By Holly Green Guest Blogger (Editor’s Note: This is part two. You can start at the beginning here. I would also like to apologize for breaking it where I did, as it was not really at the end of Holly’s first point. And so we continue from where we left.)
From Last Post: Heb. 7:19 “(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.”
With the new law, the law we are under now, we have one high priest in heaven.
“Heb. 7:22 so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.
Heb. 7:23 ¶ The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing,
Heb. 7:24 but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently.
Heb. 7:25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Heb. 7:26 ¶ for it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;
Heb. 7:27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.”
When Jesus died on the cross several things happened. The earth shook, rocks were split, tombs were opened and bodies of the saints were raised but something else happened. (Matt. 27:50-53) The veil of the temple was torn in two. The veil had been in place to separate the most holy place, where the presence of God dwelt. Only the high priests could enter that part of the temple; however, the moment Jesus died, it was torn from top to bottom. This signifies the barrier being broken between God and man. Man can now approach God, himself in prayer to Him. The only person who needs to intercede for us is Jesus.So, do we need any other priests? I Peter 2:4-9 says that we are priests, “being built up as living stones as a spiritual house for a royal priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ…but you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession…”.
Do priests have to be unmarried? The Bible says no. God created marriage for the release of those desires and created those desires, themselves in us. It is OK to have those desires. It is how we react to them. Should this man have been involved in premarital inappropriate conduct? No, but the situation could have been avoided in the first place. Withholding those desires from ourselves will cause them to come out eventually in some form, whether appropriate or not. In I Timothy 4:1-5, we read about the Holy Spirit saying that some will fall away because of lies and deceitful doctrines, whose consciences have been seared to where they do not feel anything at all about their actions. What were these people teaching? Verses 3-4 tell us that they were, “men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good and nothing is to be rejected.”
Paul does talk about whether to marry or not and bases it on self-control. He does say that he chose to stay unmarried and wanted others to do the same. A man can choose to be single but he should not if he cannot control his desires. He is depriving himself of what is naturally within us. I Corinthians 7:9-“But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn.”
I believe this is why so many priests are getting into inappropriate situations and acting unbecomingly. They are sort of putting themselves in an impossible situation. God does not require us to go this far to be more holy.
Father Corapi seems to be one of those who falls into the category of having less self-control than others. I think we should all forgive him, for he is just a man, a fallible man. As I pointed out earlier, Jesus was the only man who was without sin. Everyone sins. (Rom. 3:23)
Peter once asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother. In Matthew 18:21-22, he asks, “Up to seven times? Jesus said to Him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’”
This does not mean that we need to literally multiply seventy times seven and put our limit there. Jesus is saying keep forgiving him time after time, which is not easy to do, but we are also told that, “God will not forgive us if we do not forgive others.” ( Matt.6:14-15)
I am very interested in other’s thoughts and opinions. Please do comment, as I think this topic is relevant and important.
Thanks, Holly Green
- Obedience is Learned (ptl2010.wordpress.com)
- How many times does the word ‘sin’ appear in new testament (wiki.answers.com)
- Further Understanding The Change In Priesthood From Levitical Order To The Melchizedek Order (The Completion Of Sacrificial Atonement & The Gift Of The Spirit) (paradoxparables.wordpress.com)