This week saw a shakeup in Congress as the former House Speaker announced he would leave Congress at the end of this year. He stated he wanted to serve the country in a new capacity.
His decision shows that we are willing to take action for what we believe in, even if it means making a sacrifice. Ironically, Congress serves Americans. But, over the last half-decade, it has only become more focused on having power and serving its own members’ interests.
The GOP has been heading away from conservatism for almost a decade; one cannot call themselves conservative if their actions contradict the beliefs of conservatism.
God has called his people out of the darkness of this fallen world, we must choose His way or our ways in the way of the world (Jeremiah, 1:5, 1 Corinthians 7:17.) But, if we answer His call, we are dedicated to His purposes. We serve as His priests.
One of the most misunderstood passages in the New Testament is where Peter calls the church a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9.) Many believers look at the role through a privileged and better-than-society lens.
However, God’s ways are not like this world’s. This priesthood serves God by serving others. The priesthood of the believer is one of the major beliefs of Protestant faiths.
If we are part of the Protestant faith then we are God’s representatives to the world as its servants, not prideful rulers of it. Jesus is referred to as our high priest, yet did not come to be served but to serve (Matthew 20:28, Hebrews 3:10; 6: 10, Philippians 2:9). The Apostle Peter referenced the Jewish priesthood when describing the church (1 Peter 2:5.)
The Hebrew word for priests in the Old Testament is Kōhēn and it means the one who officiates or performs (Temple rituals). To be a priest isn’t just an honor, it is the responsibility to do certain things for God’s people; like a husband and the bride serving each other.
Priests played a big role among the Jewish people. Priests were dedicated to the temple of God and carried out the rituals of sacrifice to help purify God’s people. The High Priest was the only one with the privilege of entering the holy of holies and communing with God.
Priests have a particular responsibility to serve God’s interest and not their own; they were set apart from the rest of God’s people in the Old Testament. God even set aside one of the tribes of Israel to serve as the priests for His people just like He arranges the church today. Below are the tribes of Israel:
The tribe of Levi was designated as the priests to carry out the tabernacle and duties. King David was of the tribe of Judah, yet known as a king and priest after moving the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, the city where the high priest Melchizedek once ruled as a priest and a king.
It was through David’s lineage that Jesus came, not only as the Messiah but as our high priest Who offered the greatest sacrifice to purify God’s people from their sins. It was the descendants of the tribe of Judah that built the second Temple after the Jews returned from exile.
Jesus is the high priest who leads God’s people through the darkness. He taught His followers to be the light of the world because we are dedicated to God (Matthew 5:14- 16.)
This weekend marks the beginning of Hanukkah, a time to remember the purification and rededication of the second Temple. Hanukkah is a time for God’s people to remember their dedication to God, not a temple.
The Apostle Paul called the early church the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3: 16- 17). God’s people are the temple of God, not a building or a holy place.
Still, nations fight to the death over a strip of land, instead of being God’s people. Just like many conservatives who are more concerned about having power. Today we serve as priests by how we live, not by what we believe. We need to remember our duties as holy priests:
- Love others
- Teach others
- Serve others
- Sacrifice to God
Priests don’t sacrifice to be loved by God; they sacrifice because they are called by God and choose to obey Him. The Apostle Paul urged the church to offer themselves as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-4.) As God’s people, our entire lives are lived for Him, not just during Hanukkah or the Christmas holidays because we are chosen to be holy Kōhēn!