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The Wednesday Word – No, No, No, No! (Pt 1)

No Priest but Christ

Hebrews 7:25

“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them”.

A man in Southern India once asked a missionary to make him a promise. He explained how that, every day, he prayed for his own soul and asked the missionary if, when he, the Indian, died, the missionary would continue this practice for him. When the missionary asked why he would need to do that, the man replied that he was full of doubt and anxiety. He thought that, if this missionary would just pray for him every day, then surely God would let him into heaven and forgive his sins. How sad! This poor man felt he needed someone to intercede for him. He needed a priest … a go-between. And yes, the truth is the dear man did need a priest, an intercessor. But the only mediator who is effective in this business of salvation is the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is the God/Man … God in human flesh. He alone can bring us to the Father and bring the Father to us. Relying, for eternal life on anyone or anything other than Christ is to fail to grasp the Gospel. The belief the dear Indian man held was in actual fact unbelief. It is sad to say that there are still so many looking to multiplied mediators other than Christ

I once attended the funeral of a dear Roman Catholic lady and during the funeral service, all kinds of mediators were presented to the Father for His consideration. God was asked to consider the good works of the deceased. That’s one mediator. Then deceased ‘holy saints’ were called upon to add their intercession. That’s a host more mediators. Finally, the Virgin Mary was asked for her prayers and intercession. These dear people did not seem to realize there is no mediator but the Lord Jesus Christ. Only Christ is qualified and powerful enough to bring us to Glory.

There is no pledge of Salvation without a proper priest and the priest we need died for us. But a dead priest is of no use to anyone. That’s why the one true priest did not remain dead, He is alive. He rose from the dead and now ever-lives to apply the entire benefits of His finished work to us. That is why so many religious people have no assurance of salvation. They are looking to sinful, sacrificing priests to get them into heaven. These dear ones cannot say with any confidence that, “Yes, I am a Christian. Christ died for me, He cleansed my sins. He took them away. He was buried. He rose from the dead for me. He is my priest, He is my righteousness and I will be with Him forever.

“Hands off, ye priests! Ye are too feeble for such weights as ours. Our sins are too stupendous for your puny strength. But the Lord comes with his own right hand of majesty, puts away our sins and lifts them on to Christ, and Christ comes and flings them into his sepulcher, and they are gone and buried forever:” Spurgeon

Some say that present-day priests are substitutes for Christ. But this is an awful attack on the Lord Jesus. Why? It’s simple, He needs no substitute. We need no other priest to represent us before God than the Lord Jesus. There are no special religious orders of men or women in any land who can present us to the Father. We have but one priest and He lives forever. If any man calls himself a priest (other than in the sense that all the redeemed are non-mediatorial priests), he takes too much honour upon himself. He is no mediator of salvation. He is an intruder who claims a priesthood which does not belong to him.

Jesus said, “Come unto me all you who labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30.) Christ has never said and will never say to any sinner, “Go to the priest and he will give you rest.” But he has said, “Come to me.” There is no Priest but Christ.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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The Wednesday Word: ‘Holding on to Spikes’

“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.”

Hebrews 7:25

If we are saved by grace through faith, we are safe. Since Christ alone is our Saviour, we do not look to our good works or fine intentions to supplement what Jesus has done for us in his doing, dying and rising again. We are safe. He bought us with blood, His own precious blood and He doesn’t intend losing anyone whom He purchased. Not only so, but at this very moment He is making intercession for us. I have confidence in Christ and His prayers being heard. Don’t you? My question is, are you enjoying the saving power and ability of the Lord Jesus.

Noah is a very striking example of someone who enjoyed the very thing we are talking about. By faith, he prepared an ark to preserve his family. He built and constructed his big boat even when there seemed to be no evidence of a coming flood. By faith, he obeyed God and entered the ark, with all his household, when commanded by God to do so. Now, get this, all inside the ark were secure until the deluge was over. They were kept by an omnipotent power. The ark bore all the brunt of the storm. This is a picture of how Christ bore the downpour of the wrath of God which should have come straight at us.

One preacher of a past generation said it like this, “The ark was a type of Christ. All who are in Christ are eternally secure. Suppose when the ark was completed God had said, ‘Now, Noah, go and get eight large, strong spikes and drive them into the side of the ark.’ Imagine Noah procuring these spikes and doing as commanded. Then when each spike was securely fastened, let us presume that God said, ‘Come thou and all thy house and take hold of these spikes, and all who hang on the end of the flood will be saved.’ How long do you think Noah and the rest would have been secure? I can imagine each one taking hold of a spike – then the waters rising as the rain poured down. In a few minutes, they would have been soaked to the skin. Then think of the terrific strain on joints and muscles as the ark was lifted from the earth and began its perilous voyage through the raging waters. I think I hear Noah calling to his wife, ‘How is it going; is all well?’ And she calls back, ‘I’m holding on. Do pray for me that I may be able to hold out to the end!’ Soon, poor Mrs Noah would cry out, ‘It’s no use, can’t hang on any longer.’ And she would let go and be swept away by the flood. How long do you suppose it would be before each one of them would be obliged to let go and so go down to death?”

Hallelujah, God be praised, that is not a true picture of His salvation. He is not calling us to hang on the best we can to Christ. No indeed, just as Noah entered into the Ark and found perfect security, so every believer is in Christ and thus saved for eternity. It is not a question of our ability to hang on, but of Christ’s ability to take us safely through to glory.

“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Chapter 27-The Offices of Christ

The Offices of Christ

 

THREE offices are ascribed by the Scriptures to Christ–those of prophet, priest and king.

I. CHRIST AS PROPHET.

This word is to be taken in its wider sense of inspired teacher.

It is frequently confined, in common language, to one who foretells future events. But it literally means one who speaks for his God, and denotes a divine teacher merely. Thus Moses is spoken of as a prophet, and Christ was foretold as a prophet who should he like unto Moses.

It is in connection with this that the term Logos, or Word, applied to Christ in the 1st chapter of John is appropriate.

With the office of teacher, Christ united, as was common with the prophets, the prediction of future events and the working of miracles. But the office of teacher was his special work as prophet.

This work is discharged in the following ways:

1. In the personal revelations which he made, before the days of his incarnation, to our first parents, to the patriarchs and to others of their day, to Moses and the people of God in the wilderness, and to various others, as Manoah, the children in the furnace, etc. These were made in appearances of human form, in the burning bush, in the pillar of cloud and fire, in the Shechinah, etc., etc.

2. In the inspired revelations which he made through holy men of old, who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. The Old Testament Scriptures are composed of a portion of these.

3. While on earth in his incarnation.

(1) Personally as, (a) he set forth by his own acts the divine attributes, omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, eternity of existence, etc., and (b) as he exhibited God’s love for man, his hatred of sin, and his love of holiness and righteousness in the work of man’s salvation.

(2) By his instructions, as he taught (a) in words to his disciples and others what he exhibited in his person as to the matters above stated, and (b) the truths relative to the kingdom he was to establish, its nature, its subjects, the relations they should bear to each other, to him and the Father, and their future destiny and glory as well as the condition and fate of those who should reject him.

4. By the instructions he gave through his apostles and other inspired men after his ascension.

5. By the revelation of himself in the lives and character of his true disciples in all ages.

6. By the instructions given through his preached word in all ages.

7. By the revelations of glory he shall make to the church of first-born ones in the world to come.

8. By the revelation which through these, he shall make of the glory of God to the universe of created intelligences.

 

II. CHRIST AS PRIEST.

The office of “Priest” is one of divine appointment. That of Christ corresponds to that of the High Priest under the Mosaic economy, and is foreshadowed by it. The Epistle to the Hebrews sets this forth very plainly and explicitly. The priesthood of Christ, however, varies from that of the High Priest in several particulars. Christ’s priesthood is perpetual, is in one person, without predecessor or successor, making one offering, once for all; an offering actually not symbolically effective, deriving value not from appointment alone, but from its nature also. In this case, also, the victim is the same person as the High Priest. Consequently Christ’s office as priest is to be contemplated in the twofold aspect of priest and victim.

1. As Priest, he offers up the sacrifice, laying it upon the altar of oblation, and through it appeasing the wrath of God, making reconciliation between God and man, and securing, in its proper presentation, the removal of guilt and punishment from man.

As Priest he also intercedes with God for pardon or justification or other blessings for all for whom he died, in all the respects in which his death is available for each.

The first of these priestly offices was discharged upon earth, the second is discharging in heaven. It does not cease with his life on earth, but he is represented as continuing as an ever-living High Priest to make intercession for us, Heb. 7:23-25; sitting down at the right hand of’ God, Acts 2:33-36; Heb. 8:1; 9:12-21. (See the law as to the Jewish High Priest entering in once every year in Heb. 9:27; also in the law laid down in Ex. 30:10; Lev. 16:2, 11, 12, 15, 34; see also Heb. 7:27; 10:10. 1 Pet. 3:18, confines it to their sufferings and does not include the offering.) It is not for the purpose of offering the sacrifice that he is there, Heb. 9:24, 25; but to make intercession for those for whom the sacrifice has already been offered, Heb. 10:11, 12, 14-18. These passages show it was such an offering as actually sanctified (v. 10), and purified (v. 14) them that are sanctified.

While we are not to suppose that he is engaged in actual spoken prayer before God, we are also not to understand by this a mere influence of his sacrifice continued without further activity on his part, but some real activity corresponding fully to the essence of prayer and petition, to which is due all the blessings to which his people attain.

This intercession is made for his people, Luke 22:32, John 14:16; 17:9, 15, 20, 24; Eph. 2:18; Heb. 4:14-16. The passages in Isaiah 53:12 and Luke 23:34 have been adduced as indicating intercession which avails in some respect for all men. But such benefits are not the result of intercessory prayer, nor of Christ’s atoning work conferring general benefits; but they come from the necessary co-existence of the persons thus benefited with those to whom the resulting benefits of the atoning work belong.

2. Christ as the victim.

(1) His qualifications.

(a) His sinlessness; for this position he needed to be pure, holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and one in whom there was no sin. He must be a spotless Lamb.

(b) His humanity; that he might be of common nature with those for whom he died, and that he might be capable of suffering, and of such suffering as man may endure.

(c) His divinity; that his successful Prosecution of the work might be assured, and that his offering might have merit sufficient to ransom those for whom he died.

(d) His federal relation; that he might he a proper substitute for sinners, not any securing righteousness by obedience, but bearing and removing their guilt by making satisfaction for it.

(2) The offering. Thus qualified he was offered up as a victim; his body to the suffering which culminated in his death on the cross, and his soul to the anguish due to the realized presence of imputed sin, to the wrath endured from God, and to the separation from God’s favor while bearing that wrath.

 

III. CHRIST AS KING.

Christ announced to his disciples just before his ascension, “All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.” Math 28:18. Peter at Pentecost declared, “that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified;” Acts 2:36.

Constant references had been previously made to his kingdom. It was not simply spoken of as the kingdom of God, and kingdom of heaven, but as closely connected with Christ. Luke 22:29, 30; 23:42; John 18:37.

1. Christ as the God-man is Mediatorial king.

As Son of God he had the right of rule over the universe. Of this he emptied himself and became man, that he might become Mediator and do the work of salvation. Having become man he died on the cross. On this account he has been exalted, so “that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, * * * and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, the Father.” Phil. 2:6-11. Compare Acts 2:22-36, especially verse 36. “God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.” Also 1 Cor. 15:24-26.

2. Christ reigns over his spiritual kingdom, securing the final result of the establishment of that kingdom in the persons of all his people when he shall “present the church to himself, a glorious church.” Eph. 5:27.

3. He reigns over his visible churches on earth through the laws he has given, through the Spirit by which he dwells in them, and by his providences, overruling, controlling, and accomplishing all his purposes.

4. The rules over this world as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, causing all things to work together for his ends.

5. He rules over the universe. His sway is not limited to earth.

6. His Mediatorial reign is not confined to human subjects, but extends also to angelic. The angels of heaven are his attendants and his messengers.

7. He even rules over Satan and his evil angels. Their exercise of power for evil is permitted only for a time. Even during that time it is controlled by Christ; so that it is limited by his will, and is, therefore, truly subjected to him.

 

Rev. James Petigru Boyce, D. D., LL. D.,–Abstract of Systematic Theology–First published in 1887

Comfort in Christ’s Intercession

September 23, 2011 Leave a comment

In the worst temptations nothing can help us but faith that God’s Son has put on flesh, is bone, sits at the right hand of the Father, and prays for us. There is no mightier comfort.

Martin Luther