Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Old Testament survey (3): Leviticus

And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. (Leviticus 1:4)

For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. (Leviticus 17:11)

Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy. (Leviticus 19:2)

Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:18)


[1] Leviticus, from Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee ©, with free downloads Notes & Outlines (PDF), Complete 5-Year Study (MP3)

The keynote to the book is holiness unto Jehovah. The message of the book is twofold:

1. Leviticus teaches that the way to God is by sacrifice. The word atonement occurs 45 times in this book. Atonement means to “cover up.” The blood of bulls and goats did not actually take away sin. It covered over sin until Christ came to take away all sins. This is what Paul is referring to in Romans 3:25: “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”

The sins that are past are the sins back in the Old Testament. You see, God never accepted the blood of bulls and goats as the final payment for sin, but He required that blood be shed. It was an atonement to cover over the sins until Christ came. In other words, God saved “on credit” in the Old Testament. When Christ came, as the hymn accurately states it, “Jesus paid it all.” This is true as far as the past is concerned, and as far as the present is concerned, and as far as the future is concerned.

One of the key verses in Leviticus, dealing with atonement, is found in Leviticus 17:11, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” The way to God is by sacrifice and without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins.

2. Leviticus teaches that the walk with God is by sanctification. The word holiness occurs 87 times in this book. “And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine” (Lev. 20:26).

God gave strict laws governing the diet, social life, and daily details involving every physical aspect of the lives of His people. These laws have a greater spiritual application to His people today. That is the reason I think we ought to study Leviticus. You see, access to God is secured for the sinner today through the shed blood of Christ. The writer to the Hebrews stated it this way: “Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world [literally, end of the age] hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Heb. 9:25–26).

Those who are redeemed by the blood of Christ must live a holy life if they are to enjoy and worship God. “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well–pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen”(Heb. 13:20–21). (Read the complete article)
[2] Book of Leviticus, from gotquestions.org (this website is also available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese-Myanmar, Cebuano, Chinese - Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Persian-Farsi, Portuguese, Quechua, Sesotho, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu, and 70 other languages)
Chapters 1-7 outline the offerings required of both the laity and the priesthood. Chapters 8-10 describe the consecration of Aaron and his sons to the priesthood. Chapters 11-16 are the prescriptions for various types of uncleanness. The final 10 chapters are God’s guidelines to His people for practical holiness. Various feasts were instituted in the people's worship of Jehovah God, convened and practiced according to God's laws. Blessings or curses would accompany either the keeping or neglect of God's commandments (chapter 26). Vows to the Lord are covered in Chapter 27.

The primary theme of Leviticus is holiness. God's demand for holiness in His people is based on His own holy nature. A corresponding theme is that of atonement. Holiness must be maintained before God, and holiness can only be attained through a proper atonement. (Read the complete article)
[3] Leviticus, from Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)
LEVITICUS stands in the same relation to EXODUS, that the Epistles do to the Gospels. EXODUS is the record of redemption, and lays the foundation of the cleansing, worship, and service of a redeemed people. LEVITICUS gives the detail of the walk, worship, and service of that people. In EXODUS God speaks out of the mount to which approach was forbidden; in LEVITICUS He speaks out of the tabernacle in which He dwells in the midst of His people, to tell them that which befits His holiness in their approach to, and communion with, Himself.

The key word of Leviticus is holiness, occurring 87 times. Key verse is Leviticus 19:2.

LEVITICUS is in nine chief divisions:

1. The Offerings, Leviticus 1-6:7
2. The Law of the Offerings. Leviticus 6:8-7:38.
3. Consecration, Leviticus 8:1-9:24
4. A Warning Example, Leviticus 10:1-20.
5. A Holy God Must Have a Cleansed People, Leviticus 11-15.
6. Atonement, Leviticus 16-17.
7. The Relationships of God’s People, Leviticus 18-22.
8. The Feasts of Jehovah, Leviticus 23.
9. Instructions and Warnings, Leviticus 24-27.
[4] Leviticus - An Overview (with chart Wholly for a Holy God), from Uplook Ministries

Further study
(Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Materials by David Malick
[2] Leviticus: Sacrifice and Sanctification (series), by Bob Deffinbaugh (download Word doc)
[3] The Law: The First Five Books, by J. Hampton Keathley, III

[4] Homosexual Theology, by Kerby Anderson

[5] God’s Design for Building Your Marriage: A Study for Wise Women, by Kay Daigle
Sermons on Leviticus (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] From South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee AR
[2] Requirements for Atonement Lev 16:5-34, by James McCullen

[3] Sermons by Mark Hoffer
[4] Hidden in the Blood, by John Martin

[5] A Big Fall Created The Pothole, by David Paul Asfour

[6] Blood of the Covenant, by Dennis Davis

[7] Atonement Symbolism, by Mark Klein

[8] The Sound of Music and Star Wars - The Creation Story, by Bryan O Clements

[9] Called To Holiness, by John R. Miller

[10] The gospel of the Lord - the living of the Gospel (1), by Rudi Schwartz

[11] Love Your Neighbor, by Thomas Black

For other available sermons, please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials. (2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

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