Leviticus 4:2 KJVS
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:
OPENING COMMENT by Robert
I desire to bring Ignorance’s definition, as Believers need to understand how it is in our lives to defeat our sinful nature.
(ĭg′nər-əns) n. The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
There must be a day of universal judgment. Happy are those who shall have holy boldness before the Judge at that day, knowing he is their Friend and Advocate! Happy are those who have holy boldness in the prospect of that day, who look and wait for it, and for the Judge’s appearance!
True love to God assures believers of God’s love to them. Love teaches us to suffer for him and with him; therefore, we may trust that we shall also be glorified with him, 2 Timothy 2:12.
We must distinguish between the fear of God and being afraid of him; the fear of God imports high regard and veneration for God. Obedience and good works, done from the principle of love, are not like the servile toil of one who unwillingly labours from dread of a master’s anger.
They are like that of a dutiful child, who does services to a beloved father, which benefit his brethren, and are done willingly. It is a sign that our love is far from perfect when our doubts, fears, and apprehensions of God are many.
Let heaven and earth stand amazed at his love. He sent his word to invite sinners to partake of this great salvation. Let them take the comfort of the happy change wrought in them while they give him the glory.
The love of God in Christ, in the hearts of Christians from the Spirit of adoption, is the great proof of conversion. This must be tried by its effects on their temper and their conduct to their brethren.
If a man professes to love God and yet indulges anger or revenge or shows a selfish disposition, his profession is a lie. But if it is plain that our natural enmity is changed into affection and gratitude, let us bless the name of our God for this seal and earnest of eternal happiness. Then we differ from the false professors, who pretend to love God, whom they have not seen, yet hate their brethren, whom they have seen.
The apostle is very full in pressing the necessity of holiness. He does not explain away the gospel’s free grace, but he shows that the connection between justification and holiness is inseparable.
Let the thought be abhorred, of continuing in sin that grace may abound. True believers are dead to sin; therefore, they ought not to follow it. No man can at the same time be both dead and alive. He is a fool who, desiring to be dead unto sin, thinks he may live in it.
Baptism teaches the necessity of dying to sin, and being as it was buried from all ungodly and unholy pursuits, and of rising to walk with God in newness of life.
Unholy professors may have had the outward sign of a death unto sin and a new birth unto righteousness, but they never passed from Satan’s family to that of God.
The corrupt nature, called the old man, because derived from our first father Adam, is crucified with Christ, in every true believer, by the cross’s grace.
It is weakened and in a dying state, though it yet struggles for life and even victory. But the whole body of sin, whatever is not according to the holy law of God, must be done away so that the believer may no more be the slave of sin, but alive to God, and find happiness in his service.
The strongest motives against sin and to enforce holiness are here stated. Being made free from the reign of sin, alive unto God, and having the prospect of eternal life, it becomes believers to be greatly concerned to advance thereto.
But, as unholy lusts are not quite rooted out in this life, it must be the care of the Christian to resist their motions, earnestly striving, that, through Divine grace, they may not prevail in this mortal state.
Let the thought that this state will soon be at an end encourage the true Christian to the motions of lusts, which so often perplex and distress him.
Let us present all our powers to God, as weapons or tools ready for the warfare and work of righteousness, in his service. There is strength in the covenant of grace for us.
Sin shall not have dominion. God’s promises to us are more powerful and effectual for mortifying sin than our promises to God. Sin may struggle in a real believer and create him a great deal of trouble, but it shall not have dominion; it may vex him, but it shall not rule over him.
Shall any take occasion from this encouraging doctrine to allow themselves in the practice of any sin? Far be such abominable thoughts, so contrary to God’s perfections and the design of his gospel, so opposed to being under grace. What can be a stronger motive against sin than the love of Christ? Shall we sin against so much goodness and such love?
Every man is the servant of the master to whose commands he yields himself, whether it be the sinful dispositions of his heart, actions that lead to death, or the new and spiritual obedience implanted by regeneration.
As the same metal becomes a new vessel, when melted and recast in another mould, the believer becomes a new creature. And there is a great difference in the liberty of mind and spirit, so opposite to the state of slavery, which the true Christian has in the service of his rightful Lord, whom he is enabled to consider as his Father, and himself as his son and heir, by the adoption of grace.
The dominion of sin consists of willingly being slaves thereto, not being harassed by it as a hated power, struggling for victory. Those who now are the servants of God once were the slaves of sin.
Let us look to the circumstances under which the Son of God entered into this lower world, till we learn to despise this world’s vain honours compared with piety and holiness. The mystery of Christ’s becoming man is to be adored, not curiously inquired into.
Observe, it is the thoughtful, not the unthinking, whom God will guide. God’s time to come with instruction to his people is when they are at a loss. Divine comforts most delight the soul when under the pressure of perplexed thoughts. Joseph is told that Mary should bring forth the Saviour of the world. He was to call his name Jesus, a Saviour. Jesus is the same name as Joshua. And the reason of that name is clear, for those whom Christ saves, he saves from their sins; from the guilt of sin by the merit of his death, and from the power of sin by the Spirit of his grace. In saving them from sin, he saves them from wrath and the curse, and all misery, here and hereafter. Christ came to save his people, not in their sins, but from their sins, and so to redeem them from among men, to himself, who is separate from sinners. Joseph did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, speedily, without delay, and cheerfully, without dispute. By applying the general rules of the written word, we should, in all the steps of our lives, particularly the great turns of them, take direction from God, and we shall find this safe and comfortable.
Talk to them of their liberty and property, tell them of waste committed upon their lands, or damage done to their houses, and they understand you very well; but speak of the bondage of sin, captivity to Satan, and liberty by Christ; tell of the wrong done to their precious souls, and the hazard of their eternal welfare, then you bring strange things to their ears. Jesus plainly reminded them that the man who practised any sin was, in fact, a slave to that sin, which was the case with most.
As clouds hinder the light of the sun, so do these darken counsel by words wherein there is no truth. Seeing that these men increase darkness in this world, it is very just that the mist of darkness should be their portion in the next.
In the midst of their talk of liberty, these men are the vilest slaves; their own lusts gain a complete victory over them, and they are actually in bondage.
When men are entangled, they are easily overcome; therefore, Christians should keep close to the word of God and watch against all who seek to bewilder them. A state of apostasy is worse than a state of ignorance.