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Heb. 7:1-10


Melchizedek is one of the mysterious men written in the Bible. He is spoken of three times: Historically (Gen. 14:18-20), Prophetically (Ps. 110:4), and Doctrinally (Heb. 7). We learn more about him from the Book of Hebrews than from the Old Testament passages. Once more the Apostle Paul is showing to the Jewish people and to us all the superiority of the priesthood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

I. Melchizedek Presented:
A. Historically (Gen. 14:1-20)
1. We first read that Lot is captured by Chedorlaomer and his confederates. Abraham had rescued him. (Gen. 14:12-17).
2. Upon his return, Abram is met by Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18).
a. Who is “king of Salem” (the ancient name of Jerusalem)
b. Who is also “the priest of the ¡°Most High God”. The Hebrew word for most high God is “El Elyon.” This word occurs over fifty times in the Old Testament and depicts God in ultimate supremacy.
3. In this meeting, two things happened.
a. Melchizedek blesses Abram (Abraham) (Gen. 14:19).
b. Abram pays tithes to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:20b)
B. Prophetically (Ps. 110:4)
1. This verse tells that Christ the Messiah will have the office as Priest and King after the order of Melchizedek. He foreshadows the Great High Priest that was to come.
C. Doctrinally (Heb. 7: 1-10)
1. Explains the meaning of his name and title (Heb. 7:2).
a. The name “Melchizedek” means “king of righteousness”
b. The title “king of Salem” means “king of peace”
2. Makes some interesting statements about Melchizedek.
a. “Without father, without mother, without descent”
b. “Having neither beginning of days nor end of life”
c. “Made like unto the Son of God”
d. “Abideth a priest continually”

Illustration 1/Application: We Are Made Righteous
Righteousness is an attribute of moral purity belonging to God alone (John 17:25). It is He alone who is truly righteous. No one in the world is righteous in the eyes of the Lord, that is, except the Christian. We are counted righteous in the eyes of God when we receive Jesus by faith (Phil. 3:9). Our righteousness is based on what Jesus did on the cross. The righteousness that was Christ¡¯s is counted to us. We, then, are seen as righteous in the eyes of God. Though we are actually worthy of damnation, we are made righteous (Is. 61:10) by Jesus¡¯ sacrifice on the cross. As a result, will spend eternity in the presence of the holy, pure, loving, kind, gentle, and righteous God. Our righteousness.
Source unknown

II. Who is Melchizedek?
A. He is the only human in the history of the Bible to hold the dual position of king and priest. Under the Old Testament the throne and the altar were separated. Kings descended from the tribe of Judah and priests from the tribe of Levi. This was God’s order. No Jew could hold both offices. Melchisedec however, was both king and priest foreshadowing the Great High Priest that was to come.
B. There’s a lot of speculations about him. Some say he is an angel, Enoch, Shem, Job, even Cheops the builder of the great pyramid.
C. I agree with Ironside who commented, ¡°I believe that Melchizedek was a real human king of Abraham¡¯s day who is used as a type of Christ but who was not the pre-incarnate Christ. These best fits the simple description given in Genesis 14. ¡°If any ask, who is Melchizedek? . The only proper answer is, he was not Shem the son of Noah, nor Job of the land of Uz, nor Cheops the builder of the great pyramid, as some have endeavoured to prove¡±
D. Melchizedek is clearly a type of Christ. Genesis 14:17-20, and Ps. 110:4, gives us all the information about him in the Old Testament. He was a great king-priest, and it is to his order of priesthood that Christ belongs.
E. Without father, without mother, without descent (Heb. 7:3) does not mean he had no parents and that he did not die. It was not recorded in the Bible so that he might be more perfectly likened to Christ.

Illustration 2/Application: We Are Priests Forever
Not only are we the freest of kings, we are also priests forever, which is far more excellent than being kings, for as priests we are worthy to appear before God to pray for others and to teach one another divine things.
Martin Luther, “Martin Luther.The Early Years,” Christian History, no. 34.

III. The Pre-eminence of the Melchizedek Priesthood (Heb. 7:4-10)
A. Gave the tenth (Heb. 7:4). In antiquity, it was common for people to give a tithe to God or His representative for the maintenance of His worship and the support of true religion. Abraham, the father of the Hebrew faith, gave tithe to Melchizedek. That proves that Melchizedek was superior to Abraham. The lesser person tithes to the greater. By this action Abraham also acknowledge his inferiority to Melchizedek.
B. And verily they that are of the sons of Levi (Heb. 7:5). By the authority invested in them after the establishment of the Mosaic Law, the Levitical priests, collected tithes from their fellow Israelites. The submission of the Israelites was not to honor the priests but to honor the law of God.
C. The proof that the Melchizedek priesthood (and Christ¡¯s) is superior to the Aaronic, or Levitical priesthood is that Levi¡¯s great grandfather Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek and that Levi, though unborn, was involved (v. 9).
D. Here, there (Heb. 7:8). The adverbs have reference to the Levitical Law whose system was still active at the time (here), and to the earlier historical incident recorded in Gen. 14 (there). The Levitical priesthood changed as each priest died. But, here in verse 8, it is written, ¡°of whom it is witnessed that he “liveth” which we can say that he “abideth a priest continually¡± as written in Heb. 7:3.
How he lives and remains a priest continually, the Bible does not say. But in this way Melchizedek is greater than the Levitical priests.
F. In an argument based upon seminal headship, the writer observes that it is possible to speak of Levi paying tithes to Melchizedek. It is the same kind of argument Paul employed to demonstrate that when Adam sinned, we all sinned.
G. I consider this topic a “meat” something not so easy to understand, so to make things easier, we can show the greatness of Melchizedek in four ways:
1. Melchizedek received tithes from Abraham (vs. 4-6). What an honor! As it is written earlier, The lesser person tithes to the greater.
2.He blessed Abraham (vs. 6-7). The giver of the blessing is considered greater than the recipient.
3. He liveth (v. 8), in that the picture remains. Jesus is the primary one and Melchisedec is the picture. Melchisedec was made like the Son of God in order to serve as a type of Christ’s Priesthood.
4. Even Levi, the great grandson of Abraham, paid tithes to Melchizedek (vs. 9-10).
H. The ways in which Melchizedek prefigured Christ
1. He was both king and priest (Gen. 14:18; Heb. 7:1). The Lord Jesus Christ is both King and Priest. Those who worship Him will receive the blessings of His priesthood and kingdom.
2. The names have symbolic meaning. Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; Salem means “peace”. So, this priest of the Highest God, who met Abraham and blessed him, was known in his country as king of righteousness and also king of peace (v. 2)
Our Lord Jesus Christ is both King of Righteousness and King of Peace. He is like Melchizedek first king of righteousness and after that also King of peace. Note carefully the exact wording of verse 2.
3. It is stated of Melchizedek that he remains a priest forever (v. 3).
4. Melchisedec had no genealogical connection with Abraham or his physical descendants and yet he served as a high priest. How much more can Jesus Christ be our High Priest since He as God is far greater than Melchizedek.

Illustration 3/Application: Raising the Bell
The story is told of a heavy bronze bell that had sunk into a river in China. The efforts of various engineers to raise it had been of no avail. At last a clever native priest asked permission to make the attempt on the condition that the bell should be given to his temple. He then had his assistants gather an immense number of bamboo rods. These are hollow, light, and practically unsinkable. They were taken down by divers, one by one, and fastened to the bell. After many thousands of them had been thus fastened, it was noticed that the bell began to move, and, when the last one had been added, the buoyancy of the accumulated rods was so great that they actually lifted the enormous mass of bronze to the surface. You may think your bamboo rod is too small and light to make any difference, but it is necessary in God’s sight to help in lifting souls to God and to lend strength to the others. Illustrations of Bible Truths.

IV. Conclusion:
Melchisedec is an historical figure who serves as a type or picture of Christ. That is how the writer of Hebrews presents him. Our text says he was… made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. (Hebrews 7:3) It doesn’t say that he was the Son of God, but that he was made like unto the Son of God. Melchisedec was made like the Son of God in order to serve as a type of Christ’s Priesthood.
Melchisedec beautifully typifies the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is our King of Righteousness, and when we received Him, He became our King of peace. Is Christ your King?

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