Tuesday, 23 June 2020 Isaiah 61:1-11
“But you shall be named the priests of the LORD, They shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, And in their glory you shall boast.” -Isaiah 61:6
God called His people to be a “kingdom of priests”: "And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:6). When Christ came, all earthly priesthood was abolished, and of all members of His kingdom it is said, “Ye shall be named the priests of the Lord.” The office of the priesthood was first conferred on Aaron and his sons; they were the type of Christ’s high-priesthood and the priesthood of all believers. The privileges and the duties of priests included offering spiritual sacrifices (1Peter 2:5) and maintain the service of the sanctuary.
A new dawn of PRIESTHOOD came into existence in the Kingdom of God beginning at the cross of Calvary, by putting an end to the Levitical priesthood (differentiating the clergy from laity). But there are people who still follow the Old Testament type priesthood, which is contrary to the revelation given through the New Testament. We see an elevation of the believers; it is no more a role with an office, but a broadened ministering service for the salvation of mankind at large. Paul says to Timothy who was set over the Church of Ephesus, “I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands [ordination]; for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. …Share in suffering for the Gospel in the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:6-9).
The Latin word for priest means bridge. The priest is a bridge builder between God and man. There are two benefits that are now available to everybody who is a believer in Jesus Christ. 1) We have direct access to God. We don't have to confess our sins to anyone else. We can go directly to God. 2) We have a responsibility to minister to the needs of other people. Every Christian is a minister; not a pastor. We are "God's instruments” to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the Good News.
We are called as a “royal priesthood” in 1 Peter 2:5, probably meaning having thus the dignity of kings, and the sanctity of priests. Compare this with Revelation 1:6; "..and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father…” We are a priest to our neighbor, co-worker, brother or sister in Christ, or at least we as a church are called to that identity. Being royal priesthood means being God’s presence in the world—representing Him, showing others His presence, His nature.
The church itself is God’s idea and it consists of God’s plan and God’s possession–God’s treasured people. Paul revealed the five-fold Ministry of the Church in Ephesians 4:11-12 “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” If everyone takes this new identity and becomes aware of their calling, each one has a role in this fivefold ministry and the Father in heaven will be more delighted.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I surrender my life to the divine calling as a minister, may it be used for your glory. Amen.