1. We begin Leviticus today.In Greek this means "law". It is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, of the Old Testament, and of the Torah (five books of Moses).
2. Overview :
- The main points of the book are concerned with legal rules, and priestly ritual.
- The first 16 chapters and the last chapter describe the Priestly Code, detailing ritual cleanliness, sin-offerings, and the Day of Atonement, including Chapter 12 which mandates male circumcision.
- Chapters 17-26 describe the holiness code, including the injunction in chapter 19 to love one's neighbor as oneself.
- Orthodox Jews believe that this entire book is the word of God, dictated by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.
3. Do we (Gentiles, non-Jews)live under the law?
- Most Christians believe that Leviticus is the word of God, but generally do not consider themselves to be bound by all the laws prescribed by the text, due to the implied in some passages of the New Testament, notably the letters of Paul. Most Christians consider 1 Corinthians 10:23-26, in which Paul directs followers to "eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience", to exempt them from following the dietary laws set forth in Leviticus.
- The word used for this is antinomianism. This comes from 2 Greek words, "anti" meaning against and "nomos" meaning law.
- When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He fulfilled the Old Testament Law (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:23-25; Ephesians 2:15). but I beleive it is "unbiblical" (if there is such a word) to think that there is no moral law God expects Christians to obey.
- The Apostle Paul dealt with this issue again in Romans 6:1-2, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” The most frequent attack on the doctrine of salvation by grace alone is that it encourages sin. People may wonder, “If I am saved by grace and all my sins are forgiven, why not sin all I want?” That thinking is not the result of true conversion because true conversion yields a greater desire to obey, not a lesser one. God’s desire—and our desire when we are re-born by His Spirit—is that we strive to not sin, out of gratitude for His grace and forgiveness. God has given us His infinitely gracious gift in salvation through Jesus (John 3:16; Romans 5:8). Our response is to be a life consecrated to Him (Romans 12:1-2) out of love, worship, and gratitude for what He has done for us.
- There is a moral law which God expects us to obey. 1 John 5:3 tells us, “This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome.” What is this law God expects us to obey? It is the law of Christ – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).
- So, no, we are not under the Old Testament Law. Yes, we are under the law of Christ. The law of Christ is not an extensive list of legal codes. It is a law of love. If we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, we will do nothing to displease Him. If we love our neighbors as ourselves, we will do nothing to harm them. Obeying the law of Christ is not a requirement to earn or maintain salvation. The law of Christ is what God expects of a Christian.
- God expects us to live a life of morality, integrity, and love. Jesus Christ freed us from the burdensome commands of the Old Testament Law, but that is not a license to sin, but rather a covenant of grace. We are to strive to overcome sin and cultivate righteousness, depending on the Holy Spirit to help us. The fact that we are graciously freed from the demands of the Old Testament Law should result in us living our lives in obedience to the law of Christ. 1 John 2:3-6 declares, “We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The man who says, ‘I know Him,’ but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys His word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.”
- Sorry, got a little carried away. But, again I think these are important concepts for Christians, and even non-Christians to understand. Anyway, back to the text...
- Burnt offerings given as free will. Lambs, goats, birs (trutle doves and pigeons.
- Grain offerings- flour, unleven (no yeast) bread and cakes; salt (of the covenant).
- First fruits.
- Sacrifice, peace offerings.
- Eat no fat or blood.
5. Jesus heals Simon's mother-in-law. This brings throngs of people needing to be healed to Him. He healed many and casted out demons. I think the demons were not allowed to speak, because they did recognize Him and would call Him by name. He wanted people then, as now, to beleive based on there faith, not by what they could see with their eyes or touch.
6. He withdraws to pray in isolation.
7. He tells the disciples they must move on...let's stay focused, and get on with the mission..“We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.”
8. He heals the leper. The man with leprosy asks if Jesus is willing to heal him. Remember, lepers are considered by people to be "unclean" and should not be touched. He instructs him to tell no one. First go to be examined by the priests...certified as "clean." Don't forget to take the appropriate sacrifices as dictated by the law. But, of course he didn't do that, and that brought more crowds to Jesus for healing.
9. Jesus heals the paralytic. This story is a true testament to friendship. They could not come through the. They cared so much about their friends healing that they hauled him up to the roof, dismantle the roof of the house so that he can reach the teacher and be healed.
10. Jesus is accused of blasphemy as He tells the man that his sins are forgiven, instead of take up your bed and walk...so He says this too. The crowed is amazed.
11. Folly...the way to death.
See you next post...