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  • Scripture Reading: Lev. 3:1-17; 7:11-38
    I. The peace offering signifies Christ as our peace with God that we may enjoy Him with God and with man in fellowship and joy—Lev. 3:1-17; Num. 10:10; Deut. 27:7:
    A. The peace offering is fulfilled primarily in our enjoying Christ at the Lord’s table in the breaking of bread for the remembrance of Him and in the offering of Christ to the Father for the worship of the Father—Matt. 26:26-30.
    B. The peace offering is the Old Testament type of the Lord’s table:
    1. At the Lord’s table, the believers enjoy Christ as their peace offering for their fellowship with God and with one another; they enjoy Christ before God the Father; without the worship of the Father in the Lord’s table meeting, the presentation of the peace offering to God cannot be completely fulfilled—Lev. 7:14-21, 28-34.
    2. We should carry out the Lord’s table meeting in two sections:
    a. During the first section of the meeting, all our praises should be addressed to Christ, and we should bless Him with well speaking concerning His person and work—Heb. 13:15; Psa. 8:2; 48:1; 50:23; 116:17; Rev. 5:13.
    b. During the second section of the meeting, we should address our praises to God the Father; it is best to leave one-third or two-fifths of the time for the worship of the Father—Matt. 26:26-30; Heb. 2:12.
    3. Christ as the reality of the peace offering that we enjoy at the Lord’s table is for our thanksgiving to the Father (Lev. 7:12-15) and also for a vow to Him (vv. 16-18):
    a. On the one hand, we may consecrate ourselves to the Lord with thanksgiving by praying, “Lord, I love You, so I consecrate myself to You”; this is good but too general and out of our emotions.
    b. On the other hand, we may offer ourselves to God with a voluntary vow by praying, “Lord, I come here to make a vow to You; I give myself to You and marry myself to You; I want to be solely for You always, regardless of what happens or how I feel”; all of us need to be ones who are married to Christ for His recovery; the offering for a vow is something of the will and is stronger and deeper.
    4. This enjoyment of the peace offering issues from the burnt offering, the meal offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering.
    5. Our enjoyment of Christ as these four offerings has a result—the enjoyment of Christ as our peace offering for us to have fellowship with God and with our fellow believers.
    II. The peace offering could be of different animals from the herd or from the flock, and it could be either male or female—3:1:
    A. The different kinds of peace offerings signify the different conditions of the offerers’ enjoyment of Christ.
    B. In verse 1 the male signifies that the offerer’s enjoyment of Christ is stronger, whereas the female signifies that the offerer’s enjoyment of Christ is weaker—cf. 1 Pet. 3:7.
    III. As our peace offering, Christ is without blemish, without sins and transgressions—Lev. 3:1; Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 1:19; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15.
    IV. The sprinkling of the blood of the peace offering on and around the altar (Lev. 3:2, 8, 13), where the offerer was standing, indicates that the blood is for peace in the offerer’s conscience, giving him the assurance that his sins have been washed away (Heb. 9:14b).
    V. Christ as the peace offering is for the fellowship and enjoyment of five parties: God, the serving priest, all the priests (the priesthood), the offerer, and the congregation of cleansed people:
    A. The fat and the inward parts of the offering were God’s portion—Lev. 3:3-5:
    1. The fat signifies the inward riches of Christ as the abundance of life for God’s satisfaction according to His glory, and the inward parts signify the tenderness, smallness, and preciousness of what Christ is in His inward being toward God (cf. Phil. 1:8; John 7:3-18) for God’s satisfaction, which can be apprehended and appreciated only by God (Matt. 11:27a).
    2. The burning of the fat and the inward parts of the peace offering as an offering by fire to Jehovah (Lev. 3:3-5, 9-11, 14-16) signifies that God should be the first Enjoyer, enjoying the first, the best, part of the peace offering.
    B. The four kinds of cakes and the right thigh as a heave offering were the portion of the serving priest—7:14, 32-34.
    C. The breast as a wave offering was for all the priests—vv. 30-31, 34.
    D. The flesh, the meat, of the offering was the portion of the offerer—vv. 15-18.
    E. The remaining flesh of the cattle, under the condition of cleanness, was for all the congregation—vv. 19-21:
    1. The enjoyment of Christ as our peace should be kept from all uncleanness, and Christ as the peace offering should be eaten by a clean person—v. 19; 1 Cor. 11:28.
    2. The unclean person who partakes of Christ as his peace, as at the Lord’s table, shall be put aside from the fellowship of the enjoyment of Christ—Lev. 7:20-21; 1 Cor. 10:16-17.
    3. Such a sinful person should be removed from the fellowship at the Lord’s table—cf. 5:13b.
    4. Also, the dirtiness of death spoils the significance of God’s enjoyment of Christ; God hates death and does not want to look upon anything related to it—Lev. 7:24.
    F. We who take Christ as our peace offering should offer the excellent part of Christ (the fat) to God for His satisfaction, the loving part of Christ in His resurrection (the breast as a wave offering) and the strong part of Christ in His ascension (the right thigh as a heave offering) being for the serving ones’ enjoyment (vv. 29-34; Exo. 29:26-28); in our enjoyment of Christ as the peace offering, God has allotted the loving capacity and the strengthening power of Christ to us, the New Testament priests (1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:5-6; 5:10), as our eternal portion for our enjoyment in serving God.
    G. In the New Testament there are no clergy and no laity (see Rev. 2:6 and footnote 1); thus, all the believers in Christ should be the serving priests, the priestly body, the offerers, and the congregation.
    VI. Not eating the fat signifies that the best part of Christ is for God’s satisfaction; not eating the blood signifies that Christ’s blood shed for our redemption fully satisfies the requirements of God’s righteousness, holiness, and glory—Lev. 3:17; cf. Gen. 3:24; Heb. 10:19-20; Rev. 22:14:
    A. Thus, in the universe only Jesus’ blood is edible to His believers—John 6:53-56 and footnote 2 on v. 54.
    B. To eat any other blood would make Christ’s blood common—Heb. 10:29 and footnote 3.
    C. The blood of Christ satisfies God’s righteous requirements, maintains God’s holy position, and keeps God’s glory, His expressed dignity.
    VII. A lamb signifies that the offerer enjoys Christ in His perfection and beauty (Lev. 3:7), whereas a goat (v. 12) signifies that the offerer enjoys Christ not much in His perfection and beauty but in His being made sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21).
    VIII. The peace offering is a kind of burnt offering (Lev. 3:9-11; 1:9, 13, 17) as food to God for His satisfaction and enjoyment.
    IX. The peace offering is based upon God’s satisfaction in the burnt offering (6:12); according to the sequence of the offerings presented in Leviticus 1:1—6:7, it is also the issue of the enjoyment of God and man in the meal offering; if we would enjoy Christ as peace in a practical, daily way, we must first take Him as our burnt offering to satisfy God, and then we must feed on Him as our meal offering, enjoying Him as our food.
    X. The sequence of the five offerings in Leviticus 1:1—6:7 is according to our practical experience, whereas the sequence in 6:8—7:38 is according to the total picture of God’s economy:
    A. According to the sequence of the offerings in Leviticus 6:8—7:38, the peace offering is also based on the sin offering and the trespass offering; when the problem of our sin and trespasses is solved by Christ as the sin offering and trespass offering and when God and we are satisfied with Christ as the burnt offering and the meal offering, we can offer Christ to God as the peace offering for our mutual enjoyment in peace.
    B. In God’s heart and in His desire God would have Christ to be four kinds of offerings to us—the burnt offering, the meal offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering—that we may enjoy Christ as peace with God in every way; Christ’s being these four offerings consummates in peace between God and God’s people, and this peace is simply Christ Himself—Eph. 2:14.
    C. Eventually, the enjoyment of Christ as all the offerings, issuing in the peace offering, will consummate in the New Jerusalem as the ultimate peace offering (Jerusalem means “the foundation of peace”), in which we will enjoy the Triune God as peace (Phil. 4:7, 9) for eternity.
    D. Thus, the ordinances, or laws, concerning the offerings are a record of the totality of God’s economy.
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  • Scripture Reading: Lev. 3:1-5; Rom. 15:33; John 14:27; Eph. 2:14-17; 4:3; Col. 1:20-22; 3:15
    I. The Triune God is a God of peace—Rom. 15:33; 2 Thes. 3:16; Gal. 5:22:
    A. God is the God of peace—Rom. 15:33; 1 Thes. 5:23; Heb. 13:20:
    1. Our Father is the God of peace, who has a peaceful life with a peaceful nature—Rom. 15:33; 1 Thes. 5:23.
    2. Because we have been justified by faith, we have peace toward God through our Lord Jesus Christ—Rom. 5:1.
    3. The peace we enjoy is God Himself—John 14:27; Phil. 4:7, 9.
    B. The New Testament speaks about both the peace of God and the God of peace; the peace of God and the God of peace are actually one—Phil. 4:7; Heb. 13:20.
    C. The peace of God is the God of peace infused into us through our fellowship with Him—Rom. 16:20; Phil. 4:9; John 14:27.
    D. In the world we have affliction, but in Christ we have peace—16:33:
    1. Our heart is troubled because we are in the world, and the way for this trouble to be resolved is for us to enter into Christ by believing into Him—14:1.
    2. In 16:33 there are two realms: the physical realm (the world), where all the troubles are, and the divine and mystical realm of the pneumatic Christ, where the peace is.
    II. Due to man’s fall, among mankind there are many ordinances, customs, habits, and ways to live and worship, all of which have divided, scattered, and confused mankind; there are partitions between every nationality and race, and thus among the human race there is no peace, only enmity, discord, and war—Eph. 2:14-15; cf. Psa. 46:9; Isa. 2:4; 9:6-7; 11:6-9; Micah 4:3; Zech. 9:10.
    III. Because there can be no peace in the universe without Christ, the Peacemaker, we need Christ as our peace offering—Eph. 2:14-15; Col. 1:20; Lev. 3:1-17; 7:11-38:
    A. The peace offering typifies Christ as the Peacemaker—3:1-5; Eph. 2:15.
    B. As the fulfillment and the reality of the type of the peace offering, Christ is our peace; through Him and in Him we have peace with God and with one another—v. 14; Col. 3:15; 1 Thes. 5:13b.
    C. Apart from Christ we cannot have peace with God or with others; we can have such peace only through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ—Rom. 5:1; 12:18.
    D. In the Body life and for the Body life, we need Christ as our peace—Eph. 2:14; 4:3; Col. 3:15.
    IV. Christ is the peace offering for the Body of Christ as revealed in Ephesians—2:14:
    A. Christ, who accomplished full redemption for both the Jewish and the Gentile believers, is Himself our peace, our harmony:
    1. When Christ was crucified as the peace offering, His death abolished, annulled, the different ordinances of human life and religion—vv. 14-15.
    2. The differences among the races and the differences of social rank have been abolished.
    3. By Christ’s abolishing in His flesh the separating ordinances, that is, by His slaying the enmity, and by His creating the Jewish and the Gentile believers into one new man, peace was made between all believers.
    4. In one Body both the Jews and the Gentiles were reconciled to God through the cross; we were reconciled to God not only for the Body of Christ but also in the Body of Christ—v. 16.
    5. Peace is possible only when everything contrary to God’s economy has been terminated—Col. 1:20; 2:14-15; 3:15.
    6. Through the blood of Christ we have been brought near both to God and to God’s people—Eph. 2:13, 18-19.
    B. In resurrection Christ came as the Spirit to preach peace as the gospel; the Christ who died as the Peacemaker, shedding His blood in order to reconcile us to God, came to us as the life-giving Spirit, even as the preaching Spirit, to preach the gospel of peace—v. 17; Col. 1:20; 1 Cor. 15:45b; 2 Cor. 3:17a; John 20:19, 21, 26; 14:27; 16:33.
    C. In the Body life we should keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace—Eph. 4:3:
    1. Christ abolished on the cross all the differences among mankind due to ordinances, and in so doing, He made peace for His Body; this peace should bind all believers together and thus become the uniting bond of peace—2:15; 4:3.
    2. If we remain on the cross in our practice of the church life, the peace that Christ made on the cross will become the uniting bond in which we keep the oneness of the Spirit—Matt. 16:24; Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:15; 4:3.
    3. The uniting bars of the tabernacle signify the mingled spirit—the divine Spirit mingled with the regenerated human spirit—to become the uniting bond of peace; in our experience the uniting bond of peace is the cooperation of our spirit with the uniting Spirit, the crossing Spirit—Exo. 26:26-29; Eph. 4:3.
    D. In order to engage in spiritual warfare, we need to have our feet shod with the firm foundation, the establishing, of the gospel of peace—6:11, 14-15:
    1. Christ made peace for us, with both God and man, on the cross, and this peace has become our gospel—2:13-17.
    2. This gospel of peace has been established as a firm foundation with which our feet may be shod; being thus shod, we will have a firm footing so that we may stand to fight the spiritual warfare—6:11, 14-15.
    E. “Now the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly”—Rom. 16:20:
    1. God promises that He will crush Satan under the feet of those who live the church life, showing that the crushing of Satan is related to the church life—v. 20.
    2. Dealing with Satan is a Body matter, not an individual matter—Eph. 6:10-18.
    3. It is only when we have a proper local church as the practical expression of the Body that Satan is crushed under our feet—Rom. 16:1, 4, 20.
    V. Christ is the peace offering for the Body of Christ as revealed in Colossians—1:8, 20-22; 2:19; 3:15:
    A. For God to reconcile all things to Himself is to make peace unto Himself for all things; this was accomplished through the blood of the cross of Christ—1:20.
    B. We have been called to the peace of Christ in one Body—3:15.
    C. No one who is independent of the Body has real peace; dependence on the Body brings in genuine peace—Gal. 6:16.
    D. For the Body life we need to allow the peace of Christ to arbitrate, to adjust, and to decide all things in our hearts in our relationship with the members of His Body—Col. 3:15:
    1. The Greek word for arbitrate can be rendered “umpire, preside, be enthroned as a ruler and decider of everything.”
    2. If we allow the peace of Christ to arbitrate in our hearts, this peace will settle all the disputes among us; then we will have peace with God vertically and with the saints horizontally—1:20; 3:15.
    3. Through the arbitration of the peace of Christ, our problems are solved, and the friction between the members of the Body disappears; then the church life is preserved in oneness and sweetness—vv. 12-15; Rom. 12:4-5, 18; 14:19; Heb. 12:14.
    4. The arbitrating peace of Christ is Christ working within us to exercise His rule over us, to speak the last word, and to make the final decision—cf. Isa. 9:6-7.
    5. If we stay under the ruling of the enthroned peace of Christ, we will not offend others or damage them; rather, by the Lord’s grace and with His peace, we will minister life to others.
    6. In the church life we need to be at peace in everything, in every way, and with everyone; for this we need the Lord of peace to give us peace continually in every way—Heb. 12:14; 1 Thes. 5:13; 2 Thes. 3:16; Rom. 12:18; 14:19; Mark 9:50; 2 Tim. 2:22; James 3:18; Matt. 5:9.
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  • Scripture Reading: Lev. 3:1-2; 6:12; 7:37; Phil. 4:5-7, 11-13; John 12:1-3
    I. The issue of enjoying Christ as our burnt offering, our meal offering, our sin offering, and our trespass offering is the enjoyment of Christ as the peace offering—Lev. 3:1-2; 6:12; 7:37:
    A. We should not try to have peace by our own effort; the more we try in ourselves to have peace, the less peace we will have; the only way to have peace is to enjoy Christ every day—Rom. 14:17; 1 Cor. 12:3b; Eph. 3:16-17.
    B. Having peace is a measurement to show us to what degree we enjoy Christ—1:2; cf. Matt. 11:28-30.
    C. We should enjoy Christ today and forget about yesterday and about tomorrow—6:25, 34; Phil. 3:13-14; Heb. 3:7-8, 13.
    II. Christ is the peace between God and God’s people for their co-enjoyment in fellowship—cf. 1 Cor. 1:9:
    A. The one who offered the peace offering was to lay his hand on the head of the offering, signifying the union and identification of the offerer with the offering; our fellowship with Christ is a matter of identification, a matter of us becoming Him and of Him becoming us—Lev. 3:2, 8, 13.
    B. The peace offering is illustrated in Luke 15:23-24 by the fattened calf as a peaceful enjoyment between the receiving father, God, and the returning prodigal son, a sinner.
    C. We need to learn the secret of enjoying Christ as our peace offering—the peace of God, which surpasses every man’s understanding—Phil. 4:12, 7; John 16:33:
    1. We must learn the secret of how to take Christ as life, how to live Christ, how to magnify Christ, and how to gain Christ in any environment and in any matter—Phil. 4:11-13:
    a. We need to let our requests be made known to God, talking with Him and conferring with Him in everything—vv. 5-6; cf. Josh. 9:14; Prov. 3:5-6.
    b.  “Those who do not know this secret consider to live Christ a difficult thing. Actually, you just need to practice speaking with the Lord constantly; then spontaneously, you will live Christ” (The Organic Aspect of God’s Salvation, p. 55)—Phil. 1:19-21a.
    c. The result of practicing fellowship with God in prayer is that the peace of God, God as peace, is infused into us for our enjoyment as the counterpoise to troubles and the antidote to anxiety so that Christ as our forbearance can be known to all men—4:5-7, 9; 1:20; Rom. 8:6; John 16:33:
    1) Through our fellowship with God in prayer, we enjoy the Lord as a river of peace and as a comforting mother—Isa. 66:12-13; cf. Gal. 4:26.
    2) Through our fellowship with God in prayer, we enjoy the Lord as a refuge from the wind, a covering from the tempest, streams of water in a dry place, and the shadow of a massive rock in a wasted land—Isa. 32:2.
    2. The virtues of Christ for our experience in Philippians 4:5-9 are the expression of a life that lives Christ as peace—1:19-21a; 2:5-13; 3:8-10:
    a. Paul considers forbearance and the lack of anxiety as the first two aspects of the expression of a life that lives Christ.
    b. Anxiety, coming from Satan, is the sum total of human life and disturbs the believers’ life of living Christ; forbearance, coming from God, is the sum total of a life that lives Christ; the two are opposites.
    3. “Let your forbearance be known to all men. The Lord is near”—4:5:
    a. Forbearance is reasonableness, considerateness, and consideration in dealing with others, without being strict in claiming one’s legal rights; forbearance means that we are easily satisfied, even with less than our due.
    b. According to Christian experience, forbearance is all-inclusive, for it includes all Christian virtues:
    1) Forbearance includes love, patience, kindness, humility, compassion, considerateness, and submissiveness, a willingness to yield; if we have such an all-inclusive virtue, we shall also have righteousness and holiness.
    2) Forbearance also includes self-control, moderation, gentleness, understanding, sympathy, wisdom, mercy, peacefulness, looking to the Lord, and even the virtue of admitting that the Lord is sovereign in all things.
    c. A forbearing person is one who always fits in, whose behavior is always suitable—cf. 2 Cor. 6:1a; 10:1; Phil. 1:19; Isa. 11:2.
    d. If we are forbearing, we shall have the wisdom and the ability to supply others with what they need; we shall also have the full knowledge of what to say to them and when to say it—50:4-5; Col. 1:28.
    e. To be forbearing is to consider how others will be affected by what we do or say—2 Chron. 1:10.
    f. As an all-inclusive virtue, forbearance is Christ Himself; since Christ is forbearance, for Paul to live was forbearance—Phil. 1:21a:
    1) To let our forbearance be known to all men is to let the Christ whom we live and magnify, whom we take as our pattern and pursue as our goal, be known to all men.
    2) Only the Lord Jesus lived a life full of forbearance, and only Christ can be our perfect forbearance today.
    3) To make known our forbearance is to live a life that expresses Christ as the totality of all human virtues.
    g. Immediately after speaking about forbearance, Paul says that the Lord is near:
    1) With respect to space, the Lord is near us, ready to help; with regard to time, the Lord is at hand, coming soon—cf. Rom. 10:8-13.
    2) The Lord’s being near refers primarily to His presence with us—Matt. 1:23.
    4.  “In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses every man’s understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus”—Phil. 4:6-7:
    a. The words in everything refer to the many different things that happen to us day by day.
    b. Prayer is general, having worship and fellowship as its essence; petition is special, being for particular needs; both our prayer and our petition should be accompanied by our giving thanks to the Lord.
    c. To God denotes motion toward, in the sense of a living union and communion, implying fellowship; hence, the sense of to God here is “in the fellowship with God.”
    d. The God of peace patrols before our hearts and thoughts in Christ, keeping us calm and tranquil; a proper Christian life is a life of calm, tranquility, peace, and quiet (1 Tim. 2:1-2; Isa. 30:15a); the first aspect of a life that lives Christ is tranquility—without rivalry, vainglory, murmurings, or reasonings and without debate, arguing, or fighting with others.
    e. Let your forbearance be known is parallel to let your requests be made known—Phil. 4:5-6:
    1) Our anxiety can be turned into forbearance by bringing every need, every request, to God, and by conversing with Him; we should just tell Him what we need; that is, if we have any worry or anxiety, we should just tell Him.
    2) Our letting Him know is our motion toward Him; then His response is His dispensing, His mingling Himself with us, even before He answers our request; the practical mingling of divinity with humanity is carried out by the traffic described in verse 6.
    f. If we would have a life free of anxiety, we need to realize that all our circumstances, good or bad, have been assigned to us by God in order to serve us in fulfilling our destiny to gain Christ, live Christ, and magnify Christ—Rom. 8:28-29; Matt. 10:29-30; 2 Cor. 4:16-18.
    III. We need to learn the secret of how to have the vital-group church life as a house of feasting—a feast of Christ as the peace offering—where He and His lovers can have rest and satisfaction—John 12:1-3:
    A. This church life is produced by the resurrection life—11:43-44.
    B. This church life is composed of cleansed sinners—Mark 14:3.
    C. This church life is outwardly poor and afflicted—John 12:1; 16:33.
    D. This church life is a life of feasting in and with the presence of the Lord—12:2; Acts 3:20a.
    E. This church life has more sisters than brothers—John 12:2-3.
    F. In this church life there are the functions of Martha (diligently serving the Lord), Lazarus (testifying of the resurrection life), and Mary (pouring out her absolute love on the Lord)—vv. 2-3, 9-11.
    IV. Our enjoyment of Christ as our peace offering in our daily life and in the church life consummates in the New Jerusalem as the ultimate peace offering—Rev. 21:2:
    A. Jerusalem means “the foundation of peace.”
    B. The New Jerusalem is the Triune God to be our peace, to be our safety.
    C. The whole New Jerusalem will be an entity of peace.
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  • Scripture Reading: John 1:29; 1 Cor. 15:3; 1 Pet. 3:18; 2:24; 1 John 2:2; 4:10; Gal. 1:4; Matt. 26:28; Heb. 1:3; 10:12
    I. “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”—John 1:29:
    A. Christ died on the cross as the Lamb of God to deal with sin and sins and to take away sin from the human race.
    B. Christ as the Lamb of God fulfilled the requirements of God’s righteousness, holiness, and glory—Gen. 3:24; Rom. 2:5; Heb. 12:29; 9:5.
    C. Christ as the redeeming Lamb was foreknown before the foundation of the world, that is, before the creation of the universe, but was manifested for our sake—1 Pet. 1:20.
    D. Christ is “the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world,” from the time creation came into existence—Rev. 13:8.
    II. As the reality of the trespass offering, “Christ died for our sins”—1 Cor. 15:3:
    A. The first thing Paul delivered to the saints in the gospel was that Christ died for our sins—v. 3.
    B. The word for indicates that Christ died a vicarious death:
    1. We needed Him to die as our Substitute.
    2. As our Savior, He represented us to die for our sins in order to accomplish redemption—Matt. 1:21; Luke 2:11; Acts 13:23; 1 Tim. 1:15; Titus 2:14.
    III. As the reality of the trespass offering, “Christ also has suffered once for sins, the Righteous on behalf of the unrighteous,” that He might bring us to God—1 Pet. 3:18:
    A. Sins here refers to the sins we commit in our outward conduct—Heb. 9:28.
    B. On behalf of indicates that Christ’s death was for redemption, not for martyrdom.
    C. Christ, the righteous One, was judged on behalf of us, the unrighteous, by the righteous God so that He might remove the barrier of our sins and bring us to God.
    D. Christ redeemed us from our sins back to God, from our unrighteous manner of life back to the righteous God.
    IV. As the reality of the trespass offering, Christ “bore up our sins in His body on the tree, in order that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness; by whose bruise you were healed”—1 Pet. 2:24:
    A. According to Isaiah 53:6, when Christ was on the cross, God took all our sins and put them upon the Lamb of God:
    1. Hebrews 9:28 says that Christ has been “offered once to bear the sins of many.”
    2. Christ died once to bear our sins, and He suffered the judgment for us on the cross—Isa. 53:5, 11.
    B. When the Lord offered up Himself as a sacrifice on the cross, He bore up our sins in His body on the cross, the true altar for propitiation—Heb. 7:27.
    C. In the death of Christ, we died to sins so that we might live to righteousness; this living to righteousness is in the resurrection of Christ—1 Pet. 2:24; Rom. 6:8, 10-11, 18; Eph. 2:6; John 14:19; 2 Tim. 2:11:
    1. Righteousness is a matter of God’s government—Psa. 89:14.
    2. We were saved so that we might live rightly under the government of God, that is, in a way that matches the righteous requirement of His government.
    D. “By whose bruise you were healed”—1 Pet. 2:24b:
    1. On the one hand, Christ’s bruise that heals us keeps us away from sins by His death.
    2. On the other hand, this healing enlivens us so that we may live to righteousness.
    V. As the reality of the trespass offering, Christ “Himself is the propitiation for our sins”—1 John 2:2:
    A. “Herein is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son as a propitiation for our sins”—4:10.
    B. The Lord Jesus is the propitiatory sacrifice for our sins:
    1. Christ offered Himself to God as a sacrifice for our sins not only for our redemption but also for God’s satisfaction—Heb. 9:28.
    2. Through Christ’s vicarious death and in Him as our Substitute, God is satisfied and appeased; hence, Christ is the propitiation between God and us.
    C. Hebrews 2:17 reveals that Christ has made propitiation for our sins:
    1. The Lord Jesus made propitiation for our sins to reconcile us to God by satisfying God’s righteous demands on us.
    2. Through His work on the cross Christ made propitiation for our sins; this means that He appeased God for us.
    3. By appeasing God’s righteousness and all His requirements on us, Christ has settled every problem between us and God.
    VI. As the reality of the trespass offering, Christ “gave Himself for our sins that He might rescue us out of the present evil age according to the will of our God and Father”—Gal. 1:4:
    A. Although Christ was crucified for our sins, the goal of His crucifixion was to rescue us out of the present evil age:
    1. An age is a part of the world as the satanic system.
    2. An age refers to a section, an aspect, the present or modern appearance, of the system of Satan, which is used by him to usurp and occupy people and to keep them away from God and His purpose.
    3. The present age is the present section of Satan’s cosmos, his world system—1 John 2:15.
    4. Whereas sins are devilish, the present age is satanic—Rom. 12:2.
    B. Apart from the crucifixion of Christ, we have no way to deal with sins, behind which the devil hides, or the evil age, behind which Satan hides—Gal. 1:4:
    1. Christ was crucified for our sins so that we might be delivered from the present evil age.
    2. If we would be delivered from the present evil age, sins must be dealt with.
    C. According to the context of the book of Galatians, the present evil age in 1:4 refers to the religious world, the religious course of the world:
    1. This is confirmed by 6:14-15, where circumcision is considered part of the world—the religious world to which Paul was crucified.
    2. Christ gave Himself for our sins for the purpose of rescuing us out of religion, the present evil age; this principle is the same with the believers in Paul’s time and with us today.
    VII. As the reality of the trespass offering, the Lord Jesus said, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is being poured out for many for forgiveness of sins”—Matt. 26:28:
    A. The Lord’s blood was required by God’s righteousness for the forgiveness of sins.
    B. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins—Heb. 9:22.
    C. The Lord’s blood was poured out for the forgiveness of sins, and the new covenant has been enacted through His blood—Luke 22:20:
    1. The blood of the Lord Jesus has made a complete redemption for us so that all our sins may be forgiven.
    2. His blood satisfied God’s righteousness and redeemed us from our fallen condition back to God and to God’s blessing.
    3. In His death on the cross as the trespass offering, Christ poured out His blood so that the new covenant may be enacted and the believers’ sins may be forgiven—Matt. 26:28.
    4. “The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin,” and God is “faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”—1 John 1:7, 9.
    VIII. As the reality of the trespass offering, Christ, “having made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high”—Heb. 1:3:
    A. “This One, having offered one sacrifice for sins, sat down forever on the right hand of God”—10:12:
    1. Christ has put away sins by offering Himself to God as the sacrifice for sin.
    2. His sitting down forever at the right hand of God is a sign and proof that the taking away of sins has been accomplished—v. 12.
    B. Christ has made “purification of sins”—1:3:
    1. In verse 3 purification indicates that our sins have been washed away.
    2. Christ accomplished purification of sins once for all; He shed His blood once and accomplished an eternal cleansing.
    3. According to the typology in Leviticus 16, the Lord Jesus brought His own blood into the Holy of Holies in the heavens and sprinkled it before God in order to make propitiation for our sins so that we might be cleansed and “from all…sins…be clean” before God—v. 30; Heb. 12:22, 24.
    C. Because Christ offered Himself to God through the eternal Spirit, His offering of Himself was once for all, and the redemption accomplished through His death is eternal, having an eternal effect—7:27; 9:12, 14.
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  • Scripture Reading: Lev. 5:1-4, 6-8, 11, 15-16; 1 John 1:7-9; Acts 24:16; Psa. 51:2
    I. The trespass offering signifies Christ as our offering resolving the problem of sins in our conduct—1 Pet. 2:24; Isa. 53:5-6, 10-11; cf. Matt. 27:38; Luke 23:42-43:
    A. Taking Christ as our trespass offering with the confession of our sins in the divine light is the way to drink Christ as the living water for us to become the New Jerusalem—John 4:14-18.
    B. Taking Christ as our trespass offering with the confession of our sins is the way to keep ourselves in the fellowship of life for our growth in life unto the maturity in life—1 John 1:2-3, 5-9; Acts 24:16.
    C. Taking Christ as our trespass offering to receive the forgiveness of sins issues in our fearing God and loving God—Psa. 130:4; Luke 7:47-50.
    D. Ministering Christ as the sin-dealing life to the saints kills the germs, destroys the problems, and maintains the oneness of the Spirit—John 8:1-11; 1 John 5:16; Rom. 2:4b; Lev. 10:17; Gal. 6:1.
    II. In taking Christ as our trespass offering, we need to make a thorough confession of all our shortcomings, weaknesses, wrongdoings, and sinfulness in order to have a conscience without offense toward God and men—Acts 24:16; Psa. 51:2:
    A. Since God knows the record of our sinful doings, it is best for us to ask Him to rid us of that record by confessing—1 John 1:7, 9.
    B. After such a thorough and fine confession, we will be filled with the Spirit essentially and economically to make us buoyant and bold in our God to speak the gospel of God—cf. Num. 21:16-18; 1 Thes. 2:2, 4.
    III. The trespass offering eventually becomes the sin offering, signifying that Christ’s redemption for our sin resolves the problem of sin in its two aspects: sin in our inward nature and sins in our outward conduct—Lev. 5:6-8, 11-12; John 1:29.
    IV. Two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, form a trespass offering, signifying that the source of every trespass is the sin that is in our flesh, and the reason for every trespass is our not living absolutely for God—Lev. 5:7.
    V. Leviticus 5 speaks of four particular items that need the trespass offering so that God’s people can live a holy, clean, and rejoicing life for them to be incorporated with the Triune God for His glory—vv. 1-4:
    A. To fail to testify to the truth concerning what we know is to be dishonest and unfaithful, unlike our God, who is faithful and honest; this actually deals with lying, which involves Satan, the father of lies—v. 1; John 8:44.
    B. To touch the uncleanness of spiritual death is the most serious thing in the eyes of God—Lev. 5:2:
    1. If we are to live a holy life separated from death, we need to exercise care concerning our contact with people—ch. 11; Acts 10:9b-15, 27-29:
    a. Animals that divide the hoof and chew the cud signify persons who have discernment in their activities and who receive the word of God with much reconsideration—Lev. 11:2-3.
    b. Aquatic animals that have fins and scales signify persons who can move and act freely in the world, simultaneously resisting its influence—v. 9.
    c. Birds that have wings for flying and that eat seeds of life as their food supply signify persons who can live and move in a life that is away from and above the world and who take the things of life as their supply of life—cf. vv. 13-19.
    d. Insects that have wings and jointed legs above their feet for leaping on the ground signify persons who can live and move in a life that is above the world and who can keep themselves from the world—vv. 21-22.
    2. The carcasses of the animals in Leviticus 5:2 refer to three different kinds of spiritual death that may spread among God’s people in the church life: beasts signify wild death, cattle signify mild death, and creeping things signify subtle death—Rom. 14:15, 20; 16:17:
    a. Regardless of its kind, death is unclean, filthy, and defiling; death is the most hateful thing in the eyes of God—cf. 1 Cor. 15:26.
    b. According to the typology in the Old Testament, death is more defiling than sin (see footnote 2 on Lev. 11:31).
    3. We need to be Nazarites who are separated from death and filled with life, “anti-death”—Num. 6:6-8; Rom. 8:6.
    C. The uncleanness of man signifies that everything that is discharged from the natural man and the natural life, whether good or bad, is unclean—Lev. 5:3; cf. Matt. 15:17-20; 16:21-25.
    D. To speak rashly before God, expressing our opinion in a hasty, careless, and reckless way, indicates that we do not live for God and do not fear God—Lev. 5:4; cf. Matt. 17:24-27; John 7:3-8.
    VI. In Leviticus 5:11 fine flour, signifying the humanity of Jesus, is used for a sin offering, signifying that we commit sins because we are short of the humanity of Jesus:
    A. This indicates that we commit sins not only because we have sin in our nature and not only because we are not absolute for God but also because we do not have the humanity of Jesus; in His humanity Jesus has no sin in Him and is absolute for God.
    B. The tenth part of an ephah of fine flour offered for a sin offering signifies that only a small portion of the humanity of Jesus is needed to kill the negative things within us and to supply our need.
    VII. Making restitution and adding to it one-fifth more signifies that the one who offers the trespass offering should be righteous in material things according to the divine scale, standard, and measurement—vv. 15-16; cf. Luke 19:8.
    VIII. “David begot Solomon of her who had been the wife of Uriah”—Matt. 1:6:
    A. Psalm 51 was composed after David’s great sin in murdering Uriah and robbing him of his wife and then being rebuked by Nathan:
    1.  “Against You and You alone have I sinned, / And I have done what is evil in Your sight”—v. 4.
    2. “Hide Your face from my sins, / And blot out all my iniquities”—v. 9.
    3. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; / A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise”—v. 17.
    4. “Do good in Your good pleasure unto Zion; / Build the walls of Jerusalem”—v. 18.
    B. The issue of the “marriage” of David’s transgression and repentance with God’s forgiveness was Solomon (“peaceful”), the one who built the temple of God—2 Sam. 7:12-14a; 2 Chron. 3:1:
    1. The church is always built up by this kind of person—a Solomon—one who is the issue of man’s transgression and repentance plus God’s forgiveness.
    2. When we experience the marriage of our transgression and repentance with God’s forgiveness, we become very useful in the building up of the church.
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  • Scripture Reading: Lev. 4:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 8:3; John 1:14; 3:14; 12:31; 1 John 3:8b; Heb. 2:14
    I. As the reality of the sin offering, Christ was “made sin on our behalf”—2 Cor. 5:21; Lev. 4:3:
    A. Christ did not know sin in an experiential way by contact or by personal experience, for in His nature and substance there was no sin; nevertheless, Christ was made sin (not sinful) on our behalf to be judged by God—v. 21; Rom. 8:3.
    B. Christ died on the cross not only for our sins but also as sin itself, having been made sin on our behalf by God—2 Cor. 5:21:
    1. We were not only sinful—we were sin itself; we were the constitution of sin, the embodiment of sin—Rom. 5:12, 19; 6:6; 7:7, 11, 17, 23.
    2. After God laid our sins upon the crucified Christ, God considered Him the unique sinner—Isa. 53:6b, 11c, 12d; 1 Pet. 2:24.
    3. When Christ died for us as our Substitute, God considered Him not only the sin-bearer but sin itself; when Christ was crucified, sin was crucified—Rom. 6:10.
    4. As the One who was made sin on our behalf, Christ was judged by God once for all—2 Cor. 5:21.
    II. As the reality of the sin offering, Christ the Son was sent “in the likeness of the flesh of sin and concerning sin” so that God could condemn sin in the flesh—Rom. 8:3:
    A. As the Word that was with God and that was God, Christ became flesh—John 1:1, 14:
    1. In the Bible, especially in the New Testament, flesh denotes the fallen man, not the God-created man—Gen. 1:26; 6:3; Rom. 3:20.
    2. Our flesh is not only flesh but also sinful flesh; however, the flesh of Christ was not sinful flesh.
    3. When the Word became flesh, the flesh of Jesus was joined to fallen man with sinful flesh, but in His flesh there was not the element of sin; Satan could not enter into Jesus’ flesh.
    B. God sent His Son only “in the likeness of the flesh of sin”; the Son did not actually have the flesh of sin but only the form, the likeness, of the flesh of sin—8:3:
    1. That the Word became flesh means that the Triune God became a man of flesh in the likeness of a sinful man—John 1:1, 14.
    2. Christ became flesh to be indirectly involved with sin—only in the likeness of the flesh of sin but not in the reality—Rom. 8:3.
    3. By so doing, God entered into humanity and became one with sinful man; however, He had only the likeness of a sinful man but not the sin of a sinful man, only the form of a fallen man but not the sinful nature of a fallen man.
    4. In His death Christ as a man in the flesh caused sin to be condemned in the flesh by God—v. 3:
    a. The flesh is of sin, and the Son of God did indeed become flesh (Heb. 2:14; 1 Tim. 3:16); however, He had no participation in the sin of the flesh.
    b. When God the Father sent God the Son concerning sin and to deal with sin, even to abolish it, He sent Him not in the reality of the flesh of sin but in the likeness, the appearance, of the flesh of sin—John 1:14; Rom. 8:3.
    c. While Christ was on the cross, God condemned sin in the flesh of Jesus Christ, the One who was sent in the likeness of the flesh of sin—v. 3.
    III. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up”—John 3:14:
    A. As the One who was sent by the Father in the likeness of the flesh of sin, Christ is typified by the bronze serpent in Numbers 21:4-9:
    1. When the children of Israel spoke against God and against Moses, “Jehovah sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died”—v. 6.
    2. God told Moses to make “a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole”; “Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the pole; and if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived”—vv. 8-9.
    B. The incident in Numbers 21 was sovereignly prepared by God to reveal a particular type of Christ:
    1. As a serpent in form, the bronze serpent lifted up on a pole is a type of Christ lifted up on the cross for us—John 3:14:
    a. In verse 14 the Lord Jesus applied this type to Himself, indicating that when He was in the flesh, He was in “the likeness of the flesh of sin” (Rom. 8:3), which likeness is equal to the form of the bronze serpent.
    b. The bronze serpent had only the form of the serpent but was without the serpent’s poison; Christ was lifted up only as a serpent in form, for He did not have the poisonous nature of a serpent.
    2. As sinful human beings, we actually are serpentine; in our fallen nature we are children of the old serpent, the devil—1 John 3:10; Matt. 12:34; 23:33; Rev. 12:9:
    a. We are all serpentine beings with the poison of the serpent in our nature; in our fallen nature we are not only sinful—we are serpentine as well.
    b. In the sight of God, the entire fallen human race consists of poisonous serpents—Matt. 12:34; 23:33.
    3. Because we are such serpents, we needed a Substitute; we needed Christ to die for us in the form of a serpent but without the poisonous element of the serpent—John 3:14; Rom. 8:3.
    IV. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil”—1 John 3:8b:
    A. As sinners, we need God’s salvation, and as those who are snared and troubled by the devil, we need the Lord Jesus to destroy the works of the devil—1 Tim. 1:15; 1 John 3:8.
    B. When the Son of God was on earth, He destroyed the works of the devil—Mark 1:23-28; Matt. 12:28; 15:22-28; Luke 4:39; 13:10-17:
    1. Often Satan’s work was not obvious; he hid behind natural phenomena.
    2. Although the devil hid behind many natural phenomena, the Lord Jesus rebuked him—Mark 4:35-41.
    C. In 1 John 3:8 the Greek word translated “destroy” may also be translated “undo, dissolve”:
    1. The devil has sinned continually from ancient times and begets sinners that they might practice sin with him—vv. 8, 10; John 8:44.
    2. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might undo and destroy the sinful deeds of the devil, that is, condemn, through His death on the cross in the flesh (Rom. 8:3), sin initiated by him, the evil one; destroy the power of sin, the sinful nature of the devil (Heb. 2:14); and take away both sin and sins.
    V. “Since therefore the children have shared in blood and flesh, He also Himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death He might destroy him who has the might of death, that is, the devil”—v. 14:
    A. The manifestation of the Lord Jesus destroyed the works of the devil, and the death of the Lord Jesus destroyed the devil himself—1 John 3:8; John 3:14; 12:31; Heb. 2:14.
    B. It was through His being a serpent in form that the Lord Jesus crushed the head of the old serpent, the devil—John 3:14; Gen. 3:15; Rev. 12:9:
    1. The serpent is a symbol of the devil; the Lord Jesus was crucified as a serpent in form in order to deal with the devil, Satan.
    2. In this way He judged the ruler of this world: “Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the ruler of this world be cast out”—John 12:31:
    a. Satan as the old serpent, the ruler of the world, had injected himself into man’s flesh.
    b. Through His death on the cross in the likeness of the flesh of sin, the Lord destroyed Satan, who is in man’s flesh—Rom. 8:3; Heb. 2:14.
    c. By judging Satan in this way, the Lord also judged the world, which is hanging on Satan; hence, the Lord’s being lifted up caused the world to be judged and its ruler to be cast out—John 16:11; 12:31.
    C. In His crucifixion Christ destroyed the devil—Heb. 2:14:
    1. In verse 14 the Greek word translated “destroy” can also be rendered as “bring to nought, make of none effect, do away with, abolish, annul, discard.”
    2. In His humanity and through His work on the cross, Christ has destroyed the devil.
    3. Christ died not only as the Substitute of fallen men, who had been bitten by the serpent, but also to destroy the devil—John 3:14; Heb. 2:14.
    D. Hallelujah, through Christ as the reality of the sin offering, the devil has been destroyed!
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