Our key Bible passage today is 1 Corinthians 12:27: “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
Our lesson today is titled “The Importance of the Local Church, Part 3”
Last week we looked at the ordinances of the church — baptism and the Lord’s supper. The local church observes these ordinances in obedience to Jesus Christ.
Now let us consider another great truth which concerns all believers.
In the Old Testament, we find that there were men who were called of God to be priests. The priests had access to God and they served God. It was a great honour to be a priest, but only the men of one tribe—the tribe of Levi—could be priests. Those who were not priests could not approach God directly; they could not make sacrifices to God directly; they could not serve God directly. Everything had to be done for them by the priests. Even the priests themselves had to have a high priest, and he alone could enter the most holy place where the glory of God dwelt. Thus, we see that the children of Israel were divided into two classes: (1) the people of God and (2) the priests of God.
In the New Testament, we find that all believers are “priests unto God.” There is no special class among the people of God. Twice in the New Testament we find that the whole body of Christians—all believers—are declared to be priests. The Bible says in 1 Peter 2:5 & 9, “…you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, A HOLY PRIESTHOOD…you are a chosen generation, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD…”
What does it mean when we say that every believer is a “priest unto God”?
First, it means that we can come directly to God. We do not need a priest to talk to God for us. Why? Because every believer is a priest. The Lord Jesus is our great High Priest; through Him only, we confess our sins directly to God and receive forgiveness directly from God. The Bible says, “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
Second, it means that all believers should serve God. The Lord Jesus Himself has chosen us and ordained us to serve Him. He said, “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit…” Our first responsibility as Christians is to love, obey, and serve the Lord Jesus. Every believer should be a worshipper, a Bible student, a soul winner—one who serves the Lord Jesus Christ.
As a priest, you have an obligation to live holy and to use your influence to encourage others to live holy. Just as the Levites were called to serve God in the Israelite community, every Christian is called to serve God in the local church.
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If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Until next time, May the Lord Bless You!