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Tag Archives: Great High Priest

The Picture of Perfection

As a young aspiring athlete, my picture of perfection was the best player in every sport. Wayne Gretsky in hockey, Dr. J in basketball, Steve Carlton in baseball and Reggie White in football. Before the existence of social media, news was strictly based upon a player’s performance. Today, there is no picture of perfection as critics on the right and left pick apart rising stars like vultures during a feeding frenzy.

You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete [ak]maturity of godliness in mind and character, [al]having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect, Matthew 5:48.

The Sermon on the Mount points to perfection, but in the sense of striving towards it. The apostle Paul quotes an Old Testament prophet in Romans 3:9-12 to burst the bubble on human perfection. In case you haven’t heard, this is impossible as all men and women has fallen short of God’s glory despite how hard each has tried, Romans 3:23. Despite this painful reality, Hebrews 4:15-16 refers to Jesus as a great high priest who was a model of perfection, dying on our behalf.

For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), [d]recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live], Ephesians 2:10.

If life is meant to be a series of trial and error, sooner or later you’ll start to take steps toward perfection. The apostle Paul compares God to a spiritual potter, constantly molding and fashioning us into His image, Romans 9:20-21. Meanwhile, Paul compares God to a carpenter in the passage above. Depending upon your gifts and talents, the Holy Spirit seeks to guide you toward the good works God has planned for you in the future, Philippians 1:6. As you keep in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25, may your life resemble the fruits if God’s Spirit like a picture of spiritual perfection.

by Jay Mankus

The Author and the Giver of Peace

One Old Testament prophet gave the future Messiah a nickname. According to Isaiah 9:6, Jesus will become the Prince of Peace. The author of Hebrews takes this concept one step further claiming that Jesus is also the author of peace. All of you have do is recall the words of Jesus while hanging on a cross for a crime he didn’t commit. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do, Luke 23:34.”

Now may the God of peace [Who is the Author and the Giver of peace], Who brought again from among the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood [that sealed, ratified] the everlasting agreement (covenant, testament), Hebrews 13:20.

The author of Hebrews refers to Jesus as a Great High Priest. The reason for this title serves as symbolism as a perfect lamb sacrificed for the sins of mankind. One of Jesus’ own disciples refers to a new Christian as part of a royal priesthood thanks to the shedding of Jesus’ blood and resurrection 3 days later, 1 Peter 2:9. Meanwhile, the apostle Paul points to Jesus’ willingness to lay down his life for sinners, Romans 5:8.

Strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you ought to be and equip you with everything good that you may carry out His will; [while He Himself] works in you and accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ (the Messiah); to Whom be the glory forever and ever (to the ages of the ages). Amen (so be it), Hebrews 13:21.

This is the spiritual pedigree that elevates Jesus up as the author and giver of peace. The only question is why aren’t followers of Jesus today displaying and offering peace to others? Have we forgotten our calling to love our neighbors as ourselves? Or have the worries of this world bruised and battered our souls? Wherever are you in life, may this blog inspire you to pass on the peace of Christ in 2022.

by Jay Mankus

Two Unchangeable Things

The book definition of unchangeable is not liable to variation or able to be altered: From a human perspective, you may claim to be stubborn and unchangeable, but the sinful condition will result in Peter like moments no matter how hard you try. Whether it’s “I’ll never do this” or “I’ll never say that,” there was a reason Solomon wrote, “pride comes before the fall,” Proverbs 16:18. Despite this fatal flaw, we do have a great high priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, Hebrews 4:14-16.

This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us], Hebrews 6:18.

According to one New Testament author, there are two spiritual things that are unchangeable. God’s promise beginning in Genesis 3:15, brought up by Jesus in Luke 19:10 and fulfilled in Jesus’ resurrection, 1 Peter 1:3. The second is God’s oath sworn to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3. While this promise seemed iffy as Sarah was unable to have children and became well beyond the age of a normal conception, but with God anything is possible. Abraham and Sarah learned this the hard way, despite doubting on numerous occasions.

[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot [c]break down under whoever steps out upon it—a hope] that reaches [d]farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil, 20 Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with [e]the rank) of Melchizedek, Hebrews 6:19-20.

The passage above deals with the reality of doubt. When your faith starts to slip, God offers a sure and steadfast anchor. Symbolic of hope, the author is trying to remind flawed human beings of God’s power to endure and survive the storms of life. Although human beings will break their promises to one another, God’s promise and oath are guaranteed for life, 1 John 5:13-15. Therefore, don’t let anxiety, concerns and worry rock your faith. Rather, hold fast to the promises of the Bible, 2 Peter 1:3-4.

by Jay Mankus

The Mind Magician

Unless you are an anomaly, everyone has done at least one thing in life that you regret.  Most people have committed numerous things which have been stored up within their conscience.  The mind magician uses guilt to trigger shame in your soul, serving as a dark cloud, looming over your thought life.  Meanwhile, the dead works known as past sins can haunt individuals, replaying in their minds with similar consequences.

stock photo : The war with the dragon. 1) Le Sainte Bible: Traduction nouvelle selon la Vulgate par Mm. J.-J. Bourasse et P. Janvier. Tours: Alfred Mame et Fils. 2) 1866 3) France 4) Gustave Doré

Performing the same card trick over and over, Satan forces millions of people to relive sins they’ve already been forgiven of by God.  Tiny voices create doubt by suggesting, ” a real Christian would never do such a sin!”  Still upset by Jesus’ miraculous third quarter come back, Satan’s fate is sealed.  Nonetheless, the Great Deceiver is willing to throw the kitchen sink at your brain, hoping to take as many souls as possible with him.

The Great High Priest has a spiritual potion in Hebrews 9:14 to cleanse your conscience from dead works.  The apostle Paul has left further instructions to snap you out of any spell, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, cast by the mind magician.  Unfortunately, many are bewitched today, like the Galatians in chapter 3, verses 1-5.  Therefore, put on the helmet of salvation, 1 Thessalonians 5:8, as one of the last lines of defense.  Devote yourself to prayer, Colossians 4:2, submit to God, James 4:7 and the mind magician will be forced to flee.

by Jay Mankus

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