The Daily Word of Righteousness

Fifty-two Kingdom Concepts, #62

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (I Peter 2:9—NIV)

The Royal Priesthood

The Church is the royal priesthood. It has been chosen by the Lord to govern, guide, and bless the members of the nations of saved people on the earth.

It appears that throughout the history of the Christian Church there has been little understanding of this role of God's saints. The unceasing emphasis on our eternal residence in Heaven leads away from the idea that one day we will be governing, guiding, and blessing the peoples of the earth.

Each true Christian has experienced the seemingly endless dealings of the Lord with him or her. Every thought, every word, every action is brought up for review it seems.

The reason for this careful training is that we are being prepared to be priests—representatives of God to man and of man to God.

Priests must be holy. Holiness has to do with spiritual purity and with our nearness to God. Righteousness has to do with our behavior toward people. Holiness has to do with our behavior toward God.

Sometimes Christian people, who are willing to obey the laws of righteousness as those laws control their conduct toward other people, do not understand the importance of holiness. For example, a Christian might be gentle and trustworthy with regards to his wife and family. Yet he can see nothing wrong with smoking one cigarette on his way to work, knowing that no one is being harmed by the smoke he is blowing into the air.

He is a righteous man at heart, considerate of other people. But he cannot understand how God could object to smoking a cigarette occasionally.

He understands righteousness but not holiness.

Consider: we are being made in the image of God.

Can you imagine the God of Heaven with a cigarette hanging from His mouth? Or even a cigar or pipe?

We know God, surrounded by His elders, would not be smoking a cigar.

How do we know this? We know it because we all have a sense of what is holy. We know a holy God does not smoke cigars. We do not picture Jesus Christ smoking a cigarette or pipe. We have an inner sense of what is holy and what is not.

A Christian should never watch a moving picture or television show that he knows Christ would not watch. Why not? Because it is not holy.

Under Old Testament law, it was a sin for a Nazirite to come near a dead body. This is not a sin of righteousness but of holiness.

It appears to me that our current generation of Christian believers is not, for the most part, sensitive to the issue of holiness. They will go with their family to a moving picture in which there is profane language, or witchcraft, or sexual innuendoes.

Would such be comfortable if they knew the Lord Jesus was sitting next to them when foul words were being spoken?

To be continued.