Abel & Cain, Two Lines Running Down Thru The Bible

There are two lines running down thru the Bible from beginning to end. We will here examine a few.

There is the one line of the life, love, faith and the grace of God. And there is the other line of law, human effort, performance based acceptance thru works of the law.

Here are examples of the two lines:

The Tree of Life vs the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Gen 2-4. The first represents the Life of Christ, a tree which God returns us to and gives us again thru the cross, our death with Christ. Rom 6:3-5; Gal 2:20; Col 3:4. The other Tree is the knowledge of good and evil which teaches us that law is the way to God, a way to know the difference between good and evil so we can try hard to do good and not evil and thereby gain God’s acceptance. It is a TREE OF LAW which leads to sin and finally death. 1 Cor 15:56; 2 Cor 3:6-end of chapter 3.

Next we have the FIRST ADAM who ate from the tree of law and fell into sin and death, all of which sin we inherit from Adam through the DNA of our earthly father. But the first Adam is then contrasted with the second line who is the second Adam, Jesus Christ, who died for us and provided the way back into life. Life is not a period of time as much as it is a person, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:14-21.

Then we have Abel vs Cain. Abel represents the correct line or way to approach God which is to access God thru the cross by faith. Cain represents the false way to approach God, by human effort to perform works of law, or by our performance rather than by Christ’s performance at Calvary. Abel approached God in the only acceptable way, thru death as represented by the sacrificial death of livestock. Gen 4:4. Killed animals are a foreshadowing of Christ’s sacrificial death for us. This way of death, our death with Christ, is the only prescribed way to approach God, only thru the death of His Son and our being “crucified with Christ.” Gal 2:19-21. Cain’s presentation to God represented the Tree of Law, his toil in the earth to produce fruit, a false way of SELF- effort to gain God’s acceptance by our own good works and not by faith in the work of Christ at Calvary. God did not accept Cain’s offering and this made Cain very angry at Abel kind of like the elder son got angry at his father in Luke 15 when his father did not honor his good works but showed grace to the prodigal son. The elder son is the Cain of the story. The fatted slaughtered calf is the crucified Christ. The failure son was glad to get to eat. The elder son was to angry he would not come to the feast. Luke 15.

Cain’s anger is also demonstrated by these same two lines in the days of Jesus. The legalistic Pharisees and High Priests hated Jesus, Jesus lived the lifestyle of the cross then died on the cross. The legalists wanted to kill him because He continued to violate the Sabbath, would not agree to stone the woman caught by them in adultery, healed the lepers, spoke parable after parable which made the legalists the butt of the story the legalist. They were the Cain’s of Jesus’ day. Jesus represented the Tree of the Life of God. Col 3:4. The legalist Pharisees were in the line of the Tree of Law and Cain. Jesus was in the line of the Tree of Life and Abel.

Saul, later Paul, was one one the legalists in line of Cain. He was a Pharisee who, under the law was considered blameless. Phili 3. He accused, condemned, bound, carried off to incarcerate and kill Christians. But on Damascus road he changed lines after being blinded and knocked off his high horse and thereafter became a teacher of the cross, crucifixion with Christ, agape love and the great Apostle of grace, no longer law. Acts 7,8 and 9. Rom 6:14. The two contrasting lines are then seen in Paul vs the legalistic Judaizers who followed him everywhere and tried to pervert or reverse his grace converts back to the law. Gal 1:4-10. To go back to Law will sever one from Christ and cause him to fall from grace. This is a fearful thing that could happen to a concert. Gal 5:4.

In summary, most preachers today are in the line of Cain preaching pure law or at least mixing law with grace. Only a very few preach the pure grace, life, unconditional love, mercy, forgiveness, and goodness of God. The grace preachers are in the line of Abel and teach the only acceptable approach to God which is to “present your body a living sacrifice,” the only true form of “worship.” Rom 12:1. Mixing Law with grace is like putting a little arsenic in someone’s sweet tea, it will kill them just as Cain killed Abel.

Which line are you in, the angry line of legalism, human self-effort and performance-based works of the law to gain acceptance from God OR the line of Abel, Jesus, and Paul, grace, faith, love and willingness to die with Christ to gain access to God and to go deeper and higher in Him?

There is a great abyss between these two lines.

Travis Bryan III

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