What Does Ordain Mean In The Bible


Ordain, in the Bible, generally refers to a religious appointment or designation. It is also sometimes used as a synonym for “to consecrate” or “to make holy.” In religious contexts, the term “ordain” has a very specific meaning—it typically refers to a process of dedicating a person to a particular religious office or vocation. It can also refer to the process of establishing or confirming certain guidelines or rules, such as ceremonial and social or moral regulations.

In the Bible, the word “ordain” is found in several contexts. It is used to describe the appointment of godly individuals as pastors or leaders, such as in the story of Moses ordaining a high priest: “And so he (Moses) took the garments, and he clothed his brother Aaron with them, and Moses put the scepter in his hand and the sacred anointing oil on his head, and he ordained him as high priest” (Exodus 28:41). Here, the act of ordaining Aaron is a process of identifying him as a leader of the people of Israel over many generations.

Being Called by God

Ordaining is an important part of the Christian faith because it connects directly to the concept of being “called by God.” In some cases, it is believed that God will communicate directly to an individual, telling them that they have been chosen for a specific vocation or religious office. In the case of Moses, we can see how he was chosen to serve the people of Israel, specifically in terms of leading them into the promised land. In the same way, it can be said that being ordained to a religious office or vocation is a direct result of a divine calling.

Being called by God is a powerful and humbling experience. In the Christian faith, it is viewed as a great privilege to be chosen to serve in a particular way and to be “set apart” for the Lord’s service. It is a sacred responsibility and requires humility and an utter reliance on Him for guidance and strength. Although times have changed, the concept of being ordained to a specific role remains and is still perceived as a special gift from the Lord.

Ordination Ceremony

An ordination ceremony is typically held to recognize the dedication of an individual to a specific vocation or religious office. During the ceremony, the ordained individual is usually presented with sacred symbols such as a bible, a stole, or a certificate of ordination, which are often accompanied by a prayer or blessing from a higher power. In some cases, the ceremony may also involve a special anointing of the individual with oil, and the laying on of hands by the presiding ecclesiastical authorities as a sign of consecration. Following the ceremony, the ordained individual is expected to begin their service in accordance with the rites and traditions of the faith.

Ordination in Contemporary Times

Although in the past, ordination ceremonies were primarily held for religious leaders, in modern times, the concept of ordination has become quite widespread and applies to a variety of fields. For instance, people involved in social work, education, and most of all, the fields of healthcare and medicine are often ordained by their peers, in a ceremony that is similar in some ways to the traditional religious ordination ceremony.

Additionally, ordination is also used in some places to refer to the granting or recognition of political or civil rights and privileges. In these cases, the authority or power that grants or recognizes these rights and privileges is often a group or institution of some kind, such as a local or national government. This type of ordination is, of course, distinct from religious ordination and is typically a more secular matter.

Ordination and Authority

In the Bible, the concept of ordination is closely connected to the idea of “Divine authority.” God is seen as the ultimate authority and whoever is ordained is believed to have been appointed by Him for a specific purpose. This idea is central to the concept of divine authority, where the ordained individual is seen to possess a special power delegated by God. At the same time, the ordained individual is also expected to take on the responsibility of fulfilling their duties to Him and in accordance with His will.

Additionally, ordination can also be seen as an acknowledgment of an individual’s commitment to a particular role or vocation. In the Christian faith, ordination is seen as a seal of approval and shows that the individual has come to understand the teachings and doctrines of the faith and is willing to dedicate themselves to it. Thus, the ceremony of ordination can be seen as a sign of dedication and a confirmation that the individual is fit and ready to fulfill the duties of the role they have been ordained to.

Purpose of Ordination

The primary purpose of ordination is to set an individual apart for service in a particular religious office. In the Bible, this was often done in order to fill a gap in leadership and to help establish a stable and permanent structure for the people of God. Ordained individuals were expected to have an understanding of God’s teachings and doctrines and to help to bring the people of God closer to him. Through their service, they were also expected to help maintain social order and ensure the unity of the community.

Today, although the concept of ordination is still based on religious principles, it has come to encompass a much wider variety of roles and vocations. Thus, it can be said that ordination is not just limited to religious contexts—it is a recognition of an individual’s dedication to a particular role and their commitment to its service.

Conclusion Of The Ordination Process

The completion of the process of ordination is marked by a ceremony and a declaration that the individual is now ordained in a particular religious office. Depending on the context and the faith, the completion of the ordination process may involve the signing of documents, the taking of vows, or even the anointing of the individual with oil. As such, the completion of the ordination process is seen as a powerful moment and a declaration that the individual is now equipped to fulfill their duties and serve God in accordance with His will.

Overall, in the Bible, the term ordain is used to mean an appointment or designation by God or other authority. It is also used to refer to the process of consecrating or making holy an individual for a specific purpose. In contemporary times, ordination has become used for a variety of roles and vocations and is seen as a way of marking the dedication of an individual to a specific role or vocation.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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