Summary: We do not live today as new testament believers under the old ceremonial order of animal sacrifices and offerings for our transgressions and shortcomings of the law, Nevertheless The order of the priesthood has not passed away.
1Pe 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:
You were not saved simply because you were lost, or just so you could go to heaven.
You were saved to serve.
Ex 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’s desire and design has always been to have a kingdom of priests,”
What does that mean?
The ministry of the priest of the old testament was to draw near to God, To represent the people before God, then to represent God before the people.
This Word REPRESENT is a compilation of 2 words (re = to do again) and present = show reveal, make manifest (In essence what it means is to reproduce)
Gods intention for the priesthood was to come near to himself and experience him personally: then to reproduce that reality of God’s character and nature to the people.
That is still Gods desire for every believer,
Every Child of God has been called into the ministry of the priesthood,
(a)It is our privilege to dwell in the presence of God, to Become intimately aquainted with God.
(b) It is our responsibility to accurately represent (reproduce) the true character nature and power of God before the people.
The High priests in the old testament would bear the names of the children of Israel upon their shoulders in onyx stone (6 tribes per shoulder per stone)
Then in the breastplate there were 12 stones each engraved with the name of a tribe.
Shoulders = strength
Breastplate covering the heart = affections
The 2 onyx stones on The high priests shoulders were alike, and the names of the tribes of Israel were inscribed by birth: (This tells us that we all have equal standing in the new birth.)-Exe 28:10
However the stones in the breastplate were all different in color, or displayed or reflected glory (This tells us that we are not all at the same level of glory, or growth in the character and nature of God)- Exe 28:14-21
It should be noted that while these stones in the priests breastplate could not change from one level of glory or, displayed glory, or reflected glory to another, we can. And should.
2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
We do not all grow at the same pace, but we should all be growing and manifesting the person of Christ in greater clarity, purity, and power.
If we are not growing = changing to be more and more like Christ as believers = The priesthood of God, Then we are criminally guilty of misrepresenting our savior to this world.
Just as the shekinah Glory of God produced the glory that shone forth from each stone
So also it is only as we believer priests spend time in the glory of his presence that his glory will shine forth from our lives.
**“It is the Holy Spirit that qualifies us to minister as the priests of God”