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The sacrifices of Cain and Abel

Why did Cain and Abel bring a sacrifice if there was no sin for them to deal with, and why does it say in Gn. 4:4 “The LORD respected Abel and his offering”(see Heb.11:4).

Was it because Abel had faith and Cain did not?

Consider that Abel brought a live sacrifice that was accepted by God, Cain did not, he brought the work of his hands what he decided to bring, which was not accepted. The irony is that he was so he filled with guilt and shame he killed his brother, spilling his blood by his hands, instead of a sacrifice of an animal by his hands as God required.

This goes back to when God sacrificed the first animal and covered Adam and Eve in its skin, giving a physical illustration that their sins were to be covered by the death of animal. We find later the principle of all living creatures, as God reveals more, Lev. 17:11 for ...the life of the flesh is in the blood...it is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul .”

Because it was a live blood sacrifice that made it acceptable. The principal is that the blood covers sin.

Gn. 4:5-7 “And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

The first man who was angered was because God rejected what he did. It was because of his own disobedience .God was saying to Cain If you do well, if you obey, you will be accepted? (Gn. 4:7), in other words do what is required. Clearly Cain was sinful before he was a murderer. Scripture teaches He did not become a sinner when he killed Abel, for he already was one in his heart as he planned the murder.

Cain did not accept the instruction from God. “ it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him."  (Gn 4:8
It did not take much time before Cain took his disobedience out on his brother.

v.9-11 The lord came to visit  Then the LORD said to Cain , "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?"  And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground."  

Cain tried to cover it up by lying and passing his guilt elsewhere.  God asks him is he aware what he has done? They have seen the death of animals for their sin but not another human, especially of their own family because of anger from rejection.

This was the repercussions of sin in the very first generation from Adams disobedience. When Adam and Eve had children, Adam’s image and likeness was passed along to his offspring (Genesis 5:3) along with His image of God he was created in that now contained the contamination of sin. This is why Paul and others refer to Sin entering the world through the first man, and with sin came death, both spiritual and physical. The nature of sin always leads to death (see also Romans 6:23) Romans 6:6 speaks of “the body ruled by sin.”

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22, KJV)

If we do not inherit the sin nature from Adam then where did sin and death come from? Do we just decide to do what is wrong, or do we all have an inclination to disobey because of our corrupted human nature?

The answer is in Romans 5:18 -19 says, "through one man's trespass, judgment came to all men, for by one man's disobedience all were made sinners.”Thus we are all condemned and need salvation (Jn.3). Only Adam became a sinner by sinning (Eve was deceived into sin).

Phili.2:3 we are all “by nature children of wrath.” If we all share this same nature then we are born condemned and need salvation (which is what Jesus said in Jn.3). This can only be because all our nature is sinful. If all are born perfect (without a sin nature) why would everyone sin?   Everyone means all. And could Jesus have sinned since he was not born with sin? Think about it.

Consider this as an all qualifying statement by John, I Jn. 1:8 “If we say that we have NO SIN, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is NOT in us.”

This is written because the gospel is to both Jews and gentiles, to show the whole of humanity is sinful, guilty of disobedience before a holy God.  But God has not left us alone, he has given his Son to remedy this ancient trespass that affects all today.



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