Holy Orders (Ordination): The Biblical Evidence

Holy Orders (Ordination): The Biblical Evidence January 6, 2017

Priest

Photo by “paterdarius” [Pixabay / CC0 public domain]

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(5-9-08)

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[all verses RSV]

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The Power of Priests to Bind and Loose (Impose Penance and Grant Absolution)

Matthew 3:6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

Matthew 18:18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (cf. Mt 16:19: to Peter alone)

Mark 1:5 . . . and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

John 20:22-23 . . . he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” cf. Lk 24:47; 1 Jn 1:8-9)

Acts 19:18 Many also of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.

1 Corinthians 5:3-5 For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus,
you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

2 Corinthians 2:6-11 For such a one this punishment by the majority is enough; so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. Any one whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, to keep Satan from gaining the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

1 Timothy 1:18-20 This charge I commit to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophetic utterances which pointed to you, that inspired by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith, among them Hymenae’us and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

James 5:14-15 Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

Disciples (Proto-Priests) as Direct Representatives of Jesus
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Matthew 10:40 He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me.

Luke 10:16 “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

John 13:20 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives any one whom I send receives me; and he who receives me receives him who sent me.”

2 Corinthians 5:20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Disciples and Apostles (Proto-Priests) Are Called and Chosen (Vocation) By Jesus or the Holy Spirit
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Matthew 4:18-22 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zeb’edee and John his brother, in the boat with Zeb’edee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

Matthew 9:9 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Mark 1:20 And immediately he called them; and they left their father Zeb’edee in the boat with the hired servants, and followed him.

Mark 3:13-14 And he went up on the mountain, and called to him those whom he desired; and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, to be with him . . .

Mark 6:7 And he called to him the twelve, . . .

Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles;

Luke 9:1 And he called the twelve together . . .

John 13:18 I am not speaking of you all; I know whom I have chosen; it is that the scripture may be fulfilled, `He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’

John 15:16, 19 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. . . . If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Acts 1:2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.

Acts 10:41 not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

Acts 20:28 Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.

Acts 26:16 But rise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and bear witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God

1 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus,

1 Corinthians 7:17, 20, 24 Only, let every one lead the life which the Lord has assigned to him, and in which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. . . . Every one should remain in the state in which he was called. . . . So, brethren, in whatever state each was called, there let him remain with God.

1 Corinthians 9:16-17 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission.

1 Corinthians 12:28-29 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?

2 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, . . .

Galatians 1:1 Paul an apostle — not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead —

Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

Ephesians 4:11 And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,

Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, . . .

Colossians 1:25 of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,

1 Timothy 1:1, 12 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, . . . I thank him who has given me strength for this, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful by appointing me to his service,

1 Timothy 2:7 For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle . . .

2 Timothy 1:1,11 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus, . . . For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,

Disciples and Apostles (Proto-Priests) Are “Sent” By Jesus or the Holy Spirit, and Given Authority

Matthew 10:1 And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity.

Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans,”

Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”

Mark 3:14-15 And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons:

Mark 6:7 And he . . . began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.

Luke 9:1-2 And he . . . gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal.

Luke 10:1-3 After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.

Luke 10:19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you.

Luke 11:49 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, `I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’

Luke 22:35 And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no purse or bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.”

John 4:38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.

John 17:18 As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.

John 20:21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”

Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama’ria and to the end of the earth.

Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;

Acts 13:2, 4 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” . . . So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleu’cia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus.

Acts 16:10 And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedo’nia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Acts 22:21 And he said to me, ‘Depart; for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'”

Acts 26:17 . . . the Gentiles — to whom I send you

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

2 Corinthians 10:8 For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I shall not be put to shame.

2 Corinthians 13:10 I write this while I am away from you, in order that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority which the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.

Disciples and Apostles (Proto-Priests) Preside Over the Eucharist and the Mass
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Isaiah 66:18, 21 For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory, . . . And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD.

Malachi 1:11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.

Luke 22:19-20 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. ”

Acts 2:42, 46 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. . . . And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, (cf. Acts 20:7)

1 Corinthians 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?

Hebrews 5:1 For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.

Hebrews 8:3 For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer.

The Church Calls, Commissions, and Sends Men Out to Do the Work of Ministry
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Acts 9:22-30 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ. When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night, to kill him; but his disciples took him by night and let him down over the wall, lowering him in a basket. And when he had come to Jerusalem he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. And he spoke and disputed against the Hellenists; but they were seeking to kill him. And when the brethren knew it, they brought him down to Caesare’a, and sent him off to Tarsus.

Acts 11:22 News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.

Acts 14:23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed.

Acts 15:1-4 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question.
So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoeni’cia and Sama’ria, reporting the conversion of the Gentiles, and they gave great joy to all the brethren. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.

Acts 15:22, 25 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsab’bas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

Acts 15:27, 30, 33 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. . . . So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch; and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. . . . And after they had spent some time, they were sent off in peace by the brethren to those who had sent them.

Acts 17:10, 14 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroe’a; and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. . . . Then the brethren immediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, . . .

Romans 10:15 And how can men preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!”

1 Corinthians 4:17 Therefore I sent to you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.

2 Corinthians 8:16-23 But thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus. For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord. With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel; and not only that, but he has been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work which we are carrying on, for the glory of the Lord and to show our good will. We intend that no one should blame us about this liberal gift which we are administering, for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of men. And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you. As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker in your service; and as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.

Galatians 1:18; 2:9 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. . . . and when they perceived the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised;

Ephesians 6:21-22 Now that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tych’icus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.

Philippians 2:25 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphrodi’tus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, (cf. 2:19,23,28)

Colossians 4:7-10 Tych’icus will tell you all about my affairs; he is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Ones’imus, the faithful and beloved brother, who is one of yourselves. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here. Aristar’chus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions — if he comes to you, receive him),

1 Thessalonians 3:2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s servant in the gospel of Christ, to establish you in your faith and to exhort you,

Titus 1:5 This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you,

(cf. 1 Timothy 3:1-13)

Laying on of Hands For Ordaining and Calling Ministers of God
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Acts 6:1-6 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Proch’orus, and Nica’nor, and Ti’mon, and Par’menas, and Nicola’us, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them.

Acts 9:17 So Anani’as departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, hassent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 13:1-4 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyre’ne, Man’a-en a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleu’cia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus.

1 Timothy 4:11-16 Command and teach these things. Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Till I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you. Practice these duties, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Take heed to yourself and to your teaching; hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (cf. 1 Tim 5:22; Heb 6:2)

2 Timothy 1:6 Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands;

Apostolic Succession
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Acts 1:16-26 “Brethren, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry. (Now this man bought a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their language Akel’dama, that is, Field of Blood.) For it is written in the book of Psalms, `Let his habitation become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it’; and `His office let another take.’ So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us — one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsab’bas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthi’as. And they prayed and said, “Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthi’as; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles.

2 Timothy 2:2 and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

2 Timothy 4:1-6 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry. For I am already on the point of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has come.

Sacrificial Nature of Ministry / Persecution

Matthew 4:22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

Matthew 5:10-12 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 10:22 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

Matthew 10:38 and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Matthew 19:27-29 Then Peter said in reply, “Lo, we have left everything and followed you. What then shall we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

Matthew 23:34 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, (cf. Lk 11:49)

Matthew 24:9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.

Mark 6:8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts;

Mark 8:34 And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Mark 10:28-31 Peter began to say to him, “Lo, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many that are first will be last, and the last first.

Mark 13:13 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.

Luke 6:22, 26 Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man! . . . Woe to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

Luke 9:3 And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics.

Luke 9:23 And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Luke 9:57-62 As they were going along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But he said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (cf. Mt 8:19-20)

Luke 10:16 “. . . he who rejects you rejects me, . . .”

Luke 14:26-27 “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”

Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon

Luke 21:12, 17 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. . . . you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.

John 12:25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

John 15:18-20 If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, `A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.

John 17:14 . . . the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

1 Corinthians 4:9-15 For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the offscouring of all things. I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

1 Corinthians 9:12, 18-19 . . . we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. . . . What then is my reward? Just this: that in my preaching I may make the gospel free of charge, not making full use of my right in the gospel. For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more.

2 Corinthians 4:7-17 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,

2 Corinthians 6:4-5 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, watching, hunger;

2 Corinthians 11:23-28 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one — I am talking like a madman — with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I have received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.
Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brethren; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches.

Philippians 3:7-8 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ

2 Timothy 3:12 Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

1 John 3:13 Do not wonder, brethren, that the world hates you.

Celibacy for the Sake of Undistracted Devotion to the Lord
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Matthew 19:12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.

1 Corinthians 7:7-9, 17, 32-35, 38 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion. . . . Only, let every one lead the life which the Lord has assigned to him, and in which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. . . . I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. . . . he who marries his betrothed does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.

God’s Fellow Workers For the Kingdom
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Mark 16:20 And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.

John 15:13-15 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

1 Corinthians 9:22 . . . I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

2 Corinthians 4:15 For it [his many sufferings: 4:8-12, 17] is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 6:1 Working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain.

Ephesians 3:1-2 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles — assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you,

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed to yourself and to your teaching; hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

God’s Servants
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Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (cf. Lk 16:13)

Mark 9:35 And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, “If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” (cf. 10:43; Mt 10:24, 20:26, 23:11; Lk 16:13)

Luke 22:26 But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.

John 12:26 If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him. (cf. Jn 13:16, 15:20)

1 Corinthians 3:5-8, 10 What then is Apol’los? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apol’los watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are equal, and each shall receive his wages according to his labor. . . . According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it.

1 Corinthians 4:1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ . . .

2 Corinthians 4:5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

2 Corinthians 6:4 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way . . .

Galatians 1:10 Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ.

Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, . . .

Colossians 1:7 as you learned it from Ep’aphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf

Colossians 4:7 Tych’icus will tell you all about my affairs; he is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. (cf. 1 Thess 3:2)

Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, . . .

James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, . . .

1 Peter 5:1-3, 5 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. . . . Likewise you that are younger be subject to the elders. . . .

2 Peter 1:1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, . . .

Revelation 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants what must soon take place; and he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,

God’s Ministers Entitled to Pay
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Luke 10:7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house.

1 Corinthians 9:3-12-14 This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law say the same? For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of a share in the crop. If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more? . . . Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.

1 Timothy 5:17-18 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching; for the scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”

Priests as Dispensers of Sacraments

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. (cf. Mt 28:19; Acts 2:38, 41; James 5:14) [Latin sacramentum means “mystery”]

See also: Catechism of the Catholic Church: #897, 1113, 1119, 1210, 1461, 1536-45, 1554-1599

Related Reading:
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Visible, Hierarchical, Apostolic Church [1996]

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Debunking the Mythical Invisible Church [9-14-15]
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Bishops in the Apostolic Church [1-16-01; rev. 5-7-03]
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Clerical Celibacy: Dialogue with John Calvin [9-17-09]
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Dialogues on Various Biblical Arguments for Apostolic Succession [1-5-17]

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Biblical Evidence Regarding Calling Priests “Father” [2-24-16]

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