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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How Faith Overcomes - Part X

Edward F. Lundwall Jr.

Overcoming faith has great influence in family life. The first family described in scripture exemplifies this. Abel demonstrated overcoming faith when he gave his gift of an animal sacrifice to God recognizing his need and God’s sufficiency. However, Cain’s gift was rejected because it was given in duty, not dedication. As a result of this, he eventually murdered his brother Abel. Imagine how their parents felt about this. In spite of the pain and fear of consequences for Cain and the grief of losing Abel, they continued in faith and obedience to God. So many parents would not have reacted as they did. What motivated such faith and desired obedience?

Adam and Eve knew they too had sinned and in the garden. However, God had made them comfortable in his presence through his mercy, and forgiveness represented by his sacrifice of an animal to give them clothing of skins. It was that same kind of faith, knowing he was a sinner and coming humbly before a holy God, “By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4). Cain did not come with humility and faith to offer his gift; he came with pride, which when hurt, caused him to sin.

Obedience rooted in humble faith overcomes all sin and circumstances. Romans 1:5 states, “…through whom (the Lord Jesus) we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake.” (See also Romans 16:25, 26).

The things that God gives to stimulate obedience of faith are more often than not disregarded. Cain had the example of his parents longer than Abel. Genesis 4 tells us that he was born before Abel, but did not respond to persuasion of his parents’ testimony. God made special additional effort to stimulate Cain, first, through the example of Abel being accepted by God through animal sacrifice. Then God actually communicated to Cain when he was downcast because his sacrifice of his vegetable offering was not accepted. God gently reminded him that if he followed Abel’s example of humble faith, his offering would also be accepted. Cain refused and resisting the idea that he was a sinner in need of forgiveness, ended up killing his faith-filled brother.

God is a communicator. When we listen and respond in faith leading to obedience to his commands, we continue in fellowship with Him. Our faith overcomes.

Related reading:
How Faith Overcomes - Part I
How Faith Overcomes - Part II
How Faith Overcomes - Part III
How Faith Overcomes - Part IV
How Faith Overcomes - Part V
How Faith Overcomes - Part VI
Faith Overcomes Antichrists - Part VII
How Faith Overcomes - Part VIII
How Faith Overcomes - Part IX

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