Leviticus 19:1-4. We sometimes think that the law of God -- as illustrated in the book of Leviticus, for instance -- has no relevance for the one who is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Yet Jesus himself expects his followers to obey his commands. We must, therefore, understand the relationship of law and grace. Law leads us to despair of our position without Christ, but leads us to delight in our progressive perfection in Christ.
Leviticus 16 & 23. One doesn't naturally think of Leviticus and celebration, but along with the elaborate system of sacrifices that God prescribed for his people in this book, he also prescribes an elaborate system of celebration: where the presence of God is, there is partying, among other things. The world and our flesh pulls us toward celebrating and rejoicing in poor substitutes for the real Substitute. Indeed, the fact of our Substitution in Christ leads inevitably to true celebration; there can be no real celebration without substitution.
Leviticus 26. In this chapter, God promises blessing for obedience and cursing for disobedience. Even in this law-heavy passage, however, God's grace is apparent. He goes to great measures to ensure that his discipline is for the purpose of bringing people back to him, and even when they resist, He "will not destroy them utterly". It is a sign of spiritual maturity when we recognize that God still disciplines his people, and that his discipline is a demonstration of grace to us.
Leviticus 5:14-6:7. The description of the Reparation offering (sin offering, guilt offering) tells us that our sin creates a debt, or charge against God's holiness. This debt must be repaid in full, and unlike other sacrifices in Leviticus, the offering given to pay the debt is not discounted based upon the offender's wealth. In fact, satisfaction of our sin debt comes at a premium. For those of us living after the time of animal sacrifices, sin still creates debt which we have no resources to repay. By God's grace, he has provided that Jesus Christ is the satisfaction of our sin debt, for those who repent and trust in him.
Leviticus 4:1-5:13. The cumulative effects of sin include pollution of the human soul, with dramatic effects on our daily living and our access to God. This pollution requires cleansing, and by the Purification Offering God provided a temporary solution to pollution. For believers now, Jesus Christ is the solution to our sin pollution. Believers receive ongoing cleansing today according to God's promise, when we confess and receive forgiveness through Christ.
Leviticus 1. Worship for God's people in the Old Testament involved the powerful imagery of killing animals, including all the blood and gore that went with it. What was the reason that whole animals had to be burned? Was God hungry? Capricious? Harsh? Here we explore how even in the Levitical rules for the sacrifice of animals God displayed his grace toward sinful people, a grace fully displayed in the sending of his son as the perfect, final sacrifice.
While God's standards of holiness cannot be compromised, he nevertheless has shown great mercy, even in the Old Testament. Even in the laws he delivered. For sinful man cannot survive the holiness of God's presence, yet God provided, in these "merciless" laws, the way for sinful man to nevertheless enjoy his presence, and benefit from his salvation. Deviation from God's standard is certain death for the deviator, but God provides grace in which there is life.
Leviticus 20:20-26. Why should New Testament believers know about Leviticus? What relevance is the sacrificial system to those of us who are "not under law but under grace"? The reality is that God shows abundant grace even in the provisions of "law" in the Old Testament, and New Testament believers who follow Jesus Christ are nevertheless expected, if they love him, to "obey his commands."
Psalm 32. Even since Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves, men have been attempting to deal with their own sin, their own way. It doesn't work. The Psalmist describes just such an attempt in his own life, which resulted in horrible physical, mental and emotional pain before he realized he needed God to cover his sin.
Ephesians 5:15-21. Paul instructs the Ephesian believers here to walk in a manner worthy of the calling that they received from Jesus Christ. He also told them to know what the will of God is. The challenging thing is that he told them to do these things not as individual believers, but as a group of believers committed to discipling one another, "submitting to one another." The context for this walking, knowing, and submitting is the local church.