PHBC November 23, 1997
Series: First Peter, Ser. #31
A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
TEXTS: I Pet. 2:5, 9
INTRO: In this study of the of this passage, we have seen that believers are a chosen generation. Now we will proceed to the next thing that Peter sets forth. Believers are a royal priesthood.
I want to read from Ex. 19:6 where basically the same thing is said to the elect nation of Israel. 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.
Then, in our text in I Pet. 2:9 he calls believers "a royal priesthood."
In Rev. 1:5-6 we see that Jesus Christ has washed us from our sins in his own blood and has made us kings and priests. Revelation 1:5-6 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Under the Law of Moses the idea of a Royal Priesthood was not the case. The tribe of Judah was the royal tribe. The tribe of Levi was the priestly tribe with the male descendants of Aaron actually doing the priestly duties in the services of the tabernacle.
A king dare not intrude into the office of the priest. To do so invited the judgment of God. Uzziah did so and was stricken with leprosy and was never cured; he died a leper. 2 Chronicles 26:16-21 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense. 17 And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men: 18 And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God. 19 Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar. 20 And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him. 21 And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land.
Before the law of Moses was given, there was a king priest by the name of Melchizedek. Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. He was a type of Jesus Christ who was also a king and priest. He is a royal priest. And he has made us kings and priest, a royal priesthood, as Peter calls us.
JESUS WAS A PRIEST AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK
This was prophesied by David. Psalm 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
He was appointed to this office by God. Hebrews 5:6-10 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
In order to fulfill this office of priest he was made in our likeness. Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
As our forerunner, he has entered into the presence of God as our great King and High Priest assuring us that we too can come into the presence of God. Hebrews 6:17-20 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
His priesthood is an eternal priesthood. Hebrews 7:1-3 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Hebrews 7:14-17 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
His priesthood is an unchangeable priesthood. Hebrews 7:21-27 (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:) 22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. 23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 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. 26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
THE PRIESTHOOD OF BELIEVERS IS NOT PATTERNED AFTER THE PRIESTHOOD OF AARON; BUT AFTER THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST.
In a number of ways we are made like Christ.
He is the Son of God and God has determined that we should be called the sons of God. 1 John 3:1-2 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
He is the heir of God and it has been determined that we shall be joint heirs with him. Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
As Christ lives forever, he has determined that we shall live forever also. John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
As Christ is in glory so he has willed that believers shall be in heaven also. John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
It is also determined that our priesthood should be patterned after the priesthood of Christ.
As he is both priest and king he has determined that we will be the same. Revelation 1:5-6 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
As he will reign on the earth he has determined that we will reign on the earth. Revelation 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
As he will reign a thousand years on the earth, he has determined that we will reign a thousand years also. Revelation 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.
TRUE BELIEVERS ARE SPIRITUAL KINGS
The Lord has appoint to us kingdom. Luke 22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me.
We are heirs of the kingdom which God has promised. James 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
The honor of this kingdom which we will inherit is far above the honor of any kingdom yet known to man.
All things will be ours in this kingdom. 1 Corinthians 3:21-22 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
We shall inherit all things. Revelation 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
The beauty of this kingdom which we will inherit is far superior to any that this world could offer. Revelation 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
The authority which we have in this kingdom, under the direction of the King of kings, will surpass any authority this world has to offer. Revelation 2:26-27 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
In this kingdom we will sit down with Christ in his throne just as he sat down with the Father in his throne. Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
In this kingdom as kings we shall also serve as judges. Matthew 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A BELIEVER PRIEST
Because Christ has made us a royal priesthood, we have access to God and his great blessings. Revelation 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Because Christ has made us a royal priesthood, we can come boldly at all times before the throne of grace. Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
That this close access to God was opened up to all believers was signified by the rending of the veil of the temple. Matthew 27:50-51 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
Because Christ has made us a royal priesthood we are permitted to offer up spiritual sacrifices unto God. 1 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 to offer up ourselves to God. Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
We are to present our bodies as living sacrifices. Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
We can offer up the sacrifices of a broken spirit and a contrite heart. Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Because we are a royal priesthood we can offer up the sacrifice of praise with which God is very pleased. Hebrews 13:15 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. Psalm 50:23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. Psalm 69:30-31 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. 31 This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
Because we are priests we can offer up the sacrifice of sincere obedience to him. Psalm 40:6-8 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. 1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
Because we are priests we can offer up the sacrifice of doing good to others. Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
The Philippians offered up a spiritual sacrifice by supporting the mission work of the Apostle Paul. Philippians 4:14-18 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. 15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
Another spiritual sacrifice we can offer up to God's as priests is the sacrifice of the prayer of faith. Luke 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Revelation 8:3-4 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
CONC:What an honor and what an opportunity of service to God is ours because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us a royal priesthood. The spiritual priesthood is more honorable than the Aaronic priesthood. Even the old high priest did not have the blessed privilege we have as born again believers. Our access to God is greater and nearer than was theirs. Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Ephesians 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
Let us be careful that we not defile ourselves in a way that would hinder our work as kings and priests of God so that we may be fully able to offer up spiritual sacrifices unto our great and glorious God and his precious Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
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