Using the Law Lawfully
But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, I Timothy 1:8-10.
Probably the most underused aspect of the law, is using it to determine whether or not a doctrine is lawful. The Apostle Paul was tasked with teaching us so that the Jews and the Gentiles understood that New Testament doctrine was lawful. No one quotes the Old Testament more than Paul. All too often people allow their eyes to glaze over when Paul is trying to make reference to the Law.
When Paul makes a statement like; That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, Romans 15:16, people should sit up and ask themselves something. Why is an offering being sanctified? Aren't offerings usually used to sanctify something? Isn't Paul being a little sloppy here with his terminology?
For those of you who know what I teach, you know that Paul will never uses a term like offering without having a specific one in mind. So which offering gets itself sanctified, instead of being used to sanctify something else? And thou shalt sanctify the breast of the wave offering, and the shoulder of the heave offering, which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of the consecration, even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons, Exodus 29:27. In the consecration of the priesthood, there is an offering set aside (sanctified) for Aaron and his sons. Likewise, just as Moses sanctified the breast of the heave offering and the shoulder for Aaron and his sons, the Holy Ghost sanctifies the offering up of the Gentiles for Jesus Christ.
The second great thing that I encourage my students to do is to learn the Tabernacle and the offerings. Every student of the word of God should have his own drawing of the Tabernacle and its furnishings. There are few things that can excite a new Christian more than trying to fathom the dimensions and descriptions of the Tabernacle. There are few things that can reenergize an older Christian like tearing into the Tabernacle.
Look, there is no one reading this who draws more poorly than I do. I can still do stick drawings and make roughly proportional lines on a paper to visualize the tabernacle. Once I have struggled through the Tabernacle and its furnishings, I can now deconstruct each offering. Start in Leviticus 1. Ask these questions; who brings the offering? Who kills the offering? Who gathers the blood? what does he do with it? When does this change? Who flays the offering? Who gets to keep what?
Get each of the first 5 chapters of Leviticus down pat. Understand the basics of the offerings. Use your Tabernacle outline to visualize where each step is taking place. How many of you can honestly say that prior to reading the post on Suggested Study, that you knew that the lepers' sacrifice was made right inside of the Holy Place? How many times have you read through Leviticus and missed that? By knowing what is regular, you can instantly see what is irregular.
Have you ever noticed the conflict between Leviticus 4:13-14 where the sin offering for a congregation is supposed to be a bullock, and Leviticus 16:15 where Aaron is supposed to take a goat as a sin offering for the congregation? In Leviticus 4, a goat was supposed to be the sin offering for the common man. Now Moses commands that a goat be brought for the whole congregation. What was the common man to think as he stood watching Aaron?
He was to realize that that goat was for him as an individual. He didn't regard the multitudes on the left and right of him. He established a one on one relationship with that goat which was being offered for him. For the tens of thousands of common men who watched Aaron take that goat, each man saw it for himself. Is that not what Paul tells us in Hebrews 2:9? But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. As Jesus hung on the cross, he established a one on one relationship with each and every person who ever lived. He looked each and every man, woman and child in the eye and tasted of their cup of death.
But, we're not done with the Day of Atonement! What of the live goat? What of this goat that is laden with transgression, iniquity and sin? Does not a fit man steer this goat out into the wilderness? Does not Paul beseech us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice? Are we not to be that fit man and are we not to see to it that we are not conformed to this world? Can you be that fit man and see to it that your body which is laden with transgression, iniquity and sin is not conformed to this world?
A man will never be a doctrinal Bible believer until he can understand the relationship of the Law to the New Testament. He can never do that until he knows the law and studies Paul who was delegated to teach us.