Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. – Romans 5:1
In these messages we shall discuss peace as prophesied and developed in the Word of God. We shall first present Him who is our peace and the Prince of Peace. Then we shall see that this Prince of Peace can give peace to everyone who trusts in His blood. We shall see that there can be peace only where He is, and where He is not there can be no peace; and finally we shall look to the grand, consummated, glorious peace on earth when He shall come to rule and reign in righteousness.
Three Classes of Sins
One must carefully distinguish between sin and sins. The sin refers to the sinner. Sins are those acts committed by the believer after his salvation. John says in 1 John 1:9, “If we [believers] confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If you turn to the fourth and fifth chapters of Leviticus you will notice that three kinds of sins are mentioned for which provision is made in these offerings. Notice first Leviticus 4:
“Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If a person sins unintentionally against any of the commandments of the LORD in anything which ought not to be done, and does any of them, if the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the LORD for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering.” – Leviticus 4:2-3.
Now notice the second of the sins from Leviticus 5:
“If a person sins in hearing the utterance of an oath, and is a witness, whether he has seen or known of the matter—if he does not tell it, he bears guilt.” – Leviticus 5:1.
Then follows the third of the sins:
“Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether it is the carcass of an unclean beast, or the carcass of unclean livestock, or the carcass of unclean creeping things, and he is unaware of it, he also shall be unclean and guilty.” – Leviticus 5:2.
For these three classes of sins a sacrifice was provided and the guilty Israelite was to bring the sacrifice, lay his hand in confession upon its head, and deliver it to the priest, whereupon his sins were forgiven him. Notice that these three classes of sins were:
1. Sins of Ignorance.
2. Sins of Omission.
3. Sins of Defilement.
Sins of Ignorance
God is a holy God. Failure to recognize His holiness leads ever to a false sense of our own holiness. The more a man boasts of his own holiness, the less he knows of God’s holiness. The more a man realizes the holiness of God, the more he will see his own vileness, and the more reluctant he will be to boast of his own goodness. God is so holy that He cannot permit even sins of ignorance to go unheeded but provided a sacrifice for them as well. How happy we, as believers, ought to be about this. Sins of ignorance are sins of which we have no knowledge or conscience. How many things you and I have done in the past, possibly in the early days of Christian experience, only to find later on as we read our Bibles and learned God’s will that these things and practices were wrong! Because we had not been better instructed and because we did not have the full teaching and light on matters of life, we practiced sins of which we were unaware. Then when the Word of God revealed the truth of these sins to our minds and hearts, what a joy it was to find that God knew beforehand what stumbling failures we would be and He had made provision with the blood of the sin offering for our cleansing the moment we came. Since none of us have perfect knowledge as yet, how important that each day the Christian should confess the sins of ignorance. This thought is expressed in that beautiful song called “Evening Prayer”:
Forgive the sins I have confessed to Thee;
Forgive, dear Lord, the secret sins I cannot see.
The writer of those lines evidently realized the provision that had been made in the sin offering, for the sins we did not know we had committed.
To Be Continued