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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Thirteen Reasons Why I Love Baptist Churches

Acts 15:3 - And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.

The scripture tells us that Paul and Barnabas were “brought on their way” by the church.  This clearly has reference to their physical needs and helping them in their journey.  In my own life I can honestly say that the church of Jesus Christ has been the instrument of God to “bring me on my way”.

When I speak of the church I am not speaking of some universal (visible or invisible) entity that has never assembled violating the very essence of a church.  A concept that was born in the mind of Augustine the father of corrupt theology and whose talons seized the Protestant churches in their infancy and whose influence has corrupted the ecclesiology of many Baptists.

I am speaking of the church as an institution whose only existence is to be found in the local, visible assemblies of baptized believers who are covenanted together to carry on the work of Jesus Christ.  I make no pretense about loving Baptist churches.  While I would readily admit that some have given way to apostasy and others seem to be in the initial stages of deterioration I love Baptist churches and consider them to be the only churches holding to the faith once delivered to the saints and having the authority of heaven.

My earliest spiritual memories are connected to a Baptist church.

I have sat under the ministry of six Baptist pastors.

I have heard hundreds of Baptist preachers.

I have been in dozens of Baptist churches.

I have had the opportunity to preach in dozens of Baptist churches in four countries and seven states.

I was saved in a Baptist church.

I was baptized in a Baptist church by a Baptist preacher.

I surrendered to preach in a Baptist church.

I have attended Sunday school in Baptist churches.

I have taught Sunday school in Baptist churches.

I have worked with young people in a Baptist church.

I have led singing in Baptist churches.

I was trained for the Baptist ministry in the context of a Baptist church by a Baptist Pastor.

I have had the opportunity to lead others to repent and believe the gospel in the context of a Baptist church.

I have had the opportunity to disciple others in the context of a Baptist church.

I have had the glorious privilege of pastoring Baptist people in a Baptist church for the last 20 years.

When all is said and done I will have lived and died a Baptist.

I will enter heaven as a born-again Baptist.

My whole life, as long as I can remember, has been wrapped up in Baptist churches. I want to share with you thirteen reasons why I love Baptist churches.

1. Matthew 16:18 – I love Baptist churches because they are the kind that was established by Jesus.

2. Matthew 28:16-20 – I love Baptist churches because they brought the gospel to me.

3. Acts 8:1 – I love the Baptist churches because they have been persecuted throughout history.

4. Acts 12:5 – I love Baptist churches because they provide a community of support.

5. Acts 20:28 – I love Baptist churches because they are the authorized place for the feeding of God’s people.

6. Acts 20:28 – I love Baptist churches because they are the kind that were purchased by the blood of Christ.

7. Eph. 1:22 – I love Baptist churches because the head over all things is head of those churches.

8. Eph. 3:21 – I love Baptist churches because God gets glory through those churches.

9. Eph. 5:25 – I love Baptist churches because Christ loves Baptist churches.

10. Eph. 5:27 – I love Baptist churches because Christ sanctifies Baptist churches.

11. Eph. 5:29 – I love Baptist churches because Christ nourishes and cherishes Baptist churches.

12. Col. 1:24 – I love Baptist churches because those churches are the bodies of Christ.

13. 1 Timothy 3:15 – I love Baptist churches because those churches are the pillar and ground of the truth.

A couple of years ago I went on a field trip with a retired teacher who was continuing to drive a bus.  As we talked he leaned that I was a Baptist pastor and I learned that he was a Methodist. He told me that he understood that a Methodist was a Baptist that could read. I told him that I had heard that a Baptist was a Methodist who had had his eyes opened. He said he would tell me the difference between the Baptist and the Methodist if I would not get offended. A Baptist preaches like he's preaching to 3 saints and 300 sinners while a Methodist preaches like he is preaching to 300 saints and 3 sinners. He said he did not like his preacher to yell. I told him that the Methodist had some pretty fiery preaches in their history.

As I have thought about that I determined if I was a Methodist I would not have anything to get excited about either. So Baptist have a reputation of preaching hell hot, Christ glorious, man completely sinful, heaven well, heavenly, and the cross man’s only hope; and they tend to get a bit passionate about it. I happen to love them for it and may I ever be numbered in their midst.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Reconciling What God Has Put Asunder

The following is from Horatius Bonar's (1808-1889) message, The Evils Within The Church

"Jude, 'the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,' speak to us in the tone of an ancient prophet.  His voice is that of Elijah or John the Baptist.  It is 'the voice of crying in the wilderness.'  He speaks to the declining churches of his day.  He speaks to the Church of the last days.  It is against the evils within the Church that he specially warns.  What a picture does he draw of error, licentiousness, worldliness, spiritual decay, and ecclesiastical apostasy!  Who could recognize the image of the primitive Church in the description he gives of prevailing iniquity?  The world had absorbed the Church, and the Church was content that it should be so . . .

It is a picture for the Church in our day to study, for we are rapidly becoming part of the world and falling into the snares of the 'god of this world' (2 Corinthians 4:4).  Nay, and we glory in this as 'progress,' 'culture,' and 'enlightenment,' as freedom from the bigotry of other centuries and the narrowness of our half-enlightened ancestors, who did not know how to reconcile contraries and to join what God has put asunder; how to believe everything alike; how to combine earth's pleasures and gaieties with the joy of God; how both to pray and to dance; how to revel and to weep for sin; how to wear both the 'white raiment' and the jeweled ball dress; how to maintain friendship both with God and with His enemies; how both to pamper and to starve the flesh; how to lay up treasure both on earth and heaven; how to drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils; how to be partakers of the Lord's table and the table of devils."

(emphasis mine)

It is interesting how we have figured out a way to join together what God had clearly distinguished:

2 Corinthians 6:14-17 - Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

Psalms 1:1 - Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Romans 13:12 - The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Ephesians 5:8 - For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Swallowed Up In A Worldly Church!

The following is from James Smith's, "Man's Treatment of Gods People" 1859:

"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.  John 15:18-19

Such is the testimony of the Lord Jesus.

Real Christians have never been favorites of the world--and while it continues what it is, they never can be.

Nor can the pure and simple gospel be pleasant to the world, because it lays the sinner in the dust, and exalts God as supreme and sovereign. Let us not be surprised then, if we hear worldlings speak against the gospel, and traduce the Lord's people; for what the Romans told Paul, is in a good measure true in the present day,  . . . . for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.  Acts 28:22

This 'sect' originated with Jesus, the hated Nazarene, who came into the world for its good, and to save His people from their sins. He gathered around Him many--but they were principally the poor and unlearned. There was nothing in them, or about them, to recommend them to the proud and sensual world.

They were begotten of God, and made new creatures in Christ.

They embraced the truth that He taught.

They observed the precepts that He gave.

They copied the example that He set.

Their creed consisted pretty much in these facts:

that man is a lost sinner, that salvation by works is impossible, and therefore it must be all of grace--or not at all; that the Lord Jesus came into the world to take the sinner's place, fulfill the law in the sinner's stead, and die as the sinner's substitute.

By such hopes, they were animated, by such rules, they walked, and at such objects, they aimed.

And yet, they were spoken against and despised, because they poured contempt on the luxuries, pride, and honors of this world. They were treated as the offscouring of all things, unfit for society, unfit to live.

Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.  1 John 3:13

And yet, like Israel in Egypt, the more they were persecuted, the more they multiplied and grew; until at length they spread not only over the Roman empire--but nearly over the world. And, had they retained . . .

the simplicity of their lives, the spirituality of their minds, and the correctness of their creed--they would no doubt have encircled the globe!

But at length they were . . .

courted by royalty, loaded with wealth, became intoxicated with worldly honors, and then their glory departed!

They drank into the spirit of the world, conformed to its maxims and customs, sought its approbation and applause--and so fell from their exalted station, and lost their real dignity. The 'sect' that had been spoken against everywhere, with the exception of a few--was swallowed up in a worldly church!

There are still some, who, like the ancient sect of the Nazarenes, are spoken against everywhere. They will not swim with the stream. They will not compromise their Master's honor, or give up their Master's truth. According to the light they have--they walk; and they rejoice to exalt the Savior, humble the sinner, and proclaim salvation, all of grace. They rejoice that they are counted worthy to suffer shame, for His dear name.

Reader! Do you belong to this sect? Is there anything in your religion that is distasteful to the world, anything that draws forth its opposition, or excites its contempt? The carnal mind is still enmity against God, and if we are godlike--that enmity will manifest itself against us!

If we copy Christ's example, as set before us in the gospel; if we testify against the world, that its works are evil, and call upon it to repent, as Christ did--we shall soon be hated by the world!"

(emphasis mine)

Monday, August 16, 2010

O Blessed Rest

Having finished Richard Baxter's book, The Saint's Everlasting Rest I hope you will indulge me one more quote.  I found his last chapter to be his best.

"Rest!  How sweet the sound!  It is melody to my ears!  It lies as a reviving cordial to my heart, and from thence sends forth lively spirits, which beat through all the pulses of my soul!  Rest!  not as the stone that rests on the earth, nor as this flesh shall rest in the grave, nor such a rest as the carnal world desires.  O blessed rest! when we 'rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!' when we shall rest from sin, but not from worship; from suffering and sorrow, but not from joy!  O blessed day! when I shall rest with God! when I shall rest in the bosom of my Lord! when I shall rest in knowing, loving, rejoicing and praising! when my perfect soul and body shall together perfectly enjoy the most perfect God! when God, who is love itself, shall perfectly love me, and rest in his love to me, as I shall rest in my love to him; and rejoice over me with joy, and joy over me with singing as I shall rejoice in him!"

From A Clod To A Flame

The following is from Richard Baxter's, The Saint's Everlasting Rest:

"And now, reader, according to the above directions, make conscience of daily exercising thy graces in meditation as well as prayer.  Retire into some secret place, at a time the most convenient to thyself, and laying aside all worldly thoughts, with all possible seriousness and reverence look up towards heaven; remember there is thine everlasting rest; study its excellency and reality; and rise from sense to faith, by comparing heavenly with earthly joys.  Then mix ejaculations with thy soliloquies; till having pleaded the case reverently with God, and seriously with thy own heart, thou has pleaded thyself from a clod to a flame; from a forgetful sinner, and a lover of the world, to an ardent lover of God; from a fearful coward to a resolved Christian; from an unfruitful sadness to a joyful life; in a word, till thou has pleaded thy heart from earth to heaven; from conversing below, to walking with God; and till thou canst lay thy heart to rest, as in the bosom of Christ, by some such meditation of thy everlasting rest as is here added for thy assistance."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Making The Most Of Every Day

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Genesis 8:22

Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.
Psalms 74:17

I have weather alerts sent to my blackberry.  For over a week now I have been getting advisories warning that the heat index would be registering between 106 and 112.  They usually last till about eight PM.  Today I received a heat advisory that is in effect till nine PM tomorrow evening.  They obviously are not anticipating much of a cool down during the night, not that uncommon at this time of year.

I found myself looking at the average mean temperatures and noted that they begin to creep down at the end of this month and drop several degrees in October.  I am tempted to long for the end of Summer and cooler weather.  How can this be?  It was just a few months ago I was longing for warmer weather.  Do I really want the Summer to end?  Do I ever really want the warmer weather to blow off the Gulf and bring an end to the cooler temperatures of Winter and Spring?

I suppose I am simply wanting to be comfortable.  Whether I am sitting in my home, my car, walking between the two, mowing the grass, driving a school bus, sitting in church, or whatever.  Do I really want the Summer to end, to be over??  Once it is over it will be gone forever.  This is a Summer that will never be replayed.  When it is over I will have one less Summer than I did just a few months ago when I was longing for warmer weather. 

Is my comfort so important that I would desire to expedite a Summer or Winter that leaves me with one less?  Should not I rather relish the searing heat of summer and the cold winds of winter?  Why is it so hard to praise God for the days when the sun shines in its strength in a noon day sky, or the days when the wind howls it arrival and sends me scurrying for a coat?  Will I not learn, before it is too late, to appreciate the hot days and the cold days in their proper season?

While I am wiping the profuse sweat from my brow and soaking my pants, shirt, and hat can I not worship the God who set the heavens as a "tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.  His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof."

When I step out into the dark, cold wind of winter having bundled myself against its frigid blast can I not rejoice in the one of whom it is said, "He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?"

O, Lord, this Summer is almost over, help me to number my days, the hot and the cold ones that I might apply my heart unto wisdom and rejoice in thee.  Help me Lord to be thankful for another hot day to love you and serve you.  And when the time comes help my heart to be warmed in thinking of a God before whose cold I cannot stand.  And Lord, last of all, help me to remember that a hot day or a cold day is better than no day at all!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Holy, Holy, Holy

Revelation 4:6-8 - And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.  And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

A couple of weeks ago a missionary friend of mine came by and preached for us on a Wednesday evening.  He preached a wonderful message from Revelation four and five.  It was a message that really exalted the Lord Jesus Christ.

I listened intently as he opened up the Scripture for us and I was seized by a renewed awareness of the four beast that were before the throne.  I am inclined to believe according to Isaiah six that the four beasts were seraphims, angelic beings that promote, guard, and sustain the worship of God at His throne.

Revelation informs us that they "rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come."  I have always stood in awe as my feeble mind has sought to take in this glorious sight, to comprehend the perpetual praise of these four beasts.  I have noted on many occasions the attribute of God which maintains their vigilant attention is Holiness!

That evening I began to think about not so much what they were crying as what they were not crying.  They could have cried anything.  I am compelled to accept that they were crying "Holy, holy, holy" at the Lord's direction.  This is what the Lord wanted cried at his throne day and night without rest.

Think with me for a minute what they were not crying:

Love, love, love, Lord God Almighty
Righteousness, righteousness, righteousness, Lord God Almighty
Merciful, merciful, merciful, Lord God Almighty
Faithful, faithful, faithful, Lord God Almighty
Immutable, immutable, immutable, Lord God Almighty
Sovereign, sovereign, sovereign, Lord God Almighty

No, it was none of these!  It was "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.  This they cried day and night without rest, it was their perpetual refrain.  The seraphim are one note creatures, there is no medley extolling the many attributes of God; just this single verse over and over and over again.

His undiluted purity revealed in infinite holiness drowns out all other voices at the throne.  It seems likely that if we spent more time at the throne the same verse would be on our lips.  We would not tire of it. We would not become weary with the monotony.  We would not dread days without number declaring his holiness without distraction!

We move from his holiness and we cannot rightly understand the true beauty of the lesser attributes of God.  We supplant the heavenly verse with the attribute of our own choosing and we diminish his glory! 

Isaiah 6:1-3 - In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had sic wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy!  All the saints adore thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
Who wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy!  tho the darkness hide thee,
Tho the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see;
Only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
Perfect in pow'r, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!
All they works shall praise they name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons blessed Trinity!

When A Man's Tongue Is Extensively Wrong

"Let it be a settled principle again in our religion, that when a man's general conversation is ungodly--his heart is graceless and unconverted. Let us not give way to the foolish notion, that no one can know anything of the state of another's heart, and that although men are living wickedly--they have good hearts at the bottom. Such notions are flatly contradictory to our Lord's teaching. Is the general tone of a man's speech carnal, worldly, godless or profane? Then let us understand, that this is the state of his heart! When a man's tongue is extensively wrong, it is absurd, no less than unscriptural, to say that his heart is right!"

J. C. Ryle

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Coming Glory!

The following is an excerpt from a book I have been reading in for over a year, The Saint's Everlasting Rest by Richard Baxter.

"How wonderful was the Son of God in the form of a servant!  When he is born, a new star must appear, and conduct the strangers to worship him in a manger, heavenly hosts with their songs must celebrate his nativity; while a child, he must dispute with doctors; when he enters upon his office, he turns water into wine, feed thousands with a few loaves and fishes, cleanses the lepers, heals the sick, restores the lame, gives sight to the blind, and raises the dead.  How wonderful, then, is his celestial glory!  If there be such cutting down of boughs, and spreading of garments, and crying Hosanna, for one that comes into Jerusalem riding on an ass; what will there be when he comes with his angles in his glory!  If they that heard him 'preach the Gospel of the kingdom,' confess, 'Never man spake like this man;' they then, that behold his majesty in the his kingdom will say, 'There was never glory like this glory.'  If, when his enemies came to apprehend him, they fell to the ground; if, when he is dying the earth quakes, the veil of the temple is rent, the sun is eclipsed, the dead bodies of the saints arise, and the standers-by acknowledge, 'Truly this was the Son of God;' O what a day will it be when the dead must all arise and stand before him!  When he 'will once shake, not the earth only, but the heavens also!'  When this sun shall be taken out of the firmament, and be everlastingly darkened with his glory!  And when every tongue shall confess him to be the Lord and King!  If, when he rose again, death and the grave lost their power: if angels must 'roll away the stone,' terrify the keepers till they are 'as dead men,' and send the tiding to his disciples; if he ascend to heaven in their sight; of what power, dominion and glory is he now possessed, and which we must for ever possess with him!  When he is gone, can a few poor fisherman and tent-makers cure the lame, blind and sick, open prisons, destroy the disobedient, raise the dead, and astonish their adversaries?  What a world will that be, where every one can do greater works than these!  If the preaching of the Gospel be accompanied with such power as to discover the secrets of the heart, humble the proud sinner, and make the most obdurate tremble; if it can make men burn their books, sell their lands, and bring in the price and lay it down at the preacher's feet; if it can convert thousands, and turn the world upside down; if its doctrine, from the prisoner at the bar, can make the judge on the bench tremble; if Christ and his saints have this power and honor in the day of their abasement, and in the time appointed for their suffering and disgrace, what then will they have in their absolute dominion and full advancement in their kingdom of glory!"

Romans 8:18 - For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Shadows In The Sacrifices

I began a series this past Sunday morning entitled Shadows In The Sacrifices.  We will be preaching through the first ten chapter of Leviticus.  The following is my slightly edited introduction from Sunday morning's message.

For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.  Hebrews 10:1

By the time we get to chapter 10 of Hebrews we have been through an extensive discussion of the Old Testament ceremonial law in chapter 8 and 9.  In fact much of the book of Hebrews places in a New Testament context the content of the book of Leviticus.  It culminates in Hebrews 10:1 where we are informed that the law had a shadow of good things to come.  Those Old Testament sacrifices and priests were a shadow of the very image that was yet to come.  Therefore it is appropriate to look for Shadows In The Sacrifices, as we step inside the ancient Tabernacle of Israel and watch the principles of redemption, atonement, and forgiveness played out before our very eyes.

While the setting may be foreign to our experience the themes presented are timeless:  sin, priesthood, sacrifice, death, and blood atonement.  There is an abundance of Gospel preaching in the first 10 chapters of Leviticus.

Shadows by their very nature present only a form and outline of the image the produces the shadow.  Shadows do not provide details or texture.  But you can follow the shadow to the very image that produces the shadow.  Shadows give clues.  Shadows indicate the presence of something real and substantive.  If there are shadows in the sacrifices then we at least know there is something real and substantive in our presence.  If we faithfully follow the shadows to the place where they intersect with the “very image” we shall find ourselves beholding the Saviour!  It is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ casting his shadow through the sacrifices.

Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.  For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.  And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.  Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.  But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.  But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.  Hebrews 9:1-12

The Tabernacle, it was the place of sacrifice.  The place where sin was dealt with.  It was a bloody place.  It was a place of suffering where the one who was offering saw the consequences of his sin and the offering suffered the consequences of the sin.  It was here that sinners cried and sacrifices cried out.  It was here that substitution was made, the innocent dying in the place of the guilty.

The Tabernacle, it was the place of priests.  The place where they ministered before God for the people.  The place where they ministered to the people for God.  The Priests were daily reminded of the unending plague of sin and transgression.  It was seen in the streams of blood that ran at their feet.  It was seen in the blood that stained their hands.  It was seen in the carcasses of a thousand sacrifices.  It was seen in the expressions of a multitude of sinners.  It was seen as the sinner laid his trembling hand on the head of his offering.

The Tabernacle, it was the place of restoration.  The sweet smell of incense.  The provocative aroma of fat burning on the fire.  The offering to which the sin had been imputed dying in the sinner’s place.  The sense of relief that flooded the guilty countenance.  The heavy heart of the sinner having come to the altar with a sacrifice made quiet and easy in the promise of forgiveness.

We want to enter the sanctuary where these shadows of Jesus fall.  We want to set our little stool in the corner facing the altar of burnt offering and watch the priest go about their work.  We want to watch the sinners come with the shame of guilt and leave with the promise of forgiveness.  We want to watch the savagery, brutality, and blood flow from the sacrifices.  We want to see the shadow of Jesus.  We come to this sacred place looking for Jesus.  We surely will not be disappointed.

In the first ten chapters of Leviticus we will see the presence of sin, the necessity of sacrifice, and the sweetness of salvation.  It is here in type and shadow.  And in seeing the shadow may we appreciate the reality which cast the shadow back all those years.