• William T. Howe Ph.D.

February 1, 2021

Daily Reading: Leviticus 1-4

Leviticus 1:3

If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.

One of the great historical and Scripture based doctrines of Baptist churches is "free will". This doctrine teaches that no one can choose, or force, for another to accept Christ as their Savior. Each person of their own voluntary will must make that choice for themselves. Parents cannot do this for their children, spouses cannot do this for their spouse, church leaders cannot do this for the members, and certainly civil government cannot mandate true Christianity. If a person is to accept Christ as their only sacrifice for their personal sins they must do so on their own volition. This is why Baptist people have always opposed the philosophy of state religion, so called.

This belief of individual free will is taught throughout all of Scripture. One such teaching is found in today's verse. Leviticus is so called because it sets forth the laws and ordinances of the Levitical priesthood. Exodus closed with the setting up of the Tabernacle, Leviticus begins by giving God's laws concerning the use of the Tabernacle in worship. Without Exodus, Leviticus' tabernacle worship would be impossible to understand. And without Leviticus, the building of the tabernacle would be meaningless. As a general outline consider this; in Genesis we read of the fall of man that plagued the Patriarchs, in Exodus we see the salvation of mankind by the strong arm of the Lord God, in Leviticus man, as pictured by Israel, is conformed to the image of God's Holiness through sacrifice.

But this idea ...of his own voluntary will... This truth of man's free will to determine their own acceptance or rejection of God and His teachings is why Moses is able to say in Deuteronomy 11:26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; and later in that Deuteronomy 30:19 Moses states: I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live; and why Joshua could say in Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. In the New Testament the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved, (Romans 10:13), and why Jesus said in John 3:16, 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. This list could go on and on and on. Suffice it to say that from Adam who chose to disobey God willingly unto today when people do the same, and unto all of the tomorrows and generations yet to come individuals must of their own voluntary will offer to God the suitable sacrifice for their sins. In the Old Testament there were sacrifices of lambs, turtle doves, oxen, goats, and even of various crops. These are numerous and frankly to most of the world today they are confusing. For in the New Testament there is but one suitable sacrifice for sin, the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. How simple, yet profound.

As you read Leviticus notice how many times blood is mentioned. (It's mentioned 66 times, it is interesting that it is mentioned the same number of times as there are books in the Bible.) Perhaps Hebrews 9:22 explains why it is so important. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. And I Peter 1:18-19 states: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Stay tuned, more to come...

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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