"SALVATION TO ALL."
I. THE PURPOSE OF THE PRIESTHOOD. TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN GOD AND MAN.
A. God is absolutely holy and righteous. He is infinite, all powerful, the creator and sustainer of all things.
B. One of Job's friends had suggested that his problems would cease if he would just get right with God.
1. Job responded, "How could I ever plead my case before God?"
a. If He should cross examine me, I could not answer one in a thousand of His questions.
b. He created the universe.
c. His ways are past finding out.
d. He surrounds me, yet I cannot see Him.
e. He removes what He desires and I have no right to ask "What are you doing?"
f. There is no daysman between us who can lay His hand on us both.
g. He saw that the gulf between finite man and the infinite God was so vast that it could not be bridged.
C. When God manifested His presence to the children of Israel on Mt. Sinai they became terrified at the sight. In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses was reminding them of the experience when he said,
And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, [even] all the heads of your tribes, and your elders;
And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.
Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die.
For who [is there of] all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we [have], and lived?
Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear [it], and do [it].
D. The ultimate result was the establishing of the priesthood. The high priest became a daysman, so to speak.
1. He would go before God to represent the people.
a. Once a year he would enter into the Holy of Holies, into the presence of God to offer the sacrifices for the sins of the people.
b. He would do this after many washings and sacrifices.
2. He would then come out to the people to represent God. He would pronounce the priestly blessing upon them.
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
3. So through the history of Israel they had many high priests for when one would die, they would have to anoint another to take his place.
And their were many priests, because they were not allowed to continue by reason of death:
E. But Jesus has an unchanging priesthood, seeing that He lives forever, and by Him we have access to the Father.
1. Jesus said, "I am the way the truth and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by Me."
2. Paul said, "There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus."
3. Speaking of Jesus, Paul said, "By whom we have access by faith into this grace.
4. Again he said, "For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
5. God testified concerning Him, "Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek."
6. What a wonderful daysman who can lay His hand on God, for He is God, and can lay His hand on me, for He became man. Through His incarnation, He bridged that awesome gap between finite man and the infinite God.
II. WHEREFORE HE IS ABLE ALSO TO SAVE THEM TO THE UTTERMOST THAT COME UNTO GOD BY HIM, SEEING HE EVER LIVETH TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR THEM.
A. Save to the uttermost, must, with other things refer to all nations.
1. The Jews thought that salvation was for a Jew only. Even in the early church there were some who were teaching that you had to become a Jew in order to be saved.
2. In the promise of the Messiah, God said to Abraham,
And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
3. The prophecies in the psalms of the Messiah declare,
All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
4. Isaiah prophesied,
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else.
I am sought of [them that] asked not [for me]; I am found of [them that] sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation [that] was not called by my name.
5. Jesus commanded His disciples,
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
6. John the baptist said of Him,
Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
7. Jesus said to Nicodemus the ruler of the Jews,
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
B. Save to the uttermost must also mean from the most extreme circumstances.
1. The three Hebrew children when facing the threat of the fiery furnace from Nebuchadnezzar said, "We are not hesitant in answering you on this matter O king, for the God that we serve is able to deliver us from your burning fiery furnace."
2. When Daniel was thrown in the den of lions, early in the morning King Darius came out and called down in the den and said, "Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?"
C. Save to the uttermost must mean from the worst sins.
1. Paul wrote,
This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
2. To the prostitute that washed His feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair and anointed them with perfume, Jesus said, "Your sins are forgiven."
3. To the woman who was brought to Him taken in the very act of adultery, He said, "I do not condemn you, go your way and sin no more."
4. John tells us in his first epistle, "For the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son cleanses us from all sin."
5. No one is beyond the grace of God.
6. The story of Finney.
III. THE REQUIREMENT, "ALL WHO WILL COME TO GOD BY HIM."
A. You must come to the Father by Jesus Christ.
1. He is the only approach for man. Jesus said, "No man cometh to the Father but by Me."
2. Job saw the sheer folly and the impossibility of trying to approach God directly.
B. He lives forever to make intercession for us. The Levitical priesthood has been abolished, Jesus Christ alone is the High Priest for all mankind.
1. He is there at the right hand of the Father to intercede for those who will come to Him.
2. Writing to the Romans Paul asked, "Who is he that condemneth, it is Christ who has died, yes and has risen again, and is at the right hand of the Father to make intercession for us."
3. When I sin, I cannot come directly to the Father for forgiveness, but I can come to His Son Jesus Christ who died in my place for my sin, and I can receive forgiveness.