JESUS

OUR GIFT—THE PRIESTHOOD

FATHER, Your Son is my High Priest: “For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf”(Heb 9:24 ESV).

“When our coldness, our old nature, our neglect, our ingratitude, and our backslidings might have prevailed, He [CHRIST] has never entirely and forever withdrawn.  His post is to watch…with a sleepless eye of love…’He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous’ (Job 36:7)…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, May 1st, brackets mine).

“It is a personal, an anticipative, and a present intercession.  It embraces all the personal needs of each believer…it bears the saint and his sorrow before the throne.  At a crisis of his history, at a juncture, or perhaps even at the most critical moment in his life when a believer’s heart is oppressed with emotion and cannot breathe a prayer—Jesus is remembering him, sympathizing with him, and interceding for him” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, March 27th).

JESUS is our High Priest who goes before making us priests also.  “…To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever…”(Rev 1:5-6 ESV).

As JESUS is our High Priest, we then, can be priests to others.  “In the kingdom of Christ each individual is a priest.  The priest’s work is not limited to any order of the ministry. All may offer the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving: all have direct access to the holiest through the blood of Jesus: all Christians, as priests, are to minister to one another and to plead for one another” Marvin Vincent (ref#271).

“…the three fundamental functions of the priesthood. Worship—insuring that people exalt God’s greatness. Intercession—insuring that people experience God’s grace.  Blessing—insuring that people enjoy God’s favor”Doug Newton (ref#166, p140).

“If you have believed in God’s decontaminating work in your own life…you are now qualified to function as a priest.  You are now called to use your words to intercede on behalf of people and pronounce over them the blessings of God’s mercy and grace as God directs you” Doug Newton (ref#166, p141).  “God…is saying…If you will make your whole life about bringing the benefits of my presence and grace to others, you will have Me in a way the others never will.  I will be your portion” Doug Newton (ref#166, p141).

JESUS

THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD

FATHER, in the Old Covenant for a sin to be forgiven the Israelite had to place his hand on the head of a spotless young lamb that he provided and kill it.  An innocent lamb appeased Your wrath; the lamb’s blood covered the sin.

“What…the blood of the lamb was to the children of Israel, is what the atoning blood of Christ is to the believing soul” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 24th).  “In the Old Testament the Israelites transferred their guilt to a lamb, and then the lamb was killed….God took your sins and mine, and He put them on the head of His own Son, and then…He killed Him” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, April 3rd).  “…the believing though trembling penitent sees all his sins cancelled and all his transgressions pardoned through the precious blood of Jesus” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Nov 19th).

“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life”(Lev 17:11 NIV). “…the Bible reiterates in numerous scriptures that cleansing occurs through, and only through, the shedding of blood” Doug Newton (ref#166, p133).

“The atoning blood of Christ possesses the power to pardon.  Through this blood, God, the holy God against whom you have sinned…can pardon all your sins, blot out all your transgressions, and take from you the terror of a guilty conscience” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 22nd).

“’One lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even.’  The devout Israelite was thus taught to close the day as he began it: with a sacrifice for sin….How much in the transactions of a single day may there be that needs the evening’s confession with faith’s hand upon the evening Lamb” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, page vii)!

FATHER, since I don’t have the advantage of the Israelite of old and physically required to slaughter an innocent lamb, I am prone to forget my sins require blood to be blotted out.  CHRIST’s blood flows for me everyday—every minute canceling and pardoning my sin.  GOD, I need to thank You more!

JESUS

THE CLEANSING AGENT

FATHER, the actual cleansing agent for my sin is the blood of JESUS.  “The blood and suffering of Christ, applied and relied on by faith, justify the sinner, silence Satan the accuser, purge the conscience from dead works, and open a way into the holiest of all….The death of Christ puts the sin to death, but delivers the sinner from it” Nathanael Vincent (ref#225, March 21st).

“The shed blood proves that a death has occurred, an appropriate sacrifice has indeed been made and confirms that the terms of God’s covenant have been met”(ref#166, p134). “Where He sees the pure heart’s blood of His own Son—so precious to Him—sprinkled on the broken, penitent heart of a poor sinner, He will pass him over in the great outpouring of His wrath” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Dec 19th).

You know, O LORD, there has been much preaching and songs written about the “blood”.  But now I understand “blood” is not the actual cleansing agent.  The term “blood” is a metonymy—it includes many elements yet we use the word “blood” to include a host of elements.

“Here are the elements of the cleansing process represented by the metonymy “blood”: faith is required—faith in what God has promised and pronounced. God has promised to credit righteousness (cleansing) to anyone who believes.  But God cannot keep that promise without making provision for the removal of sin.  He can’t remove sin by simply waving His hand as if it never occurred.  The Laws of justice which emanate from God Himself cannot be set aside and disregarded.  Justicerequires that every sin receive its due consequence.  The penaltyfor sin is death…the tiniest amount of contamination ruins everything.  But God, whose unchangeable nature is also love, cannot contradict Himself and must find a way to penalize sin without destroying His beloved creation. Somehow love and justice must work together undiminished to find a way for salvation.  And so God gave birth to the sacrificial system by which sin is transferred to a substitute whodies in the place of the guilty party. And that death must be demonstrated through the shedding of blood….the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) is precious, but the power is not in the blood as if blood is a miracle cleansing agent.  The power is ultimately in the word of God and all the things God did to make His word conform to His nature of justice and love” Doug Newton (ref#166, p135).

“The actual cleansing agent has been and always will be, just as the only agent of performing God’s will has been and always will be, the word of God—the word of God proclaimed and the Word of God incarnate” Doug Newton (ref#166, p136).

GOD

GOD IS LOVE

“…search and rescue impulse is in the very center of God’s heart” Doug Newton (ref#166, p35).

GOD is love (1 John 4:8). He is not just loving.  Love is not one of His attributes, it is what influences His attributes.  Yet, GOD does not love to glorify Himself, His focus is on His people.  “…love does not look at itself—it is absorbed in the object of its love” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p116).

“In enriching us with his gifts, God gains nothing for himself, yet he would have the splendor and beauty of his character manifested in bountifully dealing with us….” John Calvin (ref#164, March 7th).

“I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God”(Ex 29:45-46 ESV).

“…God searches passionately for people who are lost, finds them and does whatever He must to make them His possession” Doug Newton (ref#166, p36).

FATHER, You are absorbed in the objects You love.  And not only in loving me but all Your human creation that I, privileged as Your helper, search also to bring to You.

RECOMMENDED READING

Here is a site I highly recommend for especially seasoned Christians who have heard and read Scripture so many times the brain automatically goes to, “been there, done that.”

READ THE BIBLE AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME

Discovering New Insights In Familiar Passages: What if the way you have always heard or understood a portion of scripture keeps you from seeing something new that could change your life?

Every chapter in the Fresh Eyes Series will leave you thinking, I never saw this passage that way before! Even better, each chapter will show you how to gain transformative new insights on your own that you can share with others.

            https://dougnewton.com

 

 

 

 

 

CONFESSION

CONSECRATION

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 12.53.19 PM“And the chief priests and the men learned in the sacred scriptures heard. And they went to seeking how they might destroy Him, for they were fearing Him; for the entire multitude was struck with astonishment at His teaching” Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p108-109, [Mark 11:18]).

FATHER, You have put a very great desire in my heart to speak words similar to JESUS that strike fear in people or birth astonishment—one or the other. I am sick of being lukewarm (Rev 3:16).

So, LORD, why am I colorless? Guide me to back peddle from what comes out of my mouth (Matt 15:18) to why it comes out of my mouth.

Speech is only the result of what is controlling me. Help me make consecration strides—cleansing, so You can use me for Your divine service (ref#166, p126).

FATHER, I desire to be set apart to entirely devote and dedicate myself to You—to be “purified from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit” Adam Clarke’s Commentary (ref#15, [Lev 11:44]).

  1. “We can be contaminated every time we immediately turn to medicine for solutions to our physical problems without first taking our needs to the Lord in prayer” Doug Newton (ref#166, p128). How many times have I popped a pill before consulting You, FATHER?
  2. Tithing—“Oh, no, I can’t afford to give that much!” can easily be my thinking without consulting You.
  3. I come in “direct contact with defiled and unclean objects” Doug Newton (ref#166, p129). What do I watch that is worldly on TV? Do I laugh at off color jokes from my friends? Do I tolerate sinful behaviors in my heroes?

I need to pay attention to my personal purity before I ever open my mouth to witness. How can a thorn tree produce fruit (Luke 6:44)? FATHER, You were constantly commanding the leaders of Your Israelite nation to consecrate themselves (Lev 11:44). What makes me think You do not demand that of Your people today?