Life-Study of Leviticusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the foregoing messages we covered the first three of the five basic offerings—the burnt offering, the meal offering, and the peace offering. The fourth basic offering is the sin offering, and the fifth is the trespass offering. In this message we will begin to consider the sin offering.
I admire the sequence of the arrangement of the five basic offerings. This sequence is not according to human thought, which would put the sin offering first. We know that we are sinful, and, as the first thing, we want our sin to be dealt with. After this, we might take the burnt offering, the meal offering, and the peace offering. The divine sequence is different from this. The divine sequence opens with the burnt offering, showing us that the primary thing with us should be that we are absolute for God. The burnt offering is followed by the meal offering, which shows us that we should take Christ as our life supply and live by Him daily. As the issue of taking Christ as the burnt offering and the meal offering, we have peace. Although we have peace, we still have certain problems—sin within and sins without—and these surely need to be dealt with.
The sequence of the offerings in Leviticus corresponds to the sequence in chapter one of 1 John. Verse 5 says, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” Verse 6 tells us that if we say that we have fellowship with the very God who is light and yet “walk in the darkness, we lie and are not practicing the truth.” Verse 7 continues, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” This indicates that as we are having fellowship with God and enjoying Him, we will realize that between us and God there is a problem, and this problem is sin.
The New Testament deals with the problem of sin by using both the word sin in singular and the word sins in plural. Sin refers to the indwelling sin, which came through Adam into mankind from Satan (Rom. 5:12). It is dealt with in the second section of Romans, 5:12 to 8:13 (with the exception of 7:5, where sins is mentioned). Sins refer to the sinful deeds, the fruits of the indwelling sin, which are dealt with in the first section of Romans, 1:18 to 5:11. However, the singular sin in 1 John 1:7 with the adjective all does not denote the indwelling sin but every single sin we have committed (v. 10) after we have been regenerated. This sin defiles our purged conscience and needs to be cleansed away by the blood of the Lord Jesus in our fellowship with God.
Our sin, the indwelling sin in our nature (Rom. 7:17), has been taken care of by Christ as our sin offering (Lev. 4; Isa. 53:10; Rom. 8:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 9:26). Our sins, our trespasses, have been taken care of by Christ as our trespass offering (Lev. 5; Isa. 53:11; 1 Cor. 15:3; 1 Pet. 2:24; Heb. 9:28). After our regeneration we still need to take Christ as our sin offering as indicated in 1 John 1:8 and as our trespass offering as indicated in verse 9.
First John 1:8 says, “If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” This verse speaks of indwelling sin, the sin which we inherited by our birth. This is the sin mentioned in Romans 5:12. If we say that, after we have been saved and regenerated, we do not have sin, we are self-deceived. Although we have been saved and regenerated and although we seek the Lord, love Him, and have fellowship with Him, we still have sin indwelling us. This is a fact. If we deny it, the truth is not in us.
First John 1:9 goes on to say, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous that He may forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This refers to the confession of our sins after our regeneration, not the confession of our sins before it. Here “sins” denotes our sinful deeds.
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