Chapter by chapter themes
The following table goes through the entire book of Leviticus, chapter by chapter, describing each chapter’s themes so that the teacher or preacher can quickly identify which chapters they want to focus on in a preaching or teaching series. You may jump to a chapter by clicking here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5:1-13, 5:14-6:7, 6:8-13, 6:14-18, 6:19-23, 6:24-30, 7:1-7, 7:8-10, 7:11-21, 7:22-27, 7:28-36, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13-14, 15, 16, 17, 18 ,19, 20, 21:1-22:16, 22:17-33, 23, 24:1-9, 24:10-23, 25:1-7, 25:8-55, 26, 27.
For suggestions of various series, see Sermon Series. Brief sermon outlines that correspond to the chart below may be found in the Sermon Outlines section of this website. Examples of sermons preached on various chapters in Leviticus may be found in the Sermons, Podcasts, Lectures section of this website.
The first message could be an orientation to the book: what it is; why it matters; what it has to say to us today
Why it fits historically; what it teaches in terms of the Lord’s mission for his people (Tyndale, 27-30; ZECOT, 1-4).
The Lord as covenant King dwelling among the Israelites; the Lord’s holiness; the Lord as redeemer; the Lord’s holy covenant people; the Lord’s holy law (Tyndale, 37-42; ZECOT, 9-17).
Sacrifice and atonement (Tyndale, 50-55; ZECOT, 28-32).
Jesus as fulfillment of the themes of Leviticus (Tyndale, 72-76; ZECOT, 50-53).
Lev 1: The Whole Burnt Offering
Our need for atonement from the Lord; our need for his help in general; the Lord as the one worthy of all our praise; the Lord as the one who wants us to draw near to him (Tyndale, 87-95; ZECOT, 67-100).
Lev 2: The Grain Offering
Those in covenant relationship with the Lord can be encouraged by his covenant presence, must be faithful to their covenant responsibilities, and must provide for their spiritual leaders (Tyndale, 95–101; ZECOT, 101–115).
Lev 3: The Fellowship Offering
Giving our best to the Lord to acknowledge his greatness; celebrating God’s covenant faithfulness to us; the need to reaffirm our covenant commitment to him and to our brothers and sisters in Jesus (Tyndale, 101–107; ZECOT, 116–129).
Lev 4: The Purification Offering, Part 1
The defiling nature of sin, the cleansing nature of the Lord’s atonement, and his mercy in making it available to us; the sin of those in authority is viewed as more serious than those they lead (Tyndale, 107–114, 118; ZECOT, 130–152).
Lev 5:1–13: The Purification Offering, Part 2
The importance of seeing that justice is fulfilled (v. 1); the importance of dealing properly with impurity (vv. 2-3); the importance of keeping our word (v. 4); the nature of biblical confession (vv. 5-6); the Lord’s love for all, no matter rich or poor (vv. 11-13) (Tyndale, 114–118; ZECOT, 153–166).
Lev 5:14–6:7:The Reparation Offering, Part 1
Sin as a breach of covenant loyalty; the importance of showing due respect to the holy Lord; the Lord’s assurance of forgiveness by means of his atoning sacrifices; the nature of biblical repentance, both in terms of confession and atonement before the Lord and in terms of making right any wrongs committed against others (Tyndale, 118–125; ZECOT, 167–182).
Lev 6:8–13: The Continual Burnt Offering
The need for the priests and people to depend continually on the Lord; the importance of priests being faithful to their duties (Tyndale, 126–129; ZECOT, 183–192).
Lev 6:14–18: The Grain Offering
The need for priests to be faithful to their duties and to model to the Israelites the importance of treating the Lord’s holiness with due respect (Tyndale, 129; ZECOT, 193–199).
Lev 6:19–23: The Priests’ Continual Grain Offering
The priests’ daily need for the Lord’s favor, which is meant to humble spiritual pride. That the Lord requires them to seek his help regularly also speaks to his desire to provide such help (Tyndale, 129–130; ZECOT, 200–205).
Lev 6:24–30: The Purification Offering
See at Lev 6:14–18 (Tyndale, 130–131; ZECOT, 206–212).
Lev 7:1–7: The Reparation Offering
See at Lev 6:14–18 (Tyndale, 132; ZECOT, 213–217).
Lev 7:8–10: Distributing Sacrificial Portions Among Priests
The Lord’s grace in providing for the needs of his spiritual leaders and the importance of the people doing the same (Tyndale, 132–133; ZECOT, 218–221).
Lev 7:11–21: Fellowship Offering Sacrifices, Part 1
Treating the Lord’s holy sacrifice with due respect, especially by eating it only when ritually pure. Believers today must be careful not to eat the Lord’s Supper “in an unworthy manner” (1 Cor 11:27). Other themes include praising the Lord for answers to prayer and the nature of biblical vows (Tyndale, 133–137; ZECOT, 222–233).
Lev 7:22–27: Fellowship Offering Sacrifices, Part 2
The Lord is the one most worthy of honor; the Lord is sovereign over every life (Tyndale, 137; ZECOT, 234–238).
Lev 7:28–36: Fellowship Offering Sacrifices, Part 3
Not only providing for the practical needs of spiritual leaders but also honoring them (Tyndale, 137–139; ZECOT, 239–245).
Lev 8: The Ordination of the Priests
The Lord demonstrates his desire for fellowship with his people by providing them with priestly mediators; the weightiness of spiritual leadership; the priests’ need for atonement; the far surpassing greatness of Jesus’ priesthood (Tyndale, 141–149; ZECOT, 251–272).
Lev 9: Public Worship Begins and the Lord Appears
The Lord’s desire for his people to know him; his people respond properly to his power by worshipping and revering him, celebrating with joy, and extending his kingdom into the world (Tyndale, 149–155; ZECOT, 273–285).
Lev 10: Judgment on Nadab and Abihu
The awesome responsibility of spiritual leaders to be faithful to the Lord and to lead his people in faithfulness (Tyndale, 155–162; ZECOT, 286–305).
Lev 11: Pure and Impure Animals
Being set apart as the Lord’s people; the Lord’s holiness; the importance of seeking purity in all of life (Tyndale, 163–173; ZECOT, 307–335).
Lev 12: What to do After Childbirth
Respecting the Lord’s holiness; the Lord’s merciful provision of purification to his people and his desire for fellowship with them; the importance of staying connected to the worshipping community; the Lord’s love and care for the poor (Tyndale, 173–180; ZECOT, 336–346).
Lev 13–14: The Ritual Status and Treatment of Skin Conditions and Garment, Leather, and House Infestations
Respecting the Lord’s holiness; the importance of purity in life; the Lord’s merciful provision of purification to his people and his desire for fellowship with them; costly love for the Lord and for one’s neighbor; Jesus as the ultimate cleanser of impurity (Tyndale, 181–195; ZECOT, 347–394).
Lev 15: Ritually Defiling Body Fluids
Respecting the Lord’s holiness; the importance of purity in life; the Lord’s merciful provision of purification to his people and his desire for fellowship with them; seeking holiness in all of life, especially our sex lives (Tyndale, 198–205; ZECOT, 395–414).
Lev 16: The Day of Atonement
The Lord’s holiness and our need for atonement; the Lord’s compassion in providing atonement; the importance of repentance to experience atonement; Jesus’ crucifixion as the ultimate Day of Atonement (Tyndale, 206–216; ZECOT, 415–443).
Lev 17: The Proper Slaughtering and Eating of Animals and the Proper Use of Their Blood
Relationship with the Lord is exclusive of other gods; the importance of caring for life because life belongs to the Lord; the Lord’s merciful and loving provision of atonement (Tyndale, 217–225; ZECOT, 445–467).
Lev 18: Laws Forbidding Various Sexual and Worship Practices
The importance of obedience for experiencing the Lord’s favor; the Lord will bring his justice to bear against those who destroy the world of blessing he intends for humanity; embracing God’s vision for sex; protecting the sexually vulnerable (Tyndale, 226–241; ZECOT, 469–514).
Lev 19: The Lord's Holy Practices for His Holy People
We live holy lives by imitating the Lord and by obeying his laws which prohibit evil and command righteousness; holiness relates to all aspects of life; holiness is practical love (Tyndale, 241-54; ZECOT, 515-47).
*Lev 19 could be its own mini sermon/teaching series. For those wanting to do a whole series, they might skip this session and choose from among the next six. For those wanting to do one sermon or teaching time, they might use week this session. This session could also be used as an introductory sermon or teaching time to kick off a series.
Lev 19: The Lord’s Holy Practices for His Holy People: Family (vv. 3a, 29)
Holiness in the family (Tyndale, 241–254 [relevant pages]; ZECOT, 515–547 [relevant pages]).
Lev 19: The Lord’s Holy Practices for His Holy People: worship (vv. 3b–8, 26–28, 30–31)
Holiness in worship (Tyndale, 241–254 [relevant pages]; ZECOT, 515–547 [relevant pages]).
Lev 19: The Lord’s Holy Practices for His Holy People: Business Practices (vv. 9-10, 13b, 19a, 23-25, 34b-36)
Holiness in business practices (Tyndale, 241–254 [relevant pages]; ZECOT, 515–547 [relevant pages]).
Lev 19: The Lord’s Holy Practices for His Holy People: Proper Treatment of the Poor and Disadvantaged (vv. 9-10, 13-14, 33-34)
Holiness in caring for the poor and disadvantaged (Tyndale, 241–254 [relevant pages]; ZECOT, 515–547 [relevant pages]).
Lev 19: The Lord’s Holy Practices for His Holy People: Courts of Law (vv. 15-16, 35a)
Holiness in courts of law (Tyndale, 241–254 [relevant pages]; ZECOT, 515–547 [relevant pages]).
Lev 19: The Lord’s Holy Practices for His Holy People: Social Interactions (vv. 11-12, 17-18, 20-22, 32)
Holiness in loving our neighbors as ourselves (Tyndale, 241–254 [relevant pages]; ZECOT, 515–547 [relevant pages]).
Lev 20: Laws Forbidding Divination and Various Sexual and Worship Practices
We are created to reflect the Lord’s holiness in how we conduct our worship, sexuality and family relations; the seriousness of sin (and thus the seriousness of sin’s penalty); sin must be addressed among the Lord’s people (Tyndale, 254–261; ZECOT, 548–572).
Lev 21:1–22:16: Commands for Priests on Avoiding Defiling the Lord’s Holy Things and Their Own Holy Status
Acknowledging the Lord’s holiness by maintaining boundaries between the holy and the non-holy; the high standards of holiness to which the priests as spiritual leaders are called; the higher one is in leadership, the greater their responsibility to live holy lives; spiritual leaders being responsible when their negligence in their duties leads to sin among God’s people (Tyndale, 262–273; ZECOT, 573–600).
Lev 22:17–33: Commands for Priests and Lay People to Revere the Lord’s Holy Things
The Lord’s delight in our coming before him in worship; the importance of coming to the Lord on the basis of the sacrifices of which he approves (Tyndale, 273–276; ZECOT, 601–613).
Lev 23: Observing the Lord's Holy Times
The holy times served as reminders of the Lord’s character and mighty deeds; the importance of doing so as a covenant community and of renewing our covenant commitment to one another (Tyndale, 276-87; ZECOT, 614-39).
*Some might choose to take more than one week with this chapter and discuss the different festivals and holy days in groups of 3-4.
Lev 24:1–9: Two Continual Rites at the Lord’s Holy Place
The Lord’s constant presence among his people and the holiness it requires of them; his people’s need to serve him continually; mundane activities, when done to the Lord, are holy and pleasing to him (Tyndale, 287–290; ZECOT, 640–650).
Lev 24:10–23: Revering the Lord’s Holy Name
We are to honor the Lord as King and pray others do the same; principles of justice for the courts; Jesus as the one who has taken the penalty for our treason against the Lord (Tyndale, 290–295; ZECOT, 651–664).
Lev 25:1–7: Laws for the Sabbath Year
The Lord’s care for his creation and those in it by providing a Sabbath year; the Lord’s people are to care for all the Lord’s creation (Tyndale, 296–300; ZECOT, 665–686).
Lev 25:8–55: Laws About Redemption and the Jubilee Year
(Some will want to spread the following out over 2-3 preaching/teaching times.) The Jubilee year as a foretaste of heaven; economic themes (the importance of both equity and opportunity), social themes (the importance of family), theological basis for the Jubilee (the land and the Israelites belong to the Lord); Jesus as the fulfillment of Jubilee principles (Tyndale, 297–299 [Context], 300–312; ZECOT, 686–710).
Lev 26: Covenant Blessings and Curses
The blessings humanity has been created to enjoy; the ultimate blessing of relationship with God; the Lord’s discipline as an act of grace to bring his people back to him; the Lord’s welcome of repentant sinners (Tyndale, 313–325; ZECOT, 711–742).
Lev 27: Further Laws Related to Jubilee and Redemption
Honoring our commitments to the Lord; the reasons for giving of our resources (Tyndale, 326–335; ZECOT, 743–765).