Home> The Lower Lights>April 2005

   THE

   LOWER

   LIGHTS

 

  Alan Jones, Editor

  (734) 942-7956

 

 

 

"Brightly beams our Father's mercy

From the lighthouse evermore;

But to us He gives the keeping

Of the light along the shore."

       Published monthly by the church of Christ, 35900 Palmer Road, P.O. Box 86-233, Westland, MI  48186     

Volume 4                                                                    April 2005                                                                                        No10 

 

LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY PRIEST!

 

I want to tell you about my priest.  What is a “priest”?  A “priest” is a person who works on behalf of men to obtain God’s grace for them.  A “priest” is a person through whom men draw near to God to worship.  There are those who serve in the role of priest in both Catholic and Protestant churches, even though many of them do not wear “priest” as their title.  The common word use to describe them is “clergy”.  But, let me tell you why that, when I need forgiveness or when I want to worship, I do not call on any of these men or women, but I call on my priest, Jesus Christ.

            God once set up a system where men drew near to God through other men who served as priests- the Israelites drew near to God through the sons of Aaron under the Law of Moses.  The book of Hebrews explains the weaknesses of this system and how that the superior priesthood of Jesus Christ replaced it.  Once you read and understand the following points from the book of Hebrews, you will never want to draw near to God through men and women of the “clergy” again!

            My priest, Jesus, was appointed to be priest by an oath of God (7:20-21).  God did not swear that the sons of Aaron would be priest, but they were appointed by the Law of Moses (7:28).  Today’s clergy are not appointed either by God’s oath or by God’s law!  The Law of Christ does not set up a priestly class of men like the Law of Moses.  Yet by human authority, many “Christians” are appointed to a priestly role and then pass it on to others by ordination.

            The character of my priest, Jesus, is holy (7:26).   The character of the priests under the

 

Law of Moses was sinful and weak (7:27-28).   The character of today’s clergy is likewise sinful and weak.  Why would anyone seek to draw near to God through sinful men, when he/she could draw near through One with perfect purity?

            Jesus, my priest, made one sacrifice to obtain God’s grace and mercy for man; accomplishing what the continual rituals of the priests under the Law of Moses could not (7:27; 10:11-12).  Yet, Catholic and Protestant clergy perform continual rituals to seek the favor of God for the laity, favor already won by Jesus’ one perfect act.  Christ’s churches need no altar – why do so many church buildings have them?

            My priest, Jesus, works to make inter-cession for man at the right hand of the throne of God in heaven (8:1-2, 9:24).  The priests of the Law of Moses served in man made tabernacles that were just a type of the true holy place of heaven.  Even the most elaborate cathedral that the clergy serve in cannot compare with the work-place of Jesus and no human priest has His access to God!

            Finally, my priest, Jesus, lives forever to serve me, to intercede for me and to present my worship to God.  There were many priests under the Law of Moses.  They died and had to be replaced. (7:23-25)  The clergy that men have appointed to serve also die and men must choose their successors. 

            Won’t you reject the inferior, humanly authorized priestly class of men and women called clergy and draw near to God through Jesus Christ?
 

YOU CAN DRAW NEAR TO GOD THROUGH JESUS

If you were an Israelite under the Law of Moses, your access to God was very limited.  If you were not a priest, then you could never seek God’s grace and mercy yourself.  A priest had to seek God’s grace and mercy for you by presenting a sacrifice for you.  And, in doing so, he would present your worship to God for you, as you were not allowed to enter the temple and present it yourself.  If you were a priest, but not the high priest, you could enter into the holy place to serve God daily, but you could never go into the most holy place beyond the veil.  And, even if you were the high priest, you could only go once a year into the most holy place, which symbolized heaven and the presence of God (Heb 9:7).

  But, when Jesus died, God tore the veil of the temple from top to bottom (Mt 27:51), signi-fying that all men could draw near to God all the time and without the aid of a human priest.  In effect, all men were given the opportunity to become priests.  All men were given the ability to access God- to seek mercy and to offer worship, through the great high priest, Jesus Christ.  Listen, as the writer to the Hebrews encourages all Christians to draw near to God through Jesus:

“Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (4:16)

“Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He al-

 

ways lives to make intercession for them.” (7:25)

“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (10:19-22)

“Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” (13:15)

            Jesus’ death gives everyone access to God.  But, as the priests of the Law of Moses first cleansed themselves and then approached God, we, too, must first cleanse ourselves.  Believing and confessing that Jesus is Lord (Rom 10:9-10), repenting of our sins, and being baptized (Acts 2:38) we are cleansed from sin through Jesus’ blood.   We are then ready to offer spiritual sacrifices of praise to the throne of God, not through the clergy, but through Jesus Christ.  When we sin as Christians, we may draw near to God through Him and once again find mercy and grace to forgive us (Heb 4:14-16).

You can draw near to God through Jesus to obtain grace and mercy and to offer worship.  Won’t you draw near?

 


 

Copyright © *Palmer Road Church of Christ* - All Rights Reserved
Design Template by Web Design Studio

 

Home

The Lower Lights

     Volume 1

       Volume 2

     Volume 3

     Volume 4

     July 2004

     Aug 2004

     Sept 2004

     Oct 2004

     Nov 2004

     Dec 2004

     Jan 2005

     Feb 2005

     March 2005

     April 2005

     May 2005

     June 2005

     Volume 5

Recent Studies

On-line Bible Study

Study Tools / Links

Spiritual Talk