/ / / Exalt God as Holy in a Culture that Considers Him Casually {Leviticus 10}

Exalt God as Holy in a Culture that Considers Him Casually {Leviticus 10}

In Leviticus we read what happens to two men who failed to exalt God as holy. Here's how we should exalt God in a culture that considers Him casually. #Biblestudy #Leviticus #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

We live in a culture that considers God and His word – casually.

Let’s take a look at Leviticus 9 and 10 and see how God responds to two men who did the same.

It was a huge day.  Aaron had done all the Lord commanded and made an offering before the Lord that had been accepted.  Leviticus 9:23,24 says:

Leviticus 9

The glory of the Lord appeared to all the people and the fire, from the Lord, consumed the offering.  When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces!  Awesome!

 

************

Then as Leviticus 10 begins, we are introduced to Aaron’s sons – Abihu and Nadab.

These sons would have been highly honored and noble men.  The oldest would be next in line to take on the role of High Priest.  Their uncle was Moses.

And Exodus 24:9-10 tells us this:

“Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.”

You read that right – these men had the privilege of going with Moses and Aaron and the 70 elders of Israel to see God Almighty!

They were good and noble men.  They were not wicked or disobedient.  But then this happened…

Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.
Leviticus 10:1,2

It was the first day of their priesthood.  It would have been an incredibly exciting day…but there was a quick turn of events.

In a short moment, Nadab and Abihu offered unauthorized fire before the Lord and the fire that had consumed the sacrifice only one day before —consumed Nadab and Abihu – and they died.

Fire that represented God’s approval in Leviticus 9, represented God’s judgement in Leviticus 10.

No one knows for sure why they treated God so casually and offered unauthorized fire but in Leviticus 10:8,9 it says:

And the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying, “Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die.

Perhaps they were drunk.

And then Moses explains to Aaron why Nadab and Abihu died:

This is what the Lord has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’”

And Aaron held his peace.
~ Leviticus 10:3 (esv)

Sanctified means: set apart or declared holy.

Glorified means: to honor or exalt.

Nadab and Abihu had failed to exalt God as holy.

They treated God casually.

And I can’t help but to wonder if the church today treats God and his commands too casually.

I see it out on social media – the Christian debates.  Areas that are clearly black and white in scripture have some how been twisted into gray.  Political correctness and a desire to “fit in” to the trending culture has seeped into the church.

Lack of Biblical literacy is weakening the church.  Because let’s be honest…who really wants to study verse by verse, chapter by chapter the entire Bible – that could take years right?  We are a busy people – who has time to really study the Holy Bible – line by line, to be careful to live according to all that is written in it.

God’s word is no longer exalted as the final say.

God’s word is not treated as holy even by His own children.

I remember when the Bible used to be referred to as the “Holy Bible”.  I don’t hear people say that much today.

And perhaps we feel like God was a little too harsh on Nadab and Abihu.

John Piper writes:

“We are so accustomed to grace.

Like the Israelites…we need God, ask for grace, receive it, forget it, and go back to sinning–despising God’s holiness without fear of his judgment.”

Have we taken advantage of God’s grace?

Are we so used to receiving forgiveness easily that we have treated God’s holiness casually?

Nadab and Abihu were so, so secure in their position.

Why would they have any reason to believe such a harsh consequence could take place?  They had been honored in front of all the people. They were leaders.  Why did God care where the fire came from? Wasn’t that a small detail?

It was not. God had clear commands and they disobeyed them and faced judgement.

The God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament and the same God we serve today.

He is a God of mercy…and justice.

He is a God of love… and wrath.

He is a God of eternal life… and eternal condemnation.

We love to focus on God’s mercy, love and eternal life.  That is trendy.

It is not trendy to focus on God’s justice, wrath and eternal condemnation.  But it’s equally as real.

As we saw in Leviticus 9, we cannot approach God without the shedding of blood.  God judges sin with fire.

Here are 5 Ways to Exalt God:

1.) Declare – God is holy.  He is absolutely separate from us. He is pure and to be exalted above all.

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”
~ Revelation 4:8

2.)  Treat God as holy.  Take note of Aaron’s silent response to the death of his sons.  Aaron knew that his sons had failed to treat God as holy.

And Aaron held his peace.
~ Leviticus 10:3

3.) Leaders should never be so secure in their “position” before man that they become prideful and careless.

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
~James 3:1

4.) Wisdom and discernment lead to holiness. We must be able to distinguish good from evil, truth from lies, and holiness from political correctness.

You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them by Moses.”
~Leviticus10:10,11

5.) Exalt the name of the Lord and give thanks for the shed blood of Jesus, that covers our sins.

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
~Revelation 5:13

May we be a group of women who exalt the name of God as holy and seek to obey his commands daily.

*Chime In*

Do you agree that the culture has shifted toward considering God casually?  How have you seen this around you?  How can we live differently?

What has God taught you this week in your personal quiet times?

Keep Walking with the King,

Courtney

40 Comments

  1. I’ve been saying this for the longest time too. Although we all sin, and we shouldn’t exactly be pointing the finger at others who have sinned, we’re in an era where the majority of us follow laws made by man, rather than what was declared by God – for example, gay marriage – it’s usually controversial, but just because a judge has made it legal, doesn’t mean it’s not an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. What do you think about it?

    I could go on for days, but I don’t want to leave an exceptionally long comment lol

    I just want to say Thanks as well for doing this chapter by chapter study from cover to cover of the bible. It’s helping me immensely in my walk with the Lord.

    Also, I find it a bit harder when we take weekends off. I don’t know if anyone else does – but I kind of get out of the rhythm of it? Anyways, have a blessed weekend everybody!

    1. Wow I’m just joining all of this amazing group.This community is just what I need. Womenlivingwell really helped me dissect my thoughts . Womenlivingwell, Courtney you are amazing, again I’m so blessed to have walked into your path. We are truly lifted to have your devotionals.
      Every day would be great, but I understand how you need time to collect your thoughts. God bless,have a great weekend.

  2. thank you Courtney! This couldn’t be more true. I’m so glad we are reading through Leviticus and the Old Testament as reminders of God’s nature and His holiness. The Grace message is so trendy today but God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He hasn’t changed!
    just so glad we can learn this lesson about God together since things are getting so casual.
    thank you!

  3. The absolute holiness of God seems to be a difficult thing to really, truly understand. I mean, can our brains even comprehend such a thing to the level required?

    And, you’re so right… culturally, we too often sugar-coat Christianity into a simple popularity contest.

    Thanks for always speaking the truth!

  4. Courtney, Thank you! I have been enjoying this Bible study and appreciate your willingness to speak God’s Truth, rather than bow to political correctness.

  5. I believe this article is spot on. I’ve been seriously considering what the Holy Bible says about Biblical femininity – and just to add – as women – why do we so quickly disregard 1 Corinthians 11? Read it, and then Google it and research. Let God convict where He needs to and then obey. Doing my best to accomplish this.

    1. Berea, I’ve been studying Biblical womanhood for a couple of years, and that passage is one that is still debated so much. Especially when it comes to respecting your husband and being led by him, if he doesn’t feel convicted about that and prefers you not take that literally. It is definitely something to read, discuss, and pray about!

  6. I am not reading along with your study, but I did read Leviticus recently as part of a two year Bible reading plan. I have to say that in some ways, I agree our culture, even we as Christians, take God casually, but at the same time, we often swing too far to the other side in trying to make ourselves “holy” and we miss out on the chance to meditate on both God’s holiness and His grace and how we can let both work in our lives. I think in our human minds, it is as if they are opposite attributes, opposite ends of the spectrum. But they aren’t. Somehow they are both GOD. What amazed me is realizing David was under the old covenant yet, He wrote some of the most beautiful reminders of God’s mercy and compassion. It is God’s holiness that makes me appreciate His grace and it is His grace that makes me desire His holiness.

    1. I love your last sentence where you compared God’s grace and His holiness. Beautifully stated!

  7. So many good points here! Yes, I really believe that culture today considers God casually. And like you said, speaking of God and his love is trendy, but definitely not of his condemnation. People are picking and choosing verses and aspects of God that are only a part of his Holy and complete character. I agree with some comments above that we as Christians also have to be careful not to be casual, but also not to lean too far toward condemnation. I think we can live differently by loving God, and thereby exalting Him as holy, and loving others. The tricky part is walking the fine line of loving others and showing them grace, while also loving them enough to want them to experience the fullness of God and the truth of His word.

    1. I believe this world is taking the word of God casually. I attend a public university and it seems like I see this almost every day. It saddens me to think how many people have forgotten of our loving Savior, and how this is so evident in the lives of other individuals. I think how so many things in their lives can be better and can be the way God has designed it to be for each one of us. God wants us to be the best that we can be. I want to help everyone learn the truth! The word of God and for them to know the beautiful plans that God has for them. God wants us to be the best that we can be. My prayers are with everyone, that we may learn that we can’t do it alone, and that only through Jesus Christ can we be saved.
      Glory to GOD!!!

  8. Taking an example out of the old Testament doesnt really work well because things changed after the cross. Jesus Christ was judged in our place and all who believe in Him and call Him Lord and Saviour will not be punished, nomatter how much they mess up! We dont “have” to act in a certain way or “do” cartain things…The fruit of the spirit doesnt come from us it comes from God who lives inside of us now. Romans 6 shows us clearly that we as believers died with Christ. Our old sinful self is dead. And we were raised with Him to a new life. Thats why the bible calls us saints. Do we still sin? Yes. But it is sin who causes us to do what we know is wrong, not us (Romans 7). We are released from the law and we should stop referring to it. Our law is to love God first and then love others. And to water down what God says in His Word is not very loving towards Him, I agree. We should take Him seriously because we love Him, not because He might punish us (which He wont, because Jesus was punished for us). But not all people understand the Bible perfectly, they might struggle with certain passages or are insecure about translationss from the original greek or hebrew. They should seek guidance from the Lord and ask Him to show them truth. Not everyone is being disobedient because they dont care or want to be people pleasers instead. And I aslo think that the love of the church has grown so cold! When I see discussions on FB or other places online I am ashamed of how unloving Christians are towards unbelievers, especially homosexuals. Acting as if they were so righteous and saved themselves…Jesus tells us NOT to judge other people (Matthew 7:1-5), especially those outside the Church (1 Corinthians 5:12-13; James 4:11-12) We must not expect non-Christians to act like Christians, or try to hold them accountable to our standards. Instead, we should be a witness of the gospel to them by caring for them with genuine love. The church is failing this big time and I think we should work on that just as much as taking God seriously. Because God wants us to love others and take care of them. Just like He took care of us…and thats not taking advantage of His Grace, its sharing it with others. We should be as graceful to others as He is with us. Jesus didnt condemn the woman caught in adultary, He protected her from those who did. But I can see the church picking up more and more stones in the name of Gods holiness and I think its wrong….

    1. Yes, yes, yes!!!!!!!!!! Thank you! When I speak to non-believers , many have the same comment about the Church today: people in church are way too judgemental and they do not feel comfortable there. I actually left a church a few years ago when a young single mother started attending and people were freaking out about her being a bad example. Um, what??? Would Jesus have shunned this young woman and her child or would He have welcomed her? The church I attend now is very diverse and has homeless, recovering drug addicts, ex-cons, single moms and dads, gay people attending…all who feel loved, welcomed, and accepted in a place where they can learn about Jesus. I’m sorry to say that most of the white Protestant churches in America today would not want these kinds of people among them.

    2. Jamie, thank you for leaving this response. I feel very much the same way. I’m so glad you have given us all something to think about.

      Joanna

    3. Amanda, I hear your passion. I agree with your heart that we show the love and mercy to others that Christ has shown us. But I think that you have had such a heart for what you posted about that you may not have been able to appreciate what Courntey is talking about in this devotional.

      God’s wrath still pours out against all unrighteousness, it is just that Christ has taken the wrath for us. But this does not mean that we should go on sinning since we have grace (Romans 6).

      We have been born again in Christ as new creations in the spirit. But our natural man still strives with us and this sometimes still leads us to sin.We we fulfill the truth of who we are in Christ when He returns (Col 3:3-4).

      As you study the New Testament, notice all the passages that call us to live rightly before God, that call us out of sin, even “minor” sins like gossip., etc. This is telling us to live holy. The NT absolutely calls, exhorts, and commands the new covenant believers to be holy. This is still a timely topic, that we are called to live lives of holiness and purity of actions and hearts.

      1 Peter 1:14–19
      as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.

      And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

      So, yes. We do need to look at hurtful, or hateful attitudes and a spirit of judgmentalism as if we are better than other “sinners.” We forget that such were some of us. But we were washed and sanctified by Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11). And this is not from our works but as a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8-9).

      However, that is a different topic and does not negate or contradict Courtney’s powerful post that we need to get serious about exalting God as holy in our lives.

  9. I agree wholeheartedly that our culture has taken to a casual Christianity. So many churches draw people in by being “grace-based,” which is all well and good because we do need to teach that, but there has to come a time when we also teach the verses that discuss rebuking one another in order to save someone from sinning. We need to teach HOW to live holy lives, not only how God’s grace will cover it when we don’t. We need to encourage each other to be obedient. Most churches today don’t teach the entire Bible; they pick and choose the topics that will be best received.

    1. Melissa,
      Your thoughts on “rebuking someone in order to save them from sin” seems to communicate that you yourself are able to keep people from sinning. That’s not biblical and I feel that maybe you are unknowingly equating yourself to God according to your statement. Not one person on this earth can keep another person from sinning. Let’s give that credit where it’s due and that belongs only to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit prompts us to pursue holiness instead of sin. Other believers may point friends and family to Jesus but ultimately, choosing to sin or not to sin is reserved for each individual. Jesus’love and grace is enough to stimulate believers to pursue holiness. Usually (not always), I have found that behind every “loving rebuke” from a “brother or sister in Christ” significant amounts of pride and self- righteousness. Having said that, if our understanding of grace is merely theological, then it is certainly easy to abuse and continue in sin. But when we’ve experienced the sweetness of His grace, oh my goodness!!! Look out world! A heart transplant is about to happen! Now, does this mean that we will stop sinning? Of course not! But to base our salvation (or others salvation) on anything else other than Jesus and the finished work of the cross is a false Gospel! I think Brennan Manning sums it up well with these words “God loves you as you are and not as you should be because we’re never going to be who we should be”!

      1. Michelle,

        While rebuking is terribly counter cultural and uncomfortable to consider…and I rarely do it in real life (except for with my children 😉 ) it is Biblical…

        Luke 17:3 says, “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

        Galatians 6:1 says, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

        Colossians 1:28 says,
        “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.”

        1 Timothy 5:20 says “Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.”

        2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

        2 Timothy 4:2 says, “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”

        There are more verses but you get the point. I totally agree that we do not want to go around self-righteously rebuking…which is why perhaps I rarely do it because I fear how that would turn out…but it is Biblical.

        Much Love,

  10. My only problem with this is that people (men) have been using the Bible to justify sin against people as well. For hundreds of years, God’s holy word has been used to justify slavery, rape, domestic violence, oppression, genocide, etc etc etc. We also have to stand up against this.
    The comment about gay marriage annoys me. What is your solution then? Kill all gay people because the Old Testament says it is ok? I actually know gay people who go to church weekly, love God, and are living normal lives just like us. In situations like this, I always go back to what Jesus said. He hung out with the “sinners”, condemned the religious leaders who were sinning (pastors today who steal money, abuse children, etc), and He said the two most important commandments are to love God and love others the ways God loves us. As someone who sins every day, I know I am unworthy to stand before the Holy One of Israel so how can I condemn others who also sin? I cannot. What I can do is show people love every day and I can tell as many people as possible about the love of Jesus Christ.
    *drops mic*

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      Thank you for this. I’m more than annoyed about the same-sex debate. I also know of same-sex couples who live loving lives devoted to one another, attend church, and are held in high regard by the faith community.

      I attend an affirming church and have listened to their tearful and painful testimonies about being shunned from the family, told the devil lives within them, who have lived on the streets because they were thrown out of the house, were married in a traditional way but could never provide the love their partner deserved, and who contemplated suicide. Is this Christian?

      My affirming church speaks of God, speaks of His grace, and the importance of all aspects of God. But we also walk in the path of Jesus. This is a human rights discussion. It’s not okay to oppress others.

      There are many ways in which we take God casually. We must all reflect on our own lives and ask ourselves tough questions about how we honour God.

    2. I am sorry that the way people speak about gay people to you has been hurtful. It is sad if Christians don’t clearly show there love for others. And yes, as I posted in the previous comment, such were some of us. And yes, even now we sin (1 John 1:8), even the apostle Paul (Phil 3).

      So you are absolutely right that we should not feel that we are better than others because we sin differently.

      However, there are some concerns about your post.

      “The comment about gay marriage annoys me. What is your solution then? Kill all gay people because the Old Testament says it is ok? “

      This is a logical fallacy called a false dichotomy. Meaning someone makes an argument that one must do one thing because the only alternative is an poor one. Not recognizing gay marriage does not mean the only alternative is to murder someone. I don’t think this is the forum to debate the topic of gay marriage. But, I just wanted to jump in and say that was not a logical or rational response to the OP.

      I actually know gay people who go to church weekly, love God, ..He said the two most important commandments are to love God and love others the ways God loves us.

      Jesus said, if you love me you will keep my commandments. So, this does not mean we will not sin but we strive daily to not sin Phil 3:13, Col 3. If someone embraces and accepts their sinful lifestyle as acceptable, that is not loving God. That is loving themselves and loving a God they have made according to their own mind, not the God of the Bible. Those who are being saved are being transformed more and more into the image of God and should see a conviction when they sin and see themselves honoring God more with their lives. 2 Corinthians 3:18

      He hung out with the “sinners”, condemned the religious leaders who were sinning (pastors today who steal money, abuse children, etc)

      He hung out with sinners and told people to go and sin no more. We are told to not deliberately keep on sinning Hebrews 10:2-27. Jesus hung out with them because they had a heart and desire to know Him and hear Him. He told his disciples that if people would not receive their word to shake the dust off their sandals and leave and that those people will be judged. Matthew 10:14-15. So the purpose was to share with them the message of the gospel not to just engage with them or condone their behavior.

      As far as the leaders. Jesus was harsher to the leaders because they were leaders and should have know better and because they did not have a heart to listen as some of the “sinners” had. They had hard hearts and wanted to keep themselves in power and not listen to God.

      As far as pastors. Yes, sadly we all know in the last days there will be plenty of people who claim the name of Christ and are not truly His, and who will use his name for gain, etc. Many warnings against these people in the Word. But that has nothing to do with the fact that sinners need to repent and stop sinning. All sinners need to repent and stop sinning, be they pastors or not. The fact that some hypocritical and likely unsaved pastor sins is not license for others to sin.

      so how can I condemn others who also sin
      We have not been given authority to condemn anyone. But we have been ordered to inspect fruit and we should recognize what is fruit of the spirit and what is sin. We can clearly hold the Word and truth of God as a standard and anything that falls short of that standard is sin, be that in our own lives or the lives of others.

      But I agree it is not our job to run around trying to label people condemned. That is pretty presumptuous. We should just be working our own salvation out. However, it is perfectly appropriate to recognize and state that certain behaviors are sinful. Not the same as condemning. Certain behaviors of Paul and Peter were sinful but yet I highly doubt they were condemned. Different issue.

      I know this is a passionate topic so close to people’s hearts but we must think clearly, logically, rationally, Biblically and with knowledge and understanding of the whole counsel of God in His word and not allow our emotions to blind us to truth.

  11. Yes, I have seen people in the church become casual pertaining to the things of God. This casual attitude began with the church coming before a holy God to worship Him in their casual attire which is leading them to carry this same attitude toward the things of godliness and righteous living in Christ Jesus.

    1. How can you judge by clothing? For all you know, for some, the “casual clothing” might be their Sunday best. Also, since I am not God, I don’t feel as though I’m in a position to evaluate one’s faith.

  12. I agree wholeheartedly!
    It’s very hard to stand up for the biblical principles that I know to be true. I’m growing though. I’ve always been shy and one to nod my head in agreement when it comes to moral and biblical matters, being worried in what people think. And I know, of course, that there’s only One that I need impress.
    Also in my own life I have relied on His grace far too much. He has asked me to put down sugar and excessive eating for the past few years, and I have treated his instructions far too casually. I believe He has great things planned for me, if only I choose to obey the Holy One.
    Please pray for me.
    Praying for you right now. Love your ministry.
    Mrs, Carrie Cheecham 🙂

  13. I was raised in the Lutheran Church (ELCA). My automatic thought is, “Where is the grace in this passage?” Assuming that Aaron’s sons were sober, then all it appears to me hat the guys just wanted to give God an offering. However, it wasn’t good enough so God killed them. Seems extreme. I also thought of Cain. Makes me hesitant to ant to give an offering– What if it’s not good enough? What if God punishes me for it? It just seems to support my theory that God picks and chooses who is worthy. For two years, after doing the best I can and even just partially, and hours of prayer, I’m starting to think I’m not one of the chosen. (Screwing up majorly, causing my husband to lose his clerical collar from the bishop didn’t help my faith, especially since I was trying to find my faith and place in the church.) Anyway, I’m digressing.

    1. Hi Laura –

      Here at Women Living Well we have been reading through the Book of Leviticus one chapter a day. Today we are in Chapter 10 – Monday we will begin chapter 11. But for the past 9 days we have been reading about the Ceremonial Laws of Sacrificial system in Leviticus.

      God gave Moses clear commands of how the Priests were to offer their sacrifices to Him. He commanded that they treat Him as exalted and holy – Nadab and Abihu failed to obey God.

      God’s grace is revealed in Leviticus through the blood of the lamb. We read time and again over the past few days how the blood of the goats and bulls covered over (or atoned) for the sins of the people. This is God’s grace.

      As we saw in Leviticus 9, we cannot approach God without the shedding of blood. God judges sin with fire.

      But because of His son Jesus, who shed his blood on the cross for you and me, as the final sacrifice, we can approach God and be forgiven of our sins.

      If you have confessed your sins to God and placed your faith in the blood shed for you – you are forgiven and have no need to fear condemnation. Your only response is to draw near to God and love him with all your heart –and as you love him more and more, your desire to obey His every word will grow and you will live a completely transformed life.

      I pray you will experience His grace today by relying solely on His sacrifice on the cross and seek to follow Him all the days of your life.

      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  14. Has the church shifted towards considering God casually? Maybe. If so, why? Why would people confessing to be Christians seem to not take God seriously? Is that what’s really going on in the church? I would flip the question and ask: why has the church become so legalistic? Why has the church become so focused on the outward behavior of others rather than focusing on ourselves? We’ve reduced Christianity to merely rules and behavior modification leaving little room for grace and preconceived ideas about what a “christian” should look and behave like. The core of the Gospel has been murdered! Why are people so afraid to walk in the grace and freedom that Christ so undeservingly died for and offers so generously to us? The religious people don’t seem too interested in His grace for fear that they might “abuse” it or use it as a “license to sin”; therefore, Grace gets squashed under the weight of man made rules that have been added to the Gospel. Maybe what’s really going on in the church is less about believers referring to God casually and more about this generation that’s awakening to the religious garbage that’s been stinking up our churches and they’re finally realizing that relying fully on Jesus and His love and grace is enough for them. If Christians would stop limiting God by putting Him in this little box that we so nicely display in our homes and churches and really get to know the heart of Jesus, that’s when true changes in our hearts happen.

    1. Michelle,

      While I agree that legalism is a problem and separates God’s grace from man made rules – on the other side – I believe we have a problem of professing Christians separating God’s grace from God given commands.

      We see this played out in this Leviticus passage above. Nadab and Abihu relied on God’s grace – they assumed in their position, they were safe – they skipped a minor detail and decided to offer unauthorized fire to God. They disobeyed God’s commands.

      It did not end well for them.

      Jesus said: “If you love me, keep my commands.” John 14:15.

      As my first point states:

      May we “declare – God is holy. He is absolutely separate from us. He is pure and to be exalted above all.”

      He certainly fits in no box – He is exalted above all. His ways are higher than ours. May we lift His name higher and may we seek to truly know his heart by accepting His grace poured out on the cross, repenting of our sin, being in His word, and showing that we truly love and follow Him by obeying His commands.

      Keep walking with the King,
      Courtney

  15. Thank you Courtney for this article !! I have been coming to passages in the old testament and the new testament that speak of true believers being holy. I really see that most churches talk about God’s amazing grace but not of His justice and coming wrath. The new testamant tells believers how to live. It tells us that God takes sin very seriously!! It even list sins specifically showing that anyone who makes a lifestyle of these sins and doesn’t repent will not go to heaven. There just doesn’t seem to be any fear of God anymore!! People get upset when they are told that those who live the homosexual lifestyle will not enter heaven. It isn’t man condemning that sin it is God Almighy!! Homosexuality isn’t the only sin listed. How can a true believer continue in a lifestyle of sin? We all sin and fall short but for true believers it should not become a lifestyle. True love for others is speaking the truth in love. Realizing that one may be offendef but souls are at stake!!! Jesus spoke the truth in love!! He wasn’t afraid to be with sinners. He loved everyone!! But He didn’t let their sinful ways or thinking influence Him. He still told them the truth. He also told them to go and sin no more!! Love is not enabling a person to continue on a wrong path. We must speak the truth!!
    i am thankful that someone spoke the truth in love to me. Jesus Words are not always popular and or easy to swallow but they are His words!! We eithet believe them or not. There is no picking and choosing what we want to hear.

  16. Something I heard somewhere awhile ago that keeps me humbled and reminds me of all that Jesus has done for me so that I should not judge others is this simple phrase.

    “No one here needs you more than I do, Jesus”

    Wether our sins are lying, gossip, or greed, Jesus paid our sin debt as well as the person who murdered, stole, raped, or kidnapped.

    We are all in need of His salvation.

  17. Can I be perfectly honest and just say that Leviticus has been so much more than I ever anticipated? As a Bible-girl nerd, I have long avoided this Old Testament gem because I could not for the life of me see that it could be relevant.

    WRONG! The Lord has reminded me daily of the fact that holiness is crucial. My far-too-casual treatment of Him needed an abrupt reversal. There has been a little nugget of application in each chapter. I remind myself not to become bogged down in the procedures, but I am overwhelmed by the depth of detail for the instructions of worship. There is nothing haphazard about my God, and my worship should reflect this.

    L-O-V-I-N-G. I-T.
    Good stuff!

  18. It’s amazing how common this is in our everyday life. People think that if you ask for forgiveness, it’s granted and that’s the end of it. Which is true to a certain extent but not if we continue to repeat the behaviour that we know is wrong! That is knowing the difference between good actions and evil actions and ignoring it. That is disobeying God. You can make a mistake and be forgiven…but repeating the behaviour isn’t a mistake, it’s a choice.

  19. Thank you for this post. I was kind of hoping you would be even more black and white about current issues but I understand a lot of bloggers don’t want to ruffle feathers. I.e. Being a stay at home mom. It’s simple the bible says so, so I do. There are many areas I fall short but I am a work in progress. I really struggle with the fact that churches will marry divorced individuals. The bible clearly states that remarriage after divorce is adultery so how could a church promote adultery? Any input?

    Thank you!!

  20. Courtney, there wasn’t a discussion question for chapter 10, &I think this would have been a good one:
    Nadab & Abihu took God’s commands re: making offerings to God too casually. How am I taking God and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross too casual in my own life?
    This currently post would still be good as evidenced by all the thoughtful comments here.
    Anyway, thanks for all your hard work & providing this forum.

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