Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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“Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person;
neither let me give flattering titles unto man.
For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing,
my Maker would soon take me away.”
“Holy and reverend is His name.”
From conversations with Preacher Clark in the late 1970s.
The word “reverend” means “worthy of deep respect or reverence”, and according to the Psalmist, it is a word that applies only to the name of the Lord. But, of course, fallen man is not content with letting God’s glory be His alone. He has devised a religious system that confers the title, “Reverend” to ministers who will agree to propagate that religion. Actually, within that religious system, fallen man has devised a hierarchy that is distinguished by showy titles. These titles help ordinary people like us to know the degree of reverence we should show certain men. According to this hierarchy, an ordinary minister is called “Reverend”; but a man who is of the next highest rank is to be called the “Very Reverend”. And a man who has attained to the exalted office of Bishop is granted the title, “the Right Reverend”, while an archbishop in that religion is referred to as “the Most Reverend”. (I don’t know if there are any instructions available that would help us know how to reverence a “Most Reverend” man as opposed to a mere “Right Reverend” man, but it would be helpful if there was such a document.
Of course, this is all nonsense. Holy and reverend is God’s name, not ours. Paul said, “Let God be true and every man a liar.” I say, “Let God’s name be reverend, and let ours be nothing.”
Vain man’s claim of honor that belongs only to God is not reserved to “flattering titles”. The religion of Christianity routinely trains men to lay claim to many holy things that are God’s alone. For one example, consider baptism. In this eternal new covenant, Jesus alone is ordained by the Father to baptize; and yet, in weak imitation of Jesus’ baptism of the holy Spirit, many Reverends, Right Reverends, and Most Reverends, (all of them wrong Reverends) baptize with earthly water and tell people that God has ordained them to do so.
They are not telling the truth. Baptism belongs only to God in this covenant, and it is accomplished in the Spirit from heaven, not with water on this earth.
I could go on, but you see the point. May God give us the humility and strength to restrain ourselves from claiming glory that belongs only to God. If He does so, we will be more like Jesus, who sought no glory for himself, but only to do the Father’s will and to bring Him glory.