This Week's Gospel Sermons
Listed Below Are Sermons Presented By Paul Earnhart During Our October 2012 Gospel Meeting At Jackson Drive. Click On The Links Below To Listen Or Download The Sermon In MP3 Audio Format:
Jackson Drive 2012 Fall Series
"Early Parables Of Jesus From Matthew"
Wednesday @ 7:00 PM
Click The Link Below For More Information!
Welcome To The Jackson Drive Church Of Christ Website!
Listen to the Jackson Drive internet radio station 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Click the play button below to listen. Christians at Jackson Drive is on Mixlr
Schedule Of Services:
Jackson Drive's Address:
November 4, 2012
Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. (Hebrews 7:11-16)
There is no question. The writer of Hebrews makes clear that because of Christ, things are better. One of the specific things that the writer proves is better is the priesthood. Yes, God did establish a priesthood based within the tribe of Levi (see especially Exodus 28–40; Numbers 3–4). However, that priesthood, though it served its purpose, was not perfect (complete) in what was accomplished (Hebrews 7:11,19).
Jesus was from the tribe of Judah; He was not from the tribe of Levi (Hebrews 7:14). This meant He could not serve in the post of High Priest in the Levitical priesthood. He didn’t need to do that—He is High Priest of a better priesthood, established with a better law upon better promises bringing us a better hop (Hebrews 7:19). Jesus brings everything to perfection (Hebrews 12:2). God has priests who aren’t priest under the rule of the Law given through Moses. He had priest before the Law, as the writer of Hebrews shows with the example of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:5‑10; 6:20; 7:1-17). He has priests after the Law, too. Our original text from Hebrews 7 shows that, unlike the High Priests of the Levitical priesthood, Christ Jesus is a High Priest forever. Along with this change in the Law and the High Priest, there came a change also in the entire priesthood (Hebrews 7:12). Who are these priests that serve under this better High Priest, Jesus? Obviously, because of the High Priest, the new priests aren’t required to be from the tribe of Levi. What are the requirements of this priesthood?
The Selection of the Priests
Priests, under the law of Moses, were God’s chosen ones (Numbers 18:2-9; Hebrews 7:11). In Christ, those who are described as priests are also described as those who are called and chosen of God (1Peter 2:5,9) This call of God is through the gospel (2Thessalonians 2:14). In Christ no man is a priest in and of himself—he must be called of God and answer that call. Therefore, all Christians [all who are in Christ, having answered His call in sincere obedience] are priests of this better priesthood.
The Making Ready of Priests
Priests, under the law of Moses, were such at God’s direction (Hebrews 5:4). This divine provision was demonstrated (Numbers 17). Even though God, by divine decree named the family, there was more to making ready to serve. In addition to being of the proper family, these had to be cleansed and purified before they could serve (Numbers 8:6,21). They were purified in a prescribed manner that had to be followed fully (Numbers 8:7).
Likewise, in Christ all priests are not only called of God but are also purified in a prescribed manner (1Peter 1:18,19). Each one must cleanse and purify himself by obeying the gospel, which requires a washing, too (1Peter 1:22-23). “…baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.” (1Peter 3:21‑22; see Romans 6:3,4 also).
The Honor of Being Priests
It is a great honor to be called to serve as a priest. This was true under the law of Moses (Hebrews 5:4). This is still an honor. “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.” (1Peter 2:9,10). How blessed and privileged men are to be able to hear the gospel call and respond to God’s grace! How blessed men are to be able to serve God and bring Him glory!
The Service of Priests
Priests, under the law of Moses, were charged with services in the temple, which was the house of God (Hebrews 9:6,7). Only priests could do this. In Christ, each Christian, being a priest, is charged with services in the house of God. “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. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:15,16). That is one reason why Christians are not to forsake the assembling of the church (Hebrews 10:25). They are to be in their role and place of service. Each sings. Each takes instruction. Each prays. Each lays by in store. Each partakes of the supper. Each is a priest serving God.
The Attire of the Priest
Priests, under the law, wore special attire. God really cared about this clothing. It was not an after thought. It was not something just to make the priest look good. It was for God (Exodus 28:4,40; 39:27‑29). In Christ, each priest much clothe himself in a special way, too (Colossians 3:1,8-14). Just like it was easy for people of the days of the Levitical priests to see the ones serving in that role, today it ought to be easy to identify God’s priests.
The Offering of Sacrifices by Priests
As we have already noticed, Levitical priests offered sacrifices. In Christ each one, being a priest, offers sacrifices: “And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1Peter 2:4‑5). And, just like the Levitical priests, we are expected to live our entire life in His service (Romans 12:1,2).
Are you serving as a priest of God? If not, isn’t it time for you to answer the call and be cleansed by the blood of Jesus by obeying the gospel?
—S. Scott Richardson Sr.