Abel, Enosh, and Enoch show us a practical way for us as believers to experience and enjoy Christ as our life and live an overcoming life.
Specifically in Abel we see how he enjoyed Christ as his offerings for him to have a solid foundation to his living – today we need to wash our robes that we may have right to eat the tree of life (Rev. 22:14). Abel also took and presented Christ as his offerings, knowing that he had no other base and foundation to stand except the judicial redemption of Christ. As a result, what was constituted in Abel was Christ as his righteousness.
What else can we offer to God for our sins and trespasses but Christ Himself as the reality of all the offerings! Before God we have no other stand except the perfect judicial redemption accomplished by Christ through His death on the cross.
Abel was our pattern, believing the gospel preached to him and his brother by his parents, and offering God a sacrifice in God’s way and for God’s satisfaction.
There is a way for us to be overcomers – we simply need to care for God’s purpose and offer Christ to God as the perfect sacrifice for sins, applying His precious blood to our conscience and our entire being! Then, as we wash our robes, we enter into the city by the gates to enjoy the tree of life!
The First Family of Faith on Earth
When one reads Genesis 4 he may wonder how did Abel know to offer to God a sacrifice from the flock, since there’s no explicit command from God concerning this. Furthermore, God had not yet ordained for man to eat of the cattle – man ate only vegetables and fruits all the way until the flood (see Gen. 1:29; 9:3-4).
This leads us to believe that Adam and Eve preached the gospel to their sons as they grew up, and Abel believed the gospel! Adam and Eve with their children were the first family of faith on earth, and Abel was a believer, a pattern to all of us.
Cain was a tiller of the ground, serving the earth, working for himself to support himself and provide for his own living by his own means. Abel, on the other hand, was a “tender of sheep” (Gen. 4:2).
Since he couldn’t eat the sheep, what was the point of tending sheep? Abel’s occupation indicates that he didn’t live mainly for himself (as his brother did), but he lived according to God’s desire for the accomplishing of God’s purpose in His redemption.
Adam and Eve told their sons how they sinned and God came, preached the gospel to them (“the seed of the woman will bruise the head of the serpent” in Gen. 3:15), slew a lamb for them, and covered them with his skin (see also Gen. 3:21).
Abel believed the gospel and lived out the gospel to please God. He realized that he was a sinner, he was evil, and he was polluted in the eyes of God, and that without the shedding of blood there’s no forgiveness of sins (see Heb. 9:22). Abel’s tending of sheep was his working not to produce food for his living but to provide offerings for God’s satisfaction (see Heb. 10:5-10).
Abel’s Offering is a Type of Our Offering Christ to God
Cain served the earth, but Abel served God – and they set a pattern throughout the ages, since even today there are only two kinds of people, those who serve God and those who serve the earth. But nothing that we can produce through our labor on the earth can be brought to God as a sacrifice to please Him and justify us before Him.
Because we are fallen, we can come to God only through Christ’s shed blood by believing into Him, and we are approved according to God’s standard of righteousness.
Abel was the first believer who was also martyred for his faith, and he believed the gospel as preached by his parents, worshiping God according to His ordained way. Abel offered to God from the firstlings of the flock, most likely a lamb, and he shed the blood for his redemption and burned the fat for God’s satisfaction.
How did he know this and who told him to do this? What he did corresponded to the law given later through Moses to the people of Israel, which shows that his way of worshiping God was according to God’s divine revelation and not according to his own concept or preference.
Today in the New Testament age we also do the same thing in principle as Abel did: we confess our sins, we deny ourselves, we put ourselves aside, and we take the perfect sacrifice of Christ as our way to approach God. We offer Christ to God as the “first lings of God’s sheep”, we present His fat as the sweetness to satisfy God, and we take Christ as our covering.
Abel sacrificed the lamb and most likely used his skin to cover himself – we offer Christ to God and we take Christ as our righteousness, our covering before God! Abel’s offering was a type of Christ being offered to God by His believers today – by having such a faith and such a testimony, Abel still speaks today (Heb. 11:4)!
Abel was the First Priest to God
By offering a lamb to God as a result of believing the gospel preached to him by his parents, Abel worshiped God in the way ordained by God and he was the first priest to God. He lived for God (not for himself) and he offered – in type – Christ to God for God’s satisfaction (see Num. 18:17).
Today we as the many believers in Christ are following Abel’s pattern to not offer anything in and of ourselves to God as a sacrifice for sin, but to offer Christ to God personally, applying His blood and offering Him to God for His satisfaction.
We are all priests – we are a royal priesthood (1 Pet. 2:9), and our privilege, duty, and responsibility is to continually identify ourselves with Christ, the absolutely perfect One, and offer Him to God by experiencing Him, applying Him, and enjoying Him.
We don’t need to go to a “father” or a so-called “priest” in the Catholic church to offer Christ to God for us – we can come to God through Jesus Christ, offering Him to God for His satisfaction! We don’t need to go to the reverend, the pastor, the priest in the Anglican church, or to any priest to “be a priest for us toward God”. All the regenerated believers in Christ are priests to God, and everyone of us in the church life is a priest!
All we need to do is take God’s ordained way of worshiping God by receiving the cleansing of the Lord’s blood, denying ourselves, putting ourselves aside, and taking Christ as our covering, so that we may live in Christ to become the righteousness of God (see 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 1:19-21a). Amen!
Now God is eager to clothe us with Christ as the best robe (see Luke 15:22) and He clothes us with garments of salvation and wraps us with robes of righteousness (Isa. 61:10). We are fully acceptable and justified by God in Christ so that we may enjoy Christ!
Thank You Lord for the pattern of Abel, the first priest of God. We simply want to follow in his footsteps by not bringing to God the things produced through our own efforts and struggling but rather offer Christ as the perfect sacrifice to God. Thank You, Lord, there is a way to come forward to God through the blood of Jesus Christ. We can apply the blood, receive the cleansing of the eternally efficacious blood of Christ, and take Christ as our righteousness. We offer Christ to God as the perfect sacrifice right now, and God is pleased!
References and Further Reading
- Inspiration: bro. Dick Taylor’s speaking in this message and portions from, Life-study of Genesis (msgs. 22-23), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on the Crystallization Study of Genesis (1), week / msg 10, Abel, Enosh, and Enoch.
- Buy this Morning Revival book (vol. 2) here.
- Hymns on this topic:
# What can wash away my sin? / Nothing but the blood of Jesus; / What can make me whole again? / Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
# Lord, we would be as Abel, fully contacting You; / Not by knowledge or concept, but by life fresh and new.
# Better than Abel’s, now Thy blood / Speaks unto God for us. / Perfect redemption it provides, / Meeting God’s righteousness.