"By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous." Abel was the first to be saved by faith, and the first martyr. Abel's sacrifice was a work of faith; Cain's was not. Symbolically, the Lord had respect to Abel and his offering of the firstlings of the flock because without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Cain offered the fruit of the earth, which is under the curse of sin. Nothing originating from sinful nature can be made acceptable to God. Only that which arises from faith in Christ and His shed blood is pleasing to the Father.
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