Saturday, 29 November 2014

A Royal Priesthood

You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation… - 1 Peter 2:9

 The above verse is one of those scriptures that brings me both joy and sadness. Joy in that we were chosen by God, in Christ, to be priests in his kingdom. The bible makes no distinction between clergy and laity and only sees one class of believers. The only mediator we have being given is Jesus, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus”. What an amazing privilege it is we have being given!
    Yet at the same time I feel sadness in that the majority of the church has gone the same way as Israel. Let’s rewind approximately 1400 years to a time when the Israelites had just miraculously left Egypt and were sitting at the foot of Mount Sinai. Shortly before receiving the Ten Commandments (plus change) from God these words were recorded in Exodus 19:5-6

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people, for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words you shall speak to the children of Israel”. 

  Sounds familiar doesn't it? To cut a long story short, the people were afraid of God’s presence and told Moses that he should rather speak with God on their behalf and they would listen to and do whatever he told them (19:8, 20: 19). It reminds me of the story of Israel later on asking Samuel for a king. Gods response was to give the people what they wanted. He added that they had not rejected Samuel but rejected Him as the one to reign over them (1 Samuel 8:7). 

Has the church not done the same thing today? Rather than seek God together, we elect a man on our behalf to tell us “what saith the Lord”. Just as Israel wanted to be like the surrounding nations, the church wants to be like other religions and has set up a man over them. Let me be clear here that Moses is not the bad guy in Israel’s story. Likewise, most pastors are doing the best they can in the situation that the church has put itself into. This is simply a plea for the church to not be a shining example of how the Pareto principle works (where 80% do 20% and 20% do 80% of the work). He has made us, all of us, to be both kings and priests to His God and Father (Revelation 1:6). Think about that.

The anointing which you have received abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. – 1 John 2:27

Alternatively, you can give up the intimacy, the relationship and the abiding and tell someone else that they should rather do it for you and that you will be happy to follow along with the do’s and do not’s handed down to you. But do so aware that you may wind up the same way that Israel did.

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