Summary: According to the Gallop Poll, 69% of those polled said that in order to get to heaven you have only to live a good life. That is according to Gallop Poll but according to the Bible, the way to heaven is not in a plan, but in a man. And that man is Jesus t
Saving Faith: Abel
Fabulous Faith #01
A few weeks ago, I preached a series of sermons I titled, "Amazing Grace." I talked about saving grace, sustaining grace, stewardship grace and scolding grace. I used all of these to talk about the amazing grace of God. In those sermons we looked a great deal into the grace of God. In Ephesians 2:8-9, we read, “For by grace are you saved through faith. Grace is God’s part and faith is our part."
Now I want to do another series I am calling Fabulous Faith. In these I will be talking about saving faith, sustaining faith and so forth; but in these, I want to use an Old Testament character to illustrate the point. I believe we have those characters in the book of Hebrews. In this particular chapter, we have what most students of the Bible call the "Hall of Faith Chapter."
According to trend watchers, celebrities are wearing red strings which they say bring them good luck. The origin of this new fashion trend is a set of ancient teachings on Jewish mysticism called the ‘Kabbalah.’ According to the Kabbalah, anyone who wears a string from Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem falls under its protection. Madonna, Winona Ryder, Rosie O’Donnell, are just a few of the celebrities who are indulging in this new trend. Sue Facter commented that “Celebs are getting wrapped up in red string.”
According to a Gallop Poll, 69% of those polled said in order to get to heaven you have only to live a good life. That is according to Gallop Poll but according to the Bible, the way to heaven is not in a plan but in a man. And that man is Jesus the Christ.
As we begin our study of fabulous faith found in Hebrews 11, we begin by looking at a man named Abel. Abel’s faith is the foundational principle of faith, because his faith demonstrates saving faith, and the kind of faith needed to get a person to Heaven. There are three things demonstrated about Abel’s faith, a faith that saves, that I call your attention to. First, I see that ABEL WAS ACCEPTED BY GOD BECAUSE OF HIS SACRIFICE.
Now I am not saying that in order to get to heaven, you have to sacrifice an animal. I want you to see what happened, as we are told in the book of Genesis. We know the story about Adam and Eve that is told in Genesis, chapter 3. Sin entered the scene when Adam and Eve disobeyed the Lord about the eating of the forbidden fruit. After the sin of disobedience, the Bible says in verse 21 that God made coats of animal skins to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve. There had to be a sacrifice in order for them to have the animal skins for cover.
Now what Abel did was to sacrifice the best he had for the Lord. He gave his best to the Lord. When we make spiritual application here, we see as Adam and Eve; we stand naked before the Lord in our sin. God gave His best, His Son, Jesus a sacrifice on the cross of Calvary in order that we might be redeemed. Jesus became our sacrifice in giving His life that we might be covered by His righteousness. So, when one receives Jesus as their personal Savior, he is covered in the righteousness of Jesus. The sacrifice Abel made in the Old Testament is a picture of the New Testament sacrifice of Jesus that we might be covered in righteousness.
I want you not only to see that Abel was accepted by God because of his sacrifice but also ABEL WAS ADMIRED BY GOD BECAUSE OF HIS SIMPLICITY.
When you read in Genesis 4:4, you read that the Lord had respect for Abel and his offering. That means that Abel did it the Lord’s way. Cain wanted to come to God in his own way but Abel was focused on the way of God.
Some people want to make the requirements of salvation hard, but it isn’t hard at all. The Bible tells us that the way of the sinner is hard. In order to be saved, we only have to do as the Word of God teaches, and that is to be obedient to the Word of God. Simple obedience to the Word of God is all that the Bible requires. Abel’s life is a lesson to us, that we don’t have to become something so that God will accept us. Abel’s life teaches us that we only have to accept what God has already done.
I want to tell you something about the life of Abel, that is a wonderful illustration of saving faith. ABEL WAS AQUANTED WITH GOD BECAUSE OF HIS SINCERITY.