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Featured Christ Our High Priest: A Neglected Truth

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by asterisktom, May 1, 2022.

  1. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    Compared to the work of Christ on Calvary, His substitutionary atonement, the present ongoing ministry of Christ as our High Priest is hardly mentioned. How many sermons have we heard on the former and how few of the latter! The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ certainly ought to be taught, but His work as High Priest ought also be given emphasis. This latter ministry is a main focus of the Book of Hebrews, especially the section from 4:14 to the end of chapter 10, roughly half of the book.

    "Therefore, holy brothers,a you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession"

    In this verse, Hebrews 3:1, the writer begins to compare and contrast - mostly contrast, praise God! - the ministries of Christ with those of Moses and Aaron, respectively, in their apostleship and priesthood. He first presents Christ as Apostle (as one being sent from God), contrasting with Moses. Then in 4:14 he comes to the main theme of Christ as High Priest. Here the comparison is with Aaron.

    It is interesting that this teaching of Christ as High Priest is only brought out here in this Epistle. Nowhere else is it found, at least not as explicitly as here.

    This is just a small beginning of what I hope will be an extensive study. I feel impressed that the topic is a very important one, but I am going to refrain from saying just how much I will post on this. I have a bad habit of stating my good intentions and then something else comes up, a different study topic or totally unrelated diversion, and it goes onto the back burner. My back burner is getting crowded!

    But I would say that, especially in these stressful times, understanding and coming to Christ as High Priest is very needful.

    "Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:14-16

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    John Owen, in the Ages Software "Works of John Owen”, Vol. 20,(An Exposition of the Epistle to Hebrews, Vol. 19, Ed. William H. Goold) pages 483ff. is a good resource for further study on this.

    (I don’t know why this is listed both as volume 19 and 20, but that is how it is listed in the software!).
     
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  2. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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  3. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Once a person is saved and has his or her eternal life, what does our High Priest do?

    Does He provide mercy that we have not already received? Just what is it?

    Are we supposed to pray to our High Priest or to God the Father?

    Let's study the concept and see what we learn.
     
  4. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    You're weird.
     
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  5. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    Christ's priesthood is contrasted not only with Aaron, but the order of His priesthood is contrasted with the Levitical order.

    Jesus is a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, meaning He is a priest forever by virtue of an endless life. The Levitical priesthood was temporary, and existed by virtue of a carnal commandment, which is no longer in effect.
     
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  6. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    And your failure to try and answer these simple questions demonstrates galactic ignorance of the topic.
     
  7. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Hebrews 2:17
    Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brothers so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

    Here the past accomplishment (becoming the means of salvation for the whole world - 1 John 2:2 ) is taught. Thus when God places an individual spiritually into Christ, our High Priest provides our salvation.
     
  8. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Clearly our High Priest was designated by God to inaugurate the New Covenant in His blood, therefore as we draw near to our High Priest, we turn away from the Old Covenant, with its repetitive need of sacrifices, for Jesus provided the sacrifice once for all time. Our confession includes that by the works of the Law, no flesh is justified. Thus our salvation does not depend on the person who wills to be saved, or does stuff to be saved, but upon being sprinkled with the blood of our High Priest when we are placed spiritually into Christ.
     
  9. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Paul 'mentioned' this in another epistle:

    6 or while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly.
    7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: for peradventure for the good man some one would even dare to die.
    8 But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
    9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through him.
    10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life;
    11 and not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Ro 5
     
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  10. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    Even though we see His Priesthood referred to, the Writers' focus remains on His Death, rather than His Priesthood. I still see the Cross of Christ as the primary focus of Chs. 4-10. I would agree that teaching concerning His Priesthood might be lacking in comparison with teaching concerning His Death, Burial, and Resurrection and that it is always good to have a fuller view of the Lord in all of His Ministries. However, I think we can see there is a good reason why the Gospel takes prominence. Scripture does so, and we do well to follow suit. His Priesthood is more relevant to those of us who are born again, rather than to those still in need of salvation. The Comforter was sent to convict men of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and this is (in my view) His central ministry in the world.

    One thought, for the purpose of your study, is that we are Priests in this world, acting on Christ's behalf to the lost world. That might be a good avenue of study to include in this.

    Good luck with the study!

    God bless
     
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  11. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Great point!!
     
  12. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
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  13. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    Well, yes, He does provide mercy that we have not already received, and grace as well, seeing that we keep coming up against new necessities. He is our "Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek", and He is eternal, having "the power of an endless life" . . "He ever lives to make intercession for us". That is why we still "come unto God by Him".

    So, in short, I would say that most, if not all, the answers are right there in Heb. 7.
     
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  14. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    Most of us here never turned away from the Old Covenant because we were never under it.
     
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  15. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    Excellent. I had not thought about the connection with this verse. Verse 10 clearly shows explicitly the order for the readers:
    1. They were enemies
    2. They were reconciled through His death
    3. They "will be" (from their standpoint) "saved by His life".

    A clear implication of Christ as High Priest.
    You could even say, and have Scripture to prove it, that we are saved at two points (2 and 3 above). Saved by His death and then "saved by His life".

    A sort of revised Ordo Salutis!
     
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  16. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    Thank you. It is true that we are priests in this world. We are also prophets, in the sense of forth-telling. I had noticed those verses, but I see that there is still so much to cover in the more concentrated study of Christ Himself as High Priest.

    I think also that we often have a needlessly limited definition of the gospel, as if 1 Cor. 15:3-4 is the only biblical definition of it. Some forget that "gospel" means "good news". And what Christ does now as High Priest, what the Father does and the Holy Spirit does certainly is part of that Good News. And this Good News, as KyRed brought up in his Romans 5:10 verse explicitly shows this post-Calvary event (being "saved by His life") is salvation-connected.

    So, I believe His priesthood over us also to be part of the Gospel.

    Take care.
     
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  17. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    I think so. :)
     
  18. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    I wouldn't disagree in a broader sense. The very passage (1 Corinthians 15) highlights resurrection, as well as the glorified body, so the Gospel of Christ would include all that Christ has done, and all that He has accomplished on our behalf.

    God bless.
     
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  19. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    That is why the OP author uses the screen name Aaron. :) Or folks claim loss of salvation is valid citing old Covenant illustrations. Got it. :)
     
  20. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    I expect a majority of professing Christians study and use the Old Testament, so the extent of following some of the Old Covenant is not a given.
     
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