BOOK: Who We Are In Christ
Chapter 11: A Priest

11    A Priest

                I Peter    2:9 
                But ye are a chosen generation, a royal
                priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;
                that ye should shew forth the praises of him
                who hath called you out of darkness into his
                marvellous light:
God has made us priests unto Him!  Priests in the Old Testament were chosen by birthright, as an inheritance.  So also is the priesthood for New Testament saints.  It is your inheritance, your birthright.  God has made you a chosen generation, being a new generation of sons thru the Spirit of Adoption.  He has made you a royal priesthood and kings forever!  

                Hebrews    7:21-22
                (For those priests were made without an oath;
                but this with an oath by him that said unto
                him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou
                art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)1               
                By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

                Hebrews    3:1
                Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the
                heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and
                High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

God has made us partakers of a heavenly calling, a royal priesthood, after the order of Melchisedec, with Jesus Christ as our High Priest.  We are a holy nation, a sinless people, washed clean by the blood of Jesus.               

                Titus      2:14
                Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem
                us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself
                a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Jesus redeemed or purchased us with His own blood on the cross.  The Greek word for peculiar means special, valuable, or worthy as a prized personal possession. 

God has called us to be a peculiar people, not only in His sight, but also in the sight of the world.  The world thinks it is abnormal for saints to go around taking about Jesus all the time, raising holy hands, shouting hallelujah, laying hands on the sick, and casting out demons.  But the truth of the matter is that the world is the abnormal one.  Man was created to praise God and to rule the earth.  It is dead unregenerated man that is abnormal. 

Also, we are peculiar, special, and valuable people to God because we show the world the praises of Him, who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.  We are zealous of good works, to show the world the love of God, and the way to eternal deliverance.  Hallelujah!

                Exodus    19:6 
                And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests,
                and an holy nation. These are the words which
                thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

God had sought to make the nation of Israel a kingdom of priests, but they, being carnal men, did not live up to it.  But God has succeeded victorious through Christ Jesus, His son, having purchased unto Himself a kingdom of priest and kings forever!

                Rev        5:10
                And hast made us unto our God kings and
                priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

                Rev       20:6 
                Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the
                first resurrection:  on such the second death
                hath no power, but they shall be priests of
                God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a
                thousand years.

11.1    Definition

A priest is one who ministers to God for himself and others, and ministers to others for God. 

                Hebrews    5:1-3 
                For every high priest taken from among men is
                ordained for men in things pertaining to God,
                that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for
                sins:  Who can have compassion on the ignorant,
                and on them that are out of the way; for that he
                himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by
                reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so
                also for himself, to offer for sins.

While there is only one High Priest, Jesus Himself, there are many priests.  This is the same as in the Old Testament, where the High Priest did the main sacrifice, but the many priests did the many smaller ones for the people.

                Hebrews    8:3
                For every high priest is ordained to offer
                gifts and sacrifices...

We are ordained to offer gifts of worship and praise unto God.  We are also ordained to work in the prayer of agreement with the saints and the prayer of intercession for the lost.

Please note that you have no need of any other priest or saint to minister or mediate between you and God, because Jesus is our mediator2 and has made the way open3 for each of us to approach God, our Father, directly.  But as priests and brothers in the Lord, we can stand beside each other to strengthen each other in times of need, as Moses and Aaron strengthen each other.  But for the lost world, we still need to stand in the gap, interceding for them, crying out to God for mercy, and forbidding the devil from destroying them.  In Jesus' mighty name!

11.2    A Worshipper

                I Peter    2:5 
                Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a
                spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer
                up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by
                Jesus Christ.

We are called to offer up spiritual sacrifices unto God.  Spiritual sacrifices including anything that is worship.  What is worship?

The word worship is shortened from the word worthship.  That is, whatever you place worth upon.  Do you stay home to watch the football game instead of going to church?  What have you placed worth on?  Do you spend more time watching television or reading the newspaper that you spend communing with God or reading the Word?  What have you placed worth on? 

                Hebrews   13:15-16
                By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of
                praise to God continually, that is, the fruit
                of our lips giving thanks to his name.
                But to do good and to communicate forget not:
                for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Your worship is the time and effort you spend on God.  This includes your money.  The tithe was before the law, and offerings have been made since righteous Abe.  Jesus said where your treasure4 is, so will be your heart.  Is your money tied up in your golf and hunting gear rather than God?  Or is it in the multiple television sets, cars, and house?  Your money is your time and effort, since that is how you got it.  What are you considering worthy?  Are you praising Jesus with your money?  Are you investing in treasures in heaven with the use of your earthly money?  Where your money goes reflects where your heart is!5

Another important part of any worship is praise and thanksgiving.  Praise is worshiping God in prayer by stating who He is6.  Thanksgiving is worshiping God for what He has, is, and is going to do in your life.

                Psalms     4:5 
                Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put
                your trust in the Lord.

11.2.1    Lifting Up Holy Hands

One means of praise and worship is lifting up holy hands unto the Lord.  This is a very important and powerful form of worship.  Please let me explain. 

                Genesis   14:22
                And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have
                lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high
                God, the possessor of heaven and earth,

From as far back as Abraham, men have been lifting hands to the Lord.

                Lev        9:22-23
                And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people,
                and blessed them, and came down from offering of
                the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and
                peace offerings.  And Moses and Aaron went into
                the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out,
                and blessed the people: and the glory of the Lord
                appeared unto all the people.

As Aaron finished offering the first sacrifice of atonement for Israel, the foreshadow of Jesus' sacrifice, he lifted up holy hands.

                Psalms    63:4 
                Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will
                lift up my hands in thy name.

David lifted up holy hands unto the Lord.

                Psalms   134:2 
                Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless
                the Lord.

All of Israel was instructed to lift holy hands to the Lord.             

                I Tim      2:8 
                I will therefore that men pray every where,
                lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

Even we, new testament saints, are instructed to lift up holy hands unto the Lord. 

But you say why must I lift hands to the Lord?  I once asked the Lord why.  He replied, "how was Jesus' hands lifted up on the cross?"  THAT'S IT! 

                Psalms   141:2 
                Let my prayer be set forth before thee as
                incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the
                evening sacrifice.

Jesus was the evening sacrifice.  He was the one lifted up.  Just like water baptism is a sign of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which every believer is commanded to do.  So is lifting up of holy hands a sign of the crucifixion of Jesus.  The redeeming sacrifice of the Lamb of God.

Do you know what God sees when a believer is praising Him with uplifted hands?  He sees His son, doing His prefect will, going thru the cross, and coming out victorious on the other side.  Hallelujah!  Resurrection power follows as you praise God with uplifted hands.

                Luke      24:50
                And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and
                he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

Even Jesus, the Lord of Glory, blessed and prayed with uplifted hands, even after the resurrection.             

                Exodus    14:16
                But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine
                hand over the sea, and divide it: and the
                children of Israel shall go on dry ground
                through the midst of the sea.

All of Israel saw the power of God manifest as Moses lifted up hands with the wooden rod, as Jesus hands were lifted up on the
wooden cross.

                John      12:32
                And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will
                draw all men unto me.

As you praise and worship God, Jesus is still drawing you unto the Father, being your chief mediator and intercessor.              

                Rev       10:5
                And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea
                and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

Even the angels lift up hands unto God!             
                Hebrews   12:12
                Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down,
                and the feeble knees;

For God is able to cause His resurrection power to follow thru you7 and is able to destroy every yoke8.

11.3    An Intercessor

God has called us to be intercessors for the lost, dying, crying, hurting world.  Why must saints of God spend time in prayer for the lost?
                Proverbs   1:28
                Then shall they (the wicked) call upon me,
                but I will not answer; they shall seek me early,
                but they shall not find me:

                Proverbs  15:29
                The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth
                the prayer of the righteous.
                I Peter    3:12
                For the eyes of the Lord are over the
                righteous, and his ears are open unto their
                prayers: but the face of the Lord is against
                them that do evil.

God has called us as priests to stand in the gap for the lost.  Without someone standing in the gap crying for mercy, God's judgment will fall.

                Ezekiel   22:30-31
                And I sought for a man among them, that should
                make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before
                me for the land, that I should not destroy it:
                but I found none.
                Therefore have I poured out mine indignation
                upon them; I have consumed them with the fire
                of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed
                upon their heads, saith the Lord God.

                Isaiah    59:16
                And he saw that there was no man, and wondered
                that there was no intercessor: therefore his
                arm brought salvation unto him; and his
                righteousness, it sustained him.

God had to send Jesus to get a Faithful and True intercessor into the earth.  Jesus ever lives to make intercession for the saints.
But the lost have no covenant, being foreigners to the commonwealth of Israel.

                Hebrews    7:25
                Wherefore he is able also to save them to the
                uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he
                ever liveth to make intercession for them.
We should joyfully move into this calling, since it is the present day ministry of Jesus Christ as He sits on the right hand of God.  God has called us to intercede for the lost, that they might be saved and delivered.

                Isaiah    58:6-7
                Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to
                loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the
                heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go
                free, and that ye break every yoke?
                Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and
                that thou bring the poor that are cast out to
                thy house?  when thou seest the naked, that
                thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself
                from thine own flesh?

                Isaiah    62:6 
                I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O
                Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace
                day nor night: ye that make mention of the
                Lord, keep not silence,

                I Tim      2:1 
                I exhort therefore, that, first of all,
                supplications, prayers, intercessions, and
                giving of thanks, be made for all men;

God has also equipped us thru the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire, which is always evidenced by speaking in tongues9.  Jesus did no miracles until He was baptized with the Spirit.  Jesus commanded the disciples to go nowhere until they had received the baptism, which brings the empowering10.  This is the promise of the Spirit from our Heavenly Father, which is unto all generations11.  This is the rest and the refreshing promised by God12

                Romans     8:26
                Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our
                infirmities: for we know not what we should
                pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself
                maketh intercession for us with groanings
                which cannot be uttered.

Praise be to God!  Who has equipped you to be priests unto God and man.  To be a holy nation and a royal priesthood.              

11.3.1    Your Dominion

Where do you function as a priest?  That's easy.  Where you are.  At your office, at your home, at your church, wherever you are at.  So go forth and be blessed!  In Jesus' mighty name, Amen!

1. Gen 14:18-19, Heb 7:1-4,7
2. 1 Tim 2:5
3. Luke 23:4, Heb 10:20
4. money
5. If you are looking for a good investment into the Kingdom of God, place your offerings into soul winning activities, particularly to the poor, maybe even overseas.
6. An example of praising Jesus could include:  The Bishop of our Souls, the Bread of Life, the Power of God, Holy One of Israel, Hope of Glory, the Image of the Invisible God, the Lamb of God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Great Physician, the Redeemer, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
7. Romans 8:11
8. Isa 10:27, Luke 4:18-19
9. Acts 2:1-4, Acts 8:14-19 (Simon saw something physically manifested that he could not fake), Acts 9:17-18 (we know Paul spoke with tongues, 1 Cor 14:18), Acts 10:44-48, and Acts 19:1-7
10. Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4,8
11. Gal 3:14, Acts 2:38-39
12. Isa 28:11-12, 1 Cor 14:2, 1 Cor 14:21