Life-Study of Leviticusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we will consider the law of the sin offering.
It is not difficult for us to consider as law the Ten Commandments given through Moses. However, we may find it hard to regard as a law something that concerns the enjoyment of Christ. We may think that if there is a law concerning the enjoyment of Christ, there will not be any enjoyment. Nevertheless, each of the five offerings has its own law. Therefore, the sin offering has its law, and with this law there are a number of regulations.
As descendants of Adam we have a fallen life, a lawless life unwilling to be ruled, governed, or controlled by anyone. Our Adamic life is rebellious, and our Adamic nature is lawless. But when we were saved and regenerated, we received another life—the divine life, the life of God—and this life is the opposite of our fallen, lawless life. This means that as genuine believers in Christ, we have two lives, an old one and a new one. The first is the natural, human life, and the second is the divine life, the eternal life. It is not too much to say that the divine life is God Himself; it is God within us to be our life. Whereas the fallen, natural life is lawless, the divine life within us is absolutely according to law and regulation.
Every kind of life has its own law. For example, a bird flies according to the law of the bird life, and a peach tree bears peaches according to the law of the peach tree life. The divine life also has its own law.
The law of the sin offering is according to the law of what we have enjoyed of Christ. In our enjoyment of Christ as the burnt offering, we need to realize that Christ is a life and this life has a law. The law of the burnt offering, therefore, is written according to the law of the Christ whom we have enjoyed. The principle is the same with the other offerings. The peace offering and the meal offering are a living person, Christ. As a living person, Christ has a life with a law. Thus, the law of the peace offering and the law of the meal offering correspond to the life law of Christ. Apparently, the written law concerns only the peace offering and the meal offering. Actually, in our experience, the law of the peace offering and the law of the meal offering become a living law, a law of the very life of the Christ whom we enjoy.
Every law in letters is written according to a certain life. If we were to write a law concerning elderly people, that law would have to correspond to the life of elderly people. The same would be true with a law written concerning young people. This principle applies to the law given to us by God. God has given us a law that we should worship Him because we have a worshipping life. God would never give such a law to animals, because they do not have such a life.
Three portions in the New Testament indicate that even in the enjoyment of Christ we need to be regulated. In 1 Corinthians 9:26 and 27 Paul says, “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so I box, not as beating the air; but I buffet my body and lead it as a slave, lest having preached to others, I myself should become disapproved.” Literally, the Greek word translated “buffet” means to beat the face under the eye black and blue. This is not to ill-treat the body as in asceticism, nor to consider the body evil as in Gnosticism. This is to subdue the body and make it a conquered captive to serve us as a slave for fulfilling our holy purpose. In these verses we see not only requirements but demands. Here we have the strongest demand of the strongest law.
Galatians 6:15 and 16 say, “Neither is circumcision anything nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace be upon them and mercy, even upon the Israel of God.” In verse 15 Paul tells us that “neither is circumcision anything nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.” This is grace. Today we do not need circumcision or uncircumcision—we only need grace. But in verse 16 Paul goes on to tell us that the way to receive mercy and peace is to “walk by this rule,” the rule of the new creation. God has saved us to the state and condition of a new creation with Christ as its life. Now we need to walk by the rule of this new creation.
The rule of the new creation will regulate us in the time we go to bed at night and rise in the morning. On the Lord’s Day in particular, the rule of the new creation will urge us to rise up a little earlier, pray for the meeting, and come to the meeting early to meet with the Lord and worship Him.
The reward for walking according to the rule of the new creation is mercy and peace. I can testify that when I walk according to this rule, I have mercy and peace. If we walk according to the rule of the new creation in the way we prepare for and come to the meeting on the Lord’s Day, we will receive mercy and peace.
Walking by the rule of the new creation is a matter of law. In the new creation, there is a new life, and within this new life, there is a new law. This new law is actually the Lord Himself within us, regulating us all the time.
We are God’s new creation, and we have the life of this new creation. With this life there is a regulating law. In our daily living, we need to be regulated by this law.
In Philippians 3:13 and 14 Paul tells us that he is forgetting what is behind, stretching forward to what is before, and pursuing “toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Then in verses 15 and 16 he says, “Let us therefore, as many as are full-grown, have this mind; and if in anything you are otherwise minded, this also God shall reveal to you. Only this, whereunto we have attained, by the same rule let us walk.” The Greek word translated “walk” here means to walk orderly; it is derived from a word which means to range in regular line, to march in military rank, to keep step, to conform to virtue and piety. Thus, Paul is here charging us to walk in line, in order, and in a regulated way.
These three portions of the New Testament all indicate the same thing—that in the enjoyment of grace we need to be ruled.
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