Hebrews 114

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.

In this verse God says that Abel was righteous by faith. Abel had the gift of God's saving Faith and Righteousness. This is why God accepted Abel's offering but rejected Cain's offering. Abel's offering of an animal represented his work of faith, the fruit of God's Righteousness working in him. Cain's offering represented his work of the law, the fruit of his own self-righteousness and effort. Abel was God's Elect but Cain was not.

Abel and Cain represent two religions, true religion and false religion. There are only two religions in this world. All of man's religions are false religions based on sacrifices of human efforts trying to please God. True religion, however, is based on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, which is the only sacrifice pleasing to God.

It is impossible to please God through human effort no matter how sincere this effort is.

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The Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please Him...

The only way to please God is by God given faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Bible does not say that Abel had been given the foreknowledge and understanding of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, but one thing is certain that Abel had the God given faith to believe that he was covered by the Righteousness of God and that his offering was acceptable to God.

The same is true for all of God's Elect in the Old Testament such as Noah, Abraham, Lot, Moses, King David and others mentioned in other parts of the Bible. None of God's Elect was righteous by himself or herself. All of God's Elect in the Old Testament sinned in a number of ways, as God's Elect are also capable of doing today. However, all of God's Elect have the covering of God's Righteousness by God given faith.

It is important to understand that the faith to believe is a gift from God and that Jesus Christ Himself is the Author and Finisher of our faith.

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