Summary: Theme: You are called to a priesthood of believers that intercede for all who will come to salvation through Christ Jesus. That calling comes from God and comes to fulfillment in your life through obedience to Jesus Christ.
A Call to the Royal Priesthood
How to Fulfill God’s Purpose for Your Life
Rev. Sean Lester
May 4, 2003
Text: Hebrews 5:1-10
Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.  He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.  This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.
 No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was.  So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,
"You are my Son;
today I have become your Father."
 And he says in another place,
"You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek."
 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.  Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered  and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him  and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
A. The need for a priesthood
1. God instituted the priesthood because no matter how hard people try, they still sin against God. They can’t help it. All sin and fall short of God’s expectations.
2. Because of their sin, people need someone to go to God on their behalf. People tend to be scared of a holy God. They think, incorrectly, that His anger will flare up because of their failures and kill them on the spot.
3. The advantage of the High Priest was in that he was human and frail. People were not afraid to go to him because he understood their frailties.
B. God needed to institute a new priesthood that would last forever and end the need for blood.
1. A human high priest could go bad, as in Caiphas.
2. God didn’t like the practice of killing animals.
3. A priesthood of blood relatives was inferior to one related through the spirit.
C. Jesus was called to be a High Priest in the order of Melchizedek, not Aaron.
1. Aaron’s descendants were priests because of birth, but Melchizedek was a priest because he practiced intercession for his people.
2. Jesus was called to be a priest who would die once, and then live forever as the High Priest of a new order, a priesthood established by belief in Jesus and obedience to His commands.
Theme: You are called to a priesthood of believers that intercede for all who will come to salvation through Christ Jesus. That calling comes from God and comes to fulfillment in your life through obedience to Jesus Christ.
I. God called you to enter a priesthood.
A. It is the purpose for your life.
1. [I Pet. 2:4] As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chose by God and precious to Him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  For in scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
2. The scripture also says: [1 Pet. 2:9] But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
B. It is the example that Jesus gave us.
1. God called Him to be the eternal high priest:
 So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”
Hebrews 5:6 And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
C. It is received by all who hear the message and respond with humility and with reverence.
1. Humility required. The acknowledgement of one’s own inability to save oneself.
Lk 18:13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’