Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20000809.htm
LEVITICUS: GOD'S CALL FOR A SEPARATED WITNESS
Part I: The Path To Gaining Fellowship With God (Leviticus 1-10)
J. God's Instructions On Practical Holiness For Believers
Lesson: Regarding PRACTICAL holiness, our PERFECTLY sinless God has PRACTICAL and FAIR requirements for OUR fellowship as SAVED SINNERS with HIM and with ONE ANOTHER in Christ.
- Though one places faith in Christ for salvation from sin, he notices that he still has a conflict with his being vulnerable for temptations to sin, cf. 1 John 1:10. The question then arises about how a believer who can still sin can ever regularly fellowship with a holy God in practical terms.
- Leviticus 7:11-21 gives insight on what it takes in practical terms for us to fellowship with our holy God:
- God's Instructions On Practical Holiness For Believers, Leviticus 7:11-21.
- Leviticus 7:11-21 focuses primarily on the role of the priest's in the peace offering that was described in Leviticus 3:1-17, Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, p. 185.
- That peace offering instructs us on the role of fellowship between God and the sinner and with him and others based upon the cross of Jesus Christ, see the conclusion to the lesson on this offering in "Part I, C."
- As such, practical details pertaining to fellowship between the believer and God, and between believers themselves are taught in greater depth through the typology of Leviticus 7:11-21 as follows: (I am heavily indebted to J. Vernon McGee's work, Thru The Bible, Volume I, p. 352-353 for much of this content)
- A central quality of fellowship with God is for the believer to be expressing thanksgiving to God for His matchless grace that is displayed in numerous ways. Since the believer can properly thank God only in the filling of the Holy Spirit, there is an emphasis on the offering of thanksgiving with the peace offering as it is mixed with oil, Leviticus 7:11-12. We recall the call in Hebrews 13:15 with Ephesians 5:18-20 for us to offer "the sacrifice of praise to God continually" in the Spirit's power!
- Of great significance is the order for the priest to offering LEAVENED cakes in verse 13 along with the unleavened cakes of verse 12: as McGee notes, the unleavened cakes picture Christ's part in the fellowship that is without sin where the leavened cakes picture the believer's part in the fellowship that has a sin nature, Ibid., McGee, p. 352. Hence, "Peace with God does not depend on the believer attaining sinless perfection", but upon the believer's walking in the light of God's Word and utilizing the cleansing through confession of sin that is available through Christ's intercessory priesthood, cf. 1 John 1:8-9; Hebrews 4:14-16.
- Leviticus 7:15 reveals that the peace offering was to be eaten immediately, the same day it was offered. This ritual explains the need for a daily fellowship with God as the meal indicated fellowship, and spoke of the need for a vital, moment-by-moment dependence upon God for victory over sin, Ibid.
- It is of import to note that a peace offering associated with a vow or a freewill offering could be eaten the second day, but definitely not the third day, Leviticus 7:16-17. Hence, God made some allowances for human weaknesses in man's expression of worship and works for God that technically might not meet divine exactness, but God did NOT tolerate willful negligence regarding such things!
- Leviticus 7:18-21 taught that anyone who was ceremonially unclean who partook of the peace offering was to be excommunicated from the assembly of Israel. This pictures the need for confession of sin in the believer if he is to fellowship with God, and possibly speaks of excommunication of those who attempt to fellowship in the local assembly of the Church who are guilty of gross sins, 1 Cor. 5:1-13.
Application: (1) The central expression of worship that we saved sinners are to express to a holy God is PERPETUAL PRAISE to God for His UNMERITED FAVOR to us in Christ. (2) We fellowship with God not by trying to eradicate our sin natures, but through (a) confession of personal sins committed as believers (1 John 1:9) and (b) then retaining daily trust in and obedience to God's Word, 1 Jn. 1:7. (3) God makes allowances for HUMAN limitations in regards to IMPERFECT worship and works (Lev. 7:16-17; Rom. 8:26), but NEVER does He tolerate WILLFUL rebellion! WILLFUL rebellion requires excommunication until repentance and cleansing are accomplished, 1 Corinthians 5:1-13.