Our Priestly Function: (Chapter 2 Verses 1-10)
The theme of the believer’s priesthood is now fully developed and applied (vv9-10). The objective of this priestly function is to declare the praises of the one who called us. Namely God himself, to glorify him. In order to bring this about, we, the Church have to be an incarnation of the gospel, we have been called out of the darkness in order to flesh out the life of Jesus in this world. To show him to a lost world. But it must be said again, we cannot fulfil this end individually. We need every man and woman on board functioning with their particular personalities and gifts (1Corinthians 12.14-20). Maturity and effectiveness are only accomplished when the Church is functioning in its full breadth of diversity (Ephesians 4.11-16). The vision of the Body, its goal and its ethos, a people who are heaven-bent on working together. The functioning priesthood will find itself borne along by the Holy Spirit into community activities they never dreamed of, helping people unable to help themselves, clearing gardens, decorating rooms, cooking and shopping for folk, helping out in the old folks home. All the good works done in and for Christ, making the Church community’s presence and profile in the community to be seen and felt. The church’s profile in society should be significant and very high. Remember twelve unlearned men with the Holy Spirit in them turned the world upside down.
We have been brought into the light in order to show that light, not to be kept in quarantine till Jesus comes again (Matthew 5.14-16). As Jesus demonstrated what the Kingdom (rule) of God is like, so do we. That is the pattern, Jesus does it himself whilst saying to his disciples, this is how it is done, follow me (Mark 1.17). Then he departs giving them the power, divine energy through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1.8), with the suitable gifts (1Corinthians 12-14), enabling them to do greater things even than he did (John 14.12). Now as the Church lives in faithfulness to God’s word its light shines, revealing to the world, through that same word – light. The light reveals the worlds problems and the true cause of them, sin. But it can only ever do this as it receives and lives in obedience to that word itself. But all this and more, is spiritual sacrifice (v5). We are to offer ourselves as sacrifices (Romans 12.1-3), without that element of sacrifice we will never life anyone, the Church will be powerless. We must be willing, not to dominate, but be dominated. The Church achieves nothing today, because what it seeks to achieve costs nothing. What are you willing to surrender? Jesus demands all (Luke 14.33).
(© James R Hamilton, written May, 1998)