For Moses describeth the righteousness which
is of the law, That the man which doeth those
things shall live by them.
And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
II Corinthians 3:6.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Note: Unless otherwise indicated, scriptures are quoted from the King James Authorized version of the Bible.
Taken together, these verses state that the law that was given
as a way to live became that which condemns, because it was weak
through the flesh. Contained in the same law that condemns those
that fail to keep it are prescriptions for animal sacrifices that
picture Christ as taking away that condemnation. In other words,
the form of worship prescribed under the law points to a sacrifice
that was to do away with the law as a means of salvation for
those that will put their faith in the promises of God in the
In the descriptions of the sacrifices, there is no statement that they were a means of salvation. There were comments such as it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him and it shall be forgiven them. However, when we study the Old Testment offerings, we must keep in mind what is written in the letter to the Hebrews about the effectiveness of animal sacrifices:
For it is not possible that the blood of
bulls and of goats should take away sins.
In light of this verse, the word that is translated atonement can not mean expiation.
And, since the Hebrew word kaphar
that is translated atonement literally
means covering, we can see that the sinner's making a
sacrificial offering in faith resulted in assurance that God
would protectively cover him until his salvation would be
realized in Christ.
In Psalm 51, King David said For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it. In Ezekiel 18, God gives the way for forgiveness from willful sin under the Old Testament and there is no mention of sacrifice. The sinner was to repent and refrain from sinning willfully, putting his faith in God's promise that he would be saved. Sinners then and now are saved by putting their faith in the promises that God made under the covenant that was or is in effect. Of course, we know now that all of God's promises were based on the works of Christ. And, we can see aspects of those works typified in the Old Testament sacrifices.
It appears that all offerings of bullocks, sheep and goats were cut into pieces with the entrails and internal fat carefully separated. Note that oil is used to represent life in at least one of the parables that Jesus told (Matthew 25:1-13). Since fat is a form of oil, it may be that burning the internal fat on the altar points to the spiritual death of Christ for our sake.
The butchering procedure is given in detail for several of the sacrifices, so it must be important to our understanding of the typology. Paul's exhortation to Timothy contains a hint that is not apparent in the English translation:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God,
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15.
The meaning of the Greek word translated rightly dividing, orthotomeo, is given as to dissect in Strong's concordance and the application to the study of God's word should be obvious. When a pastor or other student of the Bible looks for hidden spiritual truths, he has an obligation to extract them as God intends, as the offerers extracted the internal organs of sheep, goats and bullocks. Indications are that the offerers were to cut out the organs without mutilating them or altering their form. This implies that someone bringing a sacrificial animal would have received some instruction in properly butchering the animal. Likewise, each generation of Bible scholars receives instruction in the major doctrines from pastors and other teachers of the previous generation:
Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the
grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the
things that thou hast heard of me among
many witnesses, the same commit thou to
faithful men, who shall be able to teach
II Timothy 2:1,2.
This article is intended to provide an overview of the
Old Testament offerings and show how, taken together, they
point to the completeness of the salvation that God provides
for us in Christ. That is, through faith in God's promises,
we are delivered from all of the consequences of sin and we
are promised redemption from the curse that God placed on his
creation because of Adam's sin.
The Levitical Priests (Exodus 28,29)
Now when these things were thus ordained, the
priests went always into the first tabernacle,
accomplishing the service of God. But into
the second went the high priest alone once
every year, not without blood, which he offered
for himself, and for the errors of the people:
The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way
into the holiest of all was not yet made
manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet
standing: Which was a figure for the time then
present, in which were offered both gifts and
sacrifices, that could not make him that did
the service perfect, as pertaining to the
conscience; Which stood only in meats and
drinks, and divers washings, and carnal
ordinances, imposed on them until the time of
One phrase in verse 9 is key to understanding the typology of the tabernacle: which was a figure for the time then present. The Revised Standard Version translates it as which is symbolic for the present age and is incorrect because everything about the tabernacle is part of a picture of the Old Testament dispensation. For instance, the lampstand and table of showbread were hidden within coverings of animal skins to represent the fact that Christ was not yet proclaimed as the Light Of The World and the Bread Of Life. More relevant to the present discussion is the very existence of a priestly class that stood between every other Israelite and the interior of the tabernacle. But, in the present age, the writer of Hebrews encourages us:
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter
into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
So, not only do we not have a priestly class between us and
a tabernacle, but we have the assurance we may go in our
church worship to the very presence of God, as represented by
the holy of holies.
Aaron and his descendants that served the tabernacle and the temple were of the tribe of Levi and were descendants of Levi's son, Kohath. Their service was not limited to their part in offering sacrifices, but the discussion here will relate only to that function.
The priests were by birth dedicated to the service of God as we should by choice dedicate ourselves as a result of our spiritual rebirth. But, since they were under the Old Testament, they were greatly restricted as to what they could understand and appreciate:
We have an altar, whereof they have no right
to eat which serve the tabernacle.
God gave the priests parts of some of the sacrifices for food,
but we feed on the very word of the New Covenant in Christ.
In fact, the sacrifices were the prescribed form of worship
under the Old Covenant and a church's proclaiming the works of God in the
person of Christ is the form of worship acceptable to God in
New Testament times.
As we should expect, given the dispensational typology of the tabernacle, the priests don't seem to represent any human aspect of New Testament worship. They placed parts of larger sacrificed animals on the altar of burnt offering and disposed of the blood as directed. They also killed fowls that were offered, wrung out the blood at the side of the alter and placed the whole bodies of the fowls on the altar. They essentially were slaves that served the tabernacle.
A minister that is pastor of a church is obligated to see that the flock is fed the Word Of Life and that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth. By contrast, the Old Testament priests might represent officials of legalistic sects that try to keep their subjects as ignorant as possible of the glorious Gospel of Christ; and, live well off the fruits of the labor of those same subjects. An important difference is that the priests that served properly were doing God's will.
The Grades of Sacrifices
People that know only that Christ died for them and put their faith in God's promise to save them are just as saved as any believer that has extensive understanding of, and appreciation for, God's word. However, the more mature believer has a greater capacity for enjoying scriptural worship and is able to discern proper and improper church practices.
For some of the offerings, more than one type of animal was acceptable. However, in the cases of sin offerings for the high priest, the whole congregation and a ruler, only one type and sex of animal was specified for each. For the other sacrifices, the grades appear to allow for what the offerer could afford. And, since material blessings under the Old Testament are typical of spiritual blessings under the New Testament, those offering the most valuable animals represent Christians that are blessed with the greatest understanding of spiritual matters in general and the works of Christ in particular.
The Burnt Offering (Leviticus 1)
The word sin is not used in the descriptions of the burnt, peace and meat offerings. And, until the time God began dealing with his people through Moses, the only sacrifice was the burnt offering because sin is not imputed when there is no law (Romans 5:13b). Taken together, those three offerings represent Christ as doing away with God's curses due to Adam's disobedience.
The burnt offering typifies Christ as taking away the personal condemnation due to the Adamic curse:
Therefore as sin
came into the world through one
man and death through sin, and so death spread to
all men because all men sinned-- sin indeed was
in the world before the law was given, but sin is
not counted where there is no law. Yet death
reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose
sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who
was a type of the one who was to come. But the
free gift is not like the trespass. For if many
died through one man's trespass, much more have
the grace of God and the free gift in the grace
of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.
And the free gift is not like the effect of that
one man's sin. For the judgment following one
trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift
following many trespasses brings justification.
If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned
through that one man, much more will those who
receive the abundance of grace and the free gift
of righteousness reign in life through the one man
Jesus Christ. Then as one man's trespass led to
condemnation for all men, so one man's act of
righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all
men. For as by one man's disobedience many were
made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will
be made righteous.
Romans 5:12-19 (RSV).
Note that in the phrase many were made sinners, the word translated
made is kathistemi.
The root meaning of that word is place down
and the first meaning given in Strong's Concordance is designate.
So, the statement means that Adam's trespass brought
condemnation on all of his descendants; not to say that we sin
because Adam sinned. If the first phrase means that we sin
because Adam sinned, then we do only righteous deeds because God
has declared us to be righteous due to our faith in his
promises. And, such a conclusion is ridiculous because we
don't stop sinning because we're saved. Due to our own choice
to be weak-willed, we continue to sin.
The offerer was to wash the inwards and legs of the burnt offering in water. And, God compares his own word with water that falls on the earth:
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from
heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth
the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud,
that it may give seed to the sower, and bread
to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth
forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto
me void, but it shall accomplish that which I
please, and it shall prosper in the thing
whereto I sent it.
So, it might be that applying water to some parts to be burnt
is a way to stress the fact that God was to annul, in the sacrifice
of his Son, his curse on his creation.
In the description of the bullock as a burnt offering, the phrase of his own voluntary will in verse 3 should be for his acceptance. And, in verse 4 we find the statement, it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. So, the burnt offering represents Christ as making the offerer acceptable to God by removing the imputed condemnation. Therefore, the only condemnation he might receive is due to personal acts of disobedience. In addition to removing the imputed condemnation, Christ has guaranteed future redemption from the physical aspects of the curse:
I consider that the sufferings of this
present time are not worth comparing with
the glory that is to be revealed to us.
For the creation waits with eager longing
for the revealing of the sons of God;
for the creation was subjected to futility,
not of its own will but by the will of him
who subjected it in hope; because the
creation itself will be set free from its
bondage to decay and obtain the glorious
liberty of the children of God.
Romans 8:18-21 (RSV).
In order to more fully understand the burnt offering, we must consider the meanings of the meat and peace offerings, as well as the way the burnt offering was, in certain situations, offered along with the sin offerings.continued at top of next column
The Meat Offering (Leviticus 2)
The expression meat offering is used in the King James Version of the Bible to translate an expression that is literally food offering and indicates an offering of a cereal grain. If we consider the fact that God rejected the first recorded offering of vegetables (Genesis 4), we should take particular notice of the prescription of such an offering under the law. In other words, that which was not acceptable before the giving of the law is now acceptable as both the meat offering and the offering of the first fruits. The offering of food prepared from grain also was to accompany a peace offering made in thanksgiving.
The giving of a meat offering pictures Christ as removing the curse from the ground. The physical aspects of that curse are still with us, so the redemption is spiritual for now, but will be complete when God gives us an new heaven and a new earth:
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for
the first heaven and the first earth were
passed away; and there was no more sea.
The part of the curse that God delivered directly to Adam states the certainty of death and the changes to occur in the ground and the fruit thereof:
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast
hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and
hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded
thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it:
cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow
shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth
to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the
field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat
bread, till thou return unto the ground; for
out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art,
and unto dust shalt thou return.
know from experience that the curse involves many calamities,
including disease and natural disasters. The whole universe is
under the curse and, if not for God's grace, every person and
every thing would be unclean. The law demonstrates that grace
by declaring that God's people would not, except for certain
cases, be ceremonially defiled. God didn't declare only
certain persons and things to be unclean. All were unclean
because of the Adamic curse and he decreed that certain ones
would be clean. God removes that curse of uncleanness through
the works of Christ and, under the New Testament, the only
spiritual uncleanness is due to personal sin.
Under the New Testament, people aren't excluded from a church service because they might have touched a dead body. Women aren't excluded because they are menstruating or have borne children recently. A leper might not be greeted with a kiss, but he would not be considered to be spiritually defiled by the disease.
Note that, in Lev. 2:13, God specified that the part of a vegetable offering that was burned on the altar was to be mixed with the salt of the covenant. Since there was no need for the salt as a preservative for something that was to be burned to ashes, it should be safe to assume that the salt was, figuratively, to make the offering palatable to God. So, offerings of grain that was produced by a cursed ground were made acceptable under the covenant in effect at that time.
Lev. 2:12 states that the offering of firstfruits was not to be burned, but verse 14 gives details of how some of the wheat could be burned as a meat offering. The firstfruits are a type of the resurrected Christ, so burning would imply incorrectly that Christ could be subjected to suffering after he rose from the dead. And, the resurrection of Christ occurred after his suffering had ceremonially cleansed the produce of the ground, so no salt was necessary for the offering of the first fruits.
The Peace Offering (Leviticus 3)
Because of the Adamic curse, only the sanctified children of Israel could approach God in worship under the Law of Moses. Women weren't allowed in the innermost courtyard of the temple and certainly couldn't serve as priests. Gentiles weren't even allowed into the women's courtyard:
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time
past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called
Uncircumcision by that which is called the
Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
That at that time ye were without Christ,
being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,
and strangers from the covenants of promise,
having no hope, and without God in the world:
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes
were far off are made nigh by the blood of
So, because of the completed work of Christ, all believing men and women now may approach God in worship as equals:
For ye are all the children of God by faith
in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have
been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is
neither bond nor free, there is neither male
nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
We should note that the prohibition against having women preach to men has only to do with a function of the church, not permission to approach God in worship. The establishment of order in the churches doesn't mean the existence of any kind of hierarchy.
The Sin and Trespass Offerings (Leviticus 4:1-6:7)
In order to understand the sin and trespass offerings, we must first realize that both labels indicate a sin offering. To think of them as distinctly different offerings is to imply that we can separate the concepts of sin and trespass. But, the Lord said in Matthew 5:28:
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Of course, to lust after her means to enhance his desire for her and not just observing her. In other words, more than one look is equivalent to an overt act of adultery if sin in the man's heart is the motive for looking. Consider John's concise way of dealing with sin and trespass:
Every one who commits sin is guilty of
lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
1 John 3:4 (RSV)
So, guilt is the result of a lawless attitude and our
breaking the Old Testament laws makes us aware of our
The trespass offering is called a sin offering in Lev. 5:6:
And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.
In Lev. 5:7, we see that a trespass offering may consist of
a sin offering and a burnt offering. Then, in verse 9,
we are reminded that the offering is a sin offering
even though it is offered as a trespass offering.
Note that the expression through ignorance is applied only in the descriptions of each of the first four sin offerings. The sin offering described last has to do with overt offenses that would require premeditation.
Since sin might not involve an overt act, we should think of the trespass offerings as special forms of the sin offering. Further, the different sin offerings picture the consequences of sin as ranging from offense to God to depriving another mortal of something that he values. But the first sin offering described should remind us that all sin offends God.
The worst consequence of sin is that it offends God and there couldn't be any more offensive sins than those committed by God's people as a group or by the high priest that represents the people in the offering of their collective sacrifice. Leviticus 4:1-21 contains the procedure for the sin offerings for the whole congregation and for the high priest. Those offerings are not referred to at all as trespass offerings even though they were to be offered for the doing of anything against any of the commandments of the LORD. The trespass aspect of the sin is more or less kept in the background. Also, the blood from only those two offerings was smeared on the horns of the altar of incense by the high priest and no part of them was eaten by the priests. The writer of Hebrews refers to those two sacrifices:
We have an altar, whereof they have no
right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
For the bodies of those beasts, whose
blood is brought into the sanctuary by
the high priest for sin, are burned
without the camp.
Our spiritual altar, of course, is smeared and sprinkled with blood which is the memorial of sacrifice. When a church observes the Lord's Supper as part of a worship service, the members literally eat symbols of the body and blood of Christ:
And he took bread, and gave thanks, and
brake it, and gave unto them, saying,
This is my body which is given for you:
this do in remembrance of me. Likewise
also the cup after supper, saying, This
cup is the new testament in my blood,
which is shed for you.
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
I Corinthians 10:16,17
Therefore, one way churches worship God is by
consuming wine that symbolizes the blood of the New
Testament of which those still under the Old Testament
had no part. So, the golden altar of incense represents
the worship of churches under the New Testament which
is based on the worst physical offense people could
commit: rejection and murder of God in the person of
Another consequence of sin is personal guilt and in Leviticus 4:22-35 the procedures for sin offerings for individuals other than the high priest contain no mention of a specific trespass. For both a ruler and a commoner, only one grade of offering is acceptable: a young goat. The only difference between the two is that the offering for the ruler is a male and the other is a female. The procedure for each of the two offerings is given in detail. This duplication of words might be to emphasize that God is no respecter of persons where the guilt for sin is concerned, except for sins committed by the anointed high prriest that represents Christ as our great High Priest.
In Leviticus 5:1-19, God prescribes offerings for
those that are guilty of two types of sins. Those sins are
ones having to do with speech or coming into contact with
ceremonial uncleanness. By verse 1 we can see that refraining
from bearing witness is considered a trespass, even though
it involves no physical activity. Further, lumping a
speech-related trespass with those that cause ceremonial
uncleanness emphasizes the defilement of someone that
commits any one of them. So, the offerings prescribed in
this passage picture Christ as taking away our defilement.
In Matthew 15:17-19, Jesus said:
Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Leviticus 6:1-3 deals with wronging others by deception or
violence. Verses 4-7 prescribe restitution and a trespass
offering. The details of the trespass offering are not
repeated in chapter 6, so the references to it as a sin
offering in chapter 5 still apply. Note that having a
single offering for sins of deception and violence might
mean that God considers malevolent deception as being
much more serious than many people might think.
To summarize, the four versions of the sin offering demonstrate symbolically that sin offends God personally, carries guilt, defiles the sinner and requires restitution to other mortals against whom we trespass. The most important teaching for us is that our trust in Christ as our sin offering takes away all aspects of our sin.
Uncleanness Due To Reproductive Functions (Leviticus 12)
People could become ceremonially unclean under the Old Testament in at least two ways without committing a sin. Anyone with leprosy was unclean, as was a woman that was menstruating or had recently borne children. A noteworthy difference is that the reproductive functions are natural and having leprosy certainly couldn't be considered a normal condition. God placed on women the only part of the curse having to do with reproduction because Eve had been deceived by the serpent. The only way this part of the curse could affect men was in cases where a man came in contact with an unclean woman or with something she had touched.
A woman that was unclean because of her reproductive functions was to be separated for a period of time and then to offer a burnt offering and a sin offering (Lev. 12:6). The offerings signified that her time of ceremonial uncleanness was over and pointed to the sacrifice of Christ as taking away the Adamic curse on women and removing defilement that was due to a natural bodily function. As with the other physical effects of the Adamic curse, only the ceremonial uncleanness has been done away with in this life. Women can participate in church worship as members at all times.
Uncleanness From Leprosy and Human Death (Lev. 14)
The procedure for declaring someone clean from leprosy included burnt, meat, sin and trespass offerings. The trespass offering might seem out of place here, but draws attention to the fact that the leper could cause someone else to become ceremonially unclean or even infected.
The sin and burnt offerings serve the same purposes as in the ceremonial cleansing of a woman that was unclean because of reproductive functions: taking away the ceremonial defilement and pointing to Christ's taking away the curse on this universe. However, the curse that is only on women was stated explicitly in Genesis. We can reason that leprosy and all other human afflictions, except death, are the result of the curse on the ground, but the meat (vegetation) offering for a cured leper makes a certain connection between the leprosy and the accursed ground.
There was a special procedure for cleansing someone that had been defiled directly or indirectly by contact with a dead human body. A ceremonially clean person was to sprinkle the unclean person with water mixed with the ashes of a red heifer that had been sacrificed in a special way. Every part of the description of that sacrificial burning concentrates on the color red. While the red heifer was burning, the priest was to throw cedar, scarlet and hyssop into the fire. Cedar is a reddish colored wood and hyssop may or may not have been a red plant. Emphasis on the color red should make us think of Adam, since the word adam comes from a Hebrew word that means to be red and is closely related to adamah, the Hebrew word for red ground
.     Therefore, application of the ash solution to the one to be ceremonially cleansed points to the one that brought the curse of death on all of his descendants (Romans 5:12-14, included in a previous section). The sprinkling was to be done on the third day. The earth first brought forth vegetation on the third day of creation. The Creator of the universe rose from the grave on the third day after his crucification. And, some day, God will give us a new earth that will bring forth only good vegetation instead of the thorns and thistles that our present earth brings forth naturally. So the sprinkling on the third day also points to Christ's resurrection that now takes away our uncleanness and will give us eternal life in the resurrection (Romans 5:15-18)
.     The unclean person was to wash himself on the seventh day and be clean. We that put our faith in Christ will be forever clean when we enter that final Sabbath-keeping.
It is most important to remember that the ceremonial cleansing could not cure anyone of leprosy or take away the Adamic curse, The ceremonies pointed to Christ as taking away the curse and making us acceptable to God.
There are at least seven important differences between the Passover observance and the procedures for offering the other sacrifices:
Having the firstborn son survive was very important because of the tradition that he should be the one through whom family lineage was reckoned. This fact makes the Passover a reminder of God's preservation of the lineage of Christ and of his church from generation to generation. We know from the lineages given in Matthew and Luke that Jesus is of the royal line of King David through Joseph, is the Son of Adam and is of the seed of David through Mary. And, as Jesus said:
.... upon this rock I will build my church;
and the gates of hell shall not prevail
With that statement, he guaranteed that
his church would endure in spite of the fact that each
generation of members would die and would have to be
replaced by the next.
Consider the following:
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our
spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God,
and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that
we suffer with him, that we may be also
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
I Corinthians 5:7
In the passage from Hebrews, the word translated firstborn is plural and refers to the saved, not the savior. Taken together, the three passages state that God has given every one of his people the status of a firstborn son and that he guarantees through Christ our great Passover that we have life to enjoy sharing in Christ's inheritance throughout the ages to come.
Several categories of sacrifice were prescribed as the form of worship under the Old Testament. All but one of the types of sacrifice involved action by the priests and there were cases where combinations were offered. The Passover animal was killed by the head of a household and was a reminder of God's preservation of family lineage so that we could be certain of Christ's credentials and God's intent to preserve his church until Christ's return. It also carries the promise that we will share as firstborn sons in the inheritance of the only begotten Son.
The offerings that involved the priests were to picture sanctification and/or cleansing from the defilement of sin. All of the categories are required to adequately picture the work of Christ in removing the Adamic Curse, saving us from the condemnation for our sins, cleansing us from the defilement of sin and preserving the church.