Thursday, April 14, 2011
Who Are the Priests Now?
Christ gave up the ghost. The thick veil in the Temple at Jerusalem split from top to bottom. In real terms the Mosaic economy had finished its course. The succession of high priests was ended. The beasts for sacrifice, no longer required.
One blood-letting would now have eternal focus. One High Priest, eternal office. And believers were enabled to approach holy functions and places standing in the righteousness of their Saviour. This is the New Covenant. We are told in the Letter to the Hebrews that we may now come boldly to the throne of grace that we might receive help.
We are told in Peter's First Letter that we have been raised to "a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices" (chapter 2:5).
But might any veils still stand in the way of our service? How might we caution ourselves? Beware of the following:
1. Persisting in known sin. (Psalm 66:18)
2. Unforgiveness. (Mark 11:24-26)
3. Prayerlessness. (Mark 14:38)
4. Condemnation unchecked from Satan. (1 John 1:8,9)
5. Idols of distraction. (1 John 2: 15-17)
6. Shyness and Fear of Man.
7. False humility.
8. Tempting praise. (Luke 17:10)
9. Lack of Bible foundation. (1 Timothy 4:16)
10. Making a "pope" out of any man. (Psalm 118:8,9)
11. Lack of rest.
12. Lack of meditation in quiet.
13. Church barricades to the five-fold. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
14. Backward looking sentimentality. (Luke 9:62)
15. Judgmental spirit.
16. Comfort seeking.
I guess it just boils down to how much you desire to conform your will and ways to God's. How much you perceive yourself as the purchased possession of Jesus, and as His ambassador with dynamic delegated power. At any moment a large door may open.
Look again to Psalm 37. If you resolve to "delight yourself in the Lord", seeking His agenda, you will discover that you receive increasingly "the desires of your heart" (the desires of your Lord's heart).
The potential of such ready volunteers is awesome. They are the ones who have been given "the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 16:19).
In the Lord's name they may "loose" revelation, forgiveness, healing, fresh confidence, agendas of help, ministry commissions, praises and supplications which will move Heaven. They may also "bind" dark practices, temptations, strife, spiritual attack, sickness, thick-headedness, condemnation or despair.
What a tremendous privilege we have as day-to-day priests of our God through Christ!
Admittedly we still need pastors and mentors for clear direction, interpretation, confession, prayer agreement and a mature sounding-board. But we must not abdicate from evident openings for ministry. We must be bold when the Spirit urges (but not when our fleshly ambition prods). Christ uses believers (Mark 16:15-18). Not just men and women with certificates on the wall.
When, oh when will our churches discover this? Unlocking the treasure of the priesthood of believers. And it is for the community at large. Not just in-house.