Experiencing Christ

Two Offerings (3)

2 Cor. 1:9 Indeed we ourselves had the response of death in ourselves, that we should not base our confidence on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead;
3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God.

(Part 3 of 3)
Our mistake is to infer God’s acceptance of a thing by its merit or demerit. But God does not ask whether a thing is good or bad. He asks whether it comes from Him. The goal of many children of God is for Him, but their strength is from themselves. They have a heavenly purpose, but they employ earthly strength to achieve it. The purpose of Cain’s offering was not improper, because he wanted to please God just as Abel did. The difference between Cain and Abel was in what they offered. It would be a gross error for us to presume that as long as our purpose is to serve God, to please Him, to do His work, and to bring about spiritual revival among His children, we can employ whatever means there are. We may not say it this way, but this is a fact. If we serve God with our own strength, it is the flesh. The flesh is man’s own strength, the strength he has originally. If we serve God with this strength, it is the same as Cain’s offering.

Do not think that Abel had a loftier goal than Cain. Both of them had the same goal, that is, to make an offering. Abel was accepted not because he had a loftier goal than Cain but because what he offered was better. Abel’s offering signifies the fact that man has no place before God, that man can do nothing, that man must die and not live, that man should tremble before God, and that man should have no confidence before Him. Abel’s offering seemed to say to God, “God, I know that whatever comes from me is not acceptable. I cannot serve You. I can only trust in Your life and Your Spirit. I can only depend on the law of the Spirit of life.” Abel’s offering was made under these circumstances, and this became a sweet-smelling offering to God.

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