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.
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.
Abel learned the glorious truth.. that God could only be approached by a blood sacrifice. Only innocent blood can be placed between sin’s consequences and a holy God. Each divinely convicted sinner knows death and judgment are sin’s inevitable reward. Nothing but the spilt blood of Another can alter that destiny and can accomplish life. Thus it is with every poor, helpless, self-condemned, conscience-smitten sinner. Christ alone is his substitute, his ransom, his most excellent sacrifice – his all in all. But presumptuous, religious man, has for 6000 years, denied this eternal truth. By vows and resolutions and the sweat of his brow, he seeks to appease God himself. But nothing but the perfect sacrifice of God’s Son reunites a guilty sinner with a glorious God.
It is never a question of feeling. It is only a question of faith.. faith as an accomplished fact – faith wrought in the soul of a sinner by the work and power of the Holy Spirit. Faith is not the fancies and fleeting feeling of the heart. Faith is not the assent of the human intellect. Feelings, sentimentality and reason – emanate from a man-centred source – self. This reduces faith to the human level rather than God’s wonderful work and wisdom. Why was blood required in sacrifice, and the offering of fat of such significance?
Blood and fat, in type set forth the life and the inherent excellency of the Lord. Physical life is in the blood. Spiritual life is only found in the blood of Christ. Jesus said: I am come that they might have life…. John 10:10. And Able learned this unique and only sufficient lesson of Faith, of shed blood. Abel never saw the blood dripping from the innocent skins that covered his parents, but he heard their testimony. He heard the truth, and he believed and had faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word – the Word of God. Romans 10:17. Faith has to do with God and what He is and what He says and not man – never man. Faith has to do with God’s eternal Word.. the link that connects man with God – a living link, coupling man’s listening soul with the God Who gave His Word.
Human feeling, however intense can never connect man’s soul with the living God. Human sentiments, however refined – can never bridge that gaping, sinful gap. Human reasoning however intellectual can never design a more perfect Sacrifice, Human works however skillful and labour intensive can never satisfy God’s demand. They are neither divine nor eternal. They are rather human, transitory and evanescent. Religious man, as pictured by Cain, has been attempting this by self for 6000 years. Spiritual man, as pictured by Abel, has understood this by faith for 6000 years.
But faith is the precious principle that has its roots and its resolution in God: for without faith it is impossible to please Him. Heb.11:6. Faith justifies the soul: being justified by faith, we have peace with God. Rom.5:1. Faith purifies the heart: purifying their hearts by faith. Acts 15:9. Faith is key that works by love: faith which worketh by love. Gal.5:6. Faith overcomes the world: the victory that overcomes the world.. even our faith. 1 John 5:4
Man’s wisdom and works, feelings, and sentiments can never accomplish such results!! They belong to nature and the earth – faith belongs to God and to heaven. They look inward to Self and downward to the world – faith looks out and up to God. They leave the soul in darkness and doubt – faith leads it into light and peace. They look at Self’s fluctuating condition – faith has to do our position in Him. They consider Self’s achievements – faith sees Christ’s eternally enduring Sacrifice.
The fruit of faith may indeed produce spiritual feeling and truthful sentiments, but the fruit and result of faith must never be confused with faith itself. I am not justified by feeling and sentiment and works of the flesh – never. I am not justified by a combination of faith and feeling – impossible. I am justified by faith – and simply and only faith in Him ……. why?
Because faith believes God. Faith believes His God-breathed Word. Faith believes His Word is Truth. Faith takes God at His Word. Faith apprehends God as He has chosen to reveal Himself in the person of Jesus. This is life and this is health and this is peace to the soul. This is righteousness. To apprehend God as He is the sum of all present and eternal blessedness.
It is the religious man verses the spiritual man. It is the self-centred life verses the Christ-centred life. It is feeling, works, and intellect against Christ’s blood sacrifice. It is seeking to appease God rather than having faith in God’s Word
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