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This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Patternists: By Faith Abel…

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In Hebrews 11:4 the writer notes, “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.”

A simple question, answered in the text: Why did God accept Abel’s sacrifice, but did not respect the one offered by Cain? There is no inherent significance in the fact that Abel’s sacrifice was an animal sacrifice, where Cain’s was a vegetable sacrifice, as both types have pleased God (cf. Leviticus 22:7; 23:10-11). The simple answer? Abel’s sacrifice was offered “by faith.” This means that Abel’s sacrifice followed the instructions given by God, where Cain’s did not.

God does not arbitrarily decide which sacrifices He will “respect” (Genesis 4:3-5). “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Service of any type can be successfully offered to God only if it is service that He has authorized.

The next time someone tells you that “I know God is pleased with my service/worship/sacrifice”, consider Abel. And then ask him for the scripture that proves his service/worship/sacrifice is authorized by God.

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