A Royal Priesthood
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar (unusual) people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: (1Peter 2:9).
THIS IS HEAVY AND REQUIRES OUR FULL ATTENTION. I was not able to take this in for several years because I was not willing to dig with an open mind. Four titles of standing and purpose had been given to the Israelites as they were brought out of their mud holes of brick making in Egypt and ushered by Moses toward the promised land of Canaan.
WE, IN CHRIST'S BODY, ARE GIVEN THE SAME TITLES as the Israelites. We have this standing by His grace through the finished work of Christ on the Cross and our sincere acceptance of His sacrifice for our sins. Israel is the old and good olive tree and we, the gentile newcomers, are grafted into the old and good olive tree. The church is grafted into spiritual, genuine Israel.
TODAY, THE CHURCH IS WORLD-WIDE and is separate from the nation of Israel. The church has NOT replaced Israel. The church has no land. Israel has land. But, one day, Israel and the church will be brought together as one. I have a few questions I would like answers to, which I cannot know until God tells us more to make it plain. Right now, I am content to know what He has chosen to tell us. We have this outstanding verse, and I’m content with it.
FOR IF THOU WERT CUT OUT OF THE OLIVE TREE which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? (Romans 11:24)
PRESENTLY, ISRAEL, AS A NATION IS OUT OF FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD. As a nation, they are having to stand in the corner until their blind rebellion against God has ceased.
IN THE PARAGRAPHS THAT FOLLOW, you will notice they are in quotation marks. Adam Clarke (1760-1832) wrote this; a British Methodist Theologian. I shortened some of his quotes and formatted it for easy reading. Notice that he died in 1832, at age 72, almost 200 years ago.
“YE ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION - The titles formerly given to… all the Israelites without exception, all who were in the covenant of God by circumcision, whether they were holy persons or not, are here given to Christians in general in the same way; i.e. to all who believed in Christ, whether Jews or Gentiles, and who received baptism in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
“THE ISRAELITES WERE A CHOSEN OR ELECTED RACE, to be a special people unto the Lord their God, above all people that were upon the face of the earth, For thou art a holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth (Deuteronomy 7:6).
“THEY WERE ALSO A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, OR WHAT MOSES CALLS a kingdom of priests. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel (Exodus 19:6). For all were called to sacrifice to God; and he is represented to be the King of that people, and Father of those of whom he was king; therefore they were all royal.
“THEY WERE A HOLY NATION, (Exodus 19:6 is here repeated); And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel (Exo 19:6). For they were separated from all the people of the earth, that they might worship the one only true God, and abstain from the abominations that were in the heathen world.
“THEY WERE ALSO A PECULIAR PEOPLE,...A PURCHASED PEOPLE; ... a private property, belonging to God Almighty, For thou art a holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth (Deuteronomy 7:6).
“ALL THESE THINGS THE APOSTLE APPLIES TO THE CHRISTIANS, to whom indeed they belong, in their spirit and essence, in such a way as they could not belong to the Hebrews of old. But they were called to this state of salvation out of darkness - idolatry, superstition, and ungodliness, into his marvellous light - the Gospel dispensation, which, in reference to the discoveries it had made of God, his nature, will, and gracious promises towards mankind, differed as much from the preceding dispensation of the Jews, as the light of the meridian sun from the faint twinkling of a star. And they [the Christians] had these privileges that they might show forth the praises of Him who had thus called them;…. These they were to exhibit in a holy and useful life, being transformed into the image of God, and walking as Christ himself walked. (Clarke-Abbreviated with emphasis added. Scriptures added.)
SO, THAT'S WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN, a lot more than a little dab of religious cologne. This is God’s doing and not our own doing. We have not taken it on ourselves but have received it as a heavenly mission when we received God’s Christ as our Savior and Lord. What a wonderful thing God has chosen to do through His people in this day. God’s people are a bother to many others and that goes with the job of belonging to Him.
LET PEOPLE HATE US FOR OUR POSITION AND NOT FOR OUR DISPOSITION. If you tell people that Christ is God’s appointed, only Savior, they are not going to like it. But when they are staring at the ceiling in a hospital room with the doctor’s bad news ringing in their ears, you may be the very one they will want to see. The party people can’t comfort a dying man and the dying man knows it. Jesus said: If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you (John 15:18). We need to decide which side we are on and stick with it if we are on the Lord’s side. We are trees, not Morning Glories that wilt in the morning sun. Ω (Photo of inside a Synagogue at Capernaum from BiblePictureGallery.com).
Read Through the Bible in a Year
JANUARY 24, 2018 – WEDNESDAY
A.M. Exodus 7-8 P.M. Matthew 17
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Good Verse to Memorize:
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)
Song for Today:
I’ll Meet You in the Morning (3:31) ( Old Singers – Gaither Group)
I was raised on this old Southern Gospel song. I don’t have much hair left and Guy Penrod’s got enough hair to be Elijah’s song leader. I guess he and the Lord have this worked out.
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