(On a poster or white board write “Do’s” and “Don’ts” as headings.)
1. Ask: What are some “Do’s” and “Don’ts” that people outside the church might think Christians should follow?
Sometimes people view religion as just a list of difficult rules that people attempt to follow.
2. What expectations do non-Christians have about the way Christians should live?
3. Do you think they expect Christians to act differently than they do?
4. Do we as Christians fall into the same trap when we look at other Christians by expecting things of them we don’t expect of ourselves?
Today we will see how God’s people are called to live holy lives—not just to try to follow a list of do’s and don’ts. The Christians life is much more than a list of do’s and don’ts to follow. Our actions are to spring from a heart of gratitude for what God has done for us and what He wants to accomplish through us!
Having established a series of offerings in Leviticus chapters 1 through 6 and how those offerings were to be managed in chapters 6 & 7, chapter 8 establishes a priesthood to represent God’s people before Him and to represent Him before the people. Aaron and his sons were ordained into their priestly offices. Now in chapter 9 we have the first worship service in the tabernacle.
As we study Leviticus look for these key themes: The Holiness of God; The Need for Atonement; and The Need for Right Living.
Cleansed! Read Leviticus 9:15-21
1. In the very act of making a “sin offering” what are we saying? (We are confessing we have sinned and we have a need for restoration of our fellowship with God.)
2. Why is confession the first step for approaching God?
3. What keeps people from being honest about their need for confession?
As we mentioned last week, the killing of an animal showed the cost of sin and by God accepting their offering, He was showing His people how their fellowship with Him is restored.
4. As believers today, we do not need an earthly priest to help us approach God! Why is that the case? (See 1 Peter 2:9—We have direct access to the Father through Jesus. See Heb. 8:1—Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father. His work was finished. Aaron and his successors’ work was never finished. See Heb. 9:11-14 and 10:14.)
5. Why was the priesthood set up by God? (To facilitate access to God for the people by way of God’s instructions through sacrifices, teaching the community about God, and worship—all pointing to Jesus as our ultimate High Priest.)
We are made right with God through the blood of Jesus. Read Rom. 5:9; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:20; 1 John 1:7; Rev. 1:5.
We have been saved out of the darkness of this world to be a bright light shining back into that darkness that others might come to the Light, which is Jesus! Our lives should be such that others are drawn to Jesus just a bugs are drawn to light on a dark night!
We know that recognizing and confessing our sin is the first step toward God. Next we will see the blessing that Aaron offered for the people!
Blessing! Read Leviticus 9:22-24
We don’t know what happened when Moses and Aaron went into the Tent of Meetings and speculation is futile, but surely they communicated with God in some way. The fire of God symbolized the holiness of God and His purifying, cleansing power!
1. What effect did God’s nearness and response to the sacrifice have on the people? (Their instance response was to worship and praise God. There was responsibility for the specific sin of the individual but also a great sense of relating to God as a community.)
I enjoy worshiping God alone but I love coming together as a church family worshiping God together.
2. When have you been so moved as to figuratively fall on your face in worship to God?
3. How would you describe their relationship with God at this point? (Being in God’s presence in worship brings about blessing and proper perspective in our lives.)
4. Is there any significance to the order of the offerings: sin offering, burnt offering and the fellowship offering? (The order of these offerings illustrates that atonement comes before true relationship. God makes relationship with Him possible after we first respond to His way of atonement. Adjusting our hearts toward gratitude to God in our lives enhances our worship.)
5. If you were asked to describe the blessings of living a holy life how would you respond?
1. What happens when we try to design our own way to come to God?
Holy! Read Leviticus 10:1-3
2. What was the problem with what Nadab and Abihu did? (We are not given specifics but there was obviously sin in their hearts. Perhaps it was pride that led them to offer unauthorized fire to the Lord in an offering God did not tell them to offer. Although we are not told specifically what the Scripture mean, Holy fire is fire from God and there is strong evidence that fire from the altar would be considered Holy Fire because of the blood sprinkled on the Altar.)
3. In what ways do we face the same temptations as Nadab and Abihu?
4. What truths were pressed deeply into Israel as a result of what happened to Nadab and Abihu? (God’s holiness is uncompromising. The Lord deserves every reverence people are capable of offering, and more. The purity of the Levitical priesthood and the prescribed sacrifices was preserved.)
5. How does disobedience reflect a lack of faith in God? (Had Nadab and Abihu’s disobedient offering been done in ignorance, a sin offering would have reestablished their right relationship with God. Instead, their deliberate disobedience revealed their disrespect for God. Pride is a terrible sin!)
6. When people stray away from God’s demands of holiness, what effect does it have on their lives and relationships—both with
God and others?
In Acts 8:18 Simon offered Peter and John money in Samaria to have the power that he saw when they prayed over the new believers and the Holy Spirit came upon the people.
Arrogance takes many forms; even lack of reverence can be a form of arrogance. People don’t, and can’t, have the authority to choose or create a way that God can successfully be approached. Understanding or agreeing with the strategy of what God asks us to do isn’t a release from the expectation of obedience.
Summarize and Challenge!
Read Hebrews 7:26-28!
1. How would you summarize these three verses? (We can be thankful that Christ is the only holy, perfect priest we need and that through His sacrifice on the cross we have access to God.)
Confession of sin is the first step toward God. Believers can enjoy the blessing of being in God’s presence through worship of Him. God’s people are to live holy lives, reflecting Jesus’ character.
2. How do you see Christians today minimize God’s expectation of their obedience?
3. In what areas of your own life do you do this? (Isn’t it strange that we look at other people and call an act sin but excuse the same act in our own life!)
Read Psalm 139:23-24.
Ask God to show you where you need to get serious about obeying Him exactly.
Give God thanks for providing Christ as both a holy sacrifice and a High Priest so that you can have a relationship with Him!