Summary: Ultimate fulfillment in life, spiritual fulfillment, can be gained only by centering our lives around the Lord.
The Essentials Of
Text: Heb.11: 1-7
Intro: One of man’s innate desires is that of fulfillment. However, fulfillment means different things to different people. To some, fulfillment might mean accomplishing some dangerous or heroic feat. To others, fulfillment means acquiring large sums of money, or attaining an elevated social status. What fulfills one may not fulfill another.
What does fulfillment really mean? Basically the word refers to a condition of satisfaction. But though people are constantly in pursuit of satisfaction, it would seem to allude many of our day. Mick Jagger, lead singer for the Rolling Stones, made popular the song, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” in which he laments the frustration of unattained fulfillment.
In spite of all the affluence that our world enjoys today, many people are still dissatisfied with life. But then, real satisfaction and fulfillment isn’t found in material gains, climbing the social ladder or experiencing the next thrill. True satisfaction—true fulfillment is found only in Christ. Yet in all honesty, even Christians often find themselves unfulfilled. How does one obtain spiritual fulfillment? How does one fill the void they feel in their Christian life? Fortunately, for the child of God, these are not answerless questions. God’s Word gives us some definite answers.
Theme: Spiritual fulfillment can be attained by learning to:
I. WORSHIP GOD AS DID ABEL
Heb.11: 4 “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.”
A. Abel’s Worship Had God As Its Proper Object.
Heb.11: 4a “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice…”
1. Only God is worthy of our worship.
Luke 4: 8 “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
2. God is not worshipped with mere rituals, but with the heart.
John 4: 24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
Acts 17: 24 “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;”
3. Worship is a relationship of love with God.
Matt.22: 36 “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
4. Worship involves recognizing the awesome holiness of God.
Ps.29: 2 “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”
Ps.46: 10 “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
NOTE: Warren Wiersbe, quoting William Temple, gives us the following definition of worship:
True biblical worship so satisfies our total personality that we don’t have to shop around for man-made substitutes. William Temple made this clear in his masterful definition of worship:
For worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose—and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.
Warren W. Wiersbe, The Integrity Crisis, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991, p. 119.
B. Abel’s Worship Was Based Upon A Propitiatory Offering.
Heb.11: 4a “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…”
1. It is because of our sin that a sacrifice was needed.
Isa.59: 2 “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
2. Jesus Christ was that propitiatory offering made on man’s behalf.
I John 2: 2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
I John 4: 10 “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
NOTE:  It must be noted here that when Abel sacrificed that animal, it was a means of identifying himself with the victim and the penalty of sin, which it had suffered in his place, in type. We were also identified with Christ in His death on the Cross for our sins.