Today you should read: Leviticus 21
Holiness of the Priests
Chapter 21 deals with the Lord’s demand of the holiness for the priests and for the offerings. While priests have been ordained and are holy in terms of their office, that holiness is only an outward one; it does not necessarily mean that they have inner holiness of heart and conduct. More stringent regulations of holiness are required of the priests because they work directly with the holy objects of the sanctuary (ESV Study Bible Notes).
I think it is important to realize that the priests in the Old Testament had to have the same saving faith that we do today yet through a different means. The motivation for a Priest to stay Holy was their fear of the Lord and their love and faith in the Lord. They demonstrated their faith through keeping the law which they were never able to do perfectly.
Today the Pastors and Elders who are the leaders of the church are called to be Holy and set apart as well. This is to give them the ability to lead the church well.
“This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” (Titus 1:5-9)
The priests were given the authority to bring the sacrifices and intervene for the people. Pastors and Elders are called to lead the church, protect against harmful doctrine and train up the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:12). The one difference today is Pastors and Elders do not have to intervene with sacrifice for the church. Jesus has finished that work in order that we all may know him.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
Posted by: Chad Wiles