Summary: Lesson 9 in a series on holiness as seen in Leviticus; highlighting 4 keys to pure living

Pure Society

Leviticus 17-20

Lesson 9

I. Introduction

A. Making a Great Society

1. Alexander Solzhenitsyn – Russian Novelists

a) Graduation address at Harvard in 1978 made the following quote.

b) “I have spent all my life under communism, and I will tell you that a society without any legal scale is a terrible one indeed. But a society with no other scale but the legal one is not quite worthy of man either.”

2. A Society needs more than laws to make it great.

a) Not everything that is legal is Biblical.

b) A society must have laws and a good society will apply the laws.

c) But a great society will be guided by God’s law.

B. Leviticus 17-20 makes up part of the “legal code” for the Israelites.

1. These laws are not just about justice and civic righteousness.

2. Rather they are laws designed to produce holiness.

3. They are laws to distinguish God’s people from others – Leviticus 20:7-8

C. Tonight Four Keys to Pure Living

II. Four Keys to Pure Living

A. Appreciating the Importance of Blood – 17:11 (Four Areas of Concern)

1. Offering Food (1-7)

a) Animals killed for the purposes of food were to be brought before the Lord.

b) Potions of the animals were to be offered as a peace offering to God (5).

c) Three Reasons for this ordinance.

a. To keep Israel from secretly offering sacrifices to idols (7).

b. To feed the priests and Levites (7:11-18).

c. To serve as a reminder that God provides for those that seek Him first (Matthew 6:32-33).

2. Offering Sacrifices (8-9)

a) All sacrifices were to be made at the altar.

b) Not to be made in the fields or in the privacy of your home.

c) This was to serve as a reminder that all things were to be open before the Lord – Hebrews 4:13

3. Eating of Blood (10-14)

a) Eating or drinking of blood was prohibited (10-12).

b) Two Reasons for the prohibition

a. The practice of the pagans in the Land of Canaan.

b. Blood was set aside for atonement.

4. Eating Dead Animals (15-16)

a) Prohibition against eating an animal killed by something other than the Israelites.

b) Health appears to be the main concern for this rule.

5. Application of Chapter 17

a) The purity of the precious blood of Christ – 1 Peter 1:18-19

b) The purchase with the precious blood of Christ – Acts 20:28

c) The purpose of the precious blood of Christ – Romans 5:9, Ephesians 1:7, 1 John 1:7

B. Accepting the Boundaries of Sexual Activity – Chapter 18

1. The Authority of God (1-5) – I am the Lord

a) God created man and thus has every right to regulate his behavior.

b) God desired married couples to enjoy sexual activity – Genesis 1:28, 2:24, Malachi 2:15

c) The warning to Israel was not look back to Egypt or look around in Canaan.

2. The Standards of God (6-23)

a) Modesty and Incest are highlighted in these verses (6-18).

b) Privacy and purity (19) –See Chapter 15

c) Adultery (20) – Exodus 20:14

d) Idolatry (21)

e) Homosexuality (22)

f) Bestiality (23).

3. The Consequences of God (24-30)

a) Casting out (24).

b) Spewing out (25-28)

c) Cutting off (29-30)

4. God’s Gift of Sexuality

a) Unification – Genesis 2:24

b) Procreation – Genesis 1:28, Malachi 2:15

c) Recreation – Proverbs 5:18-19

d) Appreciation – Song of Solomon 6

C. Applying God’s Laws to Relationships – Chapter 19

1. Maintaining a relationship with God.

a) Holiness as God is holy (2)

b) Loyalty to God (4,31, 37)

c) Worship (5-8, 21-22, 24, 30)

2. Maintaining a relationship with others.

a) The Family (3, 17, 32) – See Colossians 3:18-21

b) The Poor (9-10, 15)

c) The Afflicted (14)

d) The Stranger (33-34)

e) Commerce (13, 35-36)

f) Speech (12, 16)

g) Sexuality (20,29)

h) Influence (19, 26-28)

D. Acknowledging God’s Judgment – Chapter 20

1. The Penalty for Disobedience

a) Many of the offenses carried the death penalty (2,10-16,20)

b) Though harsh by most standards today, there was a purpose behind the penalties.

2. The Purpose of Penalties

a) Deter sinful activity.

b) Protection of God’s people

c) Separation of God’s people.

d) Purging impurities from the Messianic heritage.

3. The Plea for Purity (26)

a) God take no pleasure in the punishment of the wicked – Ezekiel 18:23-24

b) Yet evil must be exposed and removed – Ephesians 5:11, Galatians 5:9

III. Conclusion

A. There is more to a good society than a system of law.

1. Good societies seek to please God – Proverbs 14:34

2. God’s people are to make societies better by…

a) Appreciating the sacrifice of God and Christ.

b) Accepting God’s laws on sexual purity.

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