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MELCHISEDEC – A TYPE OF CHRIST

(SERMON #61 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, June 26, 2011

“And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all” (Genesis 14:17-20).


Now turn to Hebrews 7:1-3.

“For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually” (Hebrews 7:1-3).

Please keep your Bible open at this place. Genesis 14 begins with an account of the first war mentioned in the Bible. When Abram learned that his nephew Lot had been captured he sent 318 of his trained servants and freed Lot, “And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother [nephew] Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people” (Genesis 14:16). Arthur W. Pink said,

      It is just at this point that a very remarkable personage is brought before us, namely, Melchizedek...In the words “made like unto the Son of God” (Hebrews 7:3) we have the key to the mystery which centers around Melchizedek. Melchizedek was a type of Christ (A. W. Pink, Gleanings in Genesis, Moody Press, 1981 edition, p. 159).

I. First, Melchisedec was a type of Christ in his name.

Melchisedec means “King of righteousness.” Read Hebrews 7:2.

“To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace” (Hebrews 7:2).

Melchisedec was first “King of righteousness” and, second, “King of Salem,” which means “King of peace.” This shows us what Christ, the antitype of Melchisedec, does for sinners. The righteous demands of the law must be met before a sinner can have peace with a holy God. This is shown in Romans 3:21-26,

“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus”
       (Romans 3:21-26).

On the Cross Jesus shed His Blood to propitiate the righteous wrath of God against our sin. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Again, we read, “Having made peace through the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:20).

Melchisedec was “King of righteousness” and “King of peace.” This shows that he was a type, or picture, of the Lord Jesus Christ. As that old hymn puts it,

Paschal Lamb, by God appointed, All our sins on Thee were laid;
   By almighty love anointed, Thou hast full atonement made.
All Thy people are forgiven, Through the virtue of Thy blood,
   Opened is the gate of heaven, Peace is made ‘twixt man and God.
(“Hail, Thou Once-Despised Jesus!” by John Bakewell, 1721-1819).

II. Second, Melchisedec was a type of Christ in his origin.

Read Hebrews 7:3 aloud.

“Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually” (Hebrews 7:3).

Melchisedec, like Christ, was “without father, without mother, without descent [i.e. genealogy], having neither beginning of days, nor end of life.”

This does not mean that Melchisedec was a supernatural being. It only means that he is mentioned in the Book of Genesis without any genealogy, and without mentioning his death. A. W. Pink said, “The silence of [the Book of Genesis] concerning his parentage has a designed significance. The entire omission of any reference to Melchisedec’s ancestry, birth or death, was ordered by the Holy Spirit...in order to present a perfect type of the Lord Jesus” (ibid., p. 160). Benjamin Keach [1640-1704] said, “He had both a father and mother, and descent...But God on purpose [had] all these concealed, that he might be a more express type of Christ, who was truly without father, in respect to His manhood, or human nature; and without mother, in respect to His Godhead” (Benjamin Keach, Preaching From the Types and Metaphors of the Bible, Kregel Publications, 1972 reprint, p. 973).

The resemblance of Melchisedec to Christ rests on what Genesis purposefully left out, not on Melchisedec himself. Hebrews 7:3 is also one of the verses that refutes “incarnational Sonship.” Christ was the Son of God without “beginning of days.” He was always the Son of God!

III. Third, Melchisedec was a type of Christ in his priesthood.

Melchisedec was “made like unto the Son of God [who] abideth a priest continually” (Hebrews 7:3). The Psalmist said,

“The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:4).

Again, the Book of Hebrews says,

“Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec”
       (Hebrews 5:6).

Melchisedec was a type or picture of Jesus our great High Priest. Dr. McGee said, “From the prophecy given in Psalm 110 we see that Melchizedek is a picture of Christ...[Christ] is a priest because He is the Son of God, and He is a priest continually. That is, He just keeps on being a priest – there will be no change in His priesthood because He is eternal” (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983, volume V, p. 552; note on Hebrews 7:3).

Melchisedec lived long before the Aaronic priesthood was established under Moses. The Aaronic priesthood ended with the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 A.D. But Jesus, the eternal Son of God, is also our eternal priest. Benjamin Keach gave this comparison between Melchisedec and Christ: “Melchisedec was a priest, not after the order of Aaron; he was not anointed with material oil, nor received his priesthood from any other, but only so declared by the mouth of God. His priesthood passed not on to other men; for he received it from none, so he passed it not to any other; nor did any...succeed him: so Christ [as the fulfillment of Melchisedec the type] received his priesthood from none but God himself, and was not anointed with material oil...and as [Christ] received his priesthood from none, so he passeth it not to any other; [Christ] hath none that can succeed him, but [remains] a priest for ever in...heaven” (Benjamin Keach, ibid., p. 973).

As our priest, Jesus made a perfect sacrifice for our sins. He bore our sins on the Cross, where He shed His precious Blood. The Book of Hebrews says,

“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:11-14).

“He entered in once” into Heaven with His Blood.

The Catholic church has “priests” as ministers. But there is no Biblical ground for that. The New Testament never calls pastors “priests.” Baptists and Protestants have always believed that there is only one priest, the Lord Jesus Christ! And we do not sacrifice Christ again in any “Mass.” “By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12). There is no need for a new sacrifice in any “Mass.” Christ died and shed His precious Blood, to atone for our sins once and for all!

“Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:25-26).

“For this he did once, when he offered up himself”
       (Hebrews 7:27).

He died once to atone for our sins! He shed His Blood once to cleanse us from all sin!

Not only did Jesus make a perfect sacrifice for sin. As our High Priest, He also intercedes for us at the right hand of God in Heaven.

“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost [completely] that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

Charles Wesley (1707-1788) said,

He ever lives above, For me to intercede;
   His all-redeeming love, His precious blood to plead;
His blood atoned for all our race,
   And sprinkles now the throne of grace,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.
   (“Arise! My Soul, Arise!” by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

Finally, Jesus is a very loving High Priest. Turn to Hebrews 4:14-16. Please stand and read these verses aloud.

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).

You may be seated. Dr. McGee said,

      “Let us therefore come [with great freedom] unto the throne of grace.” We can speak freely to the Lord Jesus Christ. I can tell Him things I cannot tell you. He understands me. He knows my weaknesses...I can come to Him with great freedom. I can tell Him what is on my heart. I can open my heart to Him (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., ibid., p. 537; note on Hebrews 4:16).

Jesus is there to help every true Christian in their “time of need.” He is there for you. He will help you through the hard times. When you feel depressed and heartsick, come to Him, “and find grace to help in time of need.” He will not fail you.

After nearly 54 years in the ministry I know that is true. Christ will not fail you! No matter how depressed and heartsick you are, Jesus will help you. He will not fail you! You will make it through the heartache, because Jesus will carry you through it! “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...thou art with me” (Psalm 23:4).

Melchisedec came to Abram and fed him and blessed him when he was weary from fighting a war. So, Jesus will come to you, bless you and feed you, when you are made weary and sad by the battles of the Christian life!

And if you are still a lost sinner, you can come to Jesus. He will not turn you away. Jesus said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). Come to Jesus. He will pardon your sin, and cleanse you with His precious Blood.

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Psalm 110:1-4.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“My Hope is in the Lord” (by Norman J. Clayton, 1903-1992).


THE OUTLINE OF

MELCHISEDEC – A TYPE OF CHRIST

(SERMON #61 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all” (Genesis 14:17-20).

“For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually” (Hebrews 7:1-3).

(Genesis 14:16)

I.   First, Melchisedec was a type of Christ in his name, Hebrews 7:2;
Romans 3:21-26; 5:1; Colossians 1:20.

II.  Second, Melchisedec was a type of Christ in his origin, Hebrews 7:3.

III. Third, Melchisedec was a type of Christ in his priesthood,
Hebrews 7:3; Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6; 9:11-14, 25-26;
Hebrews 7:27, 25; 4:14-16; Psalm 23:4; John 6:37.