14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, This is the one I spoke about when I said, He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.)
Now ... did Abel live and die before, or after "The Word became flesh"?
The answer, obviously is "before". God the Son, The Word, had NOT "become flesh" at the time of Abel. To say that "Christ", that is the Anointed One, the Word made Flesh, was around at the time of Abel is to depart from Christianity.
Hebrews 11:35 breaks into a whole chapter listing Trophies of Grace: ..and others were tortured, not accepting their release in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; 36. and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38. (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. 39. And all these, having gained approval through their faith...
They were Old Testament Christians. Their faith was in the promises of the coming Redeemer, Jesus Christ, in the same way we are Christians looking back at Christ’s finished work at Calvary, His resurrection and ascension into Glory.
That where I Am, you may be also.
I think we are just trying to be too deep. But nothing wrong showing people of Faith stepping up with the Lord in any time of God pre- Christ as human or after but the topic is the first real Christian martyr.
What is amazing is Stephen's witness and Awesome Faith under pressure. What is astounding is Saul who becomes Paul is there. Stephen forgives him within the group.
What I see is one of many things is true forgiveness towards others. Also just how powerful it truly is in this walk we have on he earth.
How God works in the whole Salvation plan from one to another in the Spirit.
Later Paul writes:
20 And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me. And that I live now in the flesh: I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered himself for me.
Just what love and forgiveness our Saviour has for us.
Praise Jesus!!! Amen!