Weekly Devotional 8-13-18 Two Peoples Called as Priest; Part 3
In our last two offerings, we considered that Israel had been called by God as priest to the rest of humanity. We also considered that this mantle has been passed to the church, a called-out assembly of people from among humanity. We considered that Israel failed to live according to the requirements of their priesthood and were set aside for a time. We considered that much of the church has replaced true God with a god of their imagination. Many of the church measure God by human standards having lost the truth that there is none like God. He is the measurement of perfection and true holiness. Having lost this perception of God, many of the church now live by human standards. They have begun to say, “Did God really say?” questioning the validity of the Bible. In doing this they have cast aside the standards of God and setting their own standards, standards that are flawed because of sin and the influence of Satan.
Questions that arise from this are, can this be reversed? Can the church return to a proper perception and worship of God? Can the church once again properly wear the mantle of being priests of God? The answer to these is not unless we as persons of the church recognize that displacing God as being the measurement of perfection and holiness is sin. Upon recognizing this sin, we must confess (agree with God) that it is sin, repent of it (turn from it) and ask Him for His forgiveness. Only this will reestablish us as being His priest to the world. The Lord’s apostle, John, for instance was inspired to write, “6If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1st John 1:6-10).
If we truly want to live up to our calling as priest, this must be the path we follow. Secondly, we must be securely attached to Jesus, our Lord. Speaking of this Jesus said, “1I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so, you will be My disciples” (John 15:1-8). We cannot walk in our own strength believing we can fulfill our calling as priest and be successful. We must be nourished and strengthened by the only true source of spiritual power: Jesus Christ, God the Son.
Equally important is that we must always keep in mind that we are in a war. This war is not of the temporal, but the spiritual. It is a war against Satan. It is also a war against our old nature. Paul, in his letter to the Galatians wrote, “16I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-25).
If therefore we truly want to return to our calling as a church or as individuals, we must recognize God for who He is, we must recognize sin, repent of it, lean on Him for our strength and fight against Satan and our old nature walking in the Holy Spirit so that He may release His power in us.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
All Scripture utilized is from the NKJB