Thursday, May 8, 2014
Conclusion Of The Law
“Only the firstling of the beasts, which should be the LORD'S firstling, no man shall sanctify it; whether it be ox, or sheep: it is the LORD'S.
And if it be of an unclean beast, then he shall redeem it according to thine estimation, and shall add a fifth part of it thereto: or if it be not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to thy estimation.” (Leviticus 27:26-27)
The first born male of any animal automatically belonged to God. It wasn’t theirs to use. They could not use it even for other sacrifices. Clean animals had to be sacrificed, while unclean animals were to be redeemed or killed. Once again they were to pay twenty percent more than the assessed value of the animal. The other choice was to sell it and donate the proceeds of the sale to God.
“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. None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death.” (Leviticus 27:28-29)
Nothing that belonged to God could be redeemed, whether man or beast or real property, nor could it be sold. It was holy and was not to be used for worldly purposes. Things given as part of a vow were different in that they were given as temporary gift rather than as his actual property.
“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.” (Leviticus 27:30-31)
One tenth of everything a person gained belonged to God as his right for causing it to grow. If a person wished to exchange it for something else, he was to add an extra twenty percent to it.
“And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.” (Leviticus 27:32-33)
The tenth animal belonged to God, whether good or bad. They were not to reject one as not good enough, nor were they to try to save the best for themselves. If they chose to change it, both the designated one and the replacement were to be given. Because it already belonged to God, it could not be redeemed.
“These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.” (Leviticus 27:34)
These were the laws Israel was to keep as their part of the covenant or contract with God. In Matthew 5:17-20, Jesus made it very clear that these standards still apply in our day. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
Romans 4:18-25 compares our salvation with that of Abraham, “Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
Because he was delivered for our offences, Romans 10:4 tells us, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Although the standard of the law is still in force, Romans 8:1-4 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus responded to a question about the law. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” The law shows how to demonstrate our love for God and for other people, and as Jesus said in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” It doesn’t give access to heaven. That comes only through faith in Christ.