By Don Willis
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:5-11)
Jesus became man in order to die for our sins. He was equal with God in the very form of God. But Jesus emptied Himself of this nature to take upon Himself human nature in order to die for our sins. His blood is adequate for all time to cleanse man from sin. There need be no additional blood sacrifice No one can be Saved without the blood of Jesus Christ.
When Jesus had made the atonement for sin by the sacrifice of Himself, He did not cease being or functioning. The great affirmation of Hebrews is that Jesus is now our High Priest. His Priesthood is not after the order of Levi, nor of the family of Aaron. His Priesthood is after the order of Melchizedec; i.e., King and Priest at the same time. The Hebrew writer says that Christ’s Priesthood is an unchangeable priesthood. The assurance man needs is in His continuance as High Priest.
Qualifications Of A Priest
(1) A Priest must have compassion on the ignorant. (2) Merciful. (3) Faithful in things pertaining to God. (4) Able to succor (help) those that are tempted. (5) Touched (sympathetic) with the feeling of human weakness (6) Grace to help in time of need (Heb. 5:1-2; 2:17-18; 4:14-16). Jesus is such an High Priest!
Man has an unchangeable need. All sin (Rom. 3:23; 1 Jn. 1:8,10). The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). Every transgression (sin of commission) and disobedience (sin of omission) receive a just recompense of reward (Heb. 2:2). Sin is real! Sin is damning! The High Priest did not and does not simply overlook sin; atonement sacrifices had to be made, both for willful and ignorant sins. Therefore. Christ is anxious to forgive sin today … but on the terms established within the law.
Christ has an unchangeable sacrifice. Christ … needeth not daffy, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up Himself” (Heb. 7:27). ” . . .We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:10). The Catholic concept of the Massrequires the continued offering of Jesus’ blood at the time the Mass is said. This denies the efficacy of the one sacrifice of Jesus, and denies the clear statement of Divine Revelation!
We now have an unchangeable law. God, at sundry times and in different manners had spoken in time past to the fathers (patriarch and Jewish) by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son (Heb. 1: 1-2). The old law had to cease before the new law could be given. Most admit the Priesthood of Jesus. “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law” (Heb. 7:12). The law ordained Priests from the tribe of Levi; and the High Priests from the family of Aaron. Jesus was of the line of Judah; therefore, under the law of Moses, He could not have been High Priest. Admit the High Priesthood of Jesus, and one admits the necessity of a change of the law of Moses! Jesus “. . . hath obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises” (Heb. 8:6). It is this covenant that will face one in the day of judgment (Jn. 12:48).
Jesus fives to make unchangeable intercession for the sins of lost mankind. Praise God’s glorious name! God realizes the continuing battle between flesh and spirit, and human weakness (Mt. 26:41). God did not leave one to be lost in sins. Jesus “. . . ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). He is our Mediator (I Tim. 2:5). “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:3 1). Remember, God is for you, God is not against you, he does not desire to see one ofHis own lost! Often we see only the vengeance of God. And He is vengeful against evill But God is love, and He loves His children, and I am His child. He desires to save me, He is on my sidel One of those Priestly qualifications was that He was faithful in things pertaining to God (Heb. 2:17). 1 am sorry to say that some deny this nature of the Priesthood. God’s faithfulness requires preachers to tell sinners that the wage of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). Some would loose where God has not loosed. Sin is real. Still, God is anxious to forgive. “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:7). No one can perfectly walk in the light; therefore, one understands the area of human weakness. If one could perfectly walk in the light, he would not need an unchangeable intercession. The blood of Jesus cleanses, and keeps on cleansing the person who is walking in the light! Because our High Priest is faithful in things pertaining to God, He cleanses upon Divine terms, and not upon human terms! In the very context of I John, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we, confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (vv. 8-9). Peter told a born again being who had strayed back into sin, “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee” (Acts 8:22).
Since our High Priest is faithful, He does not cleanse apart from the obedience required. It bothers me greatly to hear of brethren who would sit in the seat of God and promise forgiveness to sinful beings without obedience to the gospel; or, to sinning Christians without doing what God’s mercy informs us. Preachers are commissioned to preach, “The wage of sin is death”; and, the continuing intercession of Jesus as a faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God!
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 7, pp. 195, 214, 218
April 5, 1984