A kingdom of priests

We believe in the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints…

Exodus 19:5,6

“Although the whole earth is Mine, you will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

Israel’s calling and rescue from Egypt was not purely for her own benefit, but was part of God’s plan for restoring the whole world to Himself. As a result of her ‘special relationship’ with God, and the unique access that she would have to Him, she would function in a priestly capacity to the rest of humanity: to mediate between them and God, and by demonstrating God’s character to make Him known to the world.

We, the Church – the new Israel, the true Israel (Philippians 3:3) – have the same calling from our Saviour. “He has made us to be a Kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father – to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 1:6) We are to proclaim that Jesus is Lord, and we are to bear witness to that fact by living accordingly.

This is not primarily an individual task but a corporate one. Yes, personal holiness and personal witness are vitally important – but the real impact on the world is made by churches that are living, breathing, worshipping communities. “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” (I Peter 2:9) We can’t do this on our own; we need each other.

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