Monday, February 11, 2013

Privileges Of God's Children: Access - Part 1

Don't think that you are much as a child of God?


1 Peter 2:4-5  You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God's temple. He was rejected by people, but He was chosen by God for great honor. And you are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple. What's more, you are His holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.

Hebrews 10:19-22  And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.  20  By His death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.  21  And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God's house,  22  let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

In the last post I learned that because of Jesus work on the cross I have the privilege of being joined with Christ as a part of his church, I am one of the living stones that he is using in the construction of the building, but that's not all, I am also a priest in the temple.

Most of the religions in the world have some person that is on a pedestal above the common man, he is the person that has the privilege to be closer to God and speak to their followers on God's behalf, that's not what God has in mind. Even the man made gods that we invent are indifferent and apathetic to our situation, it is usually a relationship based on fear, there isn't an invite from those god's to draw near to them.

I have always heard that we are priest and that we do not need to go through anyone else to have access to God but I have never had a clear picture of what it fully means to be a priest. This study by John MacArthur tells you what it meant to be a priest in the Old Testament as the Bible shows us in Exodus 28 and 29, Leviticus 8 and 9 and Malachi chapter 2.

What A Priest Is

Chosen by God - No volunteers or applications or committees
Cleansed of sin - Washed to symbolize the work of Jesus
Clothed for service - Their garments symbolized purity
Anointed for service - Symbolizing the Holy Spirit on their lives
Ordained to obedience - They blew it right away (Leviticus 10:1-7)
Walk with God - "they walked with Me, living good and righteous lives" (Malachi2:6)
Have an impact on sinners - "they turned many from lives of sin" (Malachi2:6)
A high regard for the word of God - People should go to him for instruction (Malachi 2:7)

When the Bible tells us that we are priest that's what it is calling us. We have been chosen by God to be cleansed from our sins and to have the righteousness that comes through Jesus. We have been anointed with the Holy Spirit to have gifts that we should use to serve the body of Christ. We have been called to obedience and to walk with God, meditating on his word so that we can have an impact on the sinful world around us. What an interesting picture from the Old Testament of what I am supposed to be in Christ!

God uses ordinary people.

1 Corinthians 1:28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.
Do you think that you are unworthy of being a priest? Did God ever choose anyone other than the weak and the under qualified? When he chose the tribe of Levi, he wasn't choosing the nicest, most holy bunch to be his priest, God did what he always has done, he selected one of the most unlikely tribes in all of Judah. (Genesis 49:5-7)

I have the privilege to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ and I have direct access to God to offer the sacrifices. It doesn't make any difference who i was before I came to Jesus and chose to follow him.

Thank you Lord for choosing me to be a priest, to be clean before you and able to come directly to you, help me to never take my privileges for granted.