Cain & Abel and Election


Genesis 4:3-7

As with Adam and Eve, we have with Cain and Abel support for Arminian theology. From the very beginning, God gives us a pattern to follow in regard to the doctrine of election.

Click on the link below to read the post about Adam and Eve:

God chose one way of salvation, and those who go to God via that one way, are the elect. Cain tried to come to God his own way, and God rejected it. Those who try to come to God any other way than the one plan He has provided, are the non-elect.

Though God rejected Cain and his offering, He encouraged Cain to get it right, to go to Him in the acceptable way that He has provided. God said to him, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” But he refused. Cain made that decision of his own free will (freed by the Holy Spirit).

God also told him, in regard to sin, that “its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Again, here is a clear case of free will. Cain could have exercised his free will to rule over sin by choosing God’s way. God is consistent with Himself; He is not going to elect Cain for damnation on the one hand, and then encourage him to do something that is impossible for him to do, on the other. Furthermore, to do so would be insincere and deceptive. It would do no more for Cain than to give him false hope.

Regarding Abel, the lamb that he offered to God is a picture of Christ. Thus God accepted his offering, and Abel’s sins were atoned for. God has chosen to save anyone who would come to Him through His Son, the Lamb of God. Those who do, are the elect. God elected a people for Himself, through His Elect Son. Those who place their faith in the Elect Christ, become a part of the Elect People of God. Abel was among the elect of God because he was brought into union with Christ through the one plan of salvation that God provided.

Cain, on the other hand, was among the non-elect because he tried to go to God his own way. It was not that God chose Abel for salvation, and chose Cain for damnation, as Calvinists teach. They both apparently knew the right way, and Abel chose that way, and Cain did not. Abel chose God’s one way of salvation, so God chose to save him. Thus he is counted as among the elect. Out of love for Cain, God encouraged him to turn from his own way to go His way, but he refused….so God refused him. Thus he is counted as among the non-elect.

What I’ve described in this post is Corporate Election. It’s seen so clearly here with Cain and Abel, and with their parents, Adam and Eve. Abel’s offering is a picture of Christ and God’s one way to save mankind from their sins. Those who embrace that one way, are accepted, and they are therefore the elect. Cain’s offering represents all other religions of the world by which man tries to reach God. Those who embrace any of those ways, are rejected, and they are therefore the non-elect.

This account of Cain and Abel also demonstrates the role that man’s free will has in the plan of salvation. Salvation is of all of God, so we can’t take any credit for it. However, God has designed His plan to be one that is to be freely accepted or freely rejected. That God has chosen to carry out His plan of salvation within the framework of man’s free will, is clearly illustrated for us from the very beginning of the human race.

Arminian theology has deep roots and solid support. If we allow the revelation of God’s earliest dealings with mankind to serve as our foundation and guide, there is only one side of the fence we can come up on.