Thursday, November 13, 2014

Burial versus Cremation in the Bible

For all of the ceremony and specificity of God's law, it doesn't address how to dispose of the dead.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Obscenity in the Bible and the Freedom From Religion Foundation

You can read the original story here, or check out this list of supposed "Sex, Obscenities, [and] Filth" in the bible. Do YOU have answers for how these scriptures come from a moral and loving God?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The 3 Types of Sweet-Aroma Offerings

As I explained in The 2 Types of Sin Offerings, there are two main categories of offerings described in the bible: those that were offered because of sin and those that are a "sweet aroma" to God. These "sweet aroma" offerings often involved the sacrifice of an animal, but not for the purpose of forgiveness! They are found in Leviticus 1, 2, & 3 with no mention of sin or forgiveness whatsoever. Rather, these were pure acts of worship intended to highlight different aspects of the worshiper's ongoing relationship with God.

Jesus Christ is the one-and-only offering for the sin of all mankind, meaning that no other person needs to make a sin or guilt offering ever again. By contrast, the sweet-aroma offerings reveal elements of our walk with God that we must strive to perfect. We can and do bring burnt offerings, grain offerings, and peace offerings before our God in the New Covenant!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Before you sanitize Christmas, try this first!

A response to Kirk Cameron's convocation last month at Liberty University. He's going to great lengths to "reclaim" Christmas as a Christian holiday from those that claim it has pagan roots - I have more to say about that argument specifically, but he's really sidestepping the real issue! Look for at least one more video on this topic coming soon!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Perspective on the JMU Hate-Preacher

I caught onto this viral news story about a "preacher of hate" who was "drowned out by a song of love" last week at James Madison University in Virginia. I decided it would make for a good discussion series for Spiritual Snacks' new YouTube Channel.  Links to the original story as well as other material that helped give me perspective on this situation are given at the bottom!

Part 1: Do Christians Sin?

Friday, September 19, 2014

The 2 Types of Sin Offerings

After a two-part introduction on why we should study the offertory system (1, 2), I now want to kick off the series with a basic overview of the structure of the system and the primary purpose of each offering. The details of how to perform the 5 main offerings are presented in Leviticus 1-7, and this forms the core of the system. In this post and the next, I will give the main distinctive qualities of each offering and suggest both their Old and New Covenant significance. Also, I would like to present them in a different order than they appear in Leviticus, beginning with the sin offerings.

Offerings for Sin
The single biggest distinction in the different types of offerings is that 3 of them - the burnt, grain, and peace offerings - have nothing to do with sin! Only 2 of them - the sin offering and the guilt offering - deal with forgiveness. For this reason, those 3 are all described as "a sweet aroma to the LORD." Although it is God's great pleasure to extend mercy and grace to us when we have sinned and ask forgiveness, it is a sweet aroma to Him when we come before Him blameless to offer praise and worship. That is why, in order for one or more of these 3 sweet-aroma offerings to be given, one of the 2 types of sin offering was always made first: so that the offerer of the sweet aroma would come before God blameless, having been forgiven because of the sin offering, and the worship or praise would then be acceptable to God.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why Study the Offerings? (Part 2)

In the first part ofthis introduction to God's offertory system, I briefly mentioned that the sacrifice of Jesus was much more than just an offering for sin. Meditating on this aspect of God's law reveals the depth of meaning that God has poured into the work that Jesus Christ accomplished on our behalf as well as the work that we ourselves do! Last time, I asked a question that I failed to address: is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the entire substance of God's system of offerings as it relates to the New Covenant? 

For those in the Church of God, you may recognize that we use the word "offering" to refer to the money that we give on God's Holy Days. But have we considered the full biblical context of what an "offering" is in the New Covenant? A review of the New Testament scriptures about offerings reveals that the apostles deeply understood God's offertory system, and we will readily see that we cannot hope to grasp the apostles' meaning without studying that system for ourselves. 
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