Imitating Melchizedek: Growing to Be More Like Christ

Imitating Melchizedek: Growing to Be More Like Christ

Genesis 14:17-20 NKJV  And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him.  (18)  Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.  (19)  And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;  (20)  And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all. 

  • Good morning church! This mornings sermon is one that I was really excited about when I started preaching through the book of Genisis, I knew that we would get to this passage and I would get to dive into Melchizedek king of Salem. 
  • It is particularly exciting because Melchizedek is someone who is mentioned a few different times in future scriptures and has a whole chapter about him and Christ in Hebrews. 
  • Early Christians clearly had a very high regard of Melchizedek… and I think we should to. 
  • So just to recap where we are in scripture this morning, Abram has been chosen by God to be the father of God’s people. 
  • Abram and his nephew Lot moved to the promised land, but Lot selfishly chose to live in the best land and to live next to the most evil city in existence. 
  • Lot was captured by king Chedorlaomer when Sodom was overthrown and was taken away. 
  • Abram raised up a small army of 318 men and went and defeated king Chedorlaomer and took back his nephew lot, as well as all of the spoils of the battle and all the captured people. 
  • Then we get to today’s scripture… the King of Sodom crawled out of his hiding place, for he had been utterly defeated by Chedorlaomer, and approaches Abram, who is now in possession of all the goods of Sodom and all the people of Sodom… 
  • And the King of Sodom… who want’s the spoils of his city back, will soon offer Abram a tempting proposition… 
  • But we will get to that next week. 
  • Before the King of Sodom can tempt Abram, another king shows up… this Melchizedek. 
  • Melchizedek blesses Abram and praises the Lord, and Abram pays a tithe on the spoils to Melchizedek, more on that next week… but that is where we ended our reading this morning. 
  • So here we are, Abram and Melchizedek… why are these events so important to us today? That is what we are going to dive into this morning. 

Imitating Melchizedek: Growing to Be More Like Christ

  • Imitating Melchizedek: Growing to Be More Like Christ. 
  • This morning I am going to start with a bit of teaching and then we will go into some application. 
  • In the teaching this morning I will attempt to convince you that Melchizedek is in fact a Christophany, that is, He is Jesus Christ before Jesus was born in the flesh to Marry thousands of years later. 
  • If I fail to convince you that Melchizedek is Christ, I hope to at least convince you that he is Christlike… and someone worthy to be imitated. 
  • I also need everyone in this church to understand that we are SUPPOSED to imitate Christ, to be like Christ, to grow more and more in Christlikeness… So let’s start there. 

Teaching Point One – We Should Grow to Be Like Christ 

1 John 2:6 NKJV  He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 

  • If you say you are a Christian, if you say you are born again, if you say you belong to Christ… then you ought to walk just as Christ walked. 
  • Your life should look like His life. 
  • Your words should sound like His words. 
  • Your love should imitate your love. 
  • If Christ cast out demons, you should cast out demons. 
  • If Christ rebuked sickness, you should rebuke sickness. 
  • If Christ resisted temptation, you resist temptation. 
  • The way we pray, the way we fellowship, the way we worship, the way we live… should all imitate Christ’s prayer, and fellowship, and worship and life… we should walk the way He walks. 
  • I once saw a facebook post that said “Charismatics are crazy, the Bible never tells us to rebuke sickness”. 
  • I replied simply by quoting Luke 4:38-39 

Luke 4:38-39 NKJV  Now He arose from the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. But Simon’s wife’s mother was sick with a high fever, and they made request of Him concerning her.  (39)  So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them. 

  • To which they replied “That is what JESUS did, not what WE are supposed to do”… I was dumbfounded and replied “Aren’t we supposed to be like Jesus” and they said “Not like that… we are supposed to be like Him in character but not in action”. 
  • WHAT?! What kind of weak, flower sniffing tree hugging kind of church is teaching that lukewarm nonsense?! 
  • If you are like Jesus in character you are like Him in action. THE WHOLE POINT OF JESUS BEING FULLY MAN WAS SO THAT WE WOULD HAVE A LIFE TO IMITATE. 
  • 1 Peter 2:21 says Christ lived as an example for us. 
  • Ephesians 5:1 says we should be imitators of God living like Christ. 
  • Ephesians 4:22 tells us that we were created to live in the likeness of Christ. 
  • Romans 8:29 says that we are to be conformed to the image of Christ. 
  • Galatians 3:27 says we should put on Christ. 
  • But John 14:12 makes it as clear as day, Jesus speaking says this: 

John 14:12 NKJV  “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 

  • The greatest lie my generation was told was “Just be yourself”… no! Die to yourself and be like Christ! In character and in action! 
  • Now that we understand that let’s move on to teaching point two: Melchizedek is Either Christ Himself, or He is someone who is very much like Christ. 

Teaching Point Two – Melchizedek is Either Christ Himself, or, He is Someone Who is Like Christ. 

Genesis 14:18 NKJV  Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 

  • So the question must be asked, who is Melchizedek. 
  • Many answers have been given, with the two most common being “A priest of God from the general region of Canaan who was not blood related to Abram” or that he is Christ Himself, appearing as a Christophany, that is, appearing before He was born of Mary. 
  • I contend for the second, that this Melchizedek, who approached Abram after his victory over Chedorlaomer, that this Melchizedek was Christ Himself. 
  • Now the topic of Christophanies is well studied amongst scholars… we of course know that Christ was not created, and that He has no beginning. 
  • We know from John chapter 1 that all things were Created through Christ. 
  • So we know that Christ existed and was active as God during the time of Abram. 
  • In fact, Jesus said this Himself: 

John 8:58 NKJV  Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” 

  • So we know Jesus was around, because He always has been and always will be… and He was active. 
  • Most people believe that the fourth man in the fire with Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego was Jesus… and that the Angel of the Lord in the Lion’s den with Daniel was Jesus. 
  • Samsons parent’s saw the Angel of the Lord and called Him God, likely this was a Christophany. 
  • There are many such instances that some people show Christ coming and working in the Old Testament… and I believe that this Melchizedek is actually Christ. 
  • In fact, Hebrews chapter 7 is all about Christ and Melchizedek… though it never outright says Melchizedek is Jesus. 

Hebrews 7:1-3 NKJV  For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,  (2)  to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,”  (3)  without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. 

  • Finis Dake suggests the following seven similarities between Christ and Melchizedek: 

Melchizedek typifies Christ in seven ways: 

  1. Genealogy (Hebrews 7:3,7:6 compared with Micah 5:2) 
  1. Offering of Bread and Wine (Genisis 14:18 compared with Luke 22:14-30) 
  1. Endless priesthood (Psalm 110:1-7 compared with Heb_5:10; Hebrews 6:20; 7) 
  1. King-priest (Hebrews 7:1 compared with Zechariah 6:12-13) 
  1. Greater than Abraham (Hebrews 7:4-8 compared with John 8:55-59) 
  1. King of righteousness (Hebrews 7:2 compared with 1Cor 1:30; Hebrews 1:8) 
  1. King of peace (Hebrews 7:2 compared with Isaiah 9:6) 
                                                                       Source: Finis Dake Commentary of Genesis 14:18 
  • Neither Jesus nor Melchizedek was said to have original parents. Of course Jesus had earthly parents, but Micah shows that Jesus did not have parent’s originally, He was there before parents existed… 
  • And how is it that Melchizedek could be without parents? Is Hebrews 7:3 metaphorical or symbolic? Maybe… but remember rule one of Scripture interpretation? Whenever possible take Scripture literally… well if Melchizedek is Christ, then Hebrews 7:3 can be literal. 
  • Second, Melchizedek brought an offering of Bread and Wine… is that not a striking resemblance of the communion Christ offers? 
  • Both Jesus and Melchizedek are said to have Endless priesthood… are there two eternal priests? 
  • They are booth called “King Priests” 
  • They are both called greater than Abraham 
  • They are booth called kings of righteousness and Kings of peace… 
  • Now Dake does not mention, but I want to add… Abram pays a TITHE to Melchizedek… something we are commanded to give to God… so I would add that as a connection as well. 
  • But let’s say for a moment that Hebrews 7:3 is metaphorical, and that Melchizedek is just a man who happens to be a priest of the most high God… 
  • That he is living his life as a priest and building altars and making sacrifices and running things for God here on earth… 
  • If that is the case, why is Genesis not about Him? 
  • Why did God choose Abram instead of Melchizedek? 
  • Why have we not heard about him until now? 
  • Why is Abram building his own altars and making his own sacrifice… shouldn’t he be going to Melchizedek’s altars and worshiping there with him? 
  • That part doesn’t make sense to me, I find it far more likely that this is Christ… even the name Melchizedek means “King of Righteousness”, is that not a name of God? 
  • And then He is called the king of Salem… Salem means “peace”… is not Christ the Prince of peace? 
  • And Salem, mind you, was the ancient name for the city of Jerusalem… 
  • When Selem was conquered by the Jebusites they named it “Jebus” but later the two names, Jebus and Selem were combined into one “Jebuselem” or more modernly “Jerusalem”. 
  • So literally, He is the King of Jerusalem! 
  • I think, odds are, Melchizedek is Jesus… but Scripture does not outright say that, so it is possible, as many far smarter than I believe, that Melchizedek was simply a great and Godly priest we know very little about… but even if that is the Case we can agree that Melchizedek was Christ like in character, and therefore worthy to be imitated. 
  • As Paul says in in 1 Corinthians 11:1 

1 Corinthians 11:1 NKJV  Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. 

  • If Melchizedek is not Christ, he is at least LIKE Christ and worthy to be imitated as we pursue Christ likeness ourselves. 
  • That brings me to our first point of application: We should strive to bless others. 

Application Point One – We Should Strive to Bless Others 

Genesis 14:18-19 NKJV  Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.  (19)  And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 

  • Abram had just defeat Chedorlaomer, and was resting with his men after Battle… here comes this Melchizedek… and what does Melchizedek do? He blesses Abram both spiritually and physically. 
  • Church, let me make this point very clear and very simple… as a Christian you SHOULD be blessing others physically and spiritually. 
  • I know far too many people who will bless one way or the other but we are called to do both. 
  • Melchizedek brings food and wine, a welcome blessing to a weary warrior… but he does not stop there… he blesses him spiritually as well. 
  • How sweet it is that Jesus in our time of need, in our time of exhaustion, will meet us not just in a metaphorical way… but will meet us with PHYSICAL blessings. 
  • The loaves and the fish, the water into wine, the coin in the fish’s mouth… healings upon healings, raising Lazarus from the dead… these are PHYSICAL blessings… 
  • Has Jesus stop doing physical miracles today? Has Jesus stop blessing people physically… not an “Well that makes my feelings feel good” kind of blessing but a PHYSICAL blessing. 
  • Are we not to be like Jesus? Melchizedek brought physical blessings, Jesus brings physical blessings… are we or are we not called to be like Jesus? 
  • And yet I know far too many people who call themselves Christians who either do neither of these things, or they only do one or the other. 
  • Some people think they can just keep to themselves and show up to church on Sunday and that makes them a Christian…  
  • But the Bible is full of commands to love others and bless others. 
  • “Love others as yourself”… Jesus says that in mark 12:13 that this is the second greatest commandment… that we should love our neighbor as we love ourselves… 
  • Do you buy food for yourself? 
  • Do you buy clothing for yourself? 
  • Do you do chores and housework for yourself? 
  • Do you pray for yourself? 
  • If you do these things for yourself, shouldn’t you be doing them for others? 
  • Blessing others with food, or clothing, or acts of service… 
  • Blessing others with prayer coverings and blessings from the most high. 
  • You do it for yourself, you should do it for others! 
  • Some are very spiritual and are happy to pray for others… when a brother or sister in Chris has a real physical need they say “Let me pray for you”… 
  • Well that is good… but shouldn’t you help fill that physical need? 

James 2:15-16 NKJV  If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,  (16)  and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 

  • On the other hand there are people who are happy to fill the physical need but are afraid to fill the spiritual need. 

Genesis 14:19 NKJV  And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;  

  • Melchizedek not only blessed Abram physically, but spiritually as well. 
  • Jesus, of course is a constant source of spiritual blessing… 
  • It is though the blessings of Christ that I can say “It is well with my soul” no matter my physical situation. 
  • It is through the blessings of Christ that I can be content in all circumstances, in plenty and in want, I can do all things through CHRIST. 
  • Sometimes that physical blessing is not what I need, sometimes I need to know that God’s grace is sufficient for me… I need to know that Christ is interceding for me… 

Romans 8:34 NKJV  Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 

  • And I get it, you are not as charismatic as me… you are an introvert… you are shy… 
  • My Great Grandma Vinita was a huge blessing to me… yet she never prayed some fiery Charismatic prayer over me… she never cried out “OH LORD FILL MY GREAT GRANDSON WITH YOUR SPIRIT AND LET HIM DO MIGHTY THINGS FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD!!!” 
  • She simply prayed, everyday, silently, for me and my family… praying from her handwritten prayer list in her Bible… and she simply told me, in a weak and frail voice “I never have stopped praying for you”. 
  • That’s all it takes… don’t let your personality be an excuse for why you can’t be like Christ. 
  • Melchizedech, possibly the first appearance of Christ… comes with physical blessings and spiritual blessings. 
  • Christ himself blessed others physically and spiritually. 
  • We should be like Melchizedech… we should be like Christ… people should know that the people of Christ are called to be a blessings to others… 
  • People should know that the people of Christian Life Church are called to be a blessing to others… physically and spiritually. 
  • That brings me to application point two, our final point this morning, we must always bless God. 

Application Point Two – We Must Always Bless God  

Genesis 14:20 NKJV  And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all. 

  • First note that Melchizedek gives God the glory for the victory. 
  • Abram had raised up an army of 318 men to go and fight and ambush king Chedorlaomer in the night. 
  • It was a decisive and great victory… Abram could easily get the glory here could he not? 
  • What a wise and great military commander Abram is… He did with 300 what 5 kings and their armies could not. 
  • Of course the 318 soldiers could get the glory: 
  • What mighty men they were! The mighty men of Abram! They fought gloriously and valiantly! Who is like this army who destroyed the mightiest kings of the land?! 
  • But instead, Melchizedek gives God the glory “Blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hands”. 
  • Church, we need to have a culture where God get’s the glory for every victory. 
  • We belong to Him, do we not? 
  • Our life is for His glory, is it not? 
  • Everything good that I have ever done has not been me but Christ in me, amen? 
  • Look, we have 1 Corinthians 15:58 on the wall over there… be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord… 
  • But do you know what the verse right before it says? 

1 Corinthians 15:57 NKJV  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

  • We need to build a culture of giving God glory, we need to be like Melchizedek. 
  • That means I need y’all to stop saying “Your church” 
  • “Pastor I just love your church” 
  • Bro you have been a member of for 7 years… it is OUR church. 
  • But more over, it is GOD’S CHURCH. A better sentiment would be “I thank God for this church” or “I really love what God is doing in our church” or “I am so Glad God planted this church in Cedar Rapids”. 
  • And PLEASE… Stop thanking me for sermons that bless you. 
  • Instead of “Thank you so much for that sermon, you were speaking right to me” we need to upgrade our language “Man God really spoke to me through that message! Thank you for sharing His word, I needed to hear that this morning!” 
  • It is always awkward for me when people compliment my preaching because truly it is all from Him, through Him, to Him, and due Him! 
  • Give God the glory! 
  • God a new Job? Give God the glory! 
  • Healed of illness? Give God the glory! 
  • Blessed by a family in the church? Give God the glory! 
  • Instead of “The Williams showed up and saved the day” say “I thank God for sending the Williams to be a blessing to us”. 
  • And I know this sounds like a small thing… a small point of contention… but the way we use our words is IMPORTANT. Our tongue is like the small little rudder that steers a big ship! 

James 3:4-5 NKJV  Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.  (5)  Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things… 

  • If the tongue is the rudder of the ship then it could be said “The way our church speaks will dictate the direction our church goes” 
  • So let’s level up the way we talk, always giving God the glory. 
  • And I love what Melchizedech says here… he says that he “Blesses” God. 

Genesis 14:19 NKJV  And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 

  • Did you know that you can bless God? 
  • “But Pastor, how can I bless the fountain of all blessings?” 
  • You can bless Him by bringing Him joy, by exalting Him, by doing things He likes, by obeying Him and submitting to Him, by praising and worshiping Him. 

Psalms 103:1 NKJV  Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 

  • I want to be a blessing to God… I want God to be happy he made me… I don’t want him to regret making me like the people in the times of Noah… I want Him to be blessed by my life and ministry, to take joy in my life and ministry… isn’t that what you should want church?! To Bless God. 
  • So I encourage you, take time out of your day… make it a part of your devotions to bless the Lord. 


We talk a lot this church about growing to be like Christ… and many times as we talk about that it is in reference to obedience and submission… but today’s message is clear… obedience yes, submission yes… but to be like Christ we should also be living a life of blessing. 

  • We need to live like Christ by blessing others physically. 
  • With acts of service and sacrifice… giving in times of need… helping our brothers and sisters, the least of these brethren, in their times of need. 
  • We need to live like Christ by blessings others spiritually. 
  • Not just building homes and digging wells… but praying, prophesying, encouraging, interceding… Not just in public, but in secret as well. 
  • We need to be like Christ by giving God the Glory for every victory. 
  • Not to us but to Your name be the glory! 
  • We need to be like Christ by blessing the Lord continually. 

Join us this Sunday at either 8:30AM or 10:30AM for worship followed by this message from the Word of God. Christian Life Church of Cedar Rapids. 2808 Schaeffer DR SW, Cedar Rapids, IA   52404. 


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