Skip to main content

I didn't recognize that one!

The Book of Leviticus is the record of the Old Testament Law - commandments and rules for living, sacrificial worship expectations, and the foundation by which we were to come to understand that a penalty for sin was to be paid.  In other words, the Law acts as a means to help us understand why the sacrificial death of Christ was necessary - it points us toward his work of what we call "atonement".  To understand atonement, we must understand why it is necessary.  As pointed out numerous times throughout scripture, man has a difficult time living his life "without sin" because he has a sin nature.  He has free choice, and as a matter of choice, he sometimes chooses things which are a violation of the way God would want him to live. When this is the case, this is referred to as "sin" - better known as "missing the mark". In other words, try as we might, we don't always hit the target!  

If anyone sins by breaking any of the commandments of God which must not be broken, but without being aware of it at the time, the moment he does realize his guilt he is held responsible.  (Leviticus 5:17-18 MSG)

I don't want us to focus on the Old Testament Law as a means of righteousness, but hope we can see God's intent in giving it.  He was laying out the foundation for us to recognize the need of a "sinless" or "spotless" offering on our behalf.  Plain and simple, he was pointing us toward Christ. The little lamb, turtle doves, and rams used in the sacrificial offerings of the Old Testament temple worship, atonement sacrifices, and the like, were simply "fore-shadowing" the sacrificial death of Christ on our behalf.  That said, then we are free to see what God says about our sin.

As we examine what God has to say about sin in scripture, we find there are not so much "degrees" of sin (as ALL sin is sin), but that sometimes we are totally aware of our sin and other times we almost sin without really realizing we have.  I grew up in a church environment which promoted the "degrees" of sin - some were "menial" and others were quite "grievous".  If we go back to scripture as our source of truth on this matter, we will see ALL have sinned, ALL sin matters, and ALL sin requires an "atoning sacrifice".  This idea of "degrees" of sin just doesn't hold up under our examination of what scripture outlines.

Since there is validity to this idea of us "knowingly" and "unknowingly" engaging in sin, maybe this is where we start.  Those things we know better than to do, but do them anyway - these are a big deal.  God doesn't ask for our obedience to be at our convenience, but rather for it to become a spontaneous response of our heart.  When we struggle with obedience in a particular area of our lives, he doesn't expect us to resist the temptation to sin in that area all on our own.  He gives us the support of his Holy Spirit, others which whom we can enter into accountability relationships with, and the wisdom of the Word to guide our actions.  Those areas were we struggle without even really recognizing our struggle are sometimes not evident to us unless someone else points them out, or perhaps we get that "twinge" of conviction when we hear a good teacher, or read something we may have overlooked in scripture.  

What God wants us to see is that both require our attention - when we "become aware" of our sin, we have a means by which we can deal with our sin - Christ's sacrificial death on our behalf.  ALL sin required his death.  ALL sin is subject to the same "scrutiny" by God.  ALL sin leaves us "at odds" with God - we aren't right until that sin is "under" or "covered" by the blood Christ shed on our behalf.  What is most important when studying the Law in the Old Testament is not the rigidity of the sacrificial means for atonement, but that atonement is provided by means of God's grace.  The sacrifice was just a means of us connecting our actions with the penalty needing to be paid.  It is not much different than us connecting our actions with the penalty which was paid on our behalf - Christ Jesus.  He is our "means" of connection between the "wrongdoing" of our sin and the "right-setting" of our lives through the perfect action of his sacrifice.

Although "degrees" of sin don't really exist, the means by which sin is dealt the final blow in our lives is already accomplished - even though it may not be fully revealed by our actions today.  Christ's sacrificial death on our behalf was "complete" on our behalf - past sin, present sin, and all future sin.  His actions were complete - meeting ALL our needs for atonement - the known sin and the unknown; the "biggees" and the "wee ones".  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean

Doubt isn't a bad thing

I would like for you to consider for a moment what this journalist was attempting to share in his words: " Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is - it is her shadow ." (Ambrose Bierce) Have you ever doubted? Then it is suggested you were at least at the place of some form of belief. Have you ever considered what your doubt was attempting to reveal to you? Perhaps doubt is not a bad thing because it points us to consider the truth of a matter. Where doubt is - - - there truth is. It may be in the shadows, but it is there! We need only look a little closer and we will find truth has never been far from us.  The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes. God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee. The decisions of God are accurate dow