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Priesthood, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

17- Priesthood is a specific calling


[11] In The Transitional Period Between The Old And New Testaments John the Baptist Was Commissioned by God

(John 1:6-7) There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. {7} This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. Image: Saint John the Baptist ancient Coptic icon صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أيقونة قبطية أثرية تصور القديس الشهيد يوحنا المعمدان Image: Saint John the Baptist ancient Coptic icon

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أيقونة قبطية أثرية تصور القديس الشهيد يوحنا المعمدان

[12] John The Baptist Was Sent For A Specific Mission.

John the Baptist's mission was to witness and prepare the way for the Lord, and not for offering sacrifices.

We notice how the Scriptures specified the duties of his mission;

(Luke 1:17) "He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

(Mark 1:2-4) As it is written in the Prophets: "Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You." {3} "The voice of one crying in the wilderness:

'Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.'" {4} John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

[13] If Priesthood Is A Specific Calling, Selection And A Mission From God, Then It Is Not For Every Person, But For Those Selected And Called By God.

In God’s Kingdom, and as the Sovereign King, selects His servants, as we have discussed this issue before here on in other sections. He calls and commissions them so that they would not work on their own but according to His command.

(Exo 25:9) "According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.

This commandment, did not only apply to apostolic rank only, but to their successors the bishops as well. Here we see Saint Paul commanding the bishops at Ephesus;

(Acts 20:28) "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

[14] The Bishops Are Successors To The Apostles

The bishops were the successors to the Apostles who were appointed by the Holy Spirit as shepherds. The Holy Spirit appoints and commissions. This is why the Lord Jesus said;

(Mat 9:38) "Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."

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