1. Welcome to Baptist Board, a friendly forum to discuss the Baptist Faith in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to all the features that our community has to offer.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

The Faith of the Prophet Abel

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Martin Marprelate, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Messages:
    6,635
    Likes Received:
    1,649
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Hebrews 11:4. ‘By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying to his gifts; and through it he, being dead, still speaks.

    In this post, I want to expound a riddle: how can a man who never spoke whilst he was alive, speak to us now that he’s dead ? Such a man is Abel. In the Genesis account, he never says a word; all he does is to offer a sacrifice and take an ill-advised walk with his brother. Yet the writer of Hebrews calls him a man of faith, and that he was righteous (c.f. also Matthew 23:35), and he tells us that he is speaking today. More than that, the Lord Jesus Christ calls him a prophet. In Luke 11:50, our Lord is addressing the Pharisees and teachers of the law and He says, “…..That the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah……” So Abel was a prophet, and we should note that our Lord likens the Scribes and Pharisees to Cain who killed him. But what I want to ask here is this; in what did Abel’s faith consist and how did it differ from Cain’s? How is Abel a prophet, and what does he have to say to us today?

    I believe that Abel is saying this; ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved- trust in His blood shed for you on the cross. Make that your only hope; plead nothing but His death before God.’

    Now where do we get all that from? Well, to find it we shall have to look at the Bible as Abel knew it, because Abel believed the Bible. Now since Abel dies in Genesis 4, all he would have known is Gen 1-3, which he would have learned from his parents. They would have told him of their early life in a perfect world, their terrible fall through sin and the hope that God gave them.

    I believe that Abel is saying this; ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved- trust in His blood shed for you on the cross. Make that your only hope; plead nothing but His death before God.’

    Now where do we get all that from? Well, to find it we shall have to look at the Bible as Abel knew it, because Abel believed the Bible. Now since Abel dies in Genesis 4, all he would have known is Gen 1-3, which he would have learned from his parents. They would have told him of their early life in a perfect world, their terrible fall through sin and the hope that God gave them.

    We know that when God made the world, He looked at it and saw that, ‘Indeed, it was very good’ (Gen 1:31 ). That means that there was no sin, no decay and no death. Man was placed in this wonderful environment as a steward of it, ‘to tend and keep it’ (Gen 2:15 ). We are told in Gen 2:25, ‘They were both naked, the man and his wife and were not ashamed.’ To put this theologically, they had no covering for sin- there was no arrangement to deal with sin; no apparent way for Adam and Eve to be restored if they disobeyed God, but that did not seem to matter because there was no sin. All the couple needed to do was to obey the voice of their Creator and all would be well.

    We need not detain ourselves with the details of Adam and Eve’s sad fall into sin. Just look at Gen 3:15. God is pronouncing judgement upon the serpent. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your Seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel.’ Who is this who is the Seed or Offspring of the woman but not of the man? Who else but the Lord Jesus Christ, born by the power of the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary? He is the One who will suffer (the bruising of the heel), but will crush the head of Satan. This is God’s way of redemption; to release His people from the power of sin and death through a second Adam (1Cor 15:22 ); through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. And this salvation was announced to Adam and Eve in Eden and signified by God Himself when He clothed the guilty couple, for the covering for sin must come from God, not man.. ‘Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them’ (Gen 3:21 ), and in order for that to happen, an innocent creature had to die, signifying that, ‘without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin’ (Heb 9:22 ). The justice of God does not permit it.

    Now all this Abel knew. He would have heard the whole story from his parents. This was his Bible, and God the Holy Spirit opened his heart to receive it all as truth. He saw himself in his true colours, as a sinner in desperate need of redemption. And he saw that his only hope lay in a covering or atonement for his sin. He needed a Saviour- one who would take away his sin by being a perfect, holy, spotless sacrifice of propitiation, acceptable to God. In short, he looked down the centuries and saw by the eye of faith the Lord Jesus Christ bleeding and dying on the cross for him. ‘For so God loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ And Abel, moved with love for the God who loved him so much, took the finest lamb of his flock and sacrificed it to the Lord as a foreshadowing of the Lamb of God, who should take away the sin of the world (John 1:29 ). ‘By faith Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice’ (Heb 11:4 ). It was not the sacrifice that made him righteous before God. Heb 10:4 tells us that the sacrifice of animals cannot take away sin. It was his faith that made the sacrifice acceptable to God inasmuch as it looked forward to Christ, the one true acceptable offering to God. Abel knew nothing of circumcision, and nothing of baptism. The one was an ordinance for the Jewish people, the other is an ordinance for Christians, but neither brings salvation. Only the blood of Christ does that, whether looking forward to the cross as did Abel and Abraham (John 8:56 ) or back towards it as Christians do today. No religious rite can bring us to God, only trust in the work of Christ.

    Abel is twice described as righteous. He was not so in his own self (Ecclesiastes 7:20 etc). His faith, like Abraham's, was counted for him as righteousness. Faith in Christ is the only way to be right with God. It always has been and always will be until the end of time.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    17,705
    Likes Received:
    511
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Witnessing for God includes both words and deeds. Abel was a righteous man, giving His best for God. Thus, his recorded life provides to this day, his witness for God. Thus he still speaks through his sacrifice.
     
Loading...