Have you read Leviticus lately? Most would have to say, “No.” Many would say, “I don’t need to; I don’t live under law. I live under grace.” I say, “You don’t know what you are missing! There is great joy to be found in those pages. The light shines from the Law.”
Leviticus 5:1-5 offers an eye-opening look at the desperate need for grace. When is the last time you heard that hearing or seeing another sin brings that sin onto you? Or when did you last consider that touching sin defiles? Later in the chapter, we read that “not knowing it is sin” does not cancel our responsibility for sin. The reality of life is this: we cannot spend one hour in public without hearing, seeing or touching something sin-soaked.
Christians, especially those who have walked with Christ a long time, begin to feel secure in their performance. Over the years, we clean up fairly well–the sins we define as “big” begin to fade into the past. Sin becomes something other people do, or something easily excused. “I can’t help that; it’s just the way I am.” Or, “God knows I’m only human.” God is not so fluffy with sin. He is pure and holy and wants us to be like Him.
We live in a fallen world. It is a cesspool of sin; we have constant need for cleansing. It is impossible to walk through life without encountering, inspiring and/or committing sin. Understanding this desperate situation opens the door to living as God desires:
He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8)
Embracing the old concept of repentance is a joyful part of the Christian life. Peace and joy abound in repentant hearts. Repenting enlarges our capacity to love. Christ said, “Those who are forgiven much love much.” Those who hide their sin—or hide from their sin—miss out on the joy of repentance.
This is the Age of Grace, but you can’t fully enjoy it until you know the Law. Jesus fulfilled the Law; He did not remove the Law. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ—and 1 John 1:9 guarantees forgiveness and cleansing. It is repentance that precedes forgiveness. Knowing and acknowledging our sin comes through the Law. It is that which opens our eyes to the magnificence of Grace. Enjoy them both!
How do you feel about the Old Testament Law? Can you see how accurately it depicts human nature and how God’s grace and love are evident through it?