Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the foregoing messages we have seen that with the sanctification of Aaron and his sons to serve God as priests, there were four important points. Three of these points are related to the priests, and one is related to God. The three points concerning the priests are the matters of being washed, being clothed, and being satisfied. The one point related to God was that of preparing food for God and feeding Him so that He may be satisfied. The “groceries” used in preparing God’s food involved three items of the animal life—a bull and two lambs—and three of the plant life— flour, oil, and wine. As we know, flour comes from wheat, oil comes from the olive tree, and wine comes from the grapevine.
As we have seen, the bull offered as a sin offering was not God’s food in a direct way. Rather, the bull of the sin offering was for atonement, for propitiation. This means that it was offered for appeasement. Daily we need to raise Christ as a bull for a sin offering. This means that we need to practice every day offering Christ to God as the sin offering because our nature, our being, is sinful.
When we invite others to our home for dinner, we like to have everything clean and in order. Then, with everything properly prepared, we and our guests shall be able to enjoy our food in peace. This illustrates the function of Christ as our sin offering. This sin offering, typified by the bull offered to God in Exodus 29, clears up the situation between us and God. The basic problem between us and God is that of our sin. Through the fall, sin entered into mankind, and as a result we are constituted of sin. Hence, we actually are sin. When Christ was incarnated, He came to be made sin. Second Corinthians 5:21 says that He was made sin for us. According to Romans 8:3, Christ, the Son of God, came in the likeness of the flesh of sin and concerning sin. Moreover, this verse reveals that when Christ was on the cross, God condemned sin in the flesh. Therefore, Christ was made sin for us, and God condemned sin in the flesh.
In the sight of God, sin, which has its source in Satan and which has entered into man, is the element of our fallen nature and of our old self. Actually, we ourselves are sin. Christ became sin and brought the flesh of sin to the cross, where God condemned sin in the flesh. Therefore, before God, sin has been dealt with.
If you read the New Testament carefully, you will see that nowhere are we told that Christ bore our sin on the cross. Rather, the New Testament tells us that Christ bore our sins. For example, Hebrews 9:28 says that Christ has been “once offered to bear the sins of many.” First Peter 2:24 says that Christ “Himself carried up our sins in His body onto the tree.” Regarding sin, the New Testament says that it was taken away or put away. According to John 1:29, John the Baptist declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Speaking of Christ, Hebrews 9:26 says, “He has been manifested for the putting away of sin by His sacrifice.” As we have already pointed out, Romans 8:3 says that God has condemned sin. According to these verses, sin has been dealt with. It has been condemned, taken away, and put away.
In saving us, God does not eradicate our sinful nature at the time of our repentance, conversion, and regeneration. To save us in that way is not according to God’s economy. When we repented, God forgave our sins. He also came into our spirit to regenerate us with His Spirit. However, He did not eradicate the sin that is within us. Although we have been forgiven, cleansed by the precious blood of Christ, and regenerated by the Spirit, we are still in our old nature, in the old creation. On the one hand, we are a new creation and have a new nature; on the other hand, we are still in the old creation with the old nature. Therefore, we need to be reminded that in our old nature, our flesh, we are still sinful. We need to realize that we are sin.
Some Christians hold on to a concept of the eradication of sin or to a doctrine of absolute holiness. Some teach that once a believer receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit, he becomes absolutely holy and can no longer sin. Such teachings are not according to the Bible. Furthermore, accepting the concept of eradication or absolute holiness has led some to excuse sinful things by calling them weaknesses or shortcomings. In some cases, those who hold onto the concept of eradication or of absolute holiness have fallen into gross sin. According to the Bible, we are a new creation in Christ, but in our fallen nature we are still in the old creation. Yes, we have eternal life, the divine nature, and the Holy Spirit. This means that God Himself is in us. Yet, we still have the old man, the old creation, and the flesh. Thus, with us there is always the possibility of falling into sin. We need to realize that we are still sinful.
According to the typology in the book of Exodus, every day we need to offer Christ to God as the sin offering. The seven days mentioned in Exodus 29 signify a full course of time, that is, our entire Christian life. Until we have experienced transfiguration, the redemption of our body, we shall continue to need the sin offering. Daily we should remind ourselves that we are sin and that we need Christ as the sin offering to clear up the situation between us and God.
When we apply Christ as the sin offering, the problem between us and God is solved, and we are cleansed. Because God has been appeased through Christ as the sin offering, we may be at peace. Now in an atmosphere of peace, we can serve food to God.
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