Twenty Points on the Order of Melchizedek

1.    Melchizedek must be thought of as an order, not a name (Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5, 6, & 7).

 

    When Melchizedek is mentioned in Genesis 14, he is referred to as the king of Salem, which is present day Jerusalem.  The name Melchizedek literally means “king of righteousness”, and the name Salem signifies “peace”.  Therefore, Melchizedek is the king of righteousness and peace (Genesis 14:18-21).

 

    The name Melchizedek is a title for a person who functions in the order as both king and priest, just as the title President is reserved for the highest ranking official in the United States.  Even though the title Melchizedek may refer to a certain person, it ultimately refers to the order that person represents (Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5, 6, & 7).

 

    There are many theories as to who this Melchizedek is in the book of Genesis.  Many scholars believe this to be a theophany of Christ, meaning that this was an early appearance of Christ before He was born into the world.  Other scholars, especially rabbinical scholars, conclude that Melchizedek was none other than Noah's oldest son Shem who lived to be 600 years old and who would have been alive at the time of Abraham's funeral.  However, since we are given limited information as to who this person was in Genesis 14, his exact identity remains undisclosed.

 

 

2.    Melchizedek is an order of which Christ Himself was designated as high priest and will remain so throughout eternity (Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6, 10).

    

    So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him… ‘Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’ (Hebrews 5:5-6).  Having made the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all who would come to believe in His name, Christ was designated as a high priest according to this new priesthood, the order of Melchizedek.

 

 

3.    The order of Melchizedek is the order by which God will establish His heavenly kingdom on this earth (Matthew 6:10; Revelation 3:21; Matthew 28:10).

    

    In the book of Genesis, we see that God gave to Adam authority over the earth.  When Adam was deceived by Satan and fell into sin, Satan was able to enslave mankind and gain significant authority over this earth (Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4).

 

    Therefore, Jesus came to this earth in human form and gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice for humanity, taking back authority over the earth (Matthew 28:18; Romans 5:14) and being designated as high priest and king according to the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:8-10).  Christ currently reigns as high priest and king according this order and is seated at the right hand of God on His throne (Hebrews 5:6-10; Revelation 3:21). 

 

 

4.    The order of Melchizedek precedes, supersedes and makes obsolete the old order, the Levitical priesthood (Hebrews 7:11-28; Romans 7:4-6; Jeremiah 31:31-34).

    Today, as believers in Christ, we live under an entirely new order, established with a new covenant. The Lord speaks in Isaiah 55:3 , "I will make an everlasting covenant with you. According to the faithful mercies shown to David." We can see a foreshadowing of this new covenanting in the life of David, how he walked with the Lord. We also get a glimpse of Christ's sacrifice in the life of David.  In II Samuel 12:13 we read,  "Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has taken away your sin; you shall not die." David also speaks prophetically of the Lord Jesus Christ as a high priest in this new order "The Lord says to my Lord: Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet....   The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, You are a priest forever, According to the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:1 & 4)

 

    Priests were appointed from the Levites to offer daily sacrifices for our sins as well as their own sins, but these priests were weak and unable to deliver perfection.  Though they offered sacrifices continually, they could never make themselves or anyone else perfect (Hebrews 7:28).  When Jesus Christ gave Himself as the ultimate sacrifice, this sacrifice initiated a new priesthood in which He Himself is high priest (Hebrews 7:11-28). Through this new priesthood, we are righteous, and we will eventually attain to perfection through His blood and by His grace (Romans 5:1-5: Hebrews 7:11).

 

    Throughout the Old Testament, there were people of God who experienced and walked in the order of Melchizedek, even though Christ had not yet fulfilled His destiny on earth nor had He been designated as high priest in this order.  

 

The effects of Christ’s death, resurrection, and establishment of the new priesthood order are retroactive, that is, they do not only affect the future, they affect the past as well.  An example of this, as mentioned earlier, would be the life of David.  King David committed sins which, according to the Levitical priesthood and the Law of Moses, should have required his execution (Leviticus 20:10; Exodus 21:14).  At one point, when King David was hungry, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which was only lawful for priests to eat (Matthew 12:4).  How is this possible?  This is possible because David, a man after God's heart, understood and experienced a taste of this higher order of God.

David went so far as to wear the priestly ephod when he prayed to God (1 Samuel 30:7).  It was unheard of for a king, much less anyone else, to perform rituals of the priests.  When King Uzziah entered the temple of Lord to perform priestly rituals, the Lord struck him with leprosy and he passed away (2 Chronicles 26:16-21).  The difference between King David and King Uzziah is that one of them walked humbly under a higher order of God, the Melchizedek priesthood, whereas the other merely walked carelessly with a haughty heart.

 

5.    The order of Melchizedek precedes, supersedes and makes obsolete the Law of Moses.  In doing this, it establishes the Law of the Spirit of Life which is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2; Hebrews 7:11-28, 8:13; Romans 7:4-6, 2:28-29; 1 Timothy 1:9; James 1:25).

 

Many people will try to convince you that we as Christians still need the Law of Moses.  Many will assert that our sanctification comes from keeping the Law of Moses completely and that Jesus now gives us the grace by His Spirit to keep this law.  They will quote Matthew 5:17-19 in which Jesus declares that whoever annuls one of the least commandments from the Law and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of Heaven.  He also declares that He did not come to abolish the Law or the prophets, but to fulfill them.  The keyword to focus on is the word “fulfill” because that is exactly what He did.  He fulfilled completely the Law, so that we are justified through His righteous sacrifice.  If He fulfilled the Law, what need is there for us to fulfill it?

 

Furthermore, in Hebrews 7:12, the author writes, “When the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also.”  When Christ was designated as high priest according to the order of Melchizedek, immediately a new law was established, a law not written with pen and ink, but one written upon our hearts by His Holy Spirit (Romans 2:27-29, 8:2; Jeremiah 31:33-34).

 

As mentioned earlier, there were people in the Old Testament, such as King David, who walked in this order, whose lives are governed by a higher law.  According to the Law of Moses, David's sin of adultery and murder would have given him the death penalty (Leviticus 20:10; Exodus 21:14).  However, King David was one of those who understood the heart of God and obtained mercy from God because he lived under a higher law.

 

Joshua the high priest was another Old Testament character governed by this same law.  Remember that in the times of the Levitical priesthood a priest was not permitted to perform kingly duties, nor was a king permitted to carry out the duties of a priest.  However, Joshua the high priest was given a crown and told to govern the house of the Lord (Zechariah 3 & 6).  Therefore, Joshua held the office of priest and king. “He [Joshua] will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.” (Zechariah 6:13)

 

The Lord speaks to Joshua the high priest saying, “See, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you” (Zechariah 3:4).  The Lord speaks again to Joshua saying, “I will remove the iniquity of the land in one day” (Zechariah 3:9).  This signifies the power and magnificence of Christ's sacrifice on the cross, which was experienced by Joshua the high priest who lived before Christ even walked the earth. This also signifies the greatness of God's mercy and grace by which one day He would redeem Israel from her iniquities by the blood of His own Son (John 11:50).

 

This higher law, this law of faith (Romans 3:27), this law of love, was always in existence.  Even Abraham the patriarch experienced this law, as it is written, “Abram believed God, and He credited it to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6).

 

Even though we are not under the Law of Moses, we are not lawless.  We are under a new law, which is the law of faith (Romans 3:27), liberty (James 2:12) and life (Romans 8:2).  This new law is much greater.  The Mosaic Law was only a schoolmaster to bring us to this new law, the law of love (Galatians 3:24; 1 John 4, 7-16).

 

 

6.    All of us as believers are called to be kings and priests according to the order of Melchizedek (Revelation 1:5-6; Romans 8:28).

    

The order of Melchizedek is not an elitist order that only the privileged few may experience.  It is an order combining both the kingly and priestly office in which the Father calls all His children to walk and experience (Revelation 1:5-6).

 

God desires that we reign as kings so that we may establish His kingdom on this earth with true authority and not back down before even the greatest evil.  He desires that we would reign as kings in order that we may be able to govern ourselves and help to govern, protect and build up those entrusted to us (2 Corinthians 10:8).

 

God also desires that we reign as priests in order that we may make supplication for those in need, continually go beyond the veil (2 Corinthians 3:15-18; Exodus 26:31-35), and hear His voice for ourselves and for those around us.  In doing so, we will minister God’s mercy and grace to those in need (Hebrews 4:14-16).

 

Just as each of the seven churches listed in Revelation are unique and are dealt with differently by Christ, so we as individuals are unique, each called to be both a priest and a king.  We have to look daily to Christ to reveal Himself to us personally and to show us how to reign with Him in our own lives and in every situation that presents itself to us.  The body of Christ can only be healthy when its members are healthy individuals who believe in themselves as children of the Eternal King.

 

 

7.    The One walking among the seven golden lampstands in the book of Revelation is Christ, appearing as King and Priest according to the order of Melchizedek. He is described wearing both the kingly and priestly garments (Revelation 1).

 

    In Revelation 1, we are given a description of Christ who appears to be wearing priestly and kingly garments. “And in the middle of the lampstands one like a son of man, closed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His breast with a golden girdle” (Revelation 1:13). 

 

    When Christ addresses the seven churches which He walks amongst in the 2nd and 3rd chapters of Revelation, He identifies Himself with both kingly and priestly terminology.  When He addresses the Church of Smyrna, He refers to Himself as “… the first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life” (Revelation 2:8). In doing this He identifies Himself with not only His immortality but also with the priestly sacrifice of His own life. 

 

When addressing the churches of Thyatira and Laodicea, He identifies Himself as a king with great authority: “To him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron… as I also have received authority from My Father” (Revelation 2:26-27).  “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21).

 

 

8.    The seven churches listed in Revelation are counterparts to the heavenly church.  These churches have direct access to the throne room, and their instructions come from the throne room (Revelation 1, 2, & 3).

 

    “As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches” (Revelation 1:20).  Jesus Christ Himself dictates to John the apostle a personal message for each one of these churches.  These churches have the incredible privilege of being connected to what is going on in the throne room of God.  However, this continued privilege is conditional on their obedience to what He is saying to them (Revelation  2 & 3).

 

    Those churches who do obey His voice are entitled to incredible promises, such as eating from the tree of life, being honored in front of His angels and the heavenly Father, being permanently established in the temple of God, and ruling with Him on His throne (Revelation 2 & 3). Though there are many churches in this world, few have the incredible privilege of Christ walking among them and delivering a personal message to them.

 

 

9.    Becoming established in the order of Melchizedek is an active process, which  involves acknowledging and overcoming each stronghold faced by the seven churches in the book of Revelation (Revelation 2-3; Psalm 12:6; Genesis 2:2; Revelation 10:5, 16:17, 3:1).

 

    Examining the seven churches of Asia that are listed in Revelation 2 and 3 reveals the process beginning in the Garden (Paradise) and ending in the Throne Room. The first church mentioned, the church of Ephesus, is promised the right “to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7) if they are able to overcome their shortcomings.  Remember that this tree was located in the Garden of Eden.  To the last church, the church of Laodicea, Christ promises the right “to sit with Him on His throne” (Revelation 3:21) if they can overcome their shortcomings.

 

    The number seven signifies both testings and perfection.  In Psalm 12:6, King David writes that “the words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.”  Of course, we all know how the world was created in seven days.  When we look at the letters to the churches of Asia as a seven-step process that God has destined for our perfecting in Him, we will see and understand what we must do to overcome the strongholds in our life.  In doing this, we will gain each blessing He has to offer for us as we grow more and more towards walking in the fullness of the order of Melchizedek.

    

 

10.    The order of Melchizedek is a heavenly order, and its principles and truths cannot simply be understood by the mind.  They must be known, experienced and confirmed by the anointing of His Holy Spirit, which dwells within us (Hebrews 8:4-6; 1 John 2:24-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-15; Proverbs 25:2). 

 

The author of Hebrews expresses his frustration to his audience that they cannot hear the deeper things that he would like to share about Christ and the order of Melchizedek.  He says, “Concerning Him we have much to say and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing” (Hebrews 5:11).  He then explains to them that they need to grow in spiritual maturity in order to be able to receive “solid food,” which represents the deeper truths of God (Hebrews 5:14).  A believer who tries to understand everything from the intellect will not be able to receive the deeper truths of God.  On the other hand, a believer who spends time and effort, like an athlete in training himself, to discern by the Holy Spirit what is of God and what is not will walk in much higher revelation (Hebrews 5:14).

 

The apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians, “We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12).  Paul continues by stating, “A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised” (1 Corinthians 2:14).  To understand the principles and truths of the order of Melchizedek, we must walk by the witness of our spirit which, as we know, always witnesses to the Truth (1 John 2:20-21, 27; Romans 8:16).

 

Remember that once a year the high priest of Israel would enter beyond the veil of the tabernacle into the Holy of Holies.  After Christ's death this veil was torn in two, and we now have access to the holiest of places through the cleansing of His blood and the power of the Holy Spirit.  As we search for deeper, truths in Scripture, we are “going beyond the veil” to discover truths that may not be noticeable at first glance.

 

The apostle Paul was noted for digging into the hidden symbolic truths of the Old Testament.  In 1 Corinthians 10:1-2, Paul explains that when the children of Israel miraculously passed through the Red Sea, they were being baptized by God.  He writes that when the children of Israel miraculously drank water from the rock in the wilderness, this Rock was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4).  Indeed, many of the early church fathers used this symbolic/allegorical teaching of the Old Testament in their writings. For those who are willing to go beyond the veil, there are many powerful truths which the Lord has kept hidden for those who will search for them (Proverbs 25:2). 

 

11.    To walk in the fullness of the order of Melchizedek requires maturity and boldness.  This maturity is not measured by intellectual knowledge or length of years as a believer, rather it is measured by spiritual discernment and character (Hebrews 5:12-14; Job 32:7-9; 2 Timothy 2:24-25). 

 

    The author of Hebrews exhorts us to “press on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings, and the laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment” (Hebrews 6:1-2). When someone is constructing a building, once the foundation is complete they do not keep laying the foundation.  Instead they begin to build up its walls and floors and add on new levels. 

 

    There are many Christians who are continually asking Jesus to save their soul again and again.  Many of us as believers start out with a shaky foundation, at times doubting our own salvation and the promise of eternal life.  However, there should come a time in our spiritual journey that we do not keep going back and examining the foundation of Christ's sacrifice for our sins, but rather we march on confidently with the assurance in Christ's blood that we have been saved, once and for all (Hebrews 10:10-18).

 

    In the Levitical priesthood, the priests ministered daily and continually offered sacrifices that could never fully take away sin (Hebrews 10:11). Even today in 21st century Christianity, this mindset of having to continually be cleansed carries on.  It is not uncommon for believers to be overwhelmed with the feeling of shame or unworthiness and run in panic back to the cross, questioning their own salvation.  However, if these same believers will continue pressing into the Lord and growing in awareness of the Holy Spirit within them, they can walk boldly into new dimensions and new places that God has for them.  When these feelings of fear and doubt arise, let us not shrink back, but rather, like Queen Esther, let us approach with confidence the very throne of God that we may receive the grace that He gladly wishes to bestow upon us as His beloved (Hebrews 4:16). 

 

 

12.    Whoever wishes to take hold of his or her rightful place in Christ according to the order of Melchizedek must become a bondservant, a voluntary servant for life (Exodus 21:6; Revelation 1:1).

        

    Jesus had many followers but comparatively few disciples.  This was simply because the majority of those who followed Him were not willing to lay down everything in order to follow Him.  For the Lord to entrust us with greater truths, power and authority in His kingdom, He requires that we would be willing to let go of everything else and follow him as a bondservant (Luke 14:25-33). 

 

The book of Revelation is written to those who are true servants, bondservants (Revelation 1:1).  In Revelation chapters 2 and 3, Jesus speaks to the seven churches in Asia, warning them that if they are not willing to let everything go and repent of any place they have become mixed with the world, He would discipline them, and they would lose the opportunity for closer fellowship with Him.  Jesus declares to those in the church of Laodicea that they will have the privilege of ruling with Him on His Father's throne and dining with Him if they will stop living like lukewarm Christians (Revelation 3:14-22).

 

13.    The order of Melchizedek cannot be attained through human effort, only by the call of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 5:4-5; 1 Corinthians 15:10).

 

“And no one takes the honor to himself the he receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him ‘Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee’” (Hebrews 5:4-5).  There is nothing we can do in our own strength to go higher in this holy order.  The only thing we can do is respond to His call and obey.

 

 

14.    It is through this order we receive our inheritance and gain our identities as sons and daughters of the most high God.  Likewise, it is through this new order that we become like Him (Revelation 21:7; James 1:2-3, 12). 

    

    “He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Revelation 21:7).  It is as we overcome the obstacles in our life that His nature shines forth through us, and we come to receive our inheritance.  These trials that we must face are used by God to work out our sanctification and perfection, that we may be like Him (Romans 5:1-5; Hebrews 5:8-10; James 1:2-3, 12). 

 

    Jesus spoke to his disciples after Judas Iscariot had departed and said to them, “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).  And He not only calls us friends, but family.  The more we walk according to the order of Melchizedek, the more this reality affects us.

 

 

15.    The order of Melchizedek must be experiential.  This new life in the Spirit must be tangible, not mere intellectual knowledge and theory.  We  ourselves should be the evidence.  (1 John 2:27; 2 Corinthians 3:2-3).

 

    It is only when our spirit witnesses with His Holy Spirit that we can be assured that we are truly His child (Romans 8:16-17).  This is how the Lord desires for us to walk in the order of Melchizedek, not by mere intellect or principles, but by the very leading of His Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27).  As we walk according to His Spirit, His love flows from our very being.

 

    The apostle Paul writes, “You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3).

 

    This does not mean that we live our Christian life by feelings.  The witness of the Spirit is an experiential knowing of God and His voice, but it is not the same thing as human emotions.

 

 

16.    In order to better understand the order of Melchizedek, one must understand man as a tripartite being, that is to say, man as spirit, soul, and body (Luke 1:46-47; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).

 

The apostle John writes, “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9).  Paul states, “But if I'm doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me” (Romans 7:20).  This may sound confusing at first, but when you come to understand human beings as comprised of spirit, soul, and body, Paul and John's writings become much clearer.

 

The seed which abides in us, as John mentions, is none other than the Holy Spirit who becomes joined with our spirit at the moment of our salvation.  Our spirit man is our true nature.  Out of our spirit man we cannot sin.  This is why we strive to walk by the Spirit. 

 

During salvation, we receive a brand new nature, which is our born again spirit.  However, our soul, which is made up of our mind, will, and emotions, is not born again.  Our soul is continually undergoing sanctification until at last it bears the image of Christ and no longer is polluted by the flesh.  Becoming established in the order of Melchizedek is a process because it takes time for His nature to be completely worked through our entire being.

 

It is through our spirit man that we have communication with God.  “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).  Our soul is where our emotions dwell, our thoughts and willpower. It is our body through which we communicate and connect with the world around us.  Paul writes that the natural/soulish man is not able to understand the things of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:13-14).  Our soul (mind, will, and emotions) cannot understand the things of God on its own.

 

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

 

17.    The first place God wishes to establish his kingdom is in us.  By His Spirit, we must rule over our own lives and our own being before we can rule and usher in His kingdom to this world (Proverbs 16:32; 1 Corinthians 9:26-27).

 

    “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules the spirit, that he who captures a city” (Proverbs 16:32).  We must not become so wrapped up in doing works for God that we forget our first love, which is our personal relationship with Him (Revelation 2:4).  We cannot afford to overlook our own spiritual wellbeing, nor can we establish His kingdom on this earth until it has first been established in us. As we learn by His Spirit to reign in our own lives, then we will be prepared to rule and reign with Him as kings and priests on this earth (2 Peter 1:5-11). 

 

    The author of Psalm 97 writes “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne” (Psalm 97:2). In order for the kingdom of God to reign in us, we, like King David, must have God's heart. The heart of God is righteous and just, and takes no part in anything that is evil. However, His heart is also a heart that is full of mercy and compassion.

 

18.    If we truly desire to walk in the fullness of the order of Melchizedek, we must be willing to follow the Spirit of Jesus Christ, wherever He may take us (Revelation 3:4; John 3:8; 1 John 2:27).

 

    “But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white; for they are worthy” (Revelation 3:4). “… they follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as first fruits to God and the Lamb” (Revelation 14:4b).

 

    Notice that these two scriptures refer to a group of people who have not become mixed with the world.  This does not mean that they have not made mistakes, but by the blood of Christ they have been cleansed of their sins and are choosing not to walk in them anymore. 

 

    What is of supreme importance is that we as the body of Christ do not get watered down with “dead works” (Revelation 3:1-3), wrangle about doctrines and words (2 Timothy 5-7) or follow every new trend and doctrine that does not lead us to the person of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:14-15). 

 

    Instead of making decisions based upon what we understand as right or wrong, we must be guided daily by His Holy Spirit.  There are times in Scripture that God will stretch our understanding, such as when Peter was asked to partake of something he considered unclean.  When Peter refused, the Lord responded, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy” (Acts 11:9).

 

 

19.    The Foundation for this order is Love, more specifically, the greatest act of love which Christ performed for us when He gave His life as a sacrifice for our sins (Luke 20:11; Hebrews 6:1-2; Romans 3:22-31).

 

    “The stone that the builders rejected, this became the chief cornerstone” (Luke 20:11).  Here, Christ is explaining to the scribes and chief priests that He is the chief cornerstone, the foundation of the temple and city of God, and the foundation of our faith.  His perfect sacrifice, of His very life for our sins, gives us the assurance of eternal salvation, establishing a new covenant by His blood and establishing a new priestly order, the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:11-12).

 

    The apostle Paul declares that we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, that we might be united with Him in newness of life (Romans 6:4-5).  This newness of life comes from His eternal Spirit which dwells in us who have believed in Christ.  Through the blood of Christ, we have been cut off from our old nature of sin, which had dominion over us. Now we have a new spirit in us that is indestructible and life-giving. Though the remnants of our old nature still may dwell in our flesh, our spirit has been set free and united with His Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17). 

 

    The writer of Hebrews exhorts us to press on to maturity, not going back to the foundation of our Christian walk, namely, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins, but rather to boldly use this foundation to press on to the upward call that God has for us (Hebrews 6:1-2).  A child who has been well loved by his parents is less prone to be plagued by fear and anxiety as he grows into adulthood because the foundation for his life has been built on love.  The same is true for us.  We have the greatest foundation anyone could imagine.  When we realize this, we ought not to let doubts of His love for us trouble us, but rather we should press on by faith to the greater things He has laid up for us.

 

 

20.    It is only through the order of Melchizedek that we can come to intimately know Christ and the perfect, incomprehensible love that He has for us (Hebrews 7:11; 1 John 4:16-19).

    

    “It is witnessed of Him, ‘Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’. For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God” (Hebrews 7:17-19).  It is through receiving His perfect sacrifice for us and walking each day with this in mind that we draw near to Him. 

 

    Just as a child needs a healthy family to love and nourish him, not because of good works he does, but simply because he is his parents’ child, so we need a loving Father who will treat us like a son or daughter.  This does not mean that we will be without discipline, for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves (Revelation 3:19).  However, this means that even in our worst times, during our hardest days and biggest failures, we can still run to our Father and receive His affirming embrace.

 

    This is how we grow in love and learn to love others.  Jesus explains that those who have been forgiven much love much, but those who have been forgiven little love little (Luke 7:47).  Paul states, “Those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17).  It is only through knowing and receiving the incredible love that He has for us that we can even think of drawing near to Him.

 

We also learn intimacy with Christ through experiencing His sufferings, death, and resurrection life.  “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:8-10).  We will never experience the same amount of pain and suffering He experienced, but we can expect to suffer many of the same things He suffered, in order that we may also walk in the incredible resurrection life that He now walks in.

 

 

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