Summary: 1 of ? The Hebrews writer recounted the very practical responses which faith had wrought in their forebears/ancestors. Saving faith yields practical responses to life. Saving faith meets life’s challenge with...
A RESPONSE Of SAVING FAITH-I—Hebrews 11:3-40
Faith’s response to life’s challenges
Personal attempts to honor God in my work before entering pastoral ministry.
Handing out Bibles to managers, etc.
We indeed bring something of value to the table when we are saved!
The Hebrews writer sought to encourage & exhort his readers(hearers) by recounting the very practical responses which faith had wrought in their forebears/ancestors.
Saving faith yields practical responses to life, which encourage others.
What are some practical responses to life by saving faith?
How does saving faith respond to life?
3 responses to life’s challenge afforded by saving faith.
1. A PARTICULAR WORLDVIEW(:3)—Concept presented 05/20/2012 with 10:39—11:3 as FELLOWSHIP
2—Saving faith meets life’s challenge with...
OFFERINGs Of PECULIAR QUALITY(:4)
Explanation:(:4)Quality vs. Quantity
:4—“By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; & through it he being dead still speaks.”
Gen. 4:1-5—“1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, & she conceived & bore Cain, & said, “I have acquired a man from the LORD.” 2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock & of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel & his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain & his offering. And Cain was very angry, & his countenance fell.”
Abel had an opportunity to worship God thru his sacrifice.
His Sacrifice required time/energy—Feeding, Animal husbandry, Gathering animal products(Eggs, milk...?meat?(but...Gen. 1:29-30; Gen. 9:3-7)... It involved his entire life & his part in the means of provision.
Abel’s offering was a sacrifice. ‘To give what you have a right & desire to keep as your own.’
Cain’s sacrifice, as Abel’s, required his personal time/energy—Seed gathering, Land preparation, Seed sowing, Weeding.
Cain also ‘sacrificed’ as Abel did, i.e., he gave what could’ve been his.
However, Abel’s sacrifice was “better” than Cain’s. Yet we are not directly told the reason(s) Abel’s offering was accepted & Cain’s was not. It is stated that Abel offered “of the firstborn of his flock & of their fat.”(Gen. 4:4), whereas Cain offered to YaHWeH “an offering of the fruit of the ground.”
Obviously Abel’s blood sacrifice was recognized as acceptable. I believe this speaks to the significance of man’s sin & his absolute need for forgiveness, atonement, & redemption which can only truly be had thru the shedding of blood. Abel recognized & accepted these facts. Cain did not!
How was Abel’s sacrifice “more excellent”?
1)His was a blood sacrifice.
2)His was an offering of the “firstborn” & 3)of the “fat”(Gen. 4:4), each of which held significance for the Jews both prior to & thru the Mosaic Law.
Deut 21:15-17—““If a man has two wives, one loved & the other unloved, & they have borne him children, both the loved & the unloved, & if the firstborn son is of her who is unloved, then it shall be, on the day he bequeaths his possessions to his sons, that he must not bestow firstborn status on the son of the loved wife in preference to the son of the unloved, the true firstborn. But he shall acknowledge the son of the unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.”
Gen. 25:29-34—“Now Jacob cooked a stew; & Esau came in from the field, & he was weary. And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.” And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?” Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, & sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread & stew of lentils; then he ate & drank, arose, & went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.”
Rom. 16:5—“Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ.”
1Cor. 15:20—“But now Christ is risen from the dead, & has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
Js. 1:18-22—“Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness & overflow of wickedness, & receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, & not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”