trust him or obey him.

Deuteronomy 28:52 (NIV)
52 They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Judges 11:20 (NIV)
20 Sihon, however, did not trust Israel to pass through his territory. He mustered all his men and encamped at Jahaz and fought with Israel.

1 Samuel 27:12 (NIV)
12 Achish trusted David and said to himself, “He has become so odious to his people, the Israelites, that he will be my servant forever.”

2 Kings 17:14 (NIV)
14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their fathers, who did not trust in the Lord their God.

2 Kings 18:5 (NIV)
5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.

2 Kings 18:30 (NIV)
30 Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, ‘The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’

1 Chronicles 5:20 (NIV)
20 They were helped in fighting them, and God handed the Hagrites and all their allies over to them, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him.

1 Chronicles 9:22 (NIV)
22 Altogether, those chosen to be gatekeepers at the thresholds numbered 212. They were registered by genealogy in their villages. The gatekeepers had been assigned to their positions of trust by David and Samuel the seer.

Job 4:18 (NIV)
18 If God places no trust in his servants, if he charges his angels with error,

Job 8:14 (NIV)
14 What he trusts in is fragile; what he relies on is a spider’s web.

Job 12:20 (NIV)
20 He silences the lips of trusted advisers and takes away the discernment of elders.

Job 15:15 (NIV)
15 If God places no trust in his holy ones, if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,

Job 15:31 (NIV)
31 Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless, for he will get nothing in return.

Job 31:24 (NIV)
24 “If I have put my trust in gold or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security,’

Job 39:12 (NIV)
12 Can you trust him to bring in your grain and gather it to your threshing floor?

Psalm 4:5 (NIV)
5 Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord.

Psalm 5:9 (NIV)
9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit.

Psalm 9:10 (NIV)
10 Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 13:5 (NIV)
5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

Psalm 20:7 (NIV)
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Psalm 21:7 (NIV)
7 For the king trusts in the Lord; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken.

Psalm 22:4 (NIV)
4 In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.

Psalm 22:5 (NIV)
5 They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.

Psalm 22:8 (NIV)
8 “He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”

Psalm 22:9 (NIV)
9 Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast.

Psalm 25:2 (NIV)
2 in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.

Psalm 26:1 (NIV)
1 Of David. Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.

Psalm 28:7 (NIV)
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

Psalm 31:6 (NIV)
6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols; I trust in the Lord.

Psalm 31:14 (NIV)
14 But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”

Psalm 32:10 (NIV)
10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.

Psalm 33:21 (NIV)
21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.

Psalm 37:3 (NIV)
3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Psalm 37:5 (NIV)
5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:

Psalm 40:3 (NIV)
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.

Psalm 40:4 (NIV)
4 Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.

Psalm 41:9 (NIV)
9 Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.

Psalm 44:6 (NIV)
6 I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory;

Psalm 49:6 (NIV)
6 those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches?

Psalm 49:13 (NIV)
13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings.Selah

Psalm 52:7 (NIV)
7 “Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!”

Psalm 52:8 (NIV)
8 But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.

Psalm 55:23 (NIV)
23 But you, O God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of corruption; bloodthirsty and deceitful men will not live out half their days. But as for me, I trust in you.

Psalm 56:3 (NIV)
3 When I am afraid, I will trust in you.

Psalm 56:4 (NIV)
4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

Psalm 56:11 (NIV)
11 in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Psalm 62:8 (NIV)
8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.Selah

Psalm 62:10 (NIV)
10 Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them.

Psalm 78:7 (NIV)
7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Psalm 78:22 (NIV)
22 for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance.

Psalm 84:12 (NIV)
12 O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.

Psalm 86:2 (NIV)
2 Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.

Psalm 91:2 (NIV)
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalm 112:7 (NIV)
7 He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

Psalm 115:8 (NIV)
8 Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.

Psalm 115:9 (NIV)
9 O house of Israel, trust in the Lord— he is their help and shield.

Psalm 115:10 (NIV)
10 O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord— he is their help and shield.

Psalm 115:11 (NIV)
11 You who fear him, trust in the Lord— he is their help and shield.

Psalm 118:8 (NIV)
8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.

Psalm 118:9 (NIV)
9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.

Psalm 119:42 (NIV)
42 then I will answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in your word.

Psalm 125:1 (NIV)
1 A song of ascents. Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.

Psalm 135:18 (NIV)
18 Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.

Psalm 143:8 (NIV)
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

Psalm 146:3 (NIV)
3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.

Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Proverbs 11:28 (NIV)
28 Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.

Proverbs 16:20 (NIV)
20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

Proverbs 21:22 (NIV)
22 A wise man attacks the city of the mighty and pulls down the stronghold in which they trust.

Proverbs 22:19 (NIV)
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you.

Proverbs 27:6 (NIV)
6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Proverbs 28:25 (NIV)
25 A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper.

Proverbs 28:26 (NIV)
26 He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

Proverbs 29:25 (NIV)
25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

Isaiah 2:22 (NIV)
22 Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?

Isaiah 8:17 (NIV)
17 I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in him.

Isaiah 12:2 (NIV)
2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”

Isaiah 20:5 (NIV)
5 Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be afraid and put to shame.

Isaiah 25:9 (NIV)
9 In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

Isaiah 26:4 (NIV)
4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.

Isaiah 28:16 (NIV)
16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.

Isaiah 30:15 (NIV)
15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.

Isaiah 31:1 (NIV)
1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the Lord.

Isaiah 36:15 (NIV)
15 Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, ‘The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’

Isaiah 42:17 (NIV)
17 But those who trust in idols, who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’ will be turned back in utter shame.

Isaiah 47:10 (NIV)
10 You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’

Isaiah 50:10 (NIV)
10 Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.

Jeremiah 2:37 (NIV)
37 You will also leave that place with your hands on your head, for the Lord has rejected those you trust; you will not be helped by them.

Jeremiah 5:17 (NIV)
17 They will devour your harvests and food, devour your sons and daughters; they will devour your flocks and herds, devour your vines and fig trees. With the sword they will destroy the fortified cities in which you trust.

Jeremiah 7:4 (NIV)
4 Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!”

Jeremiah 7:8 (NIV)
8 But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.

Jeremiah 7:14 (NIV)
14 Therefore, what I did to Shiloh I will now do to the house that bears my Name, the temple you trust in, the place I gave to you and your fathers.

Jeremiah 9:4 (NIV)
4 “Beware of your friends; do not trust your brothers. For every brother is a deceiver, and every friend a slanderer.

Jeremiah 12:6 (NIV)
6 Your brothers, your own family— even they have betrayed you; they have raised a loud cry against you. Do not trust them, though they speak well of you.

Jeremiah 13:25 (NIV)
25 This is your lot, the portion I have decreed for you,” declares the Lord, “because you have forgotten me and trusted in false gods.

Jeremiah 17:5 (NIV)
5 This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord.

Jeremiah 17:7 (NIV)
7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.

Jeremiah 28:15 (NIV)
15 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you, yet you have persuaded this nation to trust in lies.

Jeremiah 38:22 (NIV)
22 All the women left in the palace of the king of Judah will be brought out to the officials of the king of Babylon. Those women will say to you: “ ‘They misled you and overcame you— those trusted friends of yours. Your feet are sunk in the mud; your friends have deserted you.’

Jeremiah 39:18 (NIV)
18 I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declares the Lord.’ ”

Jeremiah 48:7 (NIV)
7 Since you trust in your deeds and riches, you too will be taken captive, and Chemosh will go into exile, together with his priests and officials.

Jeremiah 48:13 (NIV)
13 Then Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed when they trusted in Bethel.

Jeremiah 49:4 (NIV)
4 Why do you boast of your valleys, boast of your valleys so fruitful? O unfaithful daughter, you trust in your riches and say, ‘Who will attack me?’

Jeremiah 49:11 (NIV)
11 Leave your orphans; I will protect their lives. Your widows too can trust in me.”

Ezekiel 16:15 (NIV)
15 “ ‘But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his.

Ezekiel 33:13 (NIV)
13 If I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered; he will die for the evil he has done.

Daniel 3:28 (NIV)
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.

Daniel 6:23 (NIV)
23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

Micah 7:5 (NIV)
5 Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with her who lies in your embrace be careful of your words.

Nahum 1:7 (NIV)
7 The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,

Habakkuk 2:18 (NIV)
18 “Of what value is an idol, since a man has carved it? Or an image that teaches lies? For he who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak.

Zephaniah 3:2 (NIV)
2 She obeys no one, she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the Lord, she does not draw near to her God.

Zephaniah 3:12 (NIV)
12 But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the name of the Lord.

Matthew 27:43 (NIV)
43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ”

Luke 11:22 (NIV)
22 But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils.

Luke 16:10 (NIV)
10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

Luke 16:11 (NIV)
11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?

John 12:36 (NIV)
36 Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

John 14:1 (NIV)
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.

Acts 12:20 (NIV)
20 He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; they now joined together and sought an audience with him. Having secured the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king’s country for their food supply.

Acts 14:23 (NIV)
23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.

Romans 4:5 (NIV)
5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

Romans 9:33 (NIV)
33 As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

Romans 10:11 (NIV)
11 As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

Romans 15:13 (NIV)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV)
2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

1 Corinthians 9:17 (NIV)
17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.

1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV)
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

2 Corinthians 13:6 (NIV)
6 And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.

Titus 2:10 (NIV)
10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

Titus 3:8 (NIV)
8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

Hebrews 2:13 (NIV)
13 And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”

1 Peter 2:6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

Righteous =

1342 δίκαιος [dikaios /dik·ah·yos/] adj. From 1349; TDNT 2:182; TDNTA 168; GK 1465; 81 occurrences; AV translates as “righteous” 41 times, “just” 33 times, “right” five times, and “meet” twice. 1 righteous, observing divine laws. 1a in a wide sense, upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God. 1a1 of those who seem to themselves to be righteous, who pride themselves to be righteous, who pride themselves in their virtues, whether real or imagined. 1a2 innocent, faultless, guiltless. 1a3 used of him whose way of thinking, feeling, and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God, and who therefore needs no rectification in the heart or life. 1a3a only Christ truly. 1a4 approved of or acceptable of God. 1b in a narrower sense, rendering to each his due and that in a judicial sense, passing just judgment on others, whether expressed in words or shown by the manner of dealing with them.

1342. δίκαιος díkaios; fem. dikaía, neut. díkaion, adj. from díkē (1349), right, just. Righteous, just. Used in the neut. tó díkaion, that which is right, conformable to right, pertaining to right, that which is just. This is expected by the one who sets the rules and regulations whereby man must live, whether that be society or God. Therefore, it means that which is expected as duty and which is claimed as a right because of one’s conformity to the rules of God or society.When used in the masc. or fem. adjectivally of persons, it refers to the one who acts conformably to justice and right without any deficiency or failure. Thus it is applied to God (John 17:25; Rom. 3:26); Christ as the God–Man (Matt. 27:19, 24; Luke 23:47; Acts 3:14; 7:52; 22:14; 1 Pet. 3:18; 1 John 1:9; 2:1; Rev. 16:5).Being díkaios, just, means that one conforms in his actions to his constitutionally just character. The rules are self–imposed. When this absolute justice is applied to man, it is stated that there is no man who in his behavior can fully meet the expectations of God in his life (Rom. 3:10).Díkaios may also apply to the person who establishes his own rules of life. Such were the Pharisees whom the Lord exposed as righteous in their own eyes (Matt. 9:13; 23:28; Luke 18:9). Having set up and kept, or pretended to keep certain standards, they called themselves righteous or just in the sight of God. Most of these rules and regulations, however, were not those of inner holiness and conformity to God, but mere performance of external ceremonial ordinances (Rom. 10:3).The nonbelievers, the heathen, call others righteous or just as they compare them with their own standards, such as social virtues. It has more of a social than a divine reference. Plato designated dikaiosúnē (1343), righteousness, as inseparably linked with sōphrosúnē (4997), soberness or sobriety, the expression of a sound mind, the ability to place restrictions on one’s freedom in action. In the heathen mind, a díkaios is one who neither selfishly nor forgetfully transgresses the bounds fixed for him. He gives to everyone his due, yet still desires what is his and may not in the least withdraw an assertion of his own claims. Christianity must continually combat such a view. The heathen say, “My right is my duty,” whereas the Christian says, “My duty is my right.”The OT righteous were those whose conduct was made conformable to God and whose justification was made possible through their faith in the promised Redeemer (Hab. 2:4; Gal. 3:11 [cf. Gen. 6:9; Heb. 11:7]).In the NT those that are called righteous (díkaioi) are those who have conditioned their lives by the standard which is not theirs, but God’s (Rom. 2:13; 5:7; 2 Tim. 1:9). They are the people related to God and who, as a result of this relationship, walk with God (Matt. 1:19; 5:45; 10:41; 13:17, 49; 23:29, 35; 25:37; Mark 2:17; 6:20; Luke 1:6, 17; 2:25; 5:32; 15:7; 20:20; 23:50; Acts 10:22; 24:15; Rom. 1:17; Titus 1:8; Heb. 10:38; 12:23; James 5:6; 1 Pet. 3:12; 4:18; 2 Pet. 1:13; 2:7, 8; 1 John 3:7; Rev. 22:11). A righteous person is one justified by faith and showing forth his faith by his works (James 2:14–26; 1 John 3:12).

1.     DIKAIOS (δίκαιος , (1342)) was first used of persons observant of dikē, custom, rule, right, especially in the fulfilment of duties towards gods and men, and of things that were in accordance with right. The Eng. word “righteous” was formerly spelt ‘rightwise’, i.e., (in a) straight way. In the N.T. it denotes righteous, a state of being right, or right conduct, judged whether by the Divine standard, or according to human standards, of what is right. Said of God, it designates the perfect agreement between His nature and His acts (in which He is the standard for all men). See Righteousness. It is used (1) in the broad sense, of persons: (a) of God, e.g., John 17:25; Rom. 3:26; 1 John 1:9; 2:29; 3:7; (b) of Christ, e.g., Acts 3:14; 7:52; 22:14; 2 Tim. 4:8; 1 Pet. 3:18; 1 John 2:1; (c) of men, Matt. 1:19; Luke 1:6; Rom. 1:17; 2:13; 5:7. (2) of things; blood (metaphorical), Matt. 23:35; Christ’s judgment, John 5:30; any circumstance, fact or deed, Matt. 20:4 (v. 7, in some mss.); Luke 12:57; Acts 4:19; Eph. 6:1; Phil. 1:7; 4:8; Col. 4:1; 2 Thess. 1:6; “the commandment” (the Law), Rom. 7:12; works, 1 John 3:12; the ways of God, Rev. 15:3. See Righteous Díkaios is equivalent to eusebé̄s (2152), pious (Acts 10:2), and fearing God (v. 22). Peter spoke of Cornelius as having a fear of God and his righteousness as being accepted by God (Acts 10:35). This coincides with the Pauline doctrine of justification. A person is just or righteous with the righteousness which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith (Phil. 3:9). He is justified through faith (Rom. 5:19) and brings forth the fruits of righteousness or justification (Phil. 1:11; see Matt. 13:43; 25:46; Luke 14:14; Heb. 11:4). The word díkaios is also used of dispositions, judgments, things to indicate their just, right, or conformable relation to justice or righteousness (Matt. 20:4, 7; Luke 12:57; John 5:30; 7:24; Acts 4:19; Rom. 7:12; Eph. 6:1; Phil. 1:7; 4:8; Col. 4:1; 2 Thess. 1:5, 6; 2 Tim. 4:8; Rev. 15:3; 16:7; 19:2)

δίκαιος, α, ον. Justo, recto, bueno, íntegro, aprobado. neut. Propio, justo, correcto, acepto ante Dios, honesto, honrado, inocente

Related Media
Related Sermons