Ephesians 4:3-6; One Lord – His Priesthood and ours, part 6.
length: 65:04 - taught on Mar, 11 2021
Thursday March 11, 2021
Human Nature never goes towards God.
Let human nature have its way, and every man knows that it is not the kingdom of God that it takes him to. It does not come natural to man to be what he ought to be to God. Flesh in God’s presence is out of its element like a fish out of water. We must be born again, born of water (washing away of our sins) and Spirit (being spiritual men).
Natural man is alienated from God. Paul says that Adam was a “living soul,” meaning that he was natural, not possessing a quickening Spirit as the last Adam possessed. To be with God, to be in His kingdom, we must be given a brand new nature. The old nature has no place in His kingdom.
There are many things, and great things, man can do without any further Divine assistance than that which is lodged for the whole race in the natural laws which make no distinction between godly and ungodly; there are many and great things man may do by virtue of his natural birth; but one thing he cannot do - he cannot quicken himself with the capacity to love God and to live for Him. For this the Holy Spirit must transform or baptize the man into union with Christ.
Because God doesn’t change, in the face of unimaginable rejection, Christ still goes to the cross and bears the sins of the world. From His finished work, the New Covenant is given to all men who will believe on Him, and they receive a new nature. Now, God’s believers enter into union with Christ and enter into an unconditional covenant which God wrote, completed, and signed all on His own.
By the grace of God, all church age believers possess blessings that are permanent, being unconditional gifts, not conditional.
So then, the same question lingers. Shall we continue in sin that grace may increase? Paul’s response, the former Pharisee of the old Law,
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.
We are to obey as Israel did, but not for the reason of losing something, as they could have, but for the fact that we have been blessed exceeding abundantly beyond all that we could have ever asked or thought. Plus, it is not as though Israel was only under a system of rules which would determine their blessing or curse, for they were to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, and strength, and love their neighbor as themselves, which commandment continues to the church but now with the perfect love of Christ.
So then, at Sinai, the covenant kingdom is established and the nation of God is born from the people of God and they are to be a kingdom of priests.
In one manner the people, called to be priests, renounced their obligation. They were in terror of God’s voice and determined not to speak to Him.
And all the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. 19 Then they said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, lest we die." 20 And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin." 21 So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.
The perfect story might have been that when Moses said, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him my remain with you, so that you may not sin,” that the people would have rethought things and then asked God to speak more to them, but they decided to give the whole of divine communication to Moses.
And so, Moses becomes their mediator, and God will instruct Moses on the mountain to make his brother Aaron the high priest who will mediate for the people while Moses continues to do so in the capacity of a king or leader.
What was done at Sinai was later summarized in the final words of Moses just before he died.
Now this is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the sons of Israel before his death.
2 And he said,
"The Lord came from Sinai,
And dawned on them from Seir;
He shone forth from Mount Paran [the one event at Sinai],
And He came from the midst of ten thousand holy ones [angels];
At His right hand there was flashing lightning for them.
3 "Indeed, He loves the people;
All Thy holy ones are in Thy hand,
And they followed in Thy steps;
Everyone receives of Thy words.
4 "Moses charged us with a law,
A possession for the assembly of Jacob.
5 "And He was king in Jeshurun,
When the heads of the people were gathered,
The tribes of Israel together.
The offices of King, Priest, and Prophet will all be in the one Lord, Jesus Christ.
For all mankind He supplied the redemption that God demanded, meaning that He paid the only acceptable price for us.
He propitiated the justice of the Father, meaning that He satisfied the righteous demand of a holy God in relation to human sin.
He reconciled man to God, meaning that He broke down the dividing barrier between sinner and pure holiness.
All this He did through His one sacrifice of Himself, and so He fulfilled all the ritual of the Law and the priesthood of Aaron that ministered them.
The one Lord, our High Priest intercedes for us continually, meaning that He is always praying for you perfectly effectual prayers.
Despite the limited understanding we have of Christ’s intercessory ministry, the wonderful results of the intercession give assurance to the believer of security in Christ, comfort in eternal salvation, comfort knowing that it affords protection from spiritual and physical dangers in life. How many of our spiritual triumphs were the result of Christ’s intercession for us?
The manner of our Lord is passed down to all believers. Being in Him and given His life, all believers are predestined to be conformed to His image. His priesthood is no different. In the manner of our High Priest, we, being made His priests by Him, are to minister our position in the same spirit as He did.
The royal priesthood of the believer is a result of Christ being the High Priest. We are to do the work of priests - sacrifices and intercession.
We are made priests for a reason. Just as we were made sons and daughters, Christ’s bride, stones in the building, members of the Kingdom, and ambassadors for a reason. We are to function as what we are, and as priests we are to offer sacrifice and intercession.
I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Sacrifices of the believer priest - his body as a living sacrifice (ROM 12:1).
The believer priest is to sacrifice his body as a living sacrifice, which God considers to be holy and acceptable to God for the reason that the believer himself is cleansed by the blood of Christ.
It is called reasonable because it is the norm, or what is expected by someone made a priest.
To present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable, we must surrender our hearts, minds, and body to the Lord as a living sacrifice, for only that is proper.
The sacrifice of praise.
Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
Praising God is not a New Testament phenomenon.
It should be no surprise that praising God has always been the proper function of the created and blessed.