Pastor Ray Barnett

Pastor Ray Barnett Pastor Ray Barnett has served in the Amsterdam, NY area for over 25 years. As the founding pastor of the Time For Truth Ministries, his desire is to see a true Biblical New Testament church in our modern days, founded on the love of the brethren, and has labored to that end through times of blessing and adversity.

 

Recent Sermon
Six Ways to Stop Trying to be a Christian
December 21, 2014 | by Pastor Ray Barnett | Scripture : Matt 8:3
Recent Devotion

Sunday February 1, 2015

INTERESTING FACTS : The Bible is the only Book in the world that was written by God and can save a person from sin and eternal separation from God[1].

Daily Reading : [LEVITICUS 1 - 4]

TEXT : Lev 4:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Lev 4:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them: Lev 4:3 If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering. Lev 4:4 And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock's head, and kill the bullock before the LORD. Lev 4:5 And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock's blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation: Lev 4:6 And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, before the vail of the sanctuary.

THEME : SIN

As we start the Book of Leviticus we notice a collection of laws of various types are given to the Levites [priests] through Moses. The name "Leviticus" comes from the Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint. About the name of the Book, John Gill comments -

"This book is commonly called by the Jews Vajikra, from the first word with which it begins, and sometimes -, "the law of the priests; and this is its name in the Syriac and Arabic versions: by the Septuagint interpreters it is called - and by the Latins, Leviticus, or the Levitical book, because it gives an account of the Levitical priesthood, as the apostle calls it, Heb_7:11[2]."

Albert Barnes adds -

"Leviticus, that is, the Levitical Book, is the name by which this portion of the Law of Moses has always been called by the Hellenistic Jews and the Christian Church. Leviticus is closely connected with Exodus at its commencement and with the Book of Numbers at its conclusion; but differs from those books in its general exclusion of historical narrative. The only historical portions are the accounts of the Consecration of the priests, with the deaths of Nadab and Abihu Lev. 8-10, and of the punishment of the blasphemer Lev_24:10-23. A large portion of it is occupied with instructions for the service of the Sanctuary.[3]"

So, from these commentators we see the Book of Leviticus covers the variety of laws given to the Levites who are the priestly tribe of the children of Israel. These laws tell in detail how the priesthood was to function in the Tabernacle, and later in the Temple. Leviticus will also cover laws to be applied when the priests themselves sin. This further shows the truth that all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. It accents the fact there is none righteous, no not one. From this we learn how Man needs to be saved purely by the grace and mercy of God. Isaiah writes how our righteousness is as filthy rags. Leviticus shows us - among many other things - there is only one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. For as we know He who knew no sin, became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. It is all of grace that we are saved from sin and eternal separation for God!

TRUTH FOR TODAY : JESUS PAID THE PENALTY - ETERNAL SEPARATION FROM GOD - FOR ALL OF OUR SINS!

Many sincere Christians are confused on the subject of sin. Some teach since we are under grace sinning [which is breaking God's Laws] no longer matters. This position is known as antinomianism, a decorative word which simply means - "against law" or "no law." The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as -"holding or relating to the view that Christians are released by grace from the obligation of observing the moral law." Others hold to a view of sin that suggests we can live a life of sinless perfection - like Jesus - since we have the Holy Spirit of God. If this view were accurate, there would not be verses like this in the Bible - "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." [1 John 2:1] If a Christian never sinned after receiving Christ, there would be no need for the second part of 1 John 2:1. Yet, in this verse, we have the balance between what God expects and requires, and our weakness.

The New Testament makes it clear that those who claim to be born again do not sin any longer. Yet, the question is asked - what is meant by never sinning? The answer is we do not sin against God willfully, as we once did. However, there is a difference between willful rebellion against God and the weakness of our flesh. In addition, knowing the distinction between the two is the difference between peace of mind or fearful and tormenting thoughts.

Willful sin is an attitude that says - "I don't care what the Bible says, I'm going to it anyway." This type of person, if they are not a sincerely confused antinomian, has probably not truly been born again. We read in 1 John - "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." [1 John 3:9] This verse speaks of the true believer who now has God's Spirit in him or her and cannot willfully sin against God. A true believer will not purposely offend God.

However, we all have experienced the occasional failure in complying with God's commands due to either ignorance [as mentioned in the Levitical Law] or feebleness because of our [sinful] human nature which still clings to us in our natural bodies. We all sin. It is just that we do not sin willingly or freely. The New Nature given to us by God calls us to a life of holiness. The old nature [our flesh] has not changed and brings us down from time to time. Therefore, it is important to know the difference between a sin of weakness and sinning with knowledge, indifference, and the will. Again, the person who sins with the latter mindset has not known Christ.

When we sin, we have an Eternal Advocate with the Father - Jesus Christ. His death on the cross not only paid for our past sins, He paid for all of our sins - past, present, and future. All that is needed when we sin is to confess it as wrong, ask for forgiveness, and pray for continued grace to overcome our sins or sins. Again, we read from the Apostle John -

"If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. [1 John1:6 - 10]

For the person who says they have no sin - they have not known Christ. For the person who confesses their sin - Christ is faithful and just to forgive it. Our salvation is all of grace, and Jesus paid the penalty - eternal separation from God - for all of our sins!


  • [1] DR. RAYMOND M. BARNETT
  • [2] John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
  • [3] Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible
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