The Offerings in Leviticus (2 of 2)

Leviticus offerings 2

(Continued)

4. Sin Offering
Lev 4:2-3 Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If a person sins unintentionally in any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and commits any of them, if the anointed priest sins so as to bring guilt on the people, then let him offer to the LORD a bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed.
• Lev 4:20 He shall also do with the bull just as he did with the bull of the sin offering; thus he shall do with it. So the priest shall make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven.

This is to atone for unintentional sins committed unknowingly, where restitution is not possible, not for willful defiance against God. It is also for cleansing from ceremonial uncleanness.

5. Guilt Offering
Lev 5:6 He shall also bring his guilt offering to the LORD for his sin which he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a goat as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin.
• Lev 5:15-16 If a person acts unfaithfully and sins unintentionally against the LORD’S holy things, then he shall bring his guilt offering to the LORD: a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation in silver by shekels, in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering. He shall make restitution for that which he has sinned against the holy thing, and shall add to it a fifth part of it and give it to the priest. The priest shall then make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and it will be forgiven him.

This is also for unintentional sins committed unknowingly, but makes restitution by repaying the damage plus a payment for compensation.

Scholars further distinguish which are voluntary (1 to 3) versus mandatory (4 and 5), and which are sweet aroma (1 to 3) versus non-sweet aroma (4 and 5). They also examine what is the Lord’s portion, the priest’s portion, and the offerer’s portion. Furthermore, each offering is a “type” of Christ representing aspects of His character and/or ministry, which we will reserve for another time.

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The Offerings in Leviticus (1 of 2)

Levitical offerings 1

Q. What is the significance of the bread, grain and drink offerings in Leviticus?

A. The Levitical offerings are usually discussed in relation to their function, not the ingredients used. There are five offerings as follows:

1. Burnt Offering
Lev 1:3-4 If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer it, a male without defect; he shall offer it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the LORD. He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf.

This is the most basic offering in which the whole animal (except the skin) is burned on the altar and offered to God. No portion is to be eaten by the worshipper. It signifies atonement on behalf of the sinner so that he may be accepted before the Lord, and complete surrender to God.

2. Grain Offering
Lev 2:1 Now when anyone presents a grain offering as an offering to the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour, and he shall pour oil on it and put frankincense on it.
• Lev 2:11 ‘No grain offering, which you bring to the LORD, shall be made with leaven, for you shall not offer up in smoke any leaven or any honey as an offering by fire to the LORD
• Lev 2:13 Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.

This is the only offering without the shedding of blood, a “living” sacrifice. It is a gift to God from the best of the worshipper’s fruit of the land, in thanksgiving to his acceptance before God. The oil is emblematic of the Holy Spirit, the frankincense of prayer, no leaven representing no evil, and salt symbolic of an enduring covenant.

3. Peace Offering
Lev 3:1 Now if his offering is a sacrifice of peace offerings, if he is going to offer out of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without defect before the LORD.
• Lev 7:15 Now as for the flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offerings, it shall be eaten on the day of his offering; he shall not leave any of it over until morning.

This is the only offering in which the offerer shared in the meat of the sacrifice, and signifies the fellowship between God and men. There are three types of peace offerings:
Thanksgiving offering – gratitude for blessing without asking
o Lev 7:12 If he offers it by way of thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes of well stirred fine flour mixed with oil.
Votive or freewill offering – gratitude for blessing granted in response to a vow, or freewill without regard to any specific blessing
o Lev 7:16 But if the sacrifice of his offering is a votive or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice, and on the next day what is left of it may be eaten;
Wave offering – priest’s portion of the peace offering
o Lev 7:30 His own hands are to bring offerings by fire to the LORD. He shall bring the fat with the breast, that the breast may be presented as a wave offering before the LORD.

(To be continued)

Homosexual Sin

Lev 20 13 a

Q. What if there were two homosexuals who love each other live together, but out of obedience to God never act on their desire or have any type of sexual activity with each other. Is that still a sin? Where is the line between what is acceptable and not ?

A. First, let’s review what the Bible says about homosexuality:

Lev 20:13 If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them.
• Rom 1:26-27 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
• 1 Co 6:9-10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
• 1 Tim 1:9-10 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,

Notice that:
• The homosexual act is detestable to God, who considers it degrading, unnatural, and indecent, punishable by death.
• Homosexuality is just as guilty as other sins, including fornication, idolatry, adultery, theft, covetousness, alcoholism, verbal abuse, swindling, patricide, matricide, murder, immorality, kidnapping, lying, perjury. There is no need to single it out as the worst of sins.
• All of the above sins, including homosexuality, would disqualify the sinner from the kingdom of God.

Now, back to the question. If two gays or lesbians never act on their desire, technically they have not committed any homosexual act. But why live together and put themselves under temptation all the time? Being tempted is not a sin, but the flesh is weak and sooner or later the individual might fall for the temptation. It is a bad idea for an unmarried heterosexual man and woman to live together. And just as you don’t put a pedophile near children, it is setting a trap for yourself when homosexuals live together.

The Bible teaches us to watch and pray so that we do not enter temptation. The proper course of action is to flee immorality, which homosexuality is. So if they are obedient to God they should live apart to avoid the temptation:

Mt 6:13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (Also Lk 11:4)
• Mt 26:41 Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Also Mk 14:38)
• Lk 22:40 Pray that you may not enter into temptation. (Also Lk 22:46)
• 1 Co 6:18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.

God Unjust?

elect 2

Q. Isn’t God unjust to send the non-elect, those who never heard the gospel, to hell? They did not have a chance to believe, so it’s not fair to punish them for all eternity.

A. No, God is not unjust:

Rom 1:18-20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

The non-elect are sent to eternal punishment NOT because God is not fair and never gave them a chance to hear the gospel. They are sent to hell because of their sin – ungodliness and unrighteousness. God gave ALL men, including the non-elect, general revelation to know Him through nature, His creation. The elect, those predestined to adoption as sons, received the general revelation and responded to God’s calling. The non-elect received the same revelation but suppressed the truth.

elect 1

Let me use an example to illustrate. A group of people have swallowed poison (sin) and are dying. A doctor has the antidote and tries to reach everyone to save them. He reached some who took the antidote and were saved (the elect). However, some never heard of him and perished (the non-elect). Now, what is the cause of the non-elect’s death? Is it because they never heard of the good doctor? No, it is the poison that killed them. Was the doctor unjust in saving some but not others? No, all who had swallowed poison would have died. He was gracious in saving as many as he could. That’s a crude analogy but we need to see clearly what’s the cause (sin) and what’s the effect (eternal punishment). God gave grace to the elect, but the non-elect died from their own sin.