We Are Devoted To Christ!
INTERESTING FACTS : If the Bible is only a man-written book, then why does it still exist? Satan has fought endlessly to rid the world of the Bible, yet it still exists today. Everything that man accomplishes eventually falls apart (wonders of the world, educational system, governments, etc.), but the Bible lives on (Psa. 12:6-7; Mat. 24:35).
DAILY READING : [LEVITICUS 26 - 27]
TEXT : Lev 27:28- Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the LORD of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the LORD. Lev 27:29 None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death.
THEME : SANCTIFICATION
As we end our time in Leviticus, we see God's exhortation to follow His commands. The blessing of obedience is put against the curse of disobedience. It is obvious as we read, God controls both. On the solemnity of this subject, Matthew Henry comments.
This chapter is a solemn conclusion of the main body of the levitical law. The precepts that follow in this and the following book either relate to some particular matters or are repetitions and explications of the foregoing institutions. Now this chapter contains a general enforcement of all those laws by promises of reward in case of obedience on the one hand, and threatenings of punishment for disobedience on the other hand, the former to work upon hope, the latter on fear, those two handles of the soul, by which it is taken hold of and managed. Here is, I. A repetition of two or three of the principal of the commandments (Lev_26:1, Lev_26:2). II. An inviting promise of all good things, if they would but keep God's commandments (Lev_26:3-13). III. A terrible threatening of ruining judgments which would be brought upon them if they were refractory and disobedient (v. 14-39). IV. A gracious promise of the return of mercy to those of them that would repent and reform (Lev_26:40, etc.). Deu. 28 is parallel to this.
TRUTH FOR TODAY : WE ARE DEVOTED TO CHRIST!
A few matters should be noted on the subject of sanctification which is not only the theme of Leviticus, but of the Bible as a whole. Webster defines sanctifications as -
1). The act of making holy. In an evangelical sense, the act of God's grace by which the affections of men are purified or alienated from sin and the world, and exalted to a supreme love to God.
God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. 2 Th 2. 1 Pet 1.
2). The act of consecrating or of setting apart for a sacred purpose; consecration.
Sanctification has both a positive and a negative aspect. Positively, by the grace of God we love Him and devote ourselves to His purpose for our life and His kingdom. Negatively, there are activities or behavior we do not engage in because of our devotion and love for God.
First, the doctrine of sanctification, again, a main subject of the Bible as it involves the first and greatest commandment - loving God with the heart, soul, mind, and strength - is rarely heard, taught or spoken about in our Churches and pulpits today. There are reasons for this, but the primary one is a dearth of Biblical teaching. There is a famine in the land - not of bread and water - but of hearing the Word of God. Doctrine and Biblical theology have taken a back seat to entertainment and patently false teaching. We are living in the last days, days that mimic the times of Jeremiah with regard to sound doctrine. Of course, Jesus foretold us of this in Matthew 24. In Jeremiah's time, there were more false teachers than true.
Second, it is not a doctrine that pleases Man or the flesh. It is not comfortable or accommodating. Still, Jesus taught that true freedom was freedom from willful sin and disobedience to God.
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." [Joh 8:31 - 36]
Third, in an age of pacifying and enabling people to do wrong or continue to do wrong, sanctification becomes an obstacle. In other words, "no one wants to hear it." This then leads to yet a fourth reason that sanctification is not taught.
It is because many preachers today are willing to please men rather than please God. Another way of stating this is many preachers are not willing to let the Bible says what it says and let God supply the preachers' needs rather than influential or wealthy Church members.
In our text above, everything devoted to the Lord became God's - for life! We preachers often ask people to "give their lives to Christ." Yet, the average Christian in our country is hardly a disciple of Christ in the Biblical sense. Giving your life to Christ is the doctrine of sanctification. As Webster states it is - "The act of making holy. In an evangelical sense, the act of God's grace by which the affections of men are purified or alienated from sin and the world, and exalted to a supreme love to God."
Being born again is more than just lifting your hand or saying a little prayer. It is the great exchange. Christ becomes ours and we become Christ's. He accepts the penalty for our sins, grants us eternal life, and we - again, by His grace, take on the crucified life. Positively, we live for the glory of God in all that we say or do. Negatively, we no longer "practice" sin, but rather we shun it. The Apostle Paul wrote -
"For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." [Gal 2:19 - 20]
Although we are no longer "under the law," we are devoted to Christ by His mercy and grace. Remember, unlike ancient Israel, we now have God's commandments inside us through the Holy Spirit. God has given us His Spirit to save us from the wrath to come - the curse of the penalty of breaking God's laws which is sin. This means Christ in us, the hope of glory, is continually teaching, guiding, and aiding us to be devoted to Him in all matters pertaining to this life.