05/30/10 Abel Speaks on Memorial Day!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Sunday, May 30, 2010 Under: Sermon

Memorial Day

Text: Genesis 4:1-8 (HCSB) 

“By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain [did]. By this he was approved as a righteous man, because God approved his gifts, and even though he is dead, he still speaks through this.” Hebrews 11:4 (HCSB)

Intro: The First Family Loses a Son in Battle

Man was not on earth long before war broke out, paradise and the perfect utopia did not last long and because of this we had are first casualty in a righteous cause. It seems that Man’s sinful nature causes this tragedy over and over again and This Fallen Son Speaks to Us Today. Let us go to his grave and read his marker, what message does Abel have for us on Memorial Day weekend?

1. Abel Speaks to Us of the Sinfulness of Man.

The third chapter in the book of Genesis and the first book in the bible tells us of the first fall to sin and the violence that soon follows. Sin is the problem in society. Attempts to fix problems apart from this knowledge fail, we are all sinners: “ For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 (KJV)

Jesus gave a look into the sinful heart of man: “But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a man. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies.” Matthew 15:18-19 (HCSB)

This is the reason for all war, oppression, greed and the likes there of. Christ came to pay for sins and change our hearts and scripture reminds us that: “if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” So in this 4th chapter of Genesis through Abels brother Cains example we see the sinfulness of man.

My focus for this scripture today focus’s on how Abel speaks to us, but I do believe it is important to mention a very important truth from this text, this starts the beginning of true and false worship and true and false approaches to God.

We come to this time of the season every year and we reflect on those who willingly gave their life to protect the freedom we have and sin is usually at the center of this casualty.

2. Abel Speaks to Us of the Shortness of Life.

Imagine what Eve must have felt being the first woman to carry a child in her womb, the growing pains, the kicking of the baby …

The bible does not mention the age of Abel when he died but it would be safe to say he was a young man. How quickly life passes! Some of us are fortunate to live longer then others! Seventy to eighty years seems to still be the norm for a good life span. “Our lives last seventy years or, if we are strong, eighty years. Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow; indeed, they pass quickly and we fly away.” Psalm 90:10 (HCSB)

The Psalmist gives us good advice: “ Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.” Psalm 90:12 (HCSB)

Jesus offers eternal life: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (KJV)

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24 (KJV)

Life is short, how we chose to live it is crucial, Are you prepared for eternity?

3. Abel Speaks to Us of Salvation Through Faith.

Though young, he was ready to meet God, He came to God with his sacrifice in faith: “By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain [did]. By this he was approved as a righteous man, because God approved his gifts, and even though he is dead, he still speaks through this.” Hebrews 11:4 (HCSB)

The bible tells us there is no other way of salvation: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1 (KJV)

Abel showed his faith by offering God an animal sacrifice: God has never accepted any person - Old Testament or New Testament, before Christ or after Christ - apart from the shedding of blood. The blood of the innocent life - the animal which pictured the coming Savior and His death - had to be shed for Old Testament believers. The blood of Christ Himself had to be shed for all persons through all the generations of human history.

Abel speaks to us today with the reminder of the importance of the instructions from scripture that allow us to use a true approach to God and live a righteous life.

4. Abel Speaks to Us of the Span of a Righteous Life.

He lived but a short time but still speaks; the length of the faith life cannot be limited by physical death. Consider the impact of the lives of the apostles. Heroes of the faith influence us long after death.

What is a righteous life? To understand what it is not we must understand sin: If you do what is right or righteous, you will be accepted. God used questions to stir Cain to think about right and wrong worship, about the right and wrong approach to God, about the right and wrong offering to secure God's approval. God longed for Cain to repent and to bring the right sacrifice, to approach God in the right way: by the sacrifice of an innocent life.

If you do not do what is right, then sin lies at the door. Doing right means approaching God properly, just like a person should. Abel's approach by animal sacrifice was doing right; therefore, his worship and approach to God was accepted.

Cain did not do what was right; he did not approach and worship God as he should. God calls this sin. Failing to approach and worship God as He dictates is sin. The picture of sin painted by the Hebrew is graphic: sin is like a wild beast crouching at the door of a person's house, ready to jump upon and devour the person.

This is the first time the word sin is mentioned in the Bible. It means to miss the mark just like an archer who misses his mark. Cain had missed the mark in his approach to God. He had approached and worshipped God, but his approach and worship had missed God.

Sin desires to have you. You must master sin. You must approach and worship God as He dictates. You must approach God through sacrifice, and depend upon God for His presence and power to conquer and overcome sin.

Wars and the shedding of innocent blood have been a part of memorials for as long as there have been wars. Christ shed His blood on the cross for the war on sin, for us to remember what He did even through the remembrance of Abel we must follow the right way or approach to God by faith and through Christ sacrifice we can have our name written in the Lambs Book of Life!

Conclusion: Has Abel Spoken to You Today by His Example?

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