The Priesthood of Believers
2 November 2014
(a) Old Testament – Israel
· Exodus 19:4-6 “And you shall be to me a Kingdom of Priests”
· God has redeemed Israel from bondage of Egypt – He now reveals His calling upon them.
· “Peculiar Treasure” =H5459 Segulah = Term given by groom to bride to initiate marriage.
· Kingdom =H4427 = a realm or territory where heaven will invade earth.
· Priests =H3548 = a person who comes before God to offer sacrifices on behalf of man.
· God’s plan is a priesthood of all believers – able to access the throne room and presence of God.
(b) New Testament – Jesus
· Heb. 3:1 “Therefore holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and the Priest of our profession Christ Jesus”.
· All believers are called to sonship – to access the presence of God.
· Apostle =G652 = one sent on a mission to conquer territory and expand Kingdom culture and law.
· High Priest =G749 = the chief of a body of priests – the one who is over all other priests.
· Jesus functioned on earth as a Priest and a King.
(c) New Testament – The Church
· Rev. 1:5-6 “He has made us Kings and Priests unto our God”.
· Rev. 5:9-10 He has made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign on the earth.
· The pattern throughout the Bible is consistent – believers are called to be priests and kings.
· King = person who rules over a territory and establishes his culture, governance, laws.
· Priest = person who goes before God with sacrifices and brings blessing from God to men.
2. What is a Priest?
(a) Spiritual Sacrifice
1 Pet. 2:5 “You also as living stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
· God has called us into covenant relationship with Him to represent Him on earth.
· Culture: When we think of a priest, we think of a religious person in robes, a special person. This concept of a priest is deeply ingrained in religious culture.
· NT: A priest is a person who presents spiritual sacrifices to God. Each of us who follow Christ are appointed as priests to God.
· Sacrifice =G2378 = something completely surrendered, given over to another at personal cost.
· Spiritual = The nature of our sacrifices is spiritual, not natural because we are spiritual people.
(b) Sacrifice releases Power
· All through the Bible sacrifice is associated with covenant relationship and release of power.
1 Sam 7:9-13 Samuel subdues Philistines
Lev. 9:24 Aaron – fire from heaven
1 Chron. 21:26 David – fire from heaven
2 Chron. 7:1 Soloman – fire from heaven
1 Kg 18 Elijah – fire from heaven
Ps. 50:5 gather my saints together who have made covenant with me by sacrifice
Mt.27:50-53 Jesus sacrifice – great power released from heaven
Act 2:1-4 New Testament church – spiritual offering prayer – fire from heaven
· We have covenant with God by faith in Jesus sacrifice.
· Now positioned to be Kings/Priests.
3. What is the Function of a Priest?
· We must function as a priest before we can function as a King.
· What are the spiritual sacrifices we can offer/present to God?
(a) “Present your Body” – availability to serve
Rom.12:1 “present your bodies, a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God – reasonable service”
· Body = temple/house of God, means of expressing your life in the earth
· Present your body, soul spirit to God daily in prayer
· Sacrifice = availability to serve Him, to act on His behalf, meet needs of people
· Jesus set the example of availability and surrender to serve.
e.g. Jn 13 : foot washing; death on Cross
· Most believers not called to die for Jesus but live sacrificially for Him.
(b) Praise and Worship
Heb.13:15 “Therefore by Him, let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of our lips tgiving thanks to His name.”
· Praise and gratitude (thanksgiving) are part of the atmosphere of heaven. (Ps22:3; Rev.5)
· Praise and thanks can be a sacrifice – costly, because of negative feelings, circumstances.
· 1 Thess.5:18 “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ ….”
· Thanks, praise, tender, heartfelt worship are a spiritual sacrifice – pleasing to God
e.g. Daniel – worshipper – man after God’s own heart.
(c) Acts of Mercy and Kindness
Heb.13:16 “Do not forget to do good and to share for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
· “Do good” = to show mercy and kindness in practical and spiritual ways to people.
· Gal.6:10 “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all especially those of household of faith.”
· Constantly be on the lookout for opportunities to be a blessing to others.
· “Share” = G2842 Koinonia = participate in community, fellowship and not isolate.
(d) Giving: Tithes and Offerings
Prov.3:9 “Honour the Lord with your possessions and with the first fruits of all your increase.”
· Giving money to God is a spiritual sacrifice, act of honouring God as our source.
· We honour God with tithese – regular 10% and with offerings – spontaneous giving
· Putting finances into God’s order is a spiritual sacrifice that release blessing
· Order = tithes/offerings; taxes; budget; management; savings; investment.
(e) Prayer and Intercession
Mk.1:35 “NJow in the morning having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place and He prayed.”
· Jesus life of prayer and intercession released Kingdom Power to the earth (Heb.5:7)
· Heb.7:25 “Jesus or the priest continues to make intercession for us.”
· Prayer/intercession = Key to releasing the power of God to earth – ruling as King
What has the Holy Spirit been saying to you today?
What area of your priesthood do you need to strengthen and build?