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The Right To Serve

Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.... No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God. Hebrews 5:1, 4

When I became pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Covington, Kentucky, it was necessary for me to go to the city hall and be bonded. Otherwise, I would not have the authority to perform marriages. I had to show my ordination certificate and prove that I was indeed ministering at the church.

One day I received a frantic phone call from one of our members. Some Christian friends were being married the next day by a relative from Michigan, and they discovered that he was not authorized to perform the ceremony! Could I help them? The visiting pastor could read the ceremony as well as I could, and he knew the couple better than I did; but he lacked the authority to minister.

No man could appoint himself as a priest, let alone high priest. The very existence of a priesthood and a system of sacrifices gave evidence that people were estranged from God. It was an act of grace on God's part that He instituted the whole Levitical system. Today, that system is fulfilled in the ministry of Jesus Christ. He is both the Sacrifice and the High Priest who ministers to God's people on the basis of His once-for-all offering on the cross.

Applying God's Truth:

How was Jesus given "authority to minister" in His role as High Priest?What requests do you need to make of Jesus today specifically in regard to His High Priestly duties?What makes Jesus the ideal High Priest to represent us before God?

Devotions for Confidence and Integrity ©2005 by Dr. Warren Wiersbe. Used by permission of David C Cook. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.

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