Do we need a Priest?

A Roman Catholic asked me recently, “If there are no priest in your church, then who stands before God to clear you from your sins? Don’t you need a priest?” I was surprised by the question.   Most people, no matter what their religious beliefs, are not very reflective.   She obviously thought about this deeply.

I had very little time to answer; yet I wanted to provide a biblical answer.

The book of Hebrews is written to Jewish believers who wanted to return to the Old Testament sacrificial system. They wanted a priest they could see and touch. The Old and New Testament makes it clear that all men need a person who would stand before God and represent them with a sacrifice. In Chapter seven of Hebrews, the apostle compares The Levitical priesthood to Jesus. The Levitical priest became a priest on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent (Hebrews 7:16). There were many in number, and they offered up sacrifices all the time.

Jesus, on the other hand, was made a priest with an oath: “You are a priest forever” (Psalm 110:4). The Levitical priests coiuld not continue in office because of death, but Jesus hold His priesthood permanently. The Last thing about Jesus as a priest, was that He was holy, innocent, unstained, and separated from sinners (7:26). Jesus had no need to offer sacrifices for Himself first and then the people. The law appointed men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath appointed The Son who has been made perfect forever (Hebrews 7:28).

Yes, I do need a priest, and Jesus Christ represents me before the Father. God appointed Him with an oath and He entered once for all into the holy place, thus securing eternal redemption.

I wish this was answer, but all I said was, “Jesus Christ is my High priest, and He died once for me and lives forever to pray for me.” I pray that she thinks deeply about that!

 

Brian L. Spivey

Is Knowing Him Enough?

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If any of you remember my last post, the words of Muslim teenager convicted me.  So I was determined to share the gospel with many more people this summer.  I was in the park and two older people were sitting on the bench.  He was in his 70’s and she in her 80’s.  In the past, I’ve had conversations with the woman about God, family and church, but I didn’t know the man.  We got on the subject of vacations because she was going to California to visit her grandchildren.  I asked her what city she was going to and she said she couldn’t remember.  I suggested a few: Anaheim, Oakland, or Los Angeles.  You could see that she was working hard to remember.  Before she could answer, the older gentlemen said, “I hope it is not Los Angeles, there are too many fires there. It is terrible what is happening there.”  I made sure to get his attention and looked him in the eyes and said, “Yes, it is terrible, but this is a wake up call and warning that it will be worse on the last day when God returns to judge the earth.  That is why it is very important to know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior so that you will rescued from that great day.” I hoped the woman would chime in and give her testimony and maybe take the conversation deeper since she obviously had a relationship (friends) with him.  But my excitement was quickly squelched by her counterclaim, “It not enough to know Him, but you gotta do His will! A lot people know Him, but He said, depart from me I never knew you.  You gotta do His will! Even the devil knows Him, but he didn’t do His will!”

I’ve heard this so many times, but is that biblical?  Do we have to do more than just know Him?  Have you heard this before?  I plan to check it out.

Brian D.O.C.

Advice from a Muslim and a Request from the Apostle Paul – A Good Combination!

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If you had an opportunity, beginning with Moses and all the prophets to share everything about Christ on a seven-mile walk, would you do it?  Or better question, could you do it?

If you are not familiar with this episode in Scripture, it is recorded in Luke 24:13-27.  Jesus interpreted to those two men all the things concerning Himself on the road to Emmaus.  I have always read those verses and secretly thought to myself, “I wish God would give me an opportunity like that, I sure will take full advantage of it.”  Have you ever had that thought?  Then read this story and take heed.

Every summer I make it my goal to share the gospel with at least two people.

This summer I was walking with two camp workers and we saw a chalkboard that they just built in Central Park (not NYC).  It read, “Before I die, I want to…” As the three of us walked, the two of them announced what they wanted to do and then one turned to me and said, “Mr. Spivey, what about you?”  I couldn’t believe it.  It was just like Jesus on the road to Emmaus.  I said, “Before I die, I would like to tell as many people as possible about the Amazing things that Jesus did.”  They both chimed in like a rehearsal for a video, “Oh, that’s a good one.”  Then one of the workers, who happened to be a Muslim, said something that stung like a wet switch on dry skin; because of the timing and his childlike delivery, I know it was sincere.  He said, “Why do you have to wait until then, you can start right now.”  I was not prepared for that comment.  I said something lame like, “Most people think Jesus was only a prophet, but they just don’t know what He has accomplished.”  And then I just stopped.  There was an awkward quiet moment, and then I said, “By the way, what does a dog have to do with Taco Bell?”

I had an opportunity of a lifetime and I switched the conversation to Taco Bell.  Taco Bell?  I felt like that apostle Peter when the Lord looked at him when he denied Jesus the third time.  I will heed that advice, but I have to mix it with Apostle Paul’s request to the Ephesians: “Making supplications for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:18-19).  Yes, thanks to my Muslim friend, I will change my goal from two to many, AND solicit as many prayers as I can for boldness.  Will you be willing to pray for me this summer?

Brian Spivey

D.O.C.