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LEVITICUSTHE WAY TOWHOLENESSApril 14, 2013FIRST BAPTIST CHURCHJACKSON, MISSISSIPPIUSA
APRIL MEMORY VERSEMicah 6:8“Mankind, He has toldyou what is good andwhat it is the Lordrequires of you: to actjustly, to l...
and to walk humbly withyour God.” Micah 6:8
Sunday, April 28—175thAnniversary of FirstBaptist JacksonOne Worship at 10:30 a.m.Message by Dr. FrankPage and Music led b...
NO SUNDAY SCHOOLFollowing the 10:30 WorshipService, You are invited toDinner on the Grounds onThe Capitol Lawn.Details of ...
VBS at DOWNTOWNCAMPUSJune 3-7, 20139:00 AM to 12:10 Noonfor children entering 5K inAugust 2013- completionof 6th grade
Last week:CALLED TO HOLINESSExodus 19
How do we become holy?
SALVATIONJustification(of spirit)Sanctification(of soul)Glorification(of body)
1 Thessalonians 5:23HCSB23 “Now may the God ofpeace Himself sanctifyyou completely. And mayyour spirit, soul, and body
be kept sound andblameless for thecoming of our Lord JesusChrist.”1 Thessalonians 5:23HCSB
Hebrews 4:12 HCSB12  “For the word of Godis living and effective andsharper than any double-edged sword, penetratingas far...
marrow. It is able to judgethe ideas and thoughts ofthe heart.”Hebrews 4:12 HCSB
Holiness(Godliness)
2 Peter 1:33 “His divine power hasgiven us everything weneed for life and godlinessthrough our knowledge ofHim who called ...
This week:LEVITICUSTHE WAY TOWHOLENESS
Ray C. Stedman withJames D. Denney (2003).Adventuring through theBible: A ComprehensiveGuide to the Entire Bible.Discovery...
Imagine a large factoryowned by a friend ofyours who was about togive you a tour of thefacility when he wascalled away to ...
As you waited for yourfriend to show you hisoperation, you wanderedout onto the factory floorand looked around.
Your first impression asyou stepped into the hugebuilding was one oftremendous clamor.The noise wasthunderous!
Great machines werepounding away, big trip-hammers were smashingdown, and othermachines were grindingup metal and spitting...
You couldn’t even hearyourself think.Your next impression wasone of mass confusion.
People were running hereand there paying noattention to one anotherand getting in each other’sway.
The machines were allworking away with noapparent harmony orconnection at all.
Then your friend joinedyou and y’all began yourtour of the plant. Heshowed you one area ofthe factory and explainedexactly...
He explained theworkings of variousmachines, and he told youwhat the various workerswere doing on eachmachine.
You went fromdepartment todepartment, and in eachplace he explained howall the seeming chaos ofthe place was actuallycontr...
carefully planned andexecuted in order toproduce a finishedproduct.
Finally, you arrived in theshipping department;there, packaged inglistening shrink-wrapand tucked neatly intocardboard box...
material, was the finishedproduct!
Suddenly, youunderstood the factory.It was not all “sound andfury, signifying nothing,”as you had originallysupposed.It al...
The noise, the activity, theseeming confusion wereall carefully orchestratedto produce the desiredeffect.You were no longe...
Instead, you were amazedand impressed!
The goal of LeviticusReading the book ofLeviticus can be a lot likevisiting a factory withouta guide.
Coming into this book,you find many strangeceremonies and sacrifices,many odd restrictions,and various other detailsthat s...
But the more youunderstand of the book ofLeviticus, the more thesestrange details seem tomerge and become acomplex, cohesi...
relationship, movingtoward a purposeful goal.*What is that goal?*You find it stated clearlyin a verse near the middleof th...
*If you grasp this oneverse (the finishedproduct), you understandthe essence of the entirebook:
Leviticus 20:26 NASB26 “Thus you are to beholy to Me, for Ithe Lord am holy; andI have set you apart fromthe peoples to be...
God is saying to thepeople of Israel,“I have separated youfrom all the nationsaround you in order thatyou might be Mine.”
When we Christians readthis, we must understandthat we are the people ofGod today.
What God said to IsraelHe also says to us, for inthe new relationship wehave in Jesus Christ thereis neither Jew nor Genti...
We are one body inChrist.The promises that appearin picture form in the OldTestament belong also tous who live this side o...
Holiness and WholenessWhen the Lord says to thepeople, “You are to beholy to Me because I, theLord, am holy,” many ofus ha...
“What does that wordholy really mean?”Most of us associate itwith some kind ofgrimness or solemnity.
*We think holy people arethose who look as if theyhave been steeped invinegar or soaked inembalming fluid.*It is easy to t...
*Viewed in that light, theconcept of holiness is notat all attractive to us!*Yet Psalm 29:2 is a versethat speaks of “thes...
Psalm 29:2b NIV“worship the Lord in thesplendor of His holiness.”
*What in the world is sosplendid about holiness?*However, holiness isindeed a splendid thing!
If you want to get at thereal meaning of this word,you must go back to itsoriginal root.
The word holiness isderived from the sameroot as another, muchmore familiar word:wholeness.
Holiness actually means“wholeness,” the state ofbeing complete.And if you readwholeness in place ofholiness everywhere you...
you will be very close towhat the writers ofScripture meant.
Holiness/wholenessmeans to have all theparts that were intendedto be there and to havethem functioning as theywere intende...
So God is really saying toHis people in the book ofLeviticus,“You shall be whole,because I am whole.”God is complete.He is...
There is no blemish inGod.He lives in harmony withHimself and has none ofthe inner conflicts andturmoil that we humansofte...
God is a beautiful Person.He is absolutely what aperson ought to be.He is filled with joy andlove and peace.He lives in wh...
God looks at us in ourbrokenness and says,“You, too, shall bewhole.”We long to be wholepeople.
In life, we are continuallyreminded of our ownbrokenness, of our lack ofwholeness.
We know how much wehurt ourselves and eachother.
We are aware of ourinability to cope with life.We sometimes put up abig facade and try to bluffour way through asthough we...
but inside, we are runningscared.That is a mark of our lackof wholeness.When man first camefrom the hand of God, hewas who...
He was made in the imageand likeness of God.Adam functioned as Godintended man to function.But when sin entered thepicture...
marred and broken.We still have the image,but the likeness is broken.
God knows how to makeus whole -God has made a decisionto heal our brokennessand to make us wholeagain.
He knows how to do it,and He says so:“I am the Lord your God,Who has set you apartfrom the nations”(Leviticus 20:24).
*Our brokenness is rootedin our involvement withthe brokenness of ourown human race.*Our attitudes are wrong.*Our vision o...
*We believe illusions, takethem to be facts, and actupon them.*So God must separate us.*He must break us loosefrom the bon...
attitudes, and reactions ofthose around us (world).*God never forces us tobecome holy.*We become holy only aswe voluntaril...
Voluntarily – by a choiceof our will we choose toparticipate in thesanctification process.Sanctification is impartedto us ...
Learning to trust HimImagine you tried to coaxa doe (a deer, a femaledeer) out of a thicket soyou could feed her anapple f...
She was wild and scared,but she saw the apple andobviously wanted it.
She would venture a fewsteps toward you, thenretreat into the woods,venture forward, thenretreat.
Then she would come outagain, stand still and lookaround for a minute, thencasually graze as if shewere indifferent to tha...
You stood perfectly still,holding out the apple,waiting for her to come toyou in trust.
Now, it was perfectlypossible for that doesimply to walk right upand grab the apple andstart eating it.
You never would havehurt her or tried tocapture her, but she didn’tknow that.You stood there a longtime, at least half an ...
out of the woods.
Finally, she came abouthalfway toward you andstood there with her neckstretched out, trying tomuster the courage toreach f...
Just as you thought shewas going to do it, a fourwheeler passed nearbyand she was gone.You would have had toeat the apple ...
*That is a picture of whatGod contends with inreaching out towardhuman beings.*It takes infinite patienceand love on His p...
doubt, so that we willtrust Him to give us whatwe need.That is why God gave usthe book of Leviticus.
He starts us out inspiritual kindergarten.He starts with picturesand shadows, with visualaids, in order to show uswhat He ...
All the ceremonies andofferings of the OldTestament are shadowsand pictures of JesusChrist.
Christ is as present in thebook of Leviticus as He isin the Gospels, butbecause He is present insymbols and signs, youmust...
Jesus is on every page ofthe Old Testament, youjust have to look moreclosely to see Him there.
Jesus is the focus ofLeviticus, and the themeof this book is that Godhas made Hisholiness/wholenessavailable to us through...
“But,” we might say, “thepeople of the OldTestament didn’t knowthat the pictures andshadows of Leviticuspointed to Jesus!”
True, the Israelites did notfully understand that theOld Testament sacrificesand tabernacle pointed toJesus, but that does...
*They were hurting andbroken and fragmented,just as we are.*Christ was available tothem through the symbolsand pictures of...
They met Him throughthe form of worship thatGod gave them inLeviticus, and as theyplaced their trust in God,they came into...
now have as NewTestament believers.
The sacrifices, rituals, andceremonies of Leviticusare a foreshadowing ofJesus and His savingwork, and they can teachus a ...
needs now.
*This is why Leviticus issuch an important book: Itis not just a historical book.*It is a tremendouslypractical manual on ...
The key theme ofLeviticusWe return to the key verseand the key theme ofLeviticus, found inLeviticus 20:26 -
“You are to be holy[whole] to Me because I,the Lord, am holy[whole], and I have setyou apart from thenations to be My own....
It is important to note theverb tense of that lastphrase.In our English text, it is inthe future tense: “You areto be…My o...
But the Hebrew languageincorporates into this onephrase all three tenses—past, present, and future.It is as if God is sayi...
*If you pursue this ideathroughout the Bible, youcan see how true it is:You were God’s,You are God’s andYou will be God’s ...
“You were Mine”*You may know frompersonal experience thatafter you became aChristian, there was asense in which you hadbel...
He was active andinvolved in your life longbefore you became awareof Him and you realizedthat He had already hadHis hand o...
The apostle Paulexpressed this thoughtwhen he wrote,“God set me apart frombirth” (Galatians 1:15).
Yet prior to his conversionPaul was a fanaticalenemy of Christianity!
This is a verification of theamazing love andpatience of God, Whodraws us to Himself evenwhen we oppose Him.*He pursues us...
God says:“Even though you wereagainst Me, hostile to Me,and fighting Me, youwere Mine and you areMine!”
“You are Mine”Then, in the present tense,God looks at us in ourbrokenness, pain, andimperfection, and Heplaces His loving ...
“You are Mine, right now,just the way you are. Youbelong to Me.”“I love you as you are, notas you ought to be!”
Some years ago, achildren’s service washeld at a rescue mission ina city in the Midwest.One of the children whowas taking ...
old boy with apronounced humpback.As he walked across thestage to give hisrecitation, it was clear thathe was very shy and...
conscious about hisphysical deformity.
As he crossed the stage,one of the cruel boys inthe audience called out,“Hey, kid, where are yougoing with that pack onyou...
The little boy stood thereshaking and sobbing infront of the audience.
A man stood up from theaudience, went to theplatform, and lifted thesobbing boy in his arms.Then he looked out overthe aud...
“Who said that?” heasked.No one answered.“I thought so. It takes areal coward to make aremark like that.
This boy is my son, andhe suffers for somethingthat is not his fault.Whoever you are, you’vehurt this boy for noreason wha...
But I want everyone hereto know that I love thisboy just the way he is.He is mine.He belongs to me, and I’mvery proud of h...
That’s what God is sayingto us.He sees our deformities,our hurts and ourbrokenness, and He says,“You’re Mine! And I loveyo...
“You will be Mine”*But that’s not all.*Because of His powerand wisdom, God alsoaddresses the future, withall the hopefulne...
Father.“You will be Mine,” Hesays in the future tense.“You will be healed andmade whole.
All your blemishes anddeformities will becorrected, all your faultswill be straightened out,all your sins were erased,all ...
You will be whole, for Iam whole.”That is what this book ofLeviticus is about, that iswhat the Bible is about,and that is ...
Ray C. Stedman withJames D. Denney (2003).Adventuring through theBible: A ComprehensiveGuide to the Entire Bible.Discovery...
The structure of LeviticusThe book of Leviticus fallsinto two main divisions.The first part (Leviticuschapters 1-17) speak...
a holy God.It reveals our inadequacyas a sinful people and setsforth God’s answer to thatinadequacy.
The second part (Leviticuschapters 18-27) revealswhat God expects from usin response, instructing usin how to live sanctif...
Outline of the book ofLeviticus:I. How to Approach God(Leviticus 1–17)II. How to Live:Sanctification andHoliness (Leviticu...
Part I: Human need inapproaching a holy GodThe first seventeenchapters of Leviticus areall about how we, assinful people, ...
They contain fourelements that establishhuman need and revealwhat we are like.
The first is a series of fiveofferings that symbolize indifferent ways theoffering of Jesus Christupon the cross for oursi...
Perhaps God gave us fivefingers on each hand sothat we can remember thefive offerings:
First element: a series offive offerings1. the burnt offering2. the meal offering3. the peace offering4. the sin offering5...
These are all pictures ofwhat Jesus Christ does forus, but they are alsopictures of thefundamental needs ofhuman life.
They speak of the twoessentials for humanexistence: love andresponsibility.We can never be completeif we are not loved or ...
Love is an essentialingredient of life.Nothing harms, distorts,disfigures, or injures aperson more than to denylove to tha...
But there is anotheressential:In order to be whole, inorder to have self-respectand self-worth, we musthave a sense ofresp...
We must be able toaccomplish what isworthwhile.So we need both: love andresponsibility.
Second element: thepriesthoodThe second element in thefirst seventeen chapters isthe priesthood.
In the Old Testament, thepriesthood was comprisedsolely of the sons of Levi(which is where Leviticusgets its name).
But the priesthood takes anew form in the NewTestament.First there is our Lord andHigh Priest, Jesus Christ,Who has pierce...
of Holies, and given usfree access to God theFather.
Second is the priesthoodof all believers, the bodyof Christ, where we are allmade priests (1 Peter 2:5).We love one anothe...
encourage one another,exhort one another, andperform for one anotherall the functions that, inthe Old Testament, wereperfo...
That is why we need eachother in the body ofChrist.
Third element: astandard of truthThe third element that wesee in these first seventeenchapters is the revelationof a stand...
By this standard we areable to tell the differencebetween the true and thefalse, the phony and thereal the helpful and the...
Isn’t it strange thathuman beings in theirnatural condition cannottell the difference?
That is why there aremillions of people whoare doing things that theythink are helpful but thatend up to be destructive—an...
Because God is loving, Hepoints us to the truth andwarns us to avoid theactions that woulddestroy us.
Fourth element: anopportunity to respondto GodThe fourth and finalelement that we see inthese first seventeenchapters is a...
to respond to God.This opportunity iscompletely voluntary.God never imposes Hiswill on any of us.
This opportunity isprovided by means ofsomething called “the Dayof Atonement.”
If, when we thoroughlyunderstand our need andGod’s provision to meet it,we say no to Him, He willlet us.But we must recogn...
to the moment ofopportunity again.
God always gives us along period ofpreparation in which Heleads us into a fullunderstanding of thechoice that He sets befo...
Him tends to beprogressive, resulting in agradual hardening of ourhearts.*We reach a point whereour rejection of Himbecome...
Part II: Holy living forthe people of a holy GodThe second section of thebook, chapters 18 through27, describes the holy,s...
This section of Leviticus isall about how we shouldlive as obedient peoplewho belong to a holy God.Notice that God does no...
about the provision Hehas made to enable us toapproach Him.First, He discusses thepower by which we are toact, then He tal...
We in the church often getthis backward.A great deal of damagehas been done to peopleby insisting that theybehave in a cer...
understanding of thepower by which to do so.
New Christians and non-Christians are sometimestaught that they must liveup to a certain standardbefore God will acceptthem.
That is totally wrong!That is the deadly,legalistic lie of Satan,designed to keep peopleaway from God’s truthand out of Go...
And that is what Godendeavors to correct in thebook of Leviticus.
He wants us tounderstand that He hasfirst made the provision,and His provision givesus the basis upon whichto build a holy...
First element: the bloodThe second part ofLeviticus, like the first, isbuilt upon four essentialelements.
First, there is a need tounderstand the basis forwholeness, which isblood.Anyone who has read theOld Testament knows thati...
In fact, a river of bloodflows throughout thethirty-nine books of theOld Testament.
There are sacrifices uponsacrifices, includingsacrifices of bulls, calves,goats, sheep, and birds ofall kinds.Why all this...
Because God is trying toimpress us with afundamental fact:Our sin condition runsvery deep and can besolved only by a death...
The death that is picturedin each and every one ofthese animal sacrifices is,of course, the death ofGod’s only Son, JesusC...
Second element: thepractice of loveThe second element thatruns through theconcluding part ofLeviticus is the practice oflo...
relationships of life.The Bible is intenselypractical.It is not nearly soconcerned with what youdo in the tabernacle aswha...
as a result of having beento the tabernacle.
So this book deals withrelationships in the family,among friends, and withsociety in general.It shows us exactly thekind o...
in all these areas of life.
Third element: theenjoyment of GodThe third element in thislast section is theenjoyment of God—Hispresence and His power.
This section tells us howto live in relationship toGod, how to worshipGod, and how toexperience the livingpresence of God!
That’s a great thing toknow because we will bein His presence forever!
The most important thingin life is not rituals andlaws but an experience ofthe living God Who isbehind all the rituals and...
Fourth element: thechoice of lifeThe fourth and finalelement is the choice thatGod calls us to make.
He makes us aware of theimportant issues at stake,of how our entire liveshang in the balance, andthat a decision is requir...
God shows us that, in thefinal analysis, the choice isentirely ours.
God never says, “I’mgoing to make you leaveyour misery.”Rather, He says,“If you prefer beingbroken and don’t want tobe hea...
right where you are. But ifyou want life, then this iswhat you must choose.”*God never forces His willon us, but He does e...
The key theme ofLeviticusWe return to the key verseand the key theme ofLeviticus, found inLeviticus 20:26
“You are to be holy[whole] to Me because I,the Lord, am holy[whole], and I have setyou apart from thenations to be My own.”
It is important to note theverb tense of that lastphrase.In our English text, it is inthe future tense: “You areto be…my o...
But the Hebrew languageincorporates into this onephrase all three tenses—past, present, and future.It is as if God is sayi...
If you pursue this ideathroughout the Bible, youcan see how true it is.You may know fromexperience that after youbecame a ...
sense in which you hadbelonged to God all along.He was active andinvolved in your life longbefore you became awareof Him.
The apostle Paulexpressed this thoughtwhen he wrote,“God set me apart frombirth” (Gal. 1:15).
Yet prior to his conversionPaul was a fanaticalenemy of Christianity!
This is a verification of theamazing love andpatience of God, Whodraws us to Himself evenwhen we oppose Him.
“You are Mine,” God saysto us.“Even though you areagainst Me, hostile to Me,and fighting Me, you areMine!”
“You are Mine”Then, in the present tense,God looks at us in ourbrokenness, pain, andimperfection, and Heplaces His loving ...
“You are Mine, right now,just the way you are. Youbelong to Me.”
Some years ago, achildren’s service washeld at a rescue mission ina city in the Midwest.One of the children whowas taking ...
old boy with apronounced humpback.As he walked across thestage to give hisrecitation, it was clear thathe was very shy and...
conscious about hisphysical deformity.
As he crossed the stage,one of the cruel boys inthe audience called out,“Hey, kid, where are yougoing with that pack onyou...
The little boy stoodshaking and sobbing infront of the audience.
A man stood up from theaudience, went to theplatform, and lifted thesobbing boy in his arms.Then he looked out overthe aud...
“Who said that?” heasked.No one answered.“I thought so. It takes areal coward to make aremark like that.
This boy is my son, andhe suffers for somethingthat is not his fault.Whoever you are, you’vehurt this boy for noreason wha...
But I want everyone hereto know that I love thisboy just the way he is.He is mine.He belongs to me, and I’mvery proud of h...
That’s what God is sayingto us.He sees our hurt and ourbrokenness, and He says,“You’re Mine! And I loveyou just the way yo...
“You will be Mine”But that isn’t all.Because of His power andwisdom, God alsoaddresses the future, withall the hopefulness...
Father.“You will be Mine,” Hesays in the future tense.“You will be healed andmade whole.
All your blemishes anddeformities will becorrected, all your faultswill be straightened out,all your sins will beerased, a...
You will be whole, for Iam whole.”That is what this book ofLeviticus is about, that iswhat the Bible is about,and that is ...
Ray C. Stedman withJames D. Denney (2003).Adventuring through theBible: A ComprehensiveGuide to the Entire Bible.Discovery...
04 April 14, 2013, Leviticus, The Way To Wholeness
04 April 14, 2013, Leviticus, The Way To Wholeness
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04 April 14, 2013, Leviticus, The Way To Wholeness
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04 April 14, 2013, Leviticus, The Way To Wholeness

  1. 1. LEVITICUSTHE WAY TOWHOLENESSApril 14, 2013FIRST BAPTIST CHURCHJACKSON, MISSISSIPPIUSA
  2. 2. APRIL MEMORY VERSEMicah 6:8“Mankind, He has toldyou what is good andwhat it is the Lordrequires of you: to actjustly, to love faithfulness,
  3. 3. and to walk humbly withyour God.” Micah 6:8
  4. 4. Sunday, April 28—175thAnniversary of FirstBaptist JacksonOne Worship at 10:30 a.m.Message by Dr. FrankPage and Music led byLarry Black
  5. 5. NO SUNDAY SCHOOLFollowing the 10:30 WorshipService, You are invited toDinner on the Grounds onThe Capitol Lawn.Details of what to bring andinstructions are in TheBaptist Record.
  6. 6. VBS at DOWNTOWNCAMPUSJune 3-7, 20139:00 AM to 12:10 Noonfor children entering 5K inAugust 2013- completionof 6th grade
  7. 7. Last week:CALLED TO HOLINESSExodus 19
  8. 8. How do we become holy?
  9. 9. SALVATIONJustification(of spirit)Sanctification(of soul)Glorification(of body)
  10. 10. 1 Thessalonians 5:23HCSB23 “Now may the God ofpeace Himself sanctifyyou completely. And mayyour spirit, soul, and body
  11. 11. be kept sound andblameless for thecoming of our Lord JesusChrist.”1 Thessalonians 5:23HCSB
  12. 12. Hebrews 4:12 HCSB12  “For the word of Godis living and effective andsharper than any double-edged sword, penetratingas far as the separation ofsoul and spirit, joints and
  13. 13. marrow. It is able to judgethe ideas and thoughts ofthe heart.”Hebrews 4:12 HCSB
  14. 14. Holiness(Godliness)
  15. 15. 2 Peter 1:33 “His divine power hasgiven us everything weneed for life and godlinessthrough our knowledge ofHim who called us by Hisown glory and goodness.”
  16. 16. This week:LEVITICUSTHE WAY TOWHOLENESS
  17. 17. Ray C. Stedman withJames D. Denney (2003).Adventuring through theBible: A ComprehensiveGuide to the Entire Bible.Discovery HousePublishers
  18. 18. Imagine a large factoryowned by a friend ofyours who was about togive you a tour of thefacility when he wascalled away to deal with apressing issue.
  19. 19. As you waited for yourfriend to show you hisoperation, you wanderedout onto the factory floorand looked around.
  20. 20. Your first impression asyou stepped into the hugebuilding was one oftremendous clamor.The noise wasthunderous!
  21. 21. Great machines werepounding away, big trip-hammers were smashingdown, and othermachines were grindingup metal and spitting outparts.
  22. 22. You couldn’t even hearyourself think.Your next impression wasone of mass confusion.
  23. 23. People were running hereand there paying noattention to one anotherand getting in each other’sway.
  24. 24. The machines were allworking away with noapparent harmony orconnection at all.
  25. 25. Then your friend joinedyou and y’all began yourtour of the plant. Heshowed you one area ofthe factory and explainedexactly what they weredoing there.
  26. 26. He explained theworkings of variousmachines, and he told youwhat the various workerswere doing on eachmachine.
  27. 27. You went fromdepartment todepartment, and in eachplace he explained howall the seeming chaos ofthe place was actuallycontrolled chaos, all
  28. 28. carefully planned andexecuted in order toproduce a finishedproduct.
  29. 29. Finally, you arrived in theshipping department;there, packaged inglistening shrink-wrapand tucked neatly intocardboard boxes withStyrofoam packing
  30. 30. material, was the finishedproduct!
  31. 31. Suddenly, youunderstood the factory.It was not all “sound andfury, signifying nothing,”as you had originallysupposed.It all made perfect sense.
  32. 32. The noise, the activity, theseeming confusion wereall carefully orchestratedto produce the desiredeffect.You were no longerconfused.
  33. 33. Instead, you were amazedand impressed!
  34. 34. The goal of LeviticusReading the book ofLeviticus can be a lot likevisiting a factory withouta guide.
  35. 35. Coming into this book,you find many strangeceremonies and sacrifices,many odd restrictions,and various other detailsthat seem practicallymeaningless.
  36. 36. But the more youunderstand of the book ofLeviticus, the more thesestrange details seem tomerge and become acomplex, cohesive,intricately articulated
  37. 37. relationship, movingtoward a purposeful goal.*What is that goal?*You find it stated clearlyin a verse near the middleof the book.
  38. 38. *If you grasp this oneverse (the finishedproduct), you understandthe essence of the entirebook:
  39. 39. Leviticus 20:26 NASB26 “Thus you are to beholy to Me, for Ithe Lord am holy; andI have set you apart fromthe peoples to be Mine.”
  40. 40. God is saying to thepeople of Israel,“I have separated youfrom all the nationsaround you in order thatyou might be Mine.”
  41. 41. When we Christians readthis, we must understandthat we are the people ofGod today.
  42. 42. What God said to IsraelHe also says to us, for inthe new relationship wehave in Jesus Christ thereis neither Jew nor Gentile.
  43. 43. We are one body inChrist.The promises that appearin picture form in the OldTestament belong also tous who live this side ofthe cross.
  44. 44. Holiness and WholenessWhen the Lord says to thepeople, “You are to beholy to Me because I, theLord, am holy,” many ofus have to ask ourselves,
  45. 45. “What does that wordholy really mean?”Most of us associate itwith some kind ofgrimness or solemnity.
  46. 46. *We think holy people arethose who look as if theyhave been steeped invinegar or soaked inembalming fluid.*It is easy to think of theword that way.
  47. 47. *Viewed in that light, theconcept of holiness is notat all attractive to us!*Yet Psalm 29:2 is a versethat speaks of “thesplendor of His holiness.”
  48. 48. Psalm 29:2b NIV“worship the Lord in thesplendor of His holiness.”
  49. 49. *What in the world is sosplendid about holiness?*However, holiness isindeed a splendid thing!
  50. 50. If you want to get at thereal meaning of this word,you must go back to itsoriginal root.
  51. 51. The word holiness isderived from the sameroot as another, muchmore familiar word:wholeness.
  52. 52. Holiness actually means“wholeness,” the state ofbeing complete.And if you readwholeness in place ofholiness everywhere youfind it in the Bible,
  53. 53. you will be very close towhat the writers ofScripture meant.
  54. 54. Holiness/wholenessmeans to have all theparts that were intendedto be there and to havethem functioning as theywere intended to function.
  55. 55. So God is really saying toHis people in the book ofLeviticus,“You shall be whole,because I am whole.”God is complete.He is perfect.
  56. 56. There is no blemish inGod.He lives in harmony withHimself and has none ofthe inner conflicts andturmoil that we humansoften experience.
  57. 57. God is a beautiful Person.He is absolutely what aperson ought to be.He is filled with joy andlove and peace.He lives in wholeness.
  58. 58. God looks at us in ourbrokenness and says,“You, too, shall bewhole.”We long to be wholepeople.
  59. 59. In life, we are continuallyreminded of our ownbrokenness, of our lack ofwholeness.
  60. 60. We know how much wehurt ourselves and eachother.
  61. 61. We are aware of ourinability to cope with life.We sometimes put up abig facade and try to bluffour way through asthough we are able tohandle anything,
  62. 62. but inside, we are runningscared.That is a mark of our lackof wholeness.When man first camefrom the hand of God, hewas whole.
  63. 63. He was made in the imageand likeness of God.Adam functioned as Godintended man to function.But when sin entered thepicture, the image andlikeness of God was
  64. 64. marred and broken.We still have the image,but the likeness is broken.
  65. 65. God knows how to makeus whole -God has made a decisionto heal our brokennessand to make us wholeagain.
  66. 66. He knows how to do it,and He says so:“I am the Lord your God,Who has set you apartfrom the nations”(Leviticus 20:24).
  67. 67. *Our brokenness is rootedin our involvement withthe brokenness of ourown human race.*Our attitudes are wrong.*Our vision of life isdistorted.
  68. 68. *We believe illusions, takethem to be facts, and actupon them.*So God must separate us.*He must break us loosefrom the bondage of thethought patterns,
  69. 69. attitudes, and reactions ofthose around us (world).*God never forces us tobecome holy.*We become holy only aswe voluntarily trust Godand respond to His love.
  70. 70. Voluntarily – by a choiceof our will we choose toparticipate in thesanctification process.Sanctification is impartedto us as we allow Him tomake us holy (whole).
  71. 71. Learning to trust HimImagine you tried to coaxa doe (a deer, a femaledeer) out of a thicket soyou could feed her anapple from your hands.
  72. 72. She was wild and scared,but she saw the apple andobviously wanted it.
  73. 73. She would venture a fewsteps toward you, thenretreat into the woods,venture forward, thenretreat.
  74. 74. Then she would come outagain, stand still and lookaround for a minute, thencasually graze as if shewere indifferent to thatapple.
  75. 75. You stood perfectly still,holding out the apple,waiting for her to come toyou in trust.
  76. 76. Now, it was perfectlypossible for that doesimply to walk right upand grab the apple andstart eating it.
  77. 77. You never would havehurt her or tried tocapture her, but she didn’tknow that.You stood there a longtime, at least half an hour,trying to get her to come
  78. 78. out of the woods.
  79. 79. Finally, she came abouthalfway toward you andstood there with her neckstretched out, trying tomuster the courage toreach for that apple.
  80. 80. Just as you thought shewas going to do it, a fourwheeler passed nearbyand she was gone.You would have had toeat the apple yourself!
  81. 81. *That is a picture of whatGod contends with inreaching out towardhuman beings.*It takes infinite patienceand love on His part toovercome our fear and
  82. 82. doubt, so that we willtrust Him to give us whatwe need.That is why God gave usthe book of Leviticus.
  83. 83. He starts us out inspiritual kindergarten.He starts with picturesand shadows, with visualaids, in order to show uswhat He is going to dosomeday.
  84. 84. All the ceremonies andofferings of the OldTestament are shadowsand pictures of JesusChrist.
  85. 85. Christ is as present in thebook of Leviticus as He isin the Gospels, butbecause He is present insymbols and signs, youmust look carefully to seeHis image.
  86. 86. Jesus is on every page ofthe Old Testament, youjust have to look moreclosely to see Him there.
  87. 87. Jesus is the focus ofLeviticus, and the themeof this book is that Godhas made Hisholiness/wholenessavailable to us throughJesus Himself.
  88. 88. “But,” we might say, “thepeople of the OldTestament didn’t knowthat the pictures andshadows of Leviticuspointed to Jesus!”
  89. 89. True, the Israelites did notfully understand that theOld Testament sacrificesand tabernacle pointed toJesus, but that doesn’tmatter.
  90. 90. *They were hurting andbroken and fragmented,just as we are.*Christ was available tothem through the symbolsand pictures of Leviticus.
  91. 91. They met Him throughthe form of worship thatGod gave them inLeviticus, and as theyplaced their trust in God,they came into the samejoy and peace that we
  92. 92. now have as NewTestament believers.
  93. 93. The sacrifices, rituals, andceremonies of Leviticusare a foreshadowing ofJesus and His savingwork, and they can teachus a great deal about howJesus Christ can meet our
  94. 94. needs now.
  95. 95. *This is why Leviticus issuch an important book: Itis not just a historical book.*It is a tremendouslypractical manual on how tolive for Christ.
  96. 96. The key theme ofLeviticusWe return to the key verseand the key theme ofLeviticus, found inLeviticus 20:26 -
  97. 97. “You are to be holy[whole] to Me because I,the Lord, am holy[whole], and I have setyou apart from thenations to be My own.”Leviticus 20:26
  98. 98. It is important to note theverb tense of that lastphrase.In our English text, it is inthe future tense: “You areto be…My own.”
  99. 99. But the Hebrew languageincorporates into this onephrase all three tenses—past, present, and future.It is as if God is saying,“You were Mine, you areMine, you will be Mine.”
  100. 100. *If you pursue this ideathroughout the Bible, youcan see how true it is:You were God’s,You are God’s andYou will be God’s ownpossession.
  101. 101. “You were Mine”*You may know frompersonal experience thatafter you became aChristian, there was asense in which you hadbelonged to God all along.
  102. 102. He was active andinvolved in your life longbefore you became awareof Him and you realizedthat He had already hadHis hand on you for along time.
  103. 103. The apostle Paulexpressed this thoughtwhen he wrote,“God set me apart frombirth” (Galatians 1:15).
  104. 104. Yet prior to his conversionPaul was a fanaticalenemy of Christianity!
  105. 105. This is a verification of theamazing love andpatience of God, Whodraws us to Himself evenwhen we oppose Him.*He pursues us with apardon in His hand.
  106. 106. God says:“Even though you wereagainst Me, hostile to Me,and fighting Me, youwere Mine and you areMine!”
  107. 107. “You are Mine”Then, in the present tense,God looks at us in ourbrokenness, pain, andimperfection, and Heplaces His loving hand onus and says,
  108. 108. “You are Mine, right now,just the way you are. Youbelong to Me.”“I love you as you are, notas you ought to be!”
  109. 109. Some years ago, achildren’s service washeld at a rescue mission ina city in the Midwest.One of the children whowas taking part in theprogram was a six-year-
  110. 110. old boy with apronounced humpback.As he walked across thestage to give hisrecitation, it was clear thathe was very shy andafraid and very self-
  111. 111. conscious about hisphysical deformity.
  112. 112. As he crossed the stage,one of the cruel boys inthe audience called out,“Hey, kid, where are yougoing with that pack onyour back!”
  113. 113. The little boy stood thereshaking and sobbing infront of the audience.
  114. 114. A man stood up from theaudience, went to theplatform, and lifted thesobbing boy in his arms.Then he looked out overthe audience.
  115. 115. “Who said that?” heasked.No one answered.“I thought so. It takes areal coward to make aremark like that.
  116. 116. This boy is my son, andhe suffers for somethingthat is not his fault.Whoever you are, you’vehurt this boy for noreason whatsoever.
  117. 117. But I want everyone hereto know that I love thisboy just the way he is.He is mine.He belongs to me, and I’mvery proud of him.”
  118. 118. That’s what God is sayingto us.He sees our deformities,our hurts and ourbrokenness, and He says,“You’re Mine! And I loveyou just the way you are!”
  119. 119. “You will be Mine”*But that’s not all.*Because of His powerand wisdom, God alsoaddresses the future, withall the hopefulness andoptimism of a loving
  120. 120. Father.“You will be Mine,” Hesays in the future tense.“You will be healed andmade whole.
  121. 121. All your blemishes anddeformities will becorrected, all your faultswill be straightened out,all your sins were erased,all your tangledrelationships unsnarled.
  122. 122. You will be whole, for Iam whole.”That is what this book ofLeviticus is about, that iswhat the Bible is about,and that is what JesusChrist is about!
  123. 123. Ray C. Stedman withJames D. Denney (2003).Adventuring through theBible: A ComprehensiveGuide to the Entire Bible.Discovery HousePublishers
  124. 124. The structure of LeviticusThe book of Leviticus fallsinto two main divisions.The first part (Leviticuschapters 1-17) speaks tohuman need and tells ushow we should approach
  125. 125. a holy God.It reveals our inadequacyas a sinful people and setsforth God’s answer to thatinadequacy.
  126. 126. The second part (Leviticuschapters 18-27) revealswhat God expects from usin response, instructing usin how to live sanctified,whole (holy) lives, distinctfrom the world around us.
  127. 127. Outline of the book ofLeviticus:I. How to Approach God(Leviticus 1–17)II. How to Live:Sanctification andHoliness (Leviticus 18–27)
  128. 128. Part I: Human need inapproaching a holy GodThe first seventeenchapters of Leviticus areall about how we, assinful people, canapproach God.
  129. 129. They contain fourelements that establishhuman need and revealwhat we are like.
  130. 130. The first is a series of fiveofferings that symbolize indifferent ways theoffering of Jesus Christupon the cross for oursins.
  131. 131. Perhaps God gave us fivefingers on each hand sothat we can remember thefive offerings:
  132. 132. First element: a series offive offerings1. the burnt offering2. the meal offering3. the peace offering4. the sin offering5. the trespass offering
  133. 133. These are all pictures ofwhat Jesus Christ does forus, but they are alsopictures of thefundamental needs ofhuman life.
  134. 134. They speak of the twoessentials for humanexistence: love andresponsibility.We can never be completeif we are not loved or ifwe do not love.
  135. 135. Love is an essentialingredient of life.Nothing harms, distorts,disfigures, or injures aperson more than to denylove to that person.
  136. 136. But there is anotheressential:In order to be whole, inorder to have self-respectand self-worth, we musthave a sense ofresponsibility.
  137. 137. We must be able toaccomplish what isworthwhile.So we need both: love andresponsibility.
  138. 138. Second element: thepriesthoodThe second element in thefirst seventeen chapters isthe priesthood.
  139. 139. In the Old Testament, thepriesthood was comprisedsolely of the sons of Levi(which is where Leviticusgets its name).
  140. 140. But the priesthood takes anew form in the NewTestament.First there is our Lord andHigh Priest, Jesus Christ,Who has pierced the veilof the tabernacle, the Holy
  141. 141. of Holies, and given usfree access to God theFather.
  142. 142. Second is the priesthoodof all believers, the bodyof Christ, where we are allmade priests (1 Peter 2:5).We love one another,confess to one another,pray for one another,
  143. 143. encourage one another,exhort one another, andperform for one anotherall the functions that, inthe Old Testament, wereperformed by the priestlyclass, the sons of Levi.
  144. 144. That is why we need eachother in the body ofChrist.
  145. 145. Third element: astandard of truthThe third element that wesee in these first seventeenchapters is the revelationof a standard of truth.
  146. 146. By this standard we areable to tell the differencebetween the true and thefalse, the phony and thereal the helpful and thehurtful, the life-givingand the deadly.
  147. 147. Isn’t it strange thathuman beings in theirnatural condition cannottell the difference?
  148. 148. That is why there aremillions of people whoare doing things that theythink are helpful but thatend up to be destructive—and they don’tunderstand why!
  149. 149. Because God is loving, Hepoints us to the truth andwarns us to avoid theactions that woulddestroy us.
  150. 150. Fourth element: anopportunity to respondto GodThe fourth and finalelement that we see inthese first seventeenchapters is an opportunity
  151. 151. to respond to God.This opportunity iscompletely voluntary.God never imposes Hiswill on any of us.
  152. 152. This opportunity isprovided by means ofsomething called “the Dayof Atonement.”
  153. 153. If, when we thoroughlyunderstand our need andGod’s provision to meet it,we say no to Him, He willlet us.But we must recognizethat we may never return
  154. 154. to the moment ofopportunity again.
  155. 155. God always gives us along period ofpreparation in which Heleads us into a fullunderstanding of thechoice that He sets beforeus; but our rejection of
  156. 156. Him tends to beprogressive, resulting in agradual hardening of ourhearts.*We reach a point whereour rejection of Himbecomes tragically final.
  157. 157. Part II: Holy living forthe people of a holy GodThe second section of thebook, chapters 18 through27, describes the holy,sanctified lifestyle thatGod makes possible.
  158. 158. This section of Leviticus isall about how we shouldlive as obedient peoplewho belong to a holy God.Notice that God does nottell us how we should liveuntil He has first told us
  159. 159. about the provision Hehas made to enable us toapproach Him.First, He discusses thepower by which we are toact, then He talks aboutour behavior.
  160. 160. We in the church often getthis backward.A great deal of damagehas been done to peopleby insisting that theybehave in a certain waywithout giving them any
  161. 161. understanding of thepower by which to do so.
  162. 162. New Christians and non-Christians are sometimestaught that they must liveup to a certain standardbefore God will acceptthem.
  163. 163. That is totally wrong!That is the deadly,legalistic lie of Satan,designed to keep peopleaway from God’s truthand out of God’s church.
  164. 164. And that is what Godendeavors to correct in thebook of Leviticus.
  165. 165. He wants us tounderstand that He hasfirst made the provision,and His provision givesus the basis upon whichto build a holy lifestyle.
  166. 166. First element: the bloodThe second part ofLeviticus, like the first, isbuilt upon four essentialelements.
  167. 167. First, there is a need tounderstand the basis forwholeness, which isblood.Anyone who has read theOld Testament knows thatit is full of blood.
  168. 168. In fact, a river of bloodflows throughout thethirty-nine books of theOld Testament.
  169. 169. There are sacrifices uponsacrifices, includingsacrifices of bulls, calves,goats, sheep, and birds ofall kinds.Why all this bloodshed?
  170. 170. Because God is trying toimpress us with afundamental fact:Our sin condition runsvery deep and can besolved only by a deathpenalty.
  171. 171. The death that is picturedin each and every one ofthese animal sacrifices is,of course, the death ofGod’s only Son, JesusChrist.
  172. 172. Second element: thepractice of loveThe second element thatruns through theconcluding part ofLeviticus is the practice oflove in all the
  173. 173. relationships of life.The Bible is intenselypractical.It is not nearly soconcerned with what youdo in the tabernacle aswhat you do in the home
  174. 174. as a result of having beento the tabernacle.
  175. 175. So this book deals withrelationships in the family,among friends, and withsociety in general.It shows us exactly thekind of love relationshipthat God makes possible
  176. 176. in all these areas of life.
  177. 177. Third element: theenjoyment of GodThe third element in thislast section is theenjoyment of God—Hispresence and His power.
  178. 178. This section tells us howto live in relationship toGod, how to worshipGod, and how toexperience the livingpresence of God!
  179. 179. That’s a great thing toknow because we will bein His presence forever!
  180. 180. The most important thingin life is not rituals andlaws but an experience ofthe living God Who isbehind all the rituals andlaws!
  181. 181. Fourth element: thechoice of lifeThe fourth and finalelement is the choice thatGod calls us to make.
  182. 182. He makes us aware of theimportant issues at stake,of how our entire liveshang in the balance, andthat a decision is requiredof us.
  183. 183. God shows us that, in thefinal analysis, the choice isentirely ours.
  184. 184. God never says, “I’mgoing to make you leaveyour misery.”Rather, He says,“If you prefer beingbroken and don’t want tobe healed, you can stay
  185. 185. right where you are. But ifyou want life, then this iswhat you must choose.”*God never forces His willon us, but He does expecta response. The choice isours to make.
  186. 186. The key theme ofLeviticusWe return to the key verseand the key theme ofLeviticus, found inLeviticus 20:26
  187. 187. “You are to be holy[whole] to Me because I,the Lord, am holy[whole], and I have setyou apart from thenations to be My own.”
  188. 188. It is important to note theverb tense of that lastphrase.In our English text, it is inthe future tense: “You areto be…my own.”
  189. 189. But the Hebrew languageincorporates into this onephrase all three tenses—past, present, and future.It is as if God is saying,“You were mine, you aremine, you shall be mine.”
  190. 190. If you pursue this ideathroughout the Bible, youcan see how true it is.You may know fromexperience that after youbecame a Christian, yourealized that there was a
  191. 191. sense in which you hadbelonged to God all along.He was active andinvolved in your life longbefore you became awareof Him.
  192. 192. The apostle Paulexpressed this thoughtwhen he wrote,“God set me apart frombirth” (Gal. 1:15).
  193. 193. Yet prior to his conversionPaul was a fanaticalenemy of Christianity!
  194. 194. This is a verification of theamazing love andpatience of God, Whodraws us to Himself evenwhen we oppose Him.
  195. 195. “You are Mine,” God saysto us.“Even though you areagainst Me, hostile to Me,and fighting Me, you areMine!”
  196. 196. “You are Mine”Then, in the present tense,God looks at us in ourbrokenness, pain, andimperfection, and Heplaces His loving hand onus and says,
  197. 197. “You are Mine, right now,just the way you are. Youbelong to Me.”
  198. 198. Some years ago, achildren’s service washeld at a rescue mission ina city in the Midwest.One of the children whowas taking part in theprogram was a six-year-
  199. 199. old boy with apronounced humpback.As he walked across thestage to give hisrecitation, it was clear thathe was very shy andafraid and very self-
  200. 200. conscious about hisphysical deformity.
  201. 201. As he crossed the stage,one of the cruel boys inthe audience called out,“Hey, kid, where are yougoing with that pack onyour back!”
  202. 202. The little boy stoodshaking and sobbing infront of the audience.
  203. 203. A man stood up from theaudience, went to theplatform, and lifted thesobbing boy in his arms.Then he looked out overthe audience.
  204. 204. “Who said that?” heasked.No one answered.“I thought so. It takes areal coward to make aremark like that.
  205. 205. This boy is my son, andhe suffers for somethingthat is not his fault.Whoever you are, you’vehurt this boy for noreason whatsoever.
  206. 206. But I want everyone hereto know that I love thisboy just the way he is.He is mine.He belongs to me, and I’mvery proud of him.”
  207. 207. That’s what God is sayingto us.He sees our hurt and ourbrokenness, and He says,“You’re Mine! And I loveyou just the way you are!”
  208. 208. “You will be Mine”But that isn’t all.Because of His power andwisdom, God alsoaddresses the future, withall the hopefulness andoptimism of a loving
  209. 209. Father.“You will be Mine,” Hesays in the future tense.“You will be healed andmade whole.
  210. 210. All your blemishes anddeformities will becorrected, all your faultswill be straightened out,all your sins will beerased, all your tangledrelationships unsnarled.
  211. 211. You will be whole, for Iam whole.”That is what this book ofLeviticus is about, that iswhat the Bible is about,and that is what JesusChrist is about.
  212. 212. Ray C. Stedman withJames D. Denney (2003).Adventuring through theBible: A ComprehensiveGuide to the Entire Bible.Discovery HousePublishers

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