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Monday, January 25, 2010

Kingdom of Priests

“And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Exodus 19:6a

God's calling on Israel was to be a nation of priests to the nations around them, set apart declaring the glory of God. Priests were responsible for examining and making sacrifices, declaring the word of God to the people around them, keeping the law of God, and maintaining the temple. Now I don't believe it is true that everything said to Israel can be applied to the church. However, in Romans Paul argues that the Gentiles have been grafted into the nation of Israel, to carry out the mission of Israel and bring Israel to repentance through jealousy. Therefore, the call for Israel to be a kingdom of priests is applicable to the church insofar as we are grafted into the covenant. On the one hand, the sacrifice has been made once and for all by Christ for all sins, so the need of the church to make sin sacrifices is not necessary. However, this does mean that part of the role of the church is examining the integrity of the offerings brought before God through worship, communion, and service. Further, it also means declaring the Word of God to those who will listen. In 1 John, we are told that those who love God keep his commandments, and in 1 Corinthians we read not to destroy the temple of God, which is the Holy Spirit dwelling within the church. So it is clear that God's call of Israel to be a kingdom of priests applies to the church as well. But for what purpose? The same reason God called Israel. So that through the holiness of the church, the nations might know God and worship Him. This is the reason we are saved! So let us live as priests to the nations, holy and righteous, declaring God's word for the praise of the glory of His grace!

Lord Jesus, make us holy to be your vessels on earth. Consecrate us as priests to the world and give us integrity in our offering to you!

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