Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thursday, April 9th: Leviticus 13, Hebrews 10:19-39

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 13; Hebrews 10:19-39

Leviticus 13 discusses uncleanness resulting from various different infectious skin diseases.  The question that comes to mind is why must the Israelite suffer from something he doesn't have any control over.

According to Bob Deffinbaugh:
The answer to the question, “Why must the Israelite suffer when no wrong has been committed by the individual,” is answered by this principle: The fall of man, as recorded in Genesis 3, has brought chaos and suffering to all creation, including mankind. The fall has rendered man inherently sinful from birth. Thus, man sins because he is a sinner. So, too, he will suffer in life because he lives in a fallen world where the consequences of sin cause chaos and suffering.
God used the laws of uncleanness to teach the Israelites some fundamental doctrines - one of which is the doctrine of depravity of man.  As I said yesterday, we aren't sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners. Most of the conditions that caused uncleanness were caused by a result of the fall.  The law could and did declare men unclean, but only Jesus can make us clean.

After about 10 chapters of doctrine about the identity of Jesus Christ, the writer of Hebrews wants a response. Let us draw near through faith, let us hold fast through hope, and let us consider each other in love.  Faith, hope and love are the three features, or evidence, of the salvation response to the gospel message.

The other option is to walk away from Jesus, despite knowing the truth.  According to MacArthur (emphasis mine)....
the unforgivable sin of knowing the truth, having full revelation, professing to believe, then getting over it and walking away. And the Bible calls this kind of a person an apostate. It's the sin that becomes worthy of the severest Hell. To know everything there is to know about the gospel and to identify as a part of it, manifestly or visibly, and then to walk away, never having really been saved, that is to become an apostate. And for the sin of apostasy, there is no forgiveness. You say, well, how do you know when somebody's done that? You don't. Only God knows. And ours is not to speculate as to who's an apostate and brand them thus and leave them alone. Ours is to pray diligently and faithfully for every individual as far as we know and allow God to determine who the apostates are. That's not for us to determine. Only God knows. Don't you ever make the judgment, either that the individual knew everything in the first place, and thus reacted against full knowledge, or secondly, that his rejection is final. Only God knows that. 

Ours is to pray.  Diligently and faithfully. 

The first deterrent to apostasy is to remember.  Remember when they first heard the gospel and considered it, when they were even willing to be insulted and persecuted along with the true believers, when they sympathized with those in prison.

Most people interpret these verses to be encouraging Christians to remain strong in the faith, but MacArthur interprets them to be encouraging those on the verge of apostasy not to reject Jesus, but rather to remember when the Spirit was drawing them to Jesus.  I think MacArthur's interpretation is correct - based on what we've been learning in our study of Hebrews so far.

The second deterrent to apostasy is the promise of a reward.  Don't get trapped into looking at the present with all it's problems and get stuck there.  Look back and remember how wonderful the stirrings of the Spirit were, and look ahead to how wonderful it will be for all eternity.  Have patience, and go on to full belief and live by faith.

Christ offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice and only left us with two choices - accept Him or reject Him.  

 Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Leviticus 14; Hebrews 11:1-19


Conrad said...

"You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what God has promised." Hebrew 10:36

Perseverance. Sorry, but I'm going to use a hockey illustration. Many NHL teams have almost played their entire season, and some teams like the Jets, are trying to make the playoffs. They are having to play harder, skate harder, be more mentally prepared in these remaining games than they were all season in attempt to making the playoffs.

Once the playoff teams have been made, those teams have to up their game once again. Those that cannot, do not receive their reward.

Pamela said...

I thought about the necessity of showing yourself to the priest is really an analogy to our necessity to bring ourselves to God in order to be forgiven. He, like the priests, has the final declaration whether a person is clean or unclean.

And we do have that enter God's presence and humble ourselves to be intimately examined and vulnerable.
From Hebrews:19 Therefore, brothers,[a] since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,