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Able & Cain

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       Have you ever wondered what really happened between Cain and Able? The 1st born of Adam and Eve became a murder and a liar.

       I. GEN 4:1-12

              A. Cain and Able represent both good and evil.

                        1. Let's look at Able, who represents Good.

                        2. To understand what's going on it's important to understand that Able represents good, or you could say, He portrays godly characteristics.

                                  a. You may have heard people say they feel sorry for Cain. (Brought an offering, but God rejected it.)

                                  b. If you think about it: If you to bring an offering to God and it was your very best and God didn't except you would probably get your feelings hurt.

                                           i. Then, because of His hurt and rejection and maybe that mixed with a temper, he killed his brother Able.

                        3. Many people have such concepts about Cain and Able.

                                  a. They've come up with their own opinions, because they have never been taught what the Word says about it.

              B. Able was a good son. THE Bible says that he was a keeper of the sheep, in other words a shepherd and he brought 1 of his firstlings of his flock as an offering to God.

                        1. Cain was a tiller of the ground, or a framer, and he brought some of his crops as an offering to God

                        2. God accepted Abel’s offering, but He refused Cain's.

                        3. Why would God refuse 1 offering and accept another?

                        4. Over in HEB. 11 we get some valuable information about Abel’s offering.

              C. HEB 11:4, 6

                        1. There are 3 important points we need to understand in these passages.

                                  a. 1st Abel’s offering was more excellent than Cain's. (V4)

                                           i. We can safely say that Abel’s offering was better than Cain's.

                                           ii. But why was it better?

                                           iii. Did you notice that Able offered (presented) his offering by faith?

                                  b. That's a very important statement. Evidently, Able was a man of faith.

                                  c. THE offering Able brought to God was by faith.

                        2. Able came to God by faith.

                        3. (ROM 10:17) Says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."

                                  a. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.

                        4. In (HEB 11:4) Able acted in Faith.

                                  a. He had to have God's Word on it.

                                  b. In order to act in faith, you must know that you are acting according to God's will.

                                  c. If you don't know that something is God's will, how could you possibly act in faith?

                                  d. You have to have God's Word on a subject to act in faith.

                                           i. Written Word.

                                           ii. Spoken Word.

              5. Able must have had God's Word on this subject to have offered a sacrifice in faith.

                                  a. Faith begins where the will of God is known.

                                  b. Abel’s offering was more excellent.

                                  c. It was by faith.

              D. Our 2nd point of the 3 important things that we need to understand is that Abel’s actions verified his right standing with God.

                        1. (HEB 11:4) tells us that because Abel offered a sacrifice by faith, He obtained witness that he was righteous.

                                  a. "Righteousness" means "To be in right standing with God."

                                  b. If you're in the place of right standing with God, you're in the best position there is.

                                  c. If you're righteous, you can pray with confidence, and you'll have the assurance that you're prayers will be answered.

                                           i. How can you have that assurance?

                                           ii. Because if you're in right standing with God, you'll have communication and fellowship with Him.

                        2. 1JOHN 1:3-7

                                  a. When you're walking in the light and the blood of Jesus is cleansing you from all sin, you're in right standing with God.

                                  b. And not only will you have fellowship with one another, but you will also have fellowship with God.

                                  c. When you have that kind of fellowship with Him you can have that assurance that you're prayer will be answered.

                                          i. (1JOHN 5:14-15) Says, "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: (15) And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

       II. The 3rd important point about (HEB 11:4) is that because Able offered a sacrifice by faith, there are witnesses who will testify about him.

              A. (HEB 11:4) Says that God Himself gives testimony of Able.

              B. There are 2 ways in which God gives this testimony.

                        1. The 1st is thru God's Word.

                        2. Go back with me to HEB 11:4.

                        3. The 11th chapter of HEB includes a long list of people who are commonly referred to as "The Heroes of Faith."

                                  a. The O.T. saints listed here were singled out and listed by the H.S. for our benefit.

                                  b. We can see by their lives, that faith in God worked for them.

                                  c. If their faith worked for them under the old covenant, how much more should our faith work for us living under a better covenant.

                        4. God gives testimony of Able by including him in "The Heroes of Faith" listed in this Faith chapter.

              C. THE 2nd way God gives testimony of Able is found in HEB 12:24

                        1. Although this V talks about the blood of Jesus, Abel’s blood is also mentioned.

                        2. God is telling us in this V that the blood of Jesus has a voice, and that Jesus' blood is saying something.

                                  a. THE blood of Jesus speaks of Good things.

                                  b. THE blood of Jesus says we are redeemed, and that we have been bought with a price. (We are not our own)

                                  c. THE blood of Jesus tells of Healing for our physical bodies and the soundness of mind that may be obtained thru the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

                                           i. We have a better covenant because of the blood of Jesus.

                                           ii. Our redemption cost the most valuable thing in heaven and earth.

                                           iii. It cost the blood of Jesus.

                                  d. Is it any wonder that Jesus' blood says better things than Abel’s?

                                           i. Abel’s blood cried out for vengeance, but the blood of Jesus cries out in intercession for us.

              3. When Abel’s blood cried unto God, God responded to its voice.

                        a. GEN 4:10 (This is what God said in response)

                        b. So, the 2nd way that God gives testimony of Able is thru Abel’s blood.

       III. GEN 4: Let's just look at this for a little more information about Able obeying God's voice when he offered 1 of his sheep.

              A. GEN 4:4

                        1. Notice that Able not only brought a sheep of the 1st yr., but he also brought "The fat thereof."

                        2. But what does the Bible mean when it uses the term "The Fat Thereof."

                                  a. That exact phrase is used in 4 other references, (LEV 3:9; LEV 4:31; LEV 4:35; LEV 7:3)

                                  b. Each time it had to do with an animal sacrifice.

                                  c. To be even more specific, it had to do with a sin offering.

                        3. God used the animal sacrifice with the shedding of blood to cover the sins of mankind.

                                  a. (HEB 9:22) Tells us that without shedding of blood is no remission.

                                  b. How did Able know that? How did he know that animal sacrifices and "THE fat thereof" was necessary and part of God's plan?

                                  c. God must have told him.

              B. All of those O.T. blood sacrifices pointed to the time when God would send His Son, the 1 who would become the supreme sacrifice.

                        1. Jesus would shed His Blood and completely satisfy God's judgment against sin for all who are in right standing with Him once and for all.

                        2. Able came God's way, not his own way.

                        3. Able followed the plan God instituted from the foundation of the world.

                        4. Able did what God expected of him.

                        5. Because Able was obedient to God by faith and acted in faith, he was made righteous.

                        6. We also need to be obedient to God by faith and act in faith.

                                  a. But without faith, it is impossible to please Him.

WOLCC 11/2/91 SUN AM and Sunday, September 02, 2001

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