Did you know that, as a believer, you are a priest in God’s eyes?
The Apostle Peter wrote:
“You 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.” 1 Peter 2:5 NKJV (emphasis mine).
The first thing you will notice is that you are called a HOLY priesthood. As a holy priest, you are required to offer up spiritual sacrifices, three of which we will look at in a moment.
Notice Peter also wrote in the same passage:
“But you are 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.” 1 Peter 2:9 NKJV (emphases mine).
Yes, you are one of God’s special people, a citizen of a holy nation, who has been set apart to continually proclaim the praises of God. This gives you the clue to the first function of a holy priest.
The writer of Hebrews, whom I believe to be the Apostle Paul, wrote:
“Therefore by Him LET US CONTINUALLY OFFER THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE TO GOD, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15
As you can see, your first duty as a priest is to offer up sacrifices of praise before the throne of God. This, of course, includes thanksgiving and worship.
You may recall, from an earlier post, that there are three basic reasons why the Holy Spirit sanctified you and set you apart from the world: To live for God, to serve God, and to worship God. All three of these things are also the duties and functions of a priest before God. Part of worshiping God is to proclaim His praises. This is the sacrifice of praise!
This means God wants you to live a life of praise all day long. When you do, you will be amazed at the joy and peace you feel throughout your day. And, on top of that, you will be amazed how easy it is to love others, and do good to others, when you live a life of praise. Try it out – it works! Then do it every day.
Next the writer of Hebrews mentioned another form of sacrifice that you can make to God:
“But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such SACRIFICES God is well pleased.” Hebrews 13:16 NKJV (emphasis mine).
To do good and to share from your own resources is a sacrifice of service to God. Whatever you do for others, you are doing for the Lord, and He receives the sacrifice of your service as a sweet-smelling aroma before His throne.
Finally, and most importantly, the Apostle Paul wrote:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, that you PRESENT YOUR BODIES A LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE TO GOD, which is your reasonable service (of worship).” Romans 12:1 NKJV (emphases mine).
I have saved the most important to last. You must present your body a living, HOLY sacrifice to God. Yes, you are holy and your body is a holy temple, because it is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This is something you should do at the beginning of each day. You have to offer up your body as a sacrifice to God as a instrument of righteousness for His honor and His glory. This is your reasonable service!
As I indicated in the text, the word “service” means a “service of WORSHIP.” Everything you do for God is a service of worship!
When Satan tempted the Lord in the desert, Jesus said to him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” (See Matthew 4:4). Again, the word “serve” means a “service of worship.” This means that every work of service we do for God is a sweet-smelling fragrance before Him – it is part of your worship!
Yes, you are a holy priesthood offering up spiritual sacrifices to God as a sweet-smelling aroma before the throne of God, which billows up before the throne of God from the alter of incense. God breathes in this fragrance and treasures your acts of love and adoration, which you do here on earth. This is the effect you have in Heaven! (See Isaiah 6:1-2).
This is how God wants you to serve Him every day as a holy priest before Him!
One day I was reflecting on how a Pastor had said to me that day, “I believe in the priesthood of all believers.” Immediately, out of my spirit, I responded, “I believe in the SAINTHOOD of all believers!” That made me stop and ponder what I had just said. Then I realized that is exactly what I have been teaching all along – the sainthood of ALL believers!
Next week, we will look at this subject more closely, and you will see that not only are YOU a saint, but you will begin to see that every believer you meet is a saint, as well. You will not only see that YOU are holy, but they are holy, as well, because of who they are in Christ.
Yes, you are holy, dear saint!