The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 26 : LEVITICUS

[26-5] (Leviticus 4:1-12) Restoring Our Relationship with God

(Leviticus 4:1-12)
“Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, saying: “If a person sins unintentionally against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which ought not to be done, and does any of them, if the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the Lord for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering. He shall bring the bull to the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord, lay his hand on the bull’s head, and kill the bull before the Lord. Then the anointed priest shall take some of the bull’s blood and bring it to the tabernacle of meeting. The priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle some of the blood seven times before the Lord, in front of the veil of the sanctuary. And the priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the Lord, which is in the tabernacle of meeting; and he shall pour the remaining blood of the bull at the base of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. He shall take from it all the fat of the bull as the sin offering. The fat that covers the entrails and all the fat which is on the entrails, the two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove, as it was taken from the bull of the sacrifice of the peace offering; and the priest shall burn them on the altar of the burnt offering. But the bull’s hide and all its flesh, with its head and legs, its entrails and offal—the whole bull he shall carry outside the camp to a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire; where the ashes are poured out it shall be burned.”’”
 
 
If We Sin against God, What Should We Do to Address It?
 
The Book of Leviticus is the Word of God writing about the union between God and man. How and what kind of sacrifice should we offer in order to be united with the righteous God? For us to be one with God, we have to offer the sacrifice that God desired. The same was true for the people of the Old Testament, from the priests to the leaders of the congregation, to the common people, and to the elders. The Scripture reading we read today describes what had to be done when a priest brought guilt on the people.
It is written in Leviticus 4:2-4: “If a person sins unintentionally against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which ought not to be done, and does any of them, if the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the Lord for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering. He shall bring the bull to the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord, lay his hand on the bull’s head, and kill the bull before the Lord.”
As we can see here, the priests of the Old Testament could also bring guilt to the people. This means that just like the people of God, the priests could also go astray by sinning. God said that everyone sins against Him, including the elders of the congregation and the common people alike. However, our Lord wanted to blot out our sins forever. How can we restore our relationship with God when we actually sin? For the people of Israel, to address the sin blocking them from God, they had offer a sacrifice to God without fail and get that sin resolved by faith. In the Old Testament, when the people of Israel sought to address their sins, they laid their hands on the head of the sacrificial animal and killed it, and then the priest took this blood of the sacrifice with his finger, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offring, and pour all the remaining blood out at the base of the altar.
By believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can be washed from all our sins. However, when we commit a sin our hearts become darkened. When even a little bit of dirty water is poured into clean water, it can cloud the whole body of water. In a similar vein, our transgressions can darken our hearts even if for a short while. This can happen even though we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit now have absolutely no more sin. But, if we continue to commit sins, then our hearts will be darkened by these sins. As a result, our relationship with God can no longer be what it used to be. Whenever we commit a transgression against God, our hearts become darkened.
In times like these, we must think of and trust in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, who has become our own propitiation for sin. It is by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we should restore our relationship with God. We must return to the Lord’s gospel of the water and the Spirit, and reaffirm that all our sins were indeed passed onto the Lord once and for all through the baptism He received from John the Baptist. In other words, we must reaffirm that our Lord carried all our sins of the world once and for all by being baptized. This is because it is through the baptism He received from John the Baptist that the Lord took upon all our sins once and for all. And while shouldering the sins of the world, He was crucified and shed His blood for us.
We believe in this work done by the Lord, and we have received the remission of sins by this faith. It is quite possible for us to sin while living on this earth, but whenever we do so, we should remember that the Lord bore all the sins of this world once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, remind ourselves again of His condemnation as well, and thank Him with our faith. Unless we trust in and look towards the righteousness of God, our relationship with God will encounter problems. Of course, as long as we look towards the righteousness of God, there shouldn’t be any big problem. So, whenever we commit a sin, we should once again look at the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and reaffirm that even that sin has disappeared. Only then can our relationship with God be restored.
Where can we realize this truth? We can realize it in the gospel of the water and the Spirit as recorded in the Scripture, of both the Old and New Testaments. This realization is reached when we make the offering of the remission of sins to God by faith. Such an offering is not the offering that is made to receive the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but rather, it is an offering that that must be made by reaffirming this gospel once more. Therefore, we must return to and search through the Word of God again, which records the righteousness of our Lord Jesus, who bore all our sins through His baptism. We must reaffirm that the Lord took upon our sins through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, that He was crucified while shouldering the sins of the world, and that as a result, our sins have been judged and blotted out. Our relationship with the Lord can be restored only if we reaffirm that the Lord was baptized by John the Baptist for us, died on the Cross, and rose from the dead again.
 
 
The High Priest of the Old Testament offered the Sacrifice of the Day of Atonement Only Once a Year
 
In the Old Testament, on the tenth day of the seventh month, the high priest firstly offered a sacrifice of atonement for himself and his own family by laying his hands on the head of a sacrificial animal and passing his sins and the sins of his family to it. After this, he then passed the sins of all the people of Israel to another sacrificial animal by laying his hands on its head. However, when the people of Israel sinned against God before the Day of Atonement arrived, they had to offer a sacrifice to God for such sins, for their hearts were darkened by their sins. Likewise, whenever our hearts are darkened by the transgressions we commit after being saved, we must offer the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement by reaffirming our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Spiritually speaking, we can do this because all our sins were already passed onto Jesus Christ once and for all through His baptism. In other words, we make such an offering by ruminating on the fact that Jesus Christ took away all the sins of each and every one of us once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist.
This offering is all about reaffirming once more that our hearts are sinless, and thereby restoring our relationship with God. It is by our faith in the righteousness of God that we pass all our sins to Him. We must lay our hands spiritually, by believing in the righteousness of God. We must reaffirm in our heart that all our sins were passed onto Jesus Christ once and for all. With our hearts and our faith, we must uphold the grace of the remission of sins fulfilled by the Word of God.
Because we have received the everlasting remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with our hearts, we have absolutely no sin, and therefore we have no hesitation to approach God. That’s because the Holy Spirit in us acknowledges that we are indeed sinless. What must we then believe for this to come about? We must return to the written Word of God and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And by once again reaffirming our faith through the Word of God, we get the approval of the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts for our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Holy Spirit says to us, “Yes, I have blotted out your sins. You are right. Do not worry, for I have washed away all your sins and cleansed you with the Word of God.”
The Holy Spirit says that all our sins are washed away with the baptism Jesus received, and that this is the Truth. We must wash away our hearts’ sins by believing in the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist like this. When we look at the Word of God in John 1:29, “Behold! The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” we can verify that our Lord indeed took away all the sins of this world. We know the following from this passage: we the believers have no sin, for our Lord took away all our sins by being baptized and was condemned for them on the Cross. Knowing that our Lord was baptized and condemned for our sins, and therefore we have no sin in our hearts, is the correct knowledge.
Therefore, by reaffirming the gospel of the water and the Spirit recorded in the Word of God, we can be freed from all darkness even if we commit transgressions by chance. That is how we restore our relationship with God. Even those who have received the everlasting remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit may suffer a momentary setback in their relationship with God. However, once this relationship is restored, they can continue to live for the righteousness of God. To have such a faith that leads us to restore our relation with God, we have to make the offering of faith with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Only then can our hearts be freed from darkness when we sin. And only then can we restore our relationship back with God. Therefore, we must always live by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Even though we have received eternal redemption once and for all by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must still maintain a healthy relationship with God. Why? It’s because we stumble over our transgression often, for we are weak. It’s all because we are weak. In fact, when the righteous commits a transgression, even their hearts, which had been sharing fellowship with God amid bright light, are darkened temporarily. For us to restore our relationship with God in our hearts, we must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and make an offering of faith spiritually. We must know what is it that we have done wrong in God’s sight, and we must also recognize that the Lord bore even such sins and washed them away with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. To believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is to pass our sins on to the Lord by believing in His baptism. We must also reaffirm with the Word of God that Jesus Christ shouldered all our sins once and for all and was condemned for them on the Cross. That is how we ought to revitalize and restore our hearts.
When a priest sinned unintentionally against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which ought not to be done, the way to restore his relationship back with God was offering a sacrifice according to the requirements set by Him. This implies that by giving the offering of the remission of sins to God, we are restored to once again sharing fellowship with God. It’s written in Leviticus 4:8-9: “He shall take from it all the fat of the bull as the sin offering. The fat that covers the entrails and all the fat which is on the entrails, the two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove.” What does the Bible emphasize when it comes to the sin offering that brings the remission of sins to us? It is none other than the Holy Spirit. It’s written here that the priest should take the two kidneys, the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, and offer them to God by burning them on the altar of burnt offering. Spiritually speaking, the fat here refers to the Holy Spirit. This implies that we must burn the sins that are in our hearts with the sin offering.
Although we have made the everlasting sin offering by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, this does not mean that we can continue to sin. Rather, whenever we become weary, we must reaffirm how God has blotted out our sins. God approves our faith only when we believe that God Himself bore our sins through His baptism and blotted them out. Because we are all human, it’s possible for us to sin, but we cannot solve away such sins with our own thoughts no matter how hard we try. We must therefore reaffirm our salvation once again by trusting in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that has cleansed us. By reaffirming once more that the Lord has blotted out our sins, we can restore ourselves to this grace of salvation and drive out the darkness that had come because of our transgressions. Unless we reaffirm our salvation with the Word of God, our lives will be seized by darkness.
 
 
What Should We Do When We Sin?
 
Darkness descends on us when we sin. In times like these, we end up turning into darkness, even though God is the light. How can we then restore our relationship back with God again? We can restore it by making an offering of faith. We must cleanse ourselves and restore our fellowship with God, so that we can put away our temporary uncleanness to once again serve the Lord, renew our lives of faith, and receive God’s blessings anew.
It is because we are weak that we make our offering of faith. It’s because we will perish spiritually unless our relationship with God is restored. If we are cut off from God, then we will be ruined spiritually. Our lives would then become meaningless. Although we have received the remission of sins, there is no one amongst us that can commit no more sin while living on this earth? Who among us will not face darkness at one point or another? No one!
Jesus has blotted out our sins once and for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must look towards the righteousness of Jesus Christ often. The Book of Hebrews admonishes us to “look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrew 13:8). If we do not fix our eyes on Him, we will fall into and be bound by darkness, our flesh, and our weaknesses, only to perish in the end. We must look towards the righteousness of the Lord always. We must look towards the righteousness of the Lord who has made us perfect. We must look towards it by trusting in the Word of God. This means we must look towards the righteousness of God that is written in His Word, not according to our own thoughts.
The Word of God has tremendous power. The Bible says in John 1:29, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Let’s all memorize this passage. Most of us know this passage without even turning to the Bible. In fact, most of us know it so well that we can probably cite it effortlessly even while asleep. However, just knowing it like this is different from reaffirming it once more. At the moment we read the Word of God, we can reaffirm in our hearts that Jesus took away our sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist. While it is important for us to know the Word of God, it is also indispensable for us to once again reaffirm our salvation with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That’s because our darkened hearts are then cleansed by the Word of God.
Let’s turn to Ephesians 5:25-27 here: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” The “washing of water” mentioned here refers to the baptism of Jesus. This baptism of Jesus came by the Word of God. That God has washed us with water means that He has washed away our sins with His Word. What washes our filthy hearts is none other than the baptism Jesus which He received from John the Baptist, and the blood He shed on the Cross. The Scripture speaks of this issue quite often, so whenever our hearts become soiled, we must wash them again with the Word of God by reaffirming it.
This is how we must restore our relationship with God, so that we may fulfill our priesthood. Standing at the entrance of the Tabernacle with a heart that is always sinless, we ought to reaffirm that the Lord is the One who has blotted out all our sins, He is the One who created us, He is the One who helps us, He is the One who blesses us, and He is God Himself who is our Judge. It is on account of this righteousness of God that we are able to truly ask Him for His help. This is how we are renewed everyday. By cleansing our darkened hearts with the Word of the righteousness of God, we can walk with the Lord everyday brightly, spotlessly, and in holiness.
As we carry on with our lives in this world, especially in social settings, there are many times when our hearts become darkened. There are times when our hearts or acts go astray. Whenever this happens, we must wash ourselves by trusting in the righteous Word of God. If your heart becomes darkened for some reason, then it’s because you have sinned, even if you are not sure exactly what sin you committed. In times like these, you must reaffirm that the Lord took away this sin also. Because we are sinless, we can share fellowship with the Lord. And we can have the boldness to pray to God.
In 1 John, God said that He will give us whatever we ask with a good conscience. What makes us unable to have a good conscience before God? It’s such things as fleshly thoughts and transgressions. Washing away these things with the Word, we must always pray to God boldly. Because Jesus has saved us from the sins of the world and become our Lord, and because He is God Himself, He will answer us whenever we pray to Him to help us. We ought to pray to God boldly with a clean heart to help us. We ought to wash our hearts with the Word of the Lord, pray to Him, and become the people of faith. So let us live in this world by trusting in the Lord.
The more time goes by since we first received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the more weaknesses are exposed. But, by what faith do the righteous live? In the Old Testament, if the priests sinned, if the congregation sinned, if the elders sinned, and if the common people sinned, they all had to offer a sacrifice to God to be washed from their sins. Just like that, in the New Testament, we can share fellowship with Him on account of this faith because we believe in the righteousness of the Lord, and because we believe in the Lord who has blotted out the sins of this world washing us clean. The Book of Leviticus speaks about unity with God. To be one with the Holy God, the very first step is to receive the remission of sins. This remission of sins is obtained by sacrificing a sin offering. Our relationship with God is restored according to the rules set by God. So, we must offer sin offerings to God often by believing in His Word. The Scripture says that when Job’s son sinned, Job made a sin offering and a burnt offering for his son. This offering was an offering of sacrifice. God Himself described Job as a righteous man.
When we return to our everyday lives, we must make the offering of faith to God by trusting in His righteousness. We are spiritual priests. We are holy priests in God’s sight. What should we then do when we sin? When those who have received the everlasting remission of sins commit a sin again, what can they do about this sin? They can restore themselves by once again making their sin offering spiritually. Such offerings are needed every day and every moment. Why? It’s because the world is filthy and full of wickedness.
A long time ago I once read a weekly magazine called Sunday Seoul, and there were all kinds of nasty things written in that magazine. And flipping through the pages, I also saw many sexually suggestive pictures. We come across such things all the time. We can all access them easily if we make up our minds. Sometimes, such things are seen by our eyes inadvertently, even if we don’t want to see them at all and have absolutely no intention to see them. Like this, our flesh commits transgressions often. In such times, we cannot come to the presence of God for a short while. For us to once again come to the presence of God, we must make the offering of faith that reveals the righteousness of God.
Therefore, whenever we make the offering of faith, we must do so with a clear understanding of what it is that we have done wrong before God. We must live in this world by trusting in the Lord, being always holy and sinless in God’s sight. We are able to live now because we have heard the offering of faith, the Word of the offering of redemption. But, although we are now hearing the Word of redemption often in our lives, what should we do if we can no longer hear it? Even in a day, we ought to make the sin offering of faith in our daily lives. Only then will our hearts be restored. God’s Church makes sin offerings all the time.
Even for those whose hearts have been corrupted by the world, their hearts will also be cleansed if they come into the Church, sit quietly in the pew, and listen to the Word of God. The Lord has cleansed away our sins once and for all and made us spotless with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He has saved us from the sins of the world. He has turned us into holy people who can share fellowship with God. What about you then? Have you been washed from your sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? I give all my thanks to God!