Sermon #9 Leviticus Sermons
Title: Things Pertaining to Peace
Text: Leviticus 3:1-17
Subject: Peace Offerings
Date: Sunday Morning – May 6, 2001
Tape # W-40b
Reading: Portions of Romans 3-5
Readings before the Message
[Romans 3:19-31] "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.  Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.  Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:  Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.  Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law."
[Romans 4:1-16] "What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?  For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.  For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.  Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.  Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,  Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.  Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.  How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.  And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:  And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.  For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.  For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:  Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.  Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,"
[Romans 4:25] "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification."
[Romans 5:1-11] "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."
The title of my message today is Things Pertaining to Peace. But before we look at our text, let me tell you about a couple, a family of believers who knew something about the peace of God which I want to preach to you.
John and Betty Stam
John and Betty Stam and their family found peace in the midst of indescribably more extreme stress than most of us can ever imagine.
John and Betty met in Bible college about 1930. They were both in their mid-twenties. Betty grew up in China. Her parents were missionaries there. She returned to China in 1931. John soon followed. In a little less than two years, in October 1933, they were married.
Fourteen months later, communist insurgents under the command of Mao Tse Tung captured the town where John, Betty, and their infant child Helen lived. The Stams were arrested. Early on December 8, the soldiers discussed how they would kill baby Helen. A poor Chinese farmer stepped forward, pleading for the child's life. The soldiers replied, "Fine. We won't kill the child -- if you're willing to die in her place!" The farmer agreed. The soldiers shot and killed him.
The next morning, the soldiers forced John and Betty to leave their house without Helen. They stripped the couple down to their underwear, and marched them through the town, mocking them. As a crowd formed, the Stams were sentenced to death. A Chinese doctor, until this time afraid to speak up, made a last-minute plea for their lives. The communists asked if he was a Christian. When he professed Christ as his Lord, they killed him. Then John and Betty were ordered to their knees. John was beheaded with a sword. Betty grabbed him to hold him and she too was beheaded.
When Betty’s parents were informed of her death, they replied by telegraph to the staff of China Inland Mission: -- “Deeply appreciate your consolation. Sacrifice seems great, but not too great for Him who gave Himself for us. Experiencing God's grace. Believe wholeheartedly Romans 8:28.”
Betty Stam's parents knew the peace of God and found strength and comfort in his free grace in Christ and in his wise, adorable, good providence. They knew that no matter what the circumstances, even in death, we are "more than conquerors through him who loved us."
Betty’s sister Helen, for whom the baby had been named, wrote to her bereaved parents: -- “Dearest Daddy and Mother, you don't need to hear me say how much we love you and are thinking of and praying for you in these days... I have such a radiant pictures of Betty and John standing with their palms of victory before the Throne, singing a song of pure joy…that I cannot break lose and cry about it as people expect. Crying seems to be too petty for a thing that was so manifestly in God's hands alone; but my heart is very, very sore for you.”
It is this peace, the peace of God that passeth understanding that is set forth in the peace offerings. It is this peace, found only in Christ, obtained only by faith in him that inspired those who worshipped God to bring their peace offerings. It is this peace that God gives to sinners, as we trust his Son and feed upon him. It is this peace, the peace that Christ gives, which the world can neither understand nor take away. May God be pleased to make it yours and mine, for Christ’s sake.
Now, I want us to look at and ask God the Holy Spirit to teach us the things pertaining to this peace from the typology of the peace offerings in Leviticus 3:1-17.
In Romans 4:25 we are told that the Lord Jesus Christ "was delivered for (because of) our offences, and was raised again for (because of) our justification." Then, in chapter five, the apostle Paul declares the result of this.
[Romans 5:1-2] "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
Proposition: It is this peace arising from our justification by the finished work of Christ that was pictured in the typical peace offerings of the ceremonial law.
These offerings might be taken from the herd (vv. 1-5), or the flock (vv. 6-11), or the goats (vv. 12-17).
I. The peace offering might be an offering from the herd (vv. 1-5).
[Leviticus 3:1] "And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer it of the herd; whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD."
The peace offerings are set before us in direct connection with the burnt offerings and the meat offerings. “The connection is simply this: a justified soul, devoted to the Lord in all things, spontaneously engages in acts of praise and exercises of fellowship, for the soul has been accepted and is at peace with God.” (Andrew Bonar). The redeemed sinner gladly lifts his heart in praise to God because God has given him peace by the blood of Christ.
[Psalms 116:16-17] "O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.  I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD."
Male or Female
You will notice that the animal sacrificed for a peace offering could be either male or female. When I read that, I could not help asking, “Why?” The reason appears to be this:
The burnt offering pictured atonement, atonement by Christ, the Lamb of God and the Son of God, our God-man Mediator. The peace offering pictured the result of the atonement, peace with God, which flows to all believers, male and female through the accomplishments of Christ at Calvary.
The sacrifice could be either male or female, but it must be “without blemish” because it represents the holy Lamb of God, that One who knew no sin though he was made to be sin for us, the altogether lovely One in whom the Father delights. Were he not perfect, we could never have peace. He who is the sinners’ Substitute must be both infinite and perfect, else he could not satisfy the demands of God for us.
[Leviticus 3:2] "And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about."
Laying His Hand on the Sacrifice
By laying his hand upon the sacrifice, the believing sinner both identified himself with the victim and pointed to Christ as the source of his peace, saying, my peace cannot be found in me, but only in my sin-atoning Substitute. Peace is found entirely outside ourselves, in the person and work of Christ.
At the Door of the Tabernacle
We cannot cross the threshold of the sanctuary, we cannot enter into the presence of the Almighty, except by the blood of Christ that speaks better things than the blood of Abel. -- Abel’s blood cried for wrath and vengeance. Christ’s blood says, “PEACE!” -- “Being justified, by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace (COMPLETE JUSTIFICATION) wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
[Leviticus 3:3-4] "And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards,  And the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away."
The Lord’s Portion
Those portions of the animal offered for a peace offering to be set aside from the rest burned unto the Lord were considered the richest portions of the animal and were those nearest its heart.
We come to God, not as One to be reconciled, but as One who is reconciled. We come to hold fellowship with the eternal God, like those before his throne in heaven, in holy worship. What can we bring him except the deepest, richest love of our hearts? Our very loins were once filled with pain when sin laid heavy upon us.
[Isaiah 21:3-4] "Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it.  My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me."
Now, where once we knew nothing but pain and turmoil, the peace of God and the joy of the Lord reign within.
As our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Peace, offered himself as our Substitute to God’s holy law and justice with every depth of affection, with every feeling of love, with every desire of compassion, so we must “worship him in spirit and in truth.”
Let us never fail to recognize and give thanks to God for him who offered himself as “an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord.” We have peace only because the Son of God endured and extinguished the fire of God’s holy wrath. Such a sacrifice as Christ is demands our hearts! Shall not the heat of his love for us melt our hearts for Christ, as the fire of God’s wrath melted his very soul for us!
[Leviticus 3:5] "And Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is upon the wood that is on the fire: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD."
Nothing regarding the worship of God was random, unplanned, or haphazard in the Mosaic age. Neither shall it be today. If we worship God, we must do so “after the due order,” with care, diligence, and preparation.
That portion of the peace offering to be burnt must be burnt “on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is upon the wood that is on the fire.” There is a distinct reference here to the daily sacrifice, which typified full atonement by the blood of Christ.
This is what that means: -- Our daily fellowship and communion with God, our daily worship, praise, and thanksgiving, must be that which arises fresh to God from a fresh sense of Christ’s sacrifice for us.
[Hebrews 13:15] "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."
II. The peace offering could also come from the flock of sheep (vv. 6-11).
[Leviticus 3:6] "And if his offering for a sacrifice of peace offering unto the LORD be of the flock; male or female, he shall offer it without blemish."
Have you noticed how frequently the words “without blemish” are used in connection with the offerings? Surely, this is intended to teach us that the sacrifices offered to and accepted by God point to our Lord Jesus Christ who is the infinite delight of his Father (Isa. 42:1; Matt. 3:17; 17:5).
[Isaiah 42:1] "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles."
The constant repetition of these words, “without blemish,” is also designed to teach that as our God is infinitely, perfectly delighted with his Son, he is infinitely, perfectly delighted with all his people in his Son, for the sake of his Son, who are “without blemish” in his sight!
[Zephaniah 3:17] "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."
Can you get hold of this? Nothing can be more unspeakably delightful to the believing sinner’s heart than this. – The holy Lord God has satisfied, totally and forever satisfied all his holy demands for us in the sacrifice of his own dear Son as our Substitute. He who pardons sin by Christ is truly “a just God and a Savior!”
[Leviticus 3:7-8] "If he offer a lamb for his offering, then shall he offer it before the LORD.  And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof round about upon the altar."
The lamb was just as fully accepted as the calf because the value is not in the type but in Christ the antitype. Atonement was not made by these animal sacrifices. They only pointed to the Lamb of God who alone took away the sins of his people.
[John 1:29] "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
[Romans 8:1-4] "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."
[Leviticus 3:9-10] "And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat thereof, and the whole rump, it shall he take off hard by the backbone; and the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards,  And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away."
There is only one additional thing mentioned here that is not mentioned with regard to the calf in verse 3 and 4. – “The Rump.” The rump was considered the very richest portion of the lamb.
The teaching here is plain enough. Only our best is to be offered to God. If we worship God, we will give him our best.
· The Best of our Affections
· The Best of our Time
· The Best of our Labor
· The Best of our Gifts
With David, let us resolve, “I will not offer the Lord that which doth cost me nothing!”
[Malachi 1:6-11] "A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?  Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.  And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.  And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.  Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.  For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts."
[Leviticus 3:11] "And the priest shall burn it upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire unto the LORD."
There is a different expression used here. Instead of the sacrifice being called “a sweet savor” it is called “the food of the offering made by fire unto the Lord.” This represents both the holy Lord God and the believing sinner feeding upon and finding satisfaction in the sacrifice of Christ.
III. The peace offering might also be a sacrifice from the goats (vv. 12-17).
[Leviticus 3:12-13] "And if his offering be a goat, then he shall offer it before the LORD.  And he shall lay his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about."
The goat is set before us here in the same way as the turtledove in chapter one. It was the sacrifice of the poor.
The goat represents our Lord Jesus Christ as one taken out of the flock for the salvation of the rest. One is killed, the rest are spared. Thus, the sacrifice is a picture of substitution.
[Psalms 89:19] "Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people."
[John 11:47-52] "Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.  If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.  And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,  Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.  And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;  And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad."
[2 Corinthians 5:21] "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
[1 Peter 3:18] "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:"
[Leviticus 3:14-16] "And he shall offer thereof his offering, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards,  And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.  And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savour: all the fat is the LORD'S."
The sacrifice was fully accepted for the believing sinner. So, too, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world is fully accepted for God’s elect and we accepted, fully and forever accepted in him!
[Leviticus 3:17] "It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood."
Let me call your attention to three things in this verse, and I will send you home, I hope with peace in your soul flowing from the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A. First, we read that “all the fat is the Lord’s.”
Clearly, the fat, as we have seen, represents the best. Let us ever give God our best.
B. Second, this statute was not for one or two generations and was not for the house of God alone, but throughout the generations of God’s people on this earth and to be observed in all our dwellings.
Obviously, we are no longer to observe the rituals of the law. “Christ is the end of the law.” But we are to worship God in exactly the same way those saints of old worshipped him, by faith in Christ.
Moreover, we are to worship him not merely in the house of God at the appointed time of public worship, but in our homes. Our homes are to be sanctuaries of worship. In other words, we are to live as redeemed sinners, devoted to Christ, our God and Savior.
C. Third, in all things, we are to remember and honor the blood, the precious blood of Christ, by which we have been redeemed.
Realizing our utter dependence upon the blood of Christ, let us ever cast the crown of his grace at the feet of our all-glorious Savior, in constant remembrance of his blood atonement to the everlasting praise of his worthy name!
[1 Thessalonians 5:23-24] "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it."
 The Hebrew word for “peace offering” is always used in the plural, except in Amos 5:22. Perhaps the closest equivalent in English would be “things pertaining to peace.”