Sin separates man from God and makes us unusable for Him. As Christians, we may want to serve God and do many things for Him. But, what God cares about, first and foremost, is that we sanctify ourselves and separate ourselves from sin. We cannot tolerate sin and serve God at the same time. God will not accept and will even despise this type of service.
The Difference between the Sin Offering and the Trespass Offering
In Christ, however, God has given us a way to deal with sin in a thorough way, so that we can stand before Him and serve Him as priests. Leviticus 4 and 5 show us how we need to deal with sin and our trespasses. God uses two entire chapters for this. This shows us how much of a problem sin is for us. In Leviticus 5, the trespass offering is described. This chapter shows us that we need this offering when we have committed sin and that we should bring a ram as our trespass offering. Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). He Himself is this trespass offering (male sheep = ram). The forgiveness of our sins through the blood of Christ is only one part of dealing with the sin within us. The other part consists of the sin offering. The sin offering deals with the root of sin within us. God wants us to rule over the sin that lies in our flesh. To rule over sin, we need the sin offering – it keeps us from living out the sin that is within us.
Letting Sin be Dealt with Thoroughly
Every person with a functioning conscience and an upright heart suffers after having committed sin. In such situations, we have the blood of Christ to cleanse us from our sin. The fact that we commit sin, however, is actually a reflection of what lies within us. We should, therefore, not be satisfied with taking the blood of Christ alone, but we should ask the Lord what the root of that sin is and why it is there. It is important to allow the Lord to search our heart and reveal to us the hidden things of the heart that cause us to sin (Psalm 139). The act of sin is, in the end, a result of what is hidden in our heart. That is why we need to deal with the root cause in a deep and thorough way. The Lord, our Physician, does not only want to cleanse us from our sins – He wants to deal with the cause of our sins and deal with our heart. This is why He came to this earth as a physician (Matthew 9:12). In Leviticus 5:1-13, we see that the trespass offering and sin offering should be offered together. Once we realize that we have sinned, we should never be lax in letting the cause be dealt with. If we leave our sin untreated, it will grow and can cause even greater damage.
Dealing Quickly and Thoroughly with “Small” Sins
If we notice things that are not alright before God, we should not put off dealing with these things or just address them slowly. We often tend to have a nonchalant attitude about things that are supposedly small and insignificant. But God wants us to deal with all things immediately. That is why the sin offering can be brought in different sizes – from a bull to fine flour. Indeed, Luke 16:10 says: “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”
God wants to give us more and more of a sense of what is clean and unclean. It is important for us to start to hate and abhor sin. Psalm 101:3 says: “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.” We need such an aversion towards sin so that we no longer want any of it to cling to us. Paul despised sin in a very strong way. That is why he says in Romans 7:24: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Without such an attitude, we will not apply a resolute will to condemn sin in our life. Hebrews 12:4 tells us: “You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.”
May the Lord give us such an attitude and help us in the battle against sin!