Weekly Devotional 7-30-18 Two Peoples Called as Priest
The calling of Israel as recorded in Exodus19:1-6. “1In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. 2For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain. 3And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 4’You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. 5Now 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. 6And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
The calling of The Church in Matthew 16:13-18, 28:16-20, Acts 1:4-8, 1st Peter 2:5-10.
Matthew 16:13-18; “13When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ 14So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’15He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ 16Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ 17Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’”
Matthew 28:16-20; “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.”
Acts 1:4-8; “4And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me; 5for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ 6Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ 7And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’”
1st Peter 2:1-10; “1Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 4Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.’ 7Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” 8and ‘A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. 9But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.’”
The Israelites were chosen, and the church has been chosen as God’s priests, as God’s representatives to the rest of humanity. In that calling they were to be holy, set aside to righteousness, purity of heart, mind and practice. Israel failed in these things and God set them aside for a time. He will reestablish them in their priestly purpose (see Jeremiah 31:31-33) after the church has fulfilled its purpose and has been taken up into heaven at the beginning of the Tribulation which is the last seven years of this present dispensation. Until that time, the church is God’s priests or representatives to humanity.
But like Israel, not all who are of the church are faithful to their purpose or the priesthood to which they have been called. To this part of the church Jesus said, “15I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked–18I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’” (Revelation 3:15-22).
We should be ever mindful that our calling is a holy calling and we are called to be faithful to it.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
All Scripture usage is from the New Kings James Bible