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The following are some of the major lessons of the Levitical offerings by way of review and application:

By David Cloud

Way of Life Literature

1. Man is a sinner and is separated from the holy Creator God by his sin against God’s law.

2. Only through an acceptable sacrifice can man be reconciled to God. The sacrifice required both the blood and death of a perfect, innocent victim, which was fulfilled in Christ. God paid a great price for man’s salvation in that He gave His only begotten Son to suffer on the cross. Salvation is not by good works or sincerity or religion.

3. There is only one way of salvation. Just as the Israelite had to bring the right sacrifice to the right place in the right way, so the sinner must come to God in the prescribed way through the one gospel and the one Saviour.

4. The same salvation is available for all men, rich and poor, rulers and servants (Lev. 1:14; 4:22, 27).

5. All of the Levitical sacrifices point to Christ and the various characteristics of His salvation. He is everything the sinner needs before God, and in Christ the believing sinner is fully accepted. See 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:3. The believer needs to live in awareness of the benefit of Christ and His sacrifice.

“We need to always most thankfully receive His inestimable benefit. In other words, we must by faith accept Christ as our five-fold offering, on the basis of which alone we are saved and have our standing before God. Morning by morning as we awaken let it be with the consciousness that in the burnt offering and meat offering of Christ we are accepted and blessed of God, that in His peace offering we have the right to commune with Him, that through His sin and trespass offering every defect is remedied and every fault will find pardon” (James Gray, Concise Bible Commentary).

6. The perfection and sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice is emphasized in many ways, such as the manifold aspect of the sacrifices (burnt, peace, meal, trespass, sin), the spotlessness of the sacrifice (Lev. 1:3), the blood sprinkled seven times (Lev. 4:6), and the continual burning of the sacrifice (Lev. 6:13). In all of these ways Leviticus is teaching that “Christ is all I need.” See Hebrews 10:10, 14.

7. Though God has provided the way of reconciliation, the individual sinner must obtain reconciliation. Each individual had to bring the sacrifice before God in the prescribed way. This signifies the fact that each sinner must come to God and acknowledge his sin and put his faith in Jesus Christ. God has provided the Sacrifice, Jesus has died for the sins of the world, but men must receive Him. When the worshiper put his hands on the sacrifice he was signifying his need of it and his identification with it (Lev. 1:4). This is symbolic of repentance and faith. Likewise, the believer must come before God when he sins and obtain mercy day-by-day (Heb. 4:16; 1 John 1:9).

8. Salvation is an exchange. Christ took the place of the sinner, and the sinner takes the place of Christ. See 2 Corinthians 5:21.

9. Christ’s life and sacrifice was a sweet savor to God the Father (Lev. 1:17; 2:9; 3:5). God testified that He was well pleased with the Son both through the prophets and directly with a voice from Heaven (Isa. 42:1; Mat. 3:17; 17:5). Christ is the beloved of God, and the believer is accepted in the beloved (Eph. 1:3).

10. Salvation is not merely a matter of being forgiven of sin; it is a matter of being devoted to God, walking with Him in sweet fellowship, and serving Him. Thus, there was not only the sin offering but also the burnt offering and the meal offering. Salvation is not a ticket to heaven whereby one prays a sinner’s prayer and then lives his or her life as before. Salvation is to come into a right and intimate relationship with God through Christ as an adopted son and to serve Him as a disciple, a priest, an ambassador, a soldier.

11. The believer is to give his best to Christ. This was signified by the wave offering, whereby the breast and right shoulder of the peace offering were to be waved before the Lord (Lev. 9:21). The breast signified the passion and devotion of one’s heart and the shoulder signified one’s strength and fervor of service. Compare Romans 12:1-2.

12. The believer is to emulate Christ’s life and follow His example. Christ is the believer’s law and rule of life. While Christ is the Great High Priest, every believer is also a priest who is to walk in Christ’s holy ways and to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God (1 Pet. 2:5, 9).

“Then let us remember that we should also daily endeavor ourselves to follow the blessed steps of His most holy life. After we have accepted Him and represented Him to God as our sacrifice by faith then we can follow His example. We are not in a position to do this before. He is our burnt offering, a perfect dedication to God, but we are also bidden in Him to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service (Rom. 12:1). He is our meal offering presented to God for the service of man, but we too are to ‘please his neighbor for his good to edification’ (Rom. 15:2). He is our peace offering, making and maintaining peace between God and us, but we are also to be peacemakers (Mat. 5:9; Rom. 12:18; 14:19; Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 3:11). It is impossible that we should make atonement for sin as He did, but there is a sense in which we may ‘bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ’ (Gal. 6:2)” (James Gray, Concise Bible Commentary).

13. The believer follows Christ by yielding to Him. The Christian life is not a matter merely of imitating Christ and following His example; it is a matter of yielding to the Christ who dwells in us by His Spirit. See Galatians 2:20. This was depicted by the eating of the appointed offerings (Lev. 10:12-15). The breast and shoulder of the peace offering signified Christ’s character and strength, and in eating it the priest signified that he was internalizing Christ so that Christ’s heart and Christ’s strength would flow through him. We see the same picture in the Lord’s Supper. In eating and drinking, the believer signifies his unity with Christ and His Sacrifice, both for salvation and for living.

heaven+sky+bright+light

Is Evangelism About “Going to Heaven”?

Excerpt by David Cloud

Heaven is definitely a product of salvation, but why is it that none of the apostles preached on Heaven when they were presenting the gospel? Why are the sermons recorded in the book of Acts so different from the one Hyles preached?

Consider the sermon Paul preached on Mars Hills to the idolatrous pagans in Acts 17. Paul did not preach on Heaven; he preached on God and His righteous judgment so that the idolaters would understand their sin and turn to Christ for redemption.

The average person in North America today is very similar to those idolatrous pagans, and North Americans need the same type of preaching. An idolatrous and apostate people need sermons on Hell more than sermons on Heaven. They need sermons on the law more than sermons on grace, because biblical grace is only understood in the context of the law.

No one can understand and appreciate God’s grace unless they first understand His holiness and justice. The law was given to prepare the way for grace. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:24).

The book of Romans begins with nearly three whole chapters of the law of God and the righteousness of God and the sinfulness of man and his utter condemnation before a holy God before it gets to the grace of Jesus Christ. That is the biblical way to preach the gospel. That is the true Romans Road. That is how Peter preached on the day of Pentecost.

Read Full Article HERE

As Barnhouse spoke of the cross he said, “Imagine that the cross is a door or that it has a door in it. All you are asked to do is to go through. On one side, the side facing you, there is an invitation; ‘Whoever will may come.’ You stand there with your sin upon you and wonder if you should enter or not. Finally you do, and as you do the burden of your sin drops away. You are safe and free. Joyfully you then turn around and see written on the backside of the cross, through which you have just now entered, the words: ‘Chosen in Him before the foundation of the world.'”

Barnhouse invited those who were listening to enter.

The woman later said that it was the first time in her life she had really understood what  it meant to be a Christian and that, in understanding it, she had believed. She believed right there–in that church at that moment. She entered the door. Moreover, her life then bore witness to the fact that a  great change had occurred  and that she was God’s child. I am certain of the facts of my story because that woman is my mother.

Jesus said, “Whoever enters through me will be saved” (John 10:9). That includes you, and it refers to something that can take place now. If you have not yet trusted Jesus, you can trust Him now. Today is the day of salvation.

 

James Montgomery Boice

The Parables of Jesus

Paul Washer

WHY DOES GOD ALLOW SUFFERING? 

March 31, 2010 (David Cloud) 

http://www.wayoflife.org

    
Many wonder why God allows suffering and catastrophes.

To answer this we would say, first, that the trouble in this world is man’s fault, not God’s. When God made man in the beginning, there was no suffering. God made a perfect world for man to live in and provided for man’s every need. God placed the first man and woman in a paradise called the Garden of Eden and gave them only one commandment. But they were not satisfied with God’s provision and they disobeyed God’s commandment and fell into sin. As a result, the world became a place of evil and suffering. This is man’s fault. It is men that lie and cheat and steal and rape and kidnap and bully and kill.  

Second, God is holy and judges sin. He is not only a Saviour, He is also a Judge. God warned the first man and woman, that if they disobeyed His law they would be punished, and that is what happened. Because of sin, the world came under God’s curse. This is described in Genesis chapter 3. It is God’s curse that is the cause of sickness and death and many other troubles that men suffer. Men are not innocent before God. All men have sinned and broken His laws; and all men, therefore, deserve to be punished.

Third, God has given light to men and they have rejected it. John 1:9 says that God gives light to every man. There is the light of creation (Romans 1:19-20). Men can know that there is a God from the things that He has made. There is also the light of conscience (Romans 2:14-16). God has put a conscience inside of man that tells us there is a God and that convicts us when we do wrong. There is also the light of the Bible (Romans 3:1-2). This is the greatest light that God has given to men.

From the very beginning, when men first sinned, God began to show them the way of salvation. But for the most part, God’s Word has been rejected and men have lived according to their own thinking and have traded the true and living God for false gods. Adam and Eve knew God and knew about His salvation (Genesis 3:15, 21). Adam lived 930 years (Genesis 5:5), so for the first millennium of man’s history the first man was still alive and still talking about the true God who had created him. Adam’s second son, Abel, was a prophet and knew about salvation through the coming Saviour (Luke 11:50-51; Hebrews 11:4). Before the worldwide Flood, there were prophets. Enoch was a prophet who preached about the second coming of Christ (Jude 14-15), and Noah also preached for 120 years before the Flood (2 Peter 2:5). Job lived after the Flood and knew many things about God, including salvation through the coming Saviour and the bodily resurrection (Job 19:25-27). Solomon proclaimed the true God to many nations in his day (1 Kings 4:34). This was 1,000 years before Christ. King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonian empire preached to the nations of his day (Daniel 4:1-3, 37). This was about 550 years before Christ. Darius of the Medo-Persian empire also preached to the nations (Daniel 6:25-28). The apostles preached the gospel in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe (Romans 1:8). From then until now Christian missionaries have been preaching to the ends of the earth. Men have no excuse for sitting in darkness and not knowing the true and living God.

Men are responsible to seek God (Acts 17:27). In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus taught that men are responsible to respond to God’s Word (Matthew 13:18-19, 23). Those who respond to the light are given more light. Cornelius is an example of this (Acts 10). He was seeking God and trying to follow the Old Testament, and God sent a Christian to him to explain the gospel of Jesus Christ. The same thing happened to the eunuch from Ethiopia. We read about this in Acts 8:26-40. He had visited Israel and obtained one of the books of the Old Testament and was trying to understand it. God sent Philip to him to explain the gospel.

God has been trying to speak to men and to call them for 6,000 years, but for the most part He has been ignored. God cannot be blamed for man’s spiritual ignorance.

Fourth, God has provided salvation and offers it to all men. God’s great love and goodness are evident by the fact that He came into this world and suffered many things at the hands of His own creatures and allowed Himself to be crucified on a cross in order to save men from their sins. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God wants to save men. That is His desire. If men are not saved, it is not God’s fault. The fact that God has gone to such great trouble and expense to provide salvation for those who believe is evidence that He can be trusted to do that which is right.

Fifth, we cannot expect to understand everything about God. To understand every mystery about God, you would have to be God! Though God has revealed many things to us in the Scriptures, He has not revealed everything and He has not answered every question we can ask. Deuteronomy 29:29 is a very important verse. “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

Sixth, God does not have to answer to man. “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” (Romans 9:20). As God’s creature, man is required to trust and obey him regardless of whether he can understand him. God must be God.

Come to Christ! by Paul Washer

If you don’t know Jesus or if you have lost your way, watch this video

The Offence of the Cross (1932)
by T. Austin-Sparks

 

It is a perfectly obvious fact that wherever the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ has been most faithfully preached and presented – while bringing hope and new life to many – it has almost invariably been the cause of trouble.

Wherever it has gone it has aroused antagonism. As it was a stumbling-block to the Jews and an absurdity to the Greeks in the first days, so, ever since, it has been unacceptable, not only to the men of the world as such, but to the religious communities also. This we unhesitatingly affirm to be as true today as ever, in spite of the fact that it is the most popular symbol in the world. There is hardly a city in Christendom where the architecture, galleries of art, collections of literature and conservatoires of music and religious institutions do not declare to the world a certain regard and honour for this sacred sign.

This may be a tribute to something deeper but it is that deeper thing which is absolutely unacceptable to the greater part of Christendom and the world.

It is found necessary even in certain phases of some missionary enterprise today to eliminate from the text-books and hymn books the mention of the Cross lest it offend.

Much of the preaching and teaching in the Christian Church is either confined to the “Historic Jesus”, which presents a Crossless Christ, or gives a very modified meaning to His death. And yet it is surely necessary to get rid of the Bible before we can get rid of the fact that it unites in all its parts to declare that the Cross is God’s Way of salvation, God’s sufficient and God’s only way.

Read full article HERE

                Repentance3

Ingrained in my mind is the image of people streaming forward to accept Jesus Christ as Savior on television in the 60’s.  Many of us have seen the huge ministries with the inviting music, the call to come forward, the use of the sinner’s prayer. I do believe that many were saved, I also believe that many more were not.

Consider these excerpts from “Repentance and Soul-winning,” by David Cloud.

Years ago my wife and I had the job of following up on the Phoster Club soul winning visitation at church. The Phoster Club team regularly reported dozens of “salvations,” but when we visited these “saved” people to urge them to come to church and to try to disciple them, most of them wanted nothing to do with the things of God. That is a strange salvation. [1]

For a number of years, I preached in a county jail and it was common for those who came to the Bible studies to claim that they were saved. When we asked them why they thought they were saved, they often pointed to a time when they prayed a sinner’s prayer, walked the aisle of the church, or were baptized. When we ask them if their life changed after they prayed the sinner’s prayer, they usually acknowledged that it did not. They associated salvation with some sort of religious ritual. [2]

 

This is from Living Waters.

We are not doing sinners any favors when we minimize the seriousness of their sin. George Whitefield, a famous preacher once said, “First, then, before you can speak peace to your hearts, you must be made to see, made to feel, made to weep over, made to bewail, your actual transgressions against the Law of God.” It is only when a person sees his sin as wicked and understands the seriousness of offending his Creator, that he can find a place of true repentance and surrender to the Savior.

Within the last 100 years, a new gospel has crept into our churches. It has been designed to not offend you. It has been carefully crafted not to be too “in your face.” It gently suggests that you open your heart to Jesus if your current lifestyle isn’t working for you, and try God “when the time is right for you.” This “seeker centered” and “no offense” approach is no gospel at all; it is “another gospel”. If we continue to define sin as “honest mistakes”, we will continue to fill our churches with “backsliders” and false converts who fail to repent because they don’t see the seriousness of their sin. We will give them a cruel false hope, and make them comfortable aboard the “Jesus loves you” pleasure cruiser, singing songs to the Captain, while they blindly speed toward the iceberg of Eternal Justice.

Source Here

The watered down gospel that is being offered today does not save. If a person is asked if they want to go to heaven or hell, there is an obvious answer. Only a fool would want to spend eternity in hell and so everyone answers…”Why of course I want to go to heaven, so then, yes, I will accept Jesus.”

This is the option people need to be made to understand instead. “Do you want to make plans to structure a temporary heaven here on earth, or will your forsake worldly ways and instead  consider your future in an eternal heavenly kingdom with God?”

The simple quick prayer accepting Jesus Christ as Savior is not always heartfelt with a lifetime commitment of taking up the cross daily. When people say they will follow Jesus, they need to realize that they will have to follow Him to the cross and die to self.

I personally can vouch for the effectiveness of realizing a sinful nature to cause repentance. I already knew and believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a young girl. But I was not committed. My heart had not been circumcised. I had truth but was doing nothing with it. Was I really saved?

I picked up a book  about the rapture and prophecy in 2002 on a garage sale shelf. When I was growing up in the church, (I left when I was 16), prophecy was not taught.   When I read that little paperback book and realized that the  prophecy experts were saying that Jesus could come back at any time, I was devastated in my sin and realized my wasted life. I spent hours on the floor naming my sin to God, and asked forgiveness, weeping for the wretched state I was in.

Reading this excerpt from “An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith,” by Dave Hunt cemented and explained my conversion.

Paul reminded the saints at Colossae that victory over sin and self was not possible through willpower and fleshy struggle. True victory could only come through understanding and believing what Christ’s death for their sins and resurrection for their justification really meant. Paul declared that this was the secret of his own complete transformation–and so it must be with them.

But how could Christ’s death and burial and resurrection be as real to them as it was to Paul–so real that their very lives would be totally transformed? Paul explained: They must believe that Christ was coming any moment to take them to heaven, where they would therefore appear with Him in glory. It was the hope of Christ’s immiment return that would make the difference between victory and defeat in the Christian life! [3]

Realizing that you are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ, exposes sin and not being dead to self. Every person is different  and maybe convicted by the Holy Spirit in various ways when hearing the Gospel, but one does need to repent and show regeneration. A changed life indicates a true conversion. A converted life desires obedience to God’s word on a permanent basis. One may then stumble but the saved person will get back up and persevere.

My life changed that day. From that day forward, I had a hunger for the Word of God. I wanted to read the Bible and I wanted to study it. I enrolled in Bible study  classes. I began to exhibit fruit and hate the sin in my life. In fact, I asked God to show me my sin so that I could repent of it. If you ever want a fast answer to prayer….ask God to expose the darkness and sin in your life by His holiness.

God is holy and cannot tolerate sin. The new-age gospel only talks of God’s love and ignores sin and damnation for rejecting the true God of the Bible.

So where do you stand with God? Is your heart receptive to the gospel? Are you producing fruit? If so how much?

Matthew 13:23 “But the one who received the seed that fell on the good soil is the man who hears the word, and understands it. He produces a crop yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty time what was sown.”

OR…will you hear these sad words found in  Matthew 7:22-23 “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.'”

Excerpt from a great article on Zimbio:

What must I do to be saved? 

Since God has made the way to be saved, it would be good to see how according to his word.

The Jailer of Acts 16 asked “What must I do to be saved”? Paul told him to believe (Real faith requires action James 2:17-25, more than “I believe in one God, as the devils do as well, and are not saved”!) and he did. As we read that he was obedient to Jesus command of water baptism in his name (John 3:5, Luke 24:47, and Mark 16:16). 1Peter 3:21 says that were are saved by it, (Through our faith in action!) and it clears our conscience.

We are saved by grace, hope, and belief along with repentance. (Grace is defined as the relection of God in one’s life.)

Moses faced reflected God’s glory after speaking to the Almighty. And to repent is to fully follow God by forsaking your ways.) see Eph. 2:5, Rom 8:24, John 3:16, and Acts 2:38. His blood justifies us, Rom 5:9-10. Not by works of righteousness we’ve done, but by his mercy he saves us, by the washing and regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost-Tit 3:5. We must confess our belief in him prior to baptism and call upon it it in it, states Romans 10:9-13. And we must take heed to follow the doctrine (Or teachings therein.) of Christ continually, and in doing so we save ourselves and others-Tim 4:16

 [1] pg. 134 

[2] pg. 90

[3] pg. 172

Submitted by Craig “Lee” Dorsheimer:

My Statement of Faith

 
For the past six to eight weeks or so I’ve been working on a personal statement of faith.  My intent is to be as complete as possible in outlining my beliefs using scriptural backup without rewriting the entire Bible!  I welcome any input or criticism provided you can backup your view with chapter and verse in context.  You may just help me in refining it further.  This was an enriching exercise for me; and, I encourage everyone to write their own.  You may borrow parts of this or even copy this outright.  In my quest to write this I consulted quite a few statements of faith on various websites; and, I’ve borrowed some of their words.  Here it is:
 

Jehovah God is one God in three persons (Elohim) [Genesis 1:1-2,26; John 1:1-2,14] known as the Holy Trinity: God the Father, Jesus Christ His one and only begotten Son [John 3:16], and the Holy Spirit.  God is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and sovereign.  Jesus Christ was born of a virgin and conceived by the Holy Spirit [Luke 1:26-35; Matthew 1:18] fully God and fully man [John 5:18; Philippians 2:6-7].

 

Salvation into eternal life is only through Jesus Christ [John 14:6] as a result of His death, burial and resurrection on the 3rd day [Philippians 2:8; Matthew 28:1-7; Luke 24:1-10,46] thereby defeating Satan [Genesis 3:15; Philippians 2:9-11] and atoning for our sins [John 3:16; Romans 5:8, 10:9].  Christ has now ascended to be at the right hand of the Father [Acts 2:33] serving as our mediator [Galatians 3:19-20; 1 Timothy 2:3-6].  Salvation is a free gift of unmerited grace through faith in Jesus Christ [Ephesians 2:8-9]. Jesus’ death also fulfilled the Law of Moses [Matthew 5:17]; consequently, Christians are free from this bondage [Galatians 3:10-25].

 

If we believe the aforementioned and acknowledge the fact that we are sinners in need of a savior [Romans 3:23, 5:12, 6:23], repent of our sins [Luke 13:5; Matthew 3:2], and accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior we will gain eternal life [Romans 10:9,13].  At the point of salvation the Holy Spirit indwells each and every believer [Romans 5:1-2,5] identifying each one as a Christian who becomes a new creature [2 Corinthians 5:17].  Christians are a Royal Priesthood [1 Peter 2:9] with the confidence to enter the Most Holy Place [Mark 15:37-38] to petition the Father by prayer [Hebrews 10:19-22] in the Name — i.e., in the character — of Jesus Christ His Son as revealed through His Word.

 

The Holy Spirit empowers all believers; and, His indwelling is a seal guaranteeing eternal life [2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14].  Evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit is by the convicting of sin and guidance into all Truth [John 16:8-11,13].  He will bring glory to Jesus Christ [John 15:26, 16:14].  The Holy Spirit gives believers spiritual gifts disbursed just as He determines [1 Corinthians 12:7-11; Romans 12:4-8] and intercedes on our behalf [Romans 8:26].

 

Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh [John 1:1-2,14]. The Holy Bible in its original languages is the Holy Spirit-inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God [Proverbs 30:5; 2 Peter 1:20-21] complete unto itself.  The Bible will never be superseded or supplemented by any other teaching [Proverbs 30:6] and nothing should be subtracted from it [Deuteronomy 4:2;  Matthew 5:17; Revelation 22:18-19].  Its full counsel provides the way to live a complete Christian life [2 Timothy 3:16-17].

 

All Christians should have a part in the Great Commission making disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey the teachings contained in His Word [Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 24:47].

 

Jesus Christ will return again [Matthew 24:30; 1 Thessalonians 4:16] and gather all Christians, first the dead then the living [1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17].   Unbelievers will be separated from God and will forever dwell in Hell (Gehenna) [Matthew 13:41-42], while believers will be in God’s presence in Heaven [Matthew 13:43; Daniel 12:3] for all eternity [John 3:15-16, 4:14, 5:24, 6:40, 10:28, 17:2].

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