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The Daily Word of Righteousness
A Basic Concept, #17
Ye also, as lively [living] stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (I Peter 2:5)
The royal priesthood.
It is God's intention that Israel be a nation of priests. In Old Testament times the Levites served a particularly holy office. The Aaronic priesthood was set apart to an even greater extent than the Levites. From the Aaronic priesthood came the High Priest of Israel—a progression of holiness of calling. Yet the entire nation was to be holy, a kingdom of priests.
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. (Exodus 19:6)
The role of a priest is to present to people the Person, way, will, laws, and eternal purpose of God. The priest is a teacher who directs people in the righteous ways of the Lord.
The Lord Jesus is the great High Priest of God. The Lord Jesus is the only priest of God to the elect. It is not of the Lord that some of the elect be priests over others of the elect. In the Body of Christ there are no "reverends," no clergy. We need to abolish the clergy-laity pattern at the earliest possible moment.
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. (Matthew 23:8-10)
"All ye are brethren."
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ; (I Timothy 2:5)
Jesus is the only priest over the members of His Body, His Church. The Church itself consists of God's priests who are to bless and teach the nations of saved peoples of the earth.
But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles [nations], and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. (Isaiah 61:6)
It is not possible for us to serve as a priest to the nations of the saved until we are in the image of Christ and in union with God. Otherwise we will set a bad example for people, as did Eli and his two sons. Also we will seek our own glory, causing discord in God's creation.
Because Eli the priest honored his sons above God, God spoke to Eli as follows:
Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. (I Samuel 2:30)
No man can decide to be a priest; he must be chosen by the Lord.
And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. (Hebrews 5:4)
To be a member of the Body of Christ is the highest honor God can bestow. Let us follow the Lord until He makes us worthy of the priesthood.
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)
To be continued.