Commitment to Service
7 Jul 2001, Pr George Porter
(George is Thornleigh's Church Pastor. Today a new Elder was ordained.)
TITLE: GOD'S AGENT'S SANCTIFIED - COMMITTED TO SERVICE
THEME: ORGANIZED FOR SERVICE
SCRIPTURE READING: TITUS 1:5-9
Groups of people with a focused purpose need Organization. They need Order if they expect to have Achievement and Success. God's people are His agents commissioned with a purpose and called to be successful. Paul in his instructions to Titus, refers to the Elders who are appointed to office in the local church and outlines the qualifying characteristics that will command the loyal respect due to one with leadership authority.
Paul makes it clear to Titus that elders and deacons are appointed by the Church at the direction of the Holy Spirit. They are to "set in order" the things necessary for an orderly conducting of the Church's mission. The encumbrants are to be blameless, faithful stewards of God. NOT a self- centred, angry brawler, but a LOVER. A lover of hospitality and good men with good spiritual traits from the Lord. A man who holds on to the pure doctrine of God's word and capable of convicting and convicting the opposition.
Elders are to be chosen as Experienced, Respected men carrying Authority and Spirit filled leadership traits. Their's is a special function . Elders are to approach their role as represeantatives of God to the people. As God said to Moses in Exodus 4:16, "you shall be to (Aaron) instead of God." Wow. What a responsibility. Again God said of Aaron in Psalm 106:16 that Aaron was "the saint of the Lord."
Any inauguration ceremony is important and sacred in God's sight, as we represent Him as He solemnly sets apart and sanctifies the man called to the Holy role.
THE EXISTING ELDERS assembled on the rostrum at this point for a prayer to God for the acceptance of the ceremony. In mind were the sentiments of Isaiah 33:14-17 where the question is asked, "Who can dwell" in the presence of Almighty and Holy God. The answer is given, " He that walks righteously and speaketh uprightly." His "eyes shall see the king in his beauty."
Today we will survey the Consecration Service of the Levitical priesthood recorded in the book of Leviticus and apply the principles and issues involved.
Leviticus 8:1-5 We see that Moses did "as the Lord had comanded him." God designed the ceremony and asked for all the congregation to assemble at the door into the tabernacle.of the congregation. The sanctuary was there for benefit of the people.. All the ceremonies were part of their salvation ritual.
In verse 2 The ritual was Holy and was to be according to God' instructions. The special consecration garments, the annointing oil, the bullock for the sin offering and two rams as well as a basket of unleavened bread all spelled out our need for forginess and a Saviour who is holy and undefiled. We see in verse 6 that the candidates were symbolically cleansed from sin before consecration. Again in verse 7-9 we observe that the candidates were to be appropriately dressed in the authorised garments for men on this occassion. It is important to note that Moses did the washing and the dressing of the candidates. A lesson showing the need for complete submissiveness on the candidateds part. It shows man's insufficiency in cleansing and saving himself spiritually. Our need as elders for total dependence on God for holiness and salvation.
The ritual cleansing continues in verses 10-13 with Moses using the annointing oil to annoint the tabernacle and the furnishings with the oil to "sanctify" them for the holy service. Likewise, Aaron was annointed and sanctified by the pouring of annointing oil over his head. This was followed by final placing of the outer garments and head pieces, "as the Lord commanded Moses." The entire ceremony highlighted the issue, That we are sinful and in need of Christ who is our Holiness. Holiness is the issue. We must have Christ's Holiness before we can represent Him in leadership roles.
THE ANIMAL SACRIFIES RITUAL. Lev 8:14-25
The bullock was slain for a sin offering as Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. Then Moses sprinkled the blood on the horns of the altar with his finger then poured it out at the foot of the alter. All to purify the alter and to sanctify it so that reconciliation and atonement could be made on it. Reconciliation and forgiveness of sin. Next the ram for the burnt offering was killed as the same men laid their hands on it. The symbol of the transfer of sin from the sinner to the sacrificial Saviour who was our substitute. We are can only be acceptable and reconciled to God when we are atoned for and sanctified by our Saviour Jesus Christ our Lord. He is our lamb.
Next there came "the other ram, the ram of consecration" verse 22. Again the candidates for holy service placed their hands on its head as Moses slew it. Now notice what Moses did next. He took blood on his finger and placed it on the men's right ears, thumbs and big toes and on the altar as well. verses 24-25. The ears were sanctified. Surely this is symbolical of Christ's power to sanctify the leaders hearing for God's instruction and the peoples questions. A holy selective hearing apparatus to sift out the scandles and fabrications of the disgruntled. The fingers were sanctified to symbolize the work of the priest for the Lord on behalf of the people of the congregation. The big toe. To symbolize the sanctified direction of the movements of the priest as he moved forward doing God's errands. One bread and one wafer were placed on the fat which was placed on the right shoulder of the beast. Thus signifying that the responsibility of carrying sin was "on His shoulder." Isaiah 9:6. The government controlling salvation is Christ's. Finally the remainder of the annointing oil was poured over the men and their garments to sanctifiy them and prepare them as acceptable instruments and agents for God. They were now ready to dispense salvation by faith to the congregation, verse 30. Their atonement had been made. They were now reconciled to God for a Holy work, verse 34.
At this juncture the pastor and elders laid hands on the candidate in the ceremony of consecration and ordination as the Pastor offered the prayer of consecration
THE CONGREGATION WERE BLESSED BY AARON AFTER HIS CONSECRATION
Chapter 9:7,18 (ALL verses) Shows that on the eighth day after his consecration to his role of leadership he made sacrifices and offerings for the people. Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, verse 22. Again Moses and Aaron went out into the congregation of people and blessed the people for God. When they ministered to the people for and on behalf of God, "the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people," and fire came out from before the Lord, and consumed the the offering and the fat....and the people shouted and bowed." Their worship had been accepted by a Holy God because they all did as God had commanded. Sin by faith was forgiven. verses 23-24. So it is today. Our new elder will go out into the congregation and bless the people by becoming their servant and God will be honoured and show His acceptance.
Please remember as a New elder, the words of Psalm 132:9, "Let the priests be clothed with righteousness; and let the saints shout for joy."
Finally at this point the entire congregation including our children, assembled in our local church in an act of consecration and gratitude for what God has done on our behalf. The pastor prayed a prayer of consecreation for the saints assembled.
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