This difference in understanding led these men to bring different sacrifices to God. Abel, evidently aware of God’s instructions, in faith and godly fear, brought a slain lamb, typical of the blood of Christ. In this sacrifice, Abel confessed he was worthy of death and that without the shedding of blood there was no forgiveness of sin nor approach to God. Cain’s offering of his own works, the fruit of the ground (that which God had cursed), denied his guilt and professed that he was righteous. Abel trusted the Lord; Cain trusted in his works. O, what a difference!
Abel is a type of the believer in salvation by grace through faith in Christ. Cain is a type of the religious of all generations and persuasions who seek God’s favor by their own doings.