Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Unity # 8: A Royal Priesthood

Unity # 8: A Royal Priesthood
Theme Song: This Kingdom Come

Dear Father,
     I praise You that You are our Lord, Master, and King. You have complete control over all that we are, and we surrender our spirits into Your righteous and just hands. We trust that You will continue to make us more like Your Son and that You are working, even through our trials and failures, to bring holiness to completion in us. Please teach us to fear You and to pray. I hear of Your great saints who have spent enormous amounts of time in prayer. These saints have been filled with Your power to advance the Gospel and to have a boldness during the crucifixion of their flesh, knowing by Your past training of their souls that You have been consistently good each and every time. Satisfy us with Your goodness and teach us to submit to You until the End. You will, Father.
In Jesus Christ’s Name,

Dear Beloved,

As we continue daily in our belief in the Gospel of our salvation, we are remembering Jesus, who continues forever and upholds His priesthood permanently. Because He is our eternal high Priest, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them (Heb 7:25). We have no portion among the inheritance of the desires of the flesh, because the Priesthood of our Lord is our inheritance. (Josh 18:7). Indeed our inheritance is the knowledge of Christ!

            Now that we have been granted this eternal covenant through His blood, we, as living stones, are being built up as a Spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up Spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:5). What kind of sacrifices do we offer? We offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God as our reasonable service (Rom 12:1). We offer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, the fruit of our lips which confess His Name (Heb 13:15). Christ has offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins, and now as His people, we offer ourselves to Him. We are not conformed to the pattern of this world, but we are transformed daily by the renewing of our mind (Rom 12:2). We are a CHOSEN RACE, a royal PRIESTHOOD, a HOLY NATION, a PEOPLE for GOD’S OWN POSSESSION, so that we may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

            As a royal priesthood, we follow in the footsteps of Christ. His Spirit is on us and He has anointed us to preach good news to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the Day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, to grant the mourners in our midst, the garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. We will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. We will rebuild the ancient ruins of godlessness, Gospel-ignorance, and the aimless traditions passed down from our fore-fathers. We will rise up these former devastations and repair the ruined cities and the desolations of many generations. Strangers and foreigners will stand and pasture our flocks and be our farmers and vinedressers in the Spiritual Kingdom. That is, many will be brought to faith. We will be called the priests of the Lord, ministers of our God. We will eat the wealth of the nations (souls brought into the Kingdom), and in their riches we will boast (the riches that Christ has granted them). Instead of our shame, we will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation we will shout for joy over our portion. Everlasting joy will be ours. For the Lord loves justice, and hates robbery. He will faithfully give us our recompense and He has given us an eternal covenant. Let us rejoice greatly in the Lord and may our souls exult in our God. For He has clothed us with garments of salvation and wrapped us with the robe of Christ’s righteousness. The Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up from us before all the nations. (Is 61:1-11)
The purpose of our priesthood is to declare the Excellencies of Christ (1 Peter 2:9). The Scriptures, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU” (Gal 3:8). We are to proclaim the Gospel and have a heart’s compulsion: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel” (1 Cor 9:16). Jesus told us that the Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations and then the end will come (Matt 24:14). He commissioned all of His followers to go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that He has commanded us. And behold, He is with us always, to the end of the age. (Matt 28:19-20). The Lord stands by us and strengthens us so that the proclamation might be fully accomplished. He rescues us from the lion’s mouth. He will rescue us from every evil deed, and will bring us safely to His heavenly Kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. (2 Tim 4:17-18)

We are not ashamed of the Gospel, for It is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Rom 1:16). Jesus told us that whoever is ashamed of Him and His Words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels (Luke 9:26). We are not ashamed because we have been granted the Spirit of faith. Because we truly believe we are able to speak; deep in our hearts we know that God who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with the saints before Him. The grace of the Gospel is spreading to more and more people and causing the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. (2 Cor 4:13-15).

True faith in the Blood of the Lamb results in the proclamation of His Gospel. Thus we overcome the evil one by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony (Rev 12:11). In our hearts we honor Christ the Lord as holy, and we must be always prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks us for a reason for the hope that is in us; yet we do it with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). For as we preach the Gospel, we are not serving ourselves, but our Lord and His chosen people by His Holy Spirit sent from heaven (1 Peter 1:12). At the time of the End, an angel will fly in midheaven, having an eternal Gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, tongues, and people (Rev 14:6).

As we share our faith, the fellowship of our faith becomes effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in us for Christ’s sake (Philemon 1:6). There are blessings of our sonship that we will come to know as we share the Gospel! The apostle Paul charges us 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 ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction (2 Tim 4:1-2).

As a royal priesthood, we offer prayers up to God for the saints. If one among us suffers, we must pray. Our prayers offered in faith bring restoration, healing, and forgiveness. Thus, we are to confess our sins to one another, and pray for one another so that we may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (James 5:13-16) If someone among us strays from the Truth and we turn him back away from the error of his way, we will save his soul from death and cover a multitude of sins (James 5:19-20). We must show mercy to those who doubt, save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh (Jude 22-23).

To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.  Rev 1

Excellent Messages:
Anand’s Sermon on The Missions Effort at Battleground Bible Church (10/21)
(starts at minute 11 after a clip from Paul Washer)
The Nature of Saving Faith Sermon by John MacArthur

Love in Christ,

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