Presentation on theme: "The Priesthood By H.H. Pope Shenouda III. The Common Priesthood (1) Any believer can offer spiritual sacrifices and spiritual incense without actually."— Presentation transcript:
The Common Priesthood (1) Any believer can offer spiritual sacrifices and spiritual incense without actually being a priest; this is the common or the spiritual priesthood Example 1: “May my prayer be set before You like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice” Psalm 141:2
The Common Priesthood (2) Example 2: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship” Rom. 12:1 Example 3: “…let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name” Heb. 13:15
The Common Priesthood (3) Offering these kinds of sacrifice is what is intended in the universal priesthood of all believers. But this does not, in any way, prevent there being a priesthood specially for the offering of the holy sacraments, for which God has singled out certain individuals to serve in this way. “No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was” Heb. 5:4
Attempts long ago that failed (1) The first rebellion against the specific priesthood was undertaken by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (Numbers 16) “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly” Numbers 16:3 The Lord said to Aaron “… only you and your sons may serve as priests in connection with every thing at the altar and inside the curtain. I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift. Any one else who comes near the sanctuary must be put to death” Numbers 18:7
Attempts long ago that failed (2) The second attempt when king Saul dared to raise the burnt offering, as it tells in the first Book of Samuel (.1Sam.13:9). The result was that the Lord rejected him, and the Spirit of the Lord departed from him and an evil spirit from the Lord descended upon him. The third incidence when king Uzziah also dared to hold the censer to raise the incense, according to 2 Chronicles 26: 19 – 21, and as a result, the Lord struck him with Leprosy
Some people might object and say, that all these things happened in the Old Testament and that the situation was different in the New Testament since the priesthood of the Old Testament was abolished and God no longer put a mediator between himself and man!
GOD DOES NOT CHANGE “All Scripture is God – breathed and useful for teaching” 2 Tim. 3:16 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” James 1:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” Matth. 5:17 Is this mean that we are required to observe the Old Testament from the point of view of its rules about the observance of the Sabbath, circumcision, festivals, blood sacrifices, impurity and purification?
The Observance of the Sabbath This commandment still stands, in essence, in so far as you should keep it as the holy day of the week for the Lord Since the Sabbath represents rest, the Lord’s only rest came when He freed man from the judgment of sin, and from the effects of sin and its consequence; that is death The Lord’s rest day was Sunday, and so Sunday became the new Sabbath with the spiritual meaning of the Sabbath So resting on the Sabbath as a commandment of God’s law is still effective and setting aside a day especially for the Lord is still expected of us, as far as the essence and spirit of the commandment and what the Lord intended it to be i.e. rest
The Commandment of Circumcision This cutting off or death of a small part of the body, symbolizes the death of the whole body in baptism for, “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism …” Rom. 6:4 So the process of death to the physical body, which is what is meant by circumcision, is still in force as a commandment, but it is to be taken in a spiritual sense rather than in a literal, and hence physical sense The Lord Jesus did not abolish the law, but rather interpreted it in a spiritual terms
The Festivals (1) The festivals of the Old Testament also remains, but as symbols of their original situation. The Passover took on its full meaning in our Lord Jesus Christ, “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” 1 Cor. 5:7 The festival of the Unleavened Bread, which follows directly after the Passover, we still celebrate, but in its spiritual meaning “Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth” 1 Cor. 5:8
The Festivals (2) The Feast of Weeks, which was held fifty days after the offering of the harvest, (Lev.23), we still celebrate, but in the form of Pentcost, on the fiftieth day after the Resurrection. Thus the commandment to observe the festivals still remains, and has not been cancelled
The Sacrifices The blood sacrifices symbolized the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. The principle of the sacrifices was not abolished in the New Testament, but in fact still stands, though we have now taken it in the spiritual sense instead of the literal one. Thus the altar continues to remain in Christianity, though not for blood sacrifices, but “For Christ, our Passover Lamb who has been sacrificed for us” 1 Cor. 5:7