Saturday, October 07, 2006

Eight Key Points: Part Three (Ministerial Priesthood)

3. The priest is viewed as holy and above the rest of the church, as is the pope. Yet, we must refer to Romans 3:23 to understand that even he is a sinner, so we should not treat him any differently than we would a fellow church member.
Yet, "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?" (1 Cor 12:29). We do not all hold the same position in the Church. Perhaps you would take up Korah's rebellion and ursurp the Lord's holy priesthood? I hear Korah's very words in what you have said here:
Num 16:1-3 Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites--Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth--became insolent 2 and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council. 3 They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, "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?"
Is that not what you are saying? Need I remind you what happened to men who said such things? (cf. Num 16:30-35). God instituted the priesthood, who are you to grumble against it? (cf. Num 16:11). It was how he guided his people and provided for their worship both in the OT and in the NT. In the OT, there was the high priest (Aaron, cf. Exo 28:3), the ministerial priests (Aaron’s sons, cf. Exo 28:40-41), and the universal priests (Israel, cf. Exo 19:6). The New Testament priesthood also has three offices: High Priest (Jesus Christ, cf. Heb 2:17; 3:1), ministerial priests (the ordained bishops and priests, cf. Rom 15:16; 1 Tim 3:1,8; 5:17; Titus 1:7), and the universal priests (all the faithful, cf. 1 Pet. 2:5,9; Rev. 1:6). The whole of salvation history evidences this hierarchy within the People of God.

Also, no one said these people weren't sinners. They most certainly are, and in that sense, they are indeed just like the rest of us. BUT, by virtue of their calling, they are in fact quite different. They have been set apart in a special way to minister to God's people. We must respect that calling, as well as the authority they possess because of it.

Men are constantly commanded to obey the elders (Gk. presbuteros, or "priests") of the church (1 Thes 5:12-13; 1 Tim 5:17; Heb 12:9; 13:7,17; 1 Pet 5:5), and those who reject their authority are looked down upon and judged harshly (2 Pet 2:10-12; 1 Jn 4:6; 3 Jn 1:9-11; Jude 1:8-10). Indeed, he who takes up Korah's rebellion will perish in it (Jude 1:11).

Please make sure you read all of these verses. Now, on to your next point ...

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