The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 95

“Through Him therefore let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess his name” [Hebrews 13:15 Amplified Bible]

The word ‘sacrifice’ carries just as much weight today as it did in the Old Testament. God still requires sacrifices. However the nature of the sacrifices that God requires is different. Let me explain.

In the OT God instituted a sacrificial system to provide for the remission of sin through sin offerings and guilt offerings. The blood (i.e. the life) of innocent animals took the place of the sinner. It is important to understand that no other offerings were acceptable to God until these two offerings were first dealt with. The order of sacrificial offerings was like this: first, Expiation (sin and guilt offerings); second, Consecration (burnt offerings and grain offerings) and third Communion (fellowship offerings, which included vow offerings, thank offerings and freewill offerings). You can read about these in Leviticus and elsewhere.

This principle of fellowship with God still applies. We are to deal with sin, and consecrate our lives before we can enjoy fellowship with God. Keep in mind that we no longer have to offer the OT sacrifices for sin because Christ, the perfect sacrifice, offered his own life, once and for all, in the sinner’s place.

However in place of them, we are to offer a sacrifice of praise. Notice the singular, indicating that our life must be one continual sacrifice. Elsewhere in Scripture we are told to offer ‘spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God’. That’s what praise is - a spiritual sacrifice. But note also the word ‘acceptable’. As in the Old, so it is in the New. What I am saying is that our praise falls on deaf ears when we are walking in sin (unforgiveness for example) and living unconsecrated lives.

Let’s follow this proposition to its logical conclusion. We are required to render praise that is acceptable. This praise becomes acceptable, not because we simply claim the work of Jesus in our place but because, having appropriated his work unto our salvation, our lives continually give evidence of our faith. We must ‘work out’ our salvation ‘with fear and trembling’; that is, adopt a lifestyle that is both repentant and consecrated. The conclusion? Our goal is not heaven, but holiness. And so we must submit to the process of arriving at it, called sanctification.

True worship always begins with confession of sin and culminates in confession of praise. The first confession paves the way for the second.

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues