Life-Study of Leviticusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Before we consider more aspects of the sin offering, I would like to give a further word concerning sin. In the New Testament sin is a personified matter. It is not something small but is a very crucial matter.
In this universe there are two sources. One is God, and the other is Satan, God’s enemy and adversary (the word Satan means adversary). Satan became God’s enemy and adversary when he entered into a struggle with God for power (Isa. 14). Satan also tempted the Lord Jesus with respect to power (Luke 4:5-7). The whole universe today is a matter of the power struggle between Satan and God. All the world follows Satan and has become a part of this evil struggle. Therefore, under the influence of Satan, all of humankind is engaged in a power struggle. For example, the employees in a certain corporation may be striving for a promotion. This is a small part of the universal power struggle, a struggle that can be found everywhere.
This power struggle is one of the five items whose aggregate is sin. These items are the flesh, sin, Satan, the world, and the prince of the world. The prince of the world signifies the struggle for power. Every human being, including little children, likes to be a prince, a leader, and everywhere on earth today there is a power struggle. As we will see, this power struggle is related to the sin offering.
When we repented to the Lord and received Him as our Savior, we were enlightened to see that we are evil and under God’s condemnation. The more we love the Lord, the more we realize that we are evil. The more a believer prays, the more he feels that he is too evil. Eventually, we are brought to the realization that even today as a Christian seeking after the Lord we are nothing but a totality of sin. We are not only evil and sinful—we are the totality of sin.
If we realize that we are sinful and begin to confess our sins, we may find that the more we confess, the more there is to confess. This was my experience in 1935. One day, having the deep sense that I needed to be alone with the Lord, I went to a secluded place, kneeled down, prayed, and began to confess my sins. My confession went on for a long time. Prior to that time, I did not know how sinful I was or how many sins I had. I saw that everything I had done since my youth was sinful, and I made a thorough confession to the Lord.
We need to pray and take the Lord Jesus as our burnt offering, as the One who is absolute for God. Enjoying Christ as the burnt offering will lead us to take Him as our life supply, as our meal offering, which is Christ in His humanity becoming our daily food. We need to enjoy Him until we feel that we have peace with God, with ourselves, and with everyone. Immediately we will be in the light, and the light will shine within us, upon us, and around us. Then we will realize that we have sinned and that we are sin. This is the experience in 1 John chapter one. God is light (v. 5). In order to have fellowship with Him, we must walk in the light as He is in the light. If we do this, we will realize that we have something called sin (vv. 7-8).
The sin spoken of in 1 John 1 is not an insignificant matter. Sin is God’s enemy, Satan himself, and it involves the power struggle between Satan and God. This power struggle includes us; we are involved in it.
Why are we not absolute for God? We are not absolute for God because something within us is for ourselves and not for God. This is the struggle. A sister may experience this struggle while shopping in a department store. She may want to buy a particular item, but she senses that the Lord does not agree. She begs the Lord to give her permission to make the purchase this one time. Her begging is actually a sign of a struggle between her and the Lord. Satan is hidden within such a struggle.
We struggle with the Lord about many things. We love the Lord, we attend the church meetings, and we participate fully in the church life. On the surface everything appears to be fine. However, only we ourselves know how much we are in a struggle with God day after day. God wants us to be absolute for Him, but we may be willing to be absolute for Him only to a certain degree. We may criticize others for not being absolute for God, but how much are we absolute for Him? Instead of being utterly absolute for God, we engage in a power struggle with Him.
Who can say that he is absolute for God? Since none of us is absolute for God, we need Christ as our burnt offering. Only Christ is absolute for God.
In dealing with sin, Paul was eventually brought to something deeper—not merely to sin itself but to the law of sin (Rom. 7:25; 8:2). Many Christians do not realize that there is such a thing as the law of sin. Do you know what the law of sin is? The law of sin is simply the spontaneous power, strength, and energy to struggle with God. Something within us is living and active; it is crouching in our inner being, watching over us. Whenever we have even a little thought of being for God, something within us rises up to take us over. This is the law of sin. In his experience, Paul found out not only that sin dwelt in his flesh, but also that within him there was a natural power, strength, and energy to resist whenever he desired to be for God. This made him a wretched man (Rom. 7:24). This is the law of sin as the deeper meaning of sin.
We have often been defeated by this thing that is crouching within us. For example, we may want to love the Lord, but spontaneously the law of sin operates within us, and after a short time the thought of loving the Lord disappears.
It was through his experience with the commandment regarding greed, or coveting, that Paul discovered the law of sin (Rom. 7:7-8). All of the Ten Commandments deal with outward matters except the commandment not to covet. This commandment touches the greed within us. Paul did not want to be greedy, but he could not help it. When he tried to obey this commandment, something within him rose up and wrought in him “coveting of every kind.” Paul was thus a victim of the law of sin.
We should not take Christ as our sin offering in a superficial way. Rather, we should take Him as our sin offering to a deeper extent. This will remake our entire being.
Now that we have seen that sin involves a power struggle and that the law of sin is the spontaneous power, strength, and energy to struggle with God, let us go on to consider some further aspects of the sin offering in Leviticus 4.
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