KJV Exodus 19:5 “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
19:6 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.”
1 Peter 2:9a “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:”
Review God called ALL of the people to be priests, not only a select few! God called ALL of the people to be priests, not only a select few! The OT promise was conditional. Words like “if”, “then” The OT promise was conditional. Words like “if”, “then” indicate the promise had yet to be fulfilled. The NT declares that believers inherit the priesthood. Words like “are”. NT believers are expected to fulfill their duties of priest. “Ye shall”. The duties are shadowed in the OT through the Levites. The NT teaches what these duties are. Believers have a unique priesthood: Their own private priesthood directly before God. Believers have a unique priesthood: Their own private priesthood directly before God. Believers/priests have direct access to God. Believers/priests have direct access to God. The NT believer/priest has duties. (4x sacrifice-Body, Praise, Substance, Deeds) The NT believer/priest has duties. (4x sacrifice-Body, Praise, Substance, Deeds) The NT believer/priest is also to be an intercessor. The NT believer/priest is also to be an intercessor.
In this last part of the priesthood teaching we will be looking at the most difficult part of the priestly duties; SACRIFICE!
Attention!! Our ETERNAL salvation is NEVER and will NEVER be based upon our personal merit!! That means WORKS or even priestly DUTIES!!!!!!!!!! These duties will NOT get you to God…only closer to God!
KJV John 6:28 “Then said they to him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
KJV 1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached to you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain to this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. 12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
KJV Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel to you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Daniel Aleshire.(Executive Director of the Association of Theological Schools) Raises the question; “Is the belief that leads to salvation a belief in Jesus Christ –trusting in Him as Savior and Lord? Or is it belief that Jesus is the Son of God, was crucified, buried, and rose on the 3 rd day?”
Dr. Aleshire then goes on to describe a series of works that equate salvation.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, friend and student of Karl Barth (world famous theologian) coined the phrase “cheep grace”. Today, some refer to this as “greasy grace”.
Bonhoeffer, because of the Nazis claim of Christianity, was driven to the thinking that works had to be attached to salvation. He stated that “cheep grave” was grace with out discipleship”.
Dr. Bonhoeffer said; “The failure of the church is making grace available to all at too low of a cost.”
In our flesh, apart from the Spirit, we think this way. The word grace is the word “charis” in Greek. This word means “gift”. A gift is free! There is not, nor will there ever be such a thing as “cheep grace”!
Grace is given by God, not man; Grace is given by God, not man; KJV Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
The motivating factor for works in the life of a believer is not to prove their faith. Our works demonstrate our love for our Savior.
As we learned last week, the grace/faith given by God that saves unto eternal life, is free and constitutes a born-again experience. Any work done in response to this gift is what identifies a believer as a disciple/follower of Christ, aka, a Christian.
We also learned last week that there are consequences for the believer not to exercise, or exercise properly the duties of the priesthood. The reason these consequences exist is because the high cost of grace!
God accepts us as we are. He saves us through the blood of Christ. But when we fail to reciprocate God’s love with our own love, expressed by outward works of the priesthood, we can expect to experience consequences as trials and tests.
Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
How many people who claim to be Christians and don’t display a Christian way of life are mocked by unbelievers.
27 And whoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. How is it that Jesus spoke of the cross as our cross to bare unless He knew the cross was His to bare first. We as believers are expected to experience hardships from the world because of our new life style as NT priests.
The closing of last weeks teaching focused on OT priests persecution. The closing of last weeks teaching focused on OT priests persecution. 1 Samuel 22:17 And the king said unto the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD.
These priests suffered and were killed because they chose to stand for God and go against those set against God. NT disciples were arrested, beaten, stoned and killed because they stood up for their belief.
KJV 2 Corinthians 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Taking up our cross daily for Christ is taught today as just some kind of uncomfortable burden. The truth Jesus was stating was that we must be willing to die even to the extent of torture for Him daily.
EVERY DAY WILLING TO GO ALL THE WAY FOR HIM. Not because our eternal salvation depends on it, but because He did it for us. We owe Him everything! When we reject the duties of the priesthood we are rejecting God.
A believer has already received Christ, but they are now rejecting God. At every rejection toward God’s priestly duties for us, we are rejecting Him. Peter received his salvation upon his statement that Jesus was the Christ the Son of the living God.
Yet Peter later rejected Christ 3 times. Peter later died a martyr's death on the cross because he accepted his duties of priest unto God. What of the other disciples?
They took up their cross Andrew; Crucified for 3 days. Andrew; Crucified for 3 days. James; Beheaded. James; Beheaded. John; Beaten, boiled in oil. Exiled for 2 years, forced to drink poison. Lived and died at 101. John; Beaten, boiled in oil. Exiled for 2 years, forced to drink poison. Lived and died at 101. Matthew; nailed to the ground with spears, beheaded. Matthew; nailed to the ground with spears, beheaded. Phillip; Whipped, imprisoned, crucified. Phillip; Whipped, imprisoned, crucified. Thomas; burnt with hot plates, put in a furnace, speared. Thomas; burnt with hot plates, put in a furnace, speared. James (Jesus’ lil bro); Thrown off the temple roof, stoned, stabbed. James (Jesus’ lil bro); Thrown off the temple roof, stoned, stabbed. Jude; beaten to death. Jude; beaten to death. Simon the zealot; Tortured and crucified. Simon the zealot; Tortured and crucified. Bartholomew; Tortured, beaten with rods, skinned alive, crucified and then flayed, beheaded. Bartholomew; Tortured, beaten with rods, skinned alive, crucified and then flayed, beheaded.
The cost of following Christ is great…but, the cost of rejecting our Savior after putting our trust in Him is so much more costly, I never want to be called into account for it!
If every believer accepted his or her duties as priest, and picked up their cross daily, the Body of Christ would be strong and effective, in a constant state of revival. We must accept our calling and encourage all believers to take up their cross daily, by Christ, by the apostles, by our example.