But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. – 1 Peter 2:9
How awesome is it to know that you are a special kind of an individual, peculiar and set apart for God’s possession. That you have been fished out of the world, like a fish out of a lake. However, when a fish is taken out of the lake it dies. The one who would have fished it out would have done so for the purpose of selling the fish or eating it. It is indeed the same thing with the Lord. Whoever is chosen out of the world dies from carnality, and only live by the Spirit of God for the purpose of God. It is indeed awesome to be chosen, but without dying to the world and living through God and for the purpose of God, it is a pointless exercise. We cannot tap inbetween, it is either God or the world. Reason being that, to die to the world is a process on it’s own. It is not in just confessing it, it is living it. It is unlearning the ways of the world, and doing away with them, to accomodate the ways of the kingdom of God.
Then bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the tent of meeting and wash them with water. Clothe Aaron with the holy garments, anoint him, and consecrate him, so that he can serve me as a priest. Have his sons come forward and clothe them in tunics. Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so that they may also serve me as priests. Their anointing will serve to inaugurate a permanent priesthood for them throughout their generations.” – Exodus 40:13-15
Paul said, I am jealous of you with a godly jealousy. That I may present you to one husband, Christ as a pure virgin. The Lord cleanses and purifies the church so he can present it to Himself without blemish. Therefore, as one leaves the world they have to be purified of all the infirmities and impurities accumulated from the world. Like silver and gold goes through fire so does the priesthood. This involves deliverance, healing and separation from all things and people that can derail the process. It involves giving up certain acts and habits the person had been accustomed to. It includes repentance and baptism. It is a process that becomes ineffective if one has not fully surrendered themselves to Christ and the kingdom. Without surrender, it purely becomes religion. Aaron and His sons had to be clothed in a certain apparel, clothing that carried symbolism relating to their responsibility. This is the case with the priesthood as well. We are set apart by behaviour, actions and works.
He will be like a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver.Then they will present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. And the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will please the Lord as in days of old and years gone by. – Malachi 3:3-4
The purpose of cleansing and purification is to make us worthy to come before the Lord, whether to present our concerns, offer an offering or a sacrifice, or to give thanks.God is Holy and as we are in His image and likeness, we also have to be Holy. Righteousness qualifies the priesthood to stand before God, much as it also provokes God concerning them. When He was to come and speak to Israel in Exodus 19, they were instructed to consecrate themselves for the Lord’s presence. It is even worse now because, it no longer is a case of only the priests that are to be sanctified, but as the chosen, we are all the royal priesthood through Christ Jesus by whom the curtain was torn so that all can have a privilege to come before God. Which means that what was then required only of the priests, is required of all of us. Yes, Christ makes us all righteous. He does that through guidance by the Holy Spirit, not to say we now have no reason to be sanctified. Sanctification by the Holy Spirit is what gives us righteousness through Christ.
Your Majesty,” David said, “I take care of my father’s sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear carries off a lamb, I go after it, attack it, and rescue the lamb. And if the lion or bear turns on me, I grab it by the throat and beat it to death. – 1 Samuel 17:35-36
This is the responsibility that the priesthood has, especially Pastors. Leaders will have to give account for every individual that the Lord entrusted them with. Jesus prayed before He was crucified and said that, Father out of these ones you gave me I have lost none, except for Judas. So, there is no Pastor entrusted with God’s people that enjoys having straying sheep. When God entrusts us with His people, He expects us to restore their souls and be their keepers. Again, Jesus said to the Pharisees that they travel many miles to win a single convert, and after success turn that convert to two times a son of hell as they are. He said this rebuking them for depriving others of heaven because they themselves had no access to it. It is a strict responsibility that of a Priest. What makes it even worse is that everyone is the same human, with similar shortcomings, yet the responsibility is different according to the office one has been called into. The five fold ministry has a high responsibility concerning the people of God. Even the troubles; temptations, spiritual warfare and disregard by the very same sheep is their portion. Just like David had to war against the lion and a bear, these are the same battles there are in priesthood, more especially the pastoral priesthood. It is a challenge for one to fight their own battles, imagine the five fold ministry’s task, to fight for all those they are assigned to. Yet, they still have to give account, even for that one sheep that continued to transgress regardless of the work put in by the minister.
Instead, I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the LORD. That is why I said concerning them: ‘They will have no inheritance among the Israelites’ – Deut 18: 24
This is the sacrificial oath that the five fold ministry has taken. To have no inheritance from that of Israel except for the tithes. However, the tithe itself has now been extended to cover running costs of a church. Not just that, but also that many struggle to give or tithe, leaving ministers hanging. In this case, truly God is their inheritance, Jehovah Jire the Lord who provides. As Paul acclaimed, he was not fed by the congregation but had to work for food. This kind of setup leaving us with a hungry, tired and defeated priesthood and quite corrupt when there is a lack of understanding of what it means to be a sacrifice for God’s ministry.
We have to find a way to work together as the chosen, peculiar people. We are the chosen for the kingdom of God, as heirs, to benefit from it. However, we have to put an effort to build the very kingdom up so as for all of us to benefit in great proportion. We can nolonger be selfish as a chosen generation. First, we have to understand what it means to surrender ourselves to Christ. It is only then, can we be proper contributors in the kingdom. The word of God is the bread of life, but for it to be bread to the body also and not just the soul, the whole royal priesthood has to work together. It is the bread for the body that is causing havoc in the kingdom, and only each person understanding their sacrificial role will be an answer to the problem.
May the Lord help us all!