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Lesson 9

Some of the Bible’s traditions, laws and meanings do change, but when they do, the Bible is where you will find the clarification and explanation for the improved teaching.  An example of this is the Jewish sacrificial system. God told the Isrealites to worship him by making sacrifices as he instructed, but what he wanted was loving obedience. Animal sacrifice was at the heart of the Jewish religion until it was radically changed by Jesus. The Bible makes this change abundantly clear within its verses, it is not left for private interpretation. Can you think of any denominational beliefs that are not clearly explained in the Bible? Which peripheral doctrines divide or unify Christians? Are any of your beliefs divisive? Are they peripheral, or are they essential to your salvation? Do your peripheral beliefs cohesively blend with your essential beliefs and more importantly, do they contradict any of the Bible’s teachings and definitions? If you found they did, would you alter your beliefs or attempt to alter biblical teaching?

Deuteronomy 12:13-14 New Life Version
13 Be careful that you do not give your burnt gifts in just any place you see. 14 But give your burnt gifts in the place which the Lord chooses in the land where your families live. There you should do all that I tell you.

1 Samuel 15:22 International Children’s Bible
But Samuel answered, “What pleases the Lord more: burnt offerings and sacrifices or obedience? It is better to obey God than to offer a sacrifice. It is better to listen to God than to offer the fat of male sheep.

Hebrews 10:1-10 The Message
1-10 The old plan was only a hint of the good things in the new plan. Since that old “law plan” wasn’t complete in itself, it couldn’t complete those who followed it. No matter how many sacrifices were offered year after year, they never added up to a complete solution. If they had, the worshipers would have gone blissfully on their way, no longer dragged down by their sins. But instead of removing awareness of sin, when those animal sacrifices were repeated over and over they actually heightened awareness and guilt. The plain fact is that bull and goat blood can’t get rid of sin. That is what is meant by this prophecy, put in the mouth of Christ:

You don’t want sacrifices and offerings year after year; you’ve prepared a body for me for a sacrifice. It’s not fragrance and smoke from the altar that whet your appetite. So I said, “I’m here to do it your way, O God, the way it’s described in your Book.” When he said, “You don’t want sacrifices and offerings,” he was referring to practices according to the old plan. When he added, “I’m here to do it your way,” he set aside the first in order to enact the new plan—God’s way—by which we are made fit for God by the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus.

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