Wednesday, March 18th, 2015
Paul's Powerful Priorities (Part 1)
The Great High Priest
Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 3:1 (NKJV)
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest Who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:14-15 (NKJV)
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Hebrews 7:25 (NKJV)
But I make known to you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received It from man, nor was I taught It, but It came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Galatians 1:11-12 (NKJV)
Before meeting Jesus, Paul followed the Laws of God and the customs of men. He respected his leaders and enforced their rules. At first, he saw Jesus as a sinful rebel who deserved to die. Who gave a spunky Carpenter from Galilee the right to criticize the current administration? Of course God gave Him every right.
When Paul discovered the Truth, he found a new Master: a Ruler higher than any rule; an Author higher than any authority; a Reality higher than any religion: Jesus, the Son of God, the Great High Priest.
On earth, Paul didn't have three years of Face time with Jesus. But he did have over three decades of Spirit time. 'The Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things' (John 14:26). 'The anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you' (1 John 2:27).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: consider three primary Sources of your Christian instruction: 1) God the Father, earth's Creator as described in the Old Testament; 2) Jesus, the Son, earth's Savior as featured in the New Testament; 3) The Holy Spirit, man's Teacher, Who guided Paul and authored his Epistles.
Today, Christian teachers form an endless procession. They speak in thousands of places with millions of words. Even so, I believe the gift of Spirit-filled teaching is rare. Consider Paul's warning to his own brethren:
'I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His Own Blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock' (Acts 20:27-29).
How can you know if a Christian teacher is guided by God's Spirit? 1) He declares 'To you the whole counsel of God.' He doesn't cut It into soft, sweet morsels for easy-listening sermons or best-selling books. Because 'Friendship with the world is enmity with God' (James 4:4); 2) His teachings are confirmed in the Bible.
But you must know the Bible to know what's real and what's not. Like Paul, make sure God is your first Love, Jesus your first Priority, His Spirit your first Teacher, and His Book your main Script.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Paul's Powerful Priorities series.