The Priest You Need

lamb_8446cThe Supreme Court has attempted to do (and, as far as the law of the land goes, has done) what it ultimately cannot do. Marriage was ordained by God as a union between one man and one woman, and no amount of political and social pressure, no court decisions, can overturn that. It is not a time for panic despair, for God is still sovereign. Some of the greatest growth of the church has taken place while it was marginalized in the culture. We can point fingers at those whose goal has been and continues to be to reverse what God has ordained. But we need to realize that marriage has been damaged, not only by the GLTB agenda, but also by the casual way in which the church has sometimes succumbed to the spirit of the age. Divorce has been treated lightly. Pornography use has been far from unknown in Christian circles. There are two things the church needs to beware of. It needs to be careful to avoid imbibing the spirit of the age, and ignoring God’s Word with a motto of acceptance. It also needs to avoid the harshness that has sometimes characterized the church’s pronouncements against sins that it considers unacceptable. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 addressed a Roman culture that tolerated and even praised sins that our land is publicly promoting. Yet, along with a clear warning to repent came the assurance that God forgives and changes people. Hebrews addressed the same world culture, and in Hebrews 7:23-28 points you to the great High Priest who forgives, cleanses, and intercedes for you. Continue reading “The Priest You Need”

Greater than Father Abraham

mechezedekIt is appropriate to honor fathers, especially godly fathers, on Father’s Day. If there is one man in the Bible to whom the title father belongs, it is Abraham. But Hebrews 7:1-10 points you to someone greater than father Abraham. He does this to show you the excellency of Jesus Christ, as your priest in matters related to God—particularly sin and its forgiveness. As the events in Charleston this week show, forgiveness is a very relevant issue.

Melchizedek’s glory exceeded that of Abraham. Abraham’s tithe showed his recognition of the greatness of Melchizedek. Abram tithed on the plunder he had captured in the war with the Mesopotamian kings. The tithe involves a joyful submission. The first 1/10th of the harvest belonged to the Lord, Leviticus 27:30, 32, and was to be used by the Levites and priests, Numbers 18:21,24,26. The tithe was not a burdensome tax, but a sign of joyful submission, of gratitude for what the Lord had done for his people, Malachi 3:9,10; 2 Corinthians 9:7. Giving the tithe is an admission that you belong to God, and that all you have, you have received from him. Significantly, Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, not just as a personal gesture, but was recognizing the priesthood, of which Melchizedek was a type. Continue reading “Greater than Father Abraham”

When God Promises

gen2217cYou are appropriately skeptical of promises made to you, but when God promises, that is something on which you can depend, as Hebrews 6:13-20 tells you.

God, who made a promise to you, has made it more certain by taking an oath. God has made a promise. In Genesis 12:2-3, God had made a promise to Abraham as he entered into a covenant with him. That promise was repeated (Genesis 13:16; 15:5; 17:2ff; 18:10). God’s sure blessing (Gen. 6:14 emphasizes the certainty) had included land and descendants, but at its heart was fellowship with God. This repeated promise is not just Bible trivia—it is a clear statement of the covenant of grace, a relationship that includes not only Abraham, but you as well. The earlier part of Hebrews 6 contains strong warnings, warnings given to the church, given also to you, but given so that you hold firm and persevere instead of falling away. How can the author of Hebrews be persuaded of better things for his readers (and for you)? Because of the certainty of God’s promise. Continue reading “When God Promises”