The King's purpose for His People Part 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
We read in Romans 8:1-2,
1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
2 For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death
God’s law of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death.
These are two opposite laws or principles.
One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to empower believers for holy living.
A characteristic of indwelling sin is that it will drag a person down to death.
It is like the law of gravity.
When you throw a ball into the air, it comes back down because it is heavier than the air it displaces.
A living bird is also heavier than the air it displaces, but when you toss it up in the air, it flies away.
The law of life in the bird overcomes the law of gravity.
So the Holy Spirit supplies the risen life of the Lord Jesus, making the believer free from the law of sin and death.
The King desires us to be free to live in righteousness.
Paul wrote this in Romans 6:18: “You were set free from sin and became the slaves of righteousness.”
There is a privilege that goes along with belonging to God’s kingdom; it’s that we are set free from the penalty and guilt of sin to live righteous lives.
But we must remember that our righteousness before God is the end result of Christ’s work on the Cross.
It’s only because of Christ’s work that saved us and placed the Holy Spirit within us that we can live righteously.
Holiness of heart and life keeps the lines of communication with God open, by keeping our private agenda out of the way.
The foundation of our service to Him is our salvation.
God not only brought the Israelites out of slavery, He also brought them into an active relationship with Himself.
Are you part of God’s kingdom through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
God not only desires for humanity to be redeemed and live in the kingdom of God, He also desires that we become:
Obedient to His voice, (v. 5-6)
The children of Israel have arrived at Mount Sinai.
The rest of the book of Exodus, and the entire book of Leviticus and the first nine chapters of Numbers, record events that took place there.
From Adam until this time, there had been no expressed law of God.
The Lord’s dealings with His people had been predominantly by grace.
Now He offered them a conditional covenant of law: “If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; ... you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
If they would obey, He would bless.
Not realizing their sinfulness and helplessness, the Israelites vowed: “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”
That’s bold and self–confident language.
The golden calf, the broken tablets, the neglected ordinances, the stoned messengers, the rejected and crucified Christ, are overwhelming evidence of man’s dishonored vows.
God had redeemed Israel and because they were redeemed, they were called to serve the King, but they were never faithful to their calling.
God also desires that we are Sensitive to the Call that He has placed on our lives.
Verse 5 says, “Then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine.”
God was not saying that Israel was better than any other nation; they were treasured because they had been chosen by God to be His representative to the world.
Their significance was that they had a relationship with the King of the Universe.
“Seguli” is Hebrew for “moveable property.”
This word conveys that God reserved the right to move his people where he wanted when He needed them to move.
In verse six he
calls Israel a “Kingdom of Priests.”
God is saying to the Church today, “Priestly people do not just gather on Sunday. They scatter through the week. You are my moveable possession.”
We are God’s kingdom of priests.
God didn’t establish the priesthood for the Israelites at this time.
That came later when God appointed the tribe of Levi as the priestly tribe and Aaron was the High Priest.
Priests are mediators between God and People.
We must accept that we are priests for God—bringing God to people and people to God.
Jesus made this statement in Matthew 5:13: “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”
Only the truly born-again person is salt and can help meet the needs of the world.
The salt adds flavoring, acts as a preservative, melts coldness and heals wounds.
Therefore, it’s a very appropriate description of the believer in his relationship to the world in which he lives.
The message Jesus was sending is that if the salt loses its saltiness, it is worthless.
The implication of this statement is that if a Christian loses his effectiveness, his testimony will be trampled under the feet of men.
Then He went on to say, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
When Jesus says, “Ye are the light of the world,” He is describing the important mission of the Christian to the world.
He is the provision of God, or as He is called here, “The Salt” to meet the world’s needs; and He has given all believers a mission to the world, which is represented by “light”.
The believer’s light is to clearly shine into the world, and into the darkness of human depravity.
He is to set it up on a candlestick, not hide it under a bushel, or a basket.
But, the Christian that is living like the rest of the world and with unconfessed sin in his life will become a basket-like covering which hides the light of God.
God provides the light and it continues to shine, but as believers, we must keep our lives clean before the Lord in order not to cover up the light which He has placed within us.
Darkness is the absence of light and darkness alone cannot dispel the light, but the smallest light can dispel the greatest darkness.
Therefore, let your light shine through a clean life before the Lord and before the world in which you live.
2 Corinthians 5:20 says: “We are ambassadors for Christ.”
1 Peter 2:5, 9-10 states: “You are living stones for a holy priesthood.”
Israel was called to be the worldwide priests for God.
They were to be His representative appealing to the world to be reconciled to God, but Israel failed because they turned inward.
We, who are His church, have fallen into the same trap.
We have turned inward.
Being called into the role of Priests has not influenced our lifestyles or behaviors, our witness or our commitment to evangelism, our budgeting for missions or our tithing practices.
It is hard to be a priest when your lifestyle is just the same as the lost or unchurched person you see each day.
Priests are Developed for Great Potential.
God had designed the priesthood to have great potential for service.
Just as God wanted Israel to share his name with the nations He wants us to do the same.
God is looking for a people who will be obedient to His word because where there is obedience there is holiness.
God has given us great potential to live for Him and to serve in His Kingdom.
God is looking for people who will: Embody His name.
God is looking for people who will: Emulate His Mission.
God is looking for people who will: Obey His Word.