We have a very close friend who was raised with a strong loyalty to the Catholic Church. Everyday she faithfully prayed the rosary, made the sign of the cross, and went to mass. She also “religiously” confessed her sins to a priest each week. All this was her devoted pattern for decades until someone shared the gospel of grace with her and she was wonderfully saved. Subsequently, she learned and embraced the grace message, seeing the difference between instructions to Israel and the Body of Christ. These truths brought a radical change, from the previous bondage of religious rituals, to the freedom of following Christ under the liberating principles of grace.
In Hebrews Chapter Seven, the author explained a dynamic change in proper worship for Israel even while still under the Law of Moses. Because the “…Levitical priesthood…” was not perfect, there was a “…need…that another priest should arise after the order of Melchisedec, and not after the order of Aaron” (Hebrews 7:11). In other words, the priesthood ministering to Israel had been “…changed, (and) there is made of necessity a change also of the law” (vs. 12). The change that took placed replaced the priesthood of the tribe of Levi with the priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The weakness of the Levitical priesthood was not only that mere human priests inherently practiced sin, but also their ministry was eventually limited by physical death. However, God the Father ordained the new priesthood of Christ “after the power of an endless life” (vs. 16). Those in the Levitical priesthood could not continue in ministry “…by reason of death” (vs. 23), but the Lord Jesus “continueth [for]ever” having “an unchangeable priesthood” because “…He ever liveth to make intercession for them” (vss. 24-25). This information about a new priesthood in Christ was intended to move saved Jews to worship Jehovah in a new way. Instead of worshipping through the Levitical priesthood, they now were to worship God directly through the priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover, they were to do so in the confidence that the Savior was “…able to save them to the uttermost…” (vs. 25).
Likewise, Christians today no longer need any human priesthood to worship the Lord. We are to worship God directly through the person of the Lord Jesus and are free from all religious rituals. We are also to live changed lives of godliness, devotion, and consistency as we expect His return at the Rapture. Are you changing in these ways?
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