By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous…
I. ABEL'S OFFERING HAD REFERENCE TO A DIVINE COMMAND AND PROMISE. Abel acknowledged his sin, and believed what God had said in reference to pardon, hence his sacrifice was one of faith.
II. THE COMPARATIVE WORTH OF ABEL'S OFFERING. By faith he offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. The meaning is that it was a fuller sacrifice, it embraced more, it meant more than that presented by Cain. "Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof." The latter phrase evidently indicates that the life was taken before the sacrifice was offered. Hereby was admitted —
1. The deadly nature of sin. Sin leads to destruction. The fact of atonement being necessary proves the enormity of sin.
2. The hope of pardon. To Abel it became apparent that there was a way by which man could rise, a plan by which he could become reconciled to God.
III. THE ASSURANCE OF ACCEPTANCE ABEL RECEIVED. "He obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts." This assurance would probably be twofold, the outward and the visible, and the inward and spiritual. The witness from without would be given by fire descending and consuming the sacrifice. But there was also the inward testimony Abel receives. He obtained witness that he was righteous. His sins were blotted out, he was at peace with God, and the Spirit of God was his witness that he was accepted. He was made a partaker of the righteousness, which is by faith.
IV. ABEL, BECAUSE OF HIS FAITH AND SERVICE, IS YET SPOKEN OF. "He being dead, yet speaketh."
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had testimony given to him that he was righteous, God testifying with respect to his gifts; and through it he, being dead, still speaks.