Promise of the Priesthood, Part 2: You Can Teach Others
When we are renewed daily through the washing of God's word and guided by the Holy Spirit, we can know His higher thoughts and impart His higher ways to others.
Note: This is part two of an exclusive four-part series by Randy Robison, adapted from his brand new book The Age of Promise: Escape the Shadows of the Law to Live in the Light of Christ. Read part one.
God promised his people, “You shall be to Me a kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:6). Christ later claimed his place as eternal high priest and the apostle Peter called believers “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). This transfer of honor and duty includes several responsibilities. Today, we explore the opportunity to teach others.
Instructing people in the thoughts and ways of God requires us to first know the thoughts and ways of God. But is that even possible?
Paul addressed this when writing to the church in Corinth, first by pointing out that the rulers of his age lacked wisdom and understanding. He condemned their ignorance by saying, “the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11). But he then offered hope that we can come to know His mind:
“But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:14-16)
It is a great New Testament blessing that mere mortals can know the thoughts of God. It is only possible when we have “the mind of Christ.” Then and only then can we help others to know God’s truth. On our own, the “natural man” cannot make sense of God’s thoughts. Such limitations got Job in trouble with God when he questioned His goodness, power, and wisdom.
“Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?” God demanded in a whirlwind. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!” (Job 38:1-5).
Job personified that gap between the natural man and God. Christ bridged that gap. On our own, we can’t understand His ways. But when we are renewed daily through the washing of His word and guided by the Holy Spirit, we can know His higher thoughts and impart His higher ways to others.
Part of the old priestly duties involved spotting blemishes, infections and disease. They served as the gatekeepers to keep impurities out of the temple. Today’s believers must have discernment to know the rotten things of the world that seek to destroy us and keep us out of God’s presence. Part of knowing God’s thoughts and ways requires us to point out things that are not of God — the impurities that keep people apart from Him.
Pop culture demands we call all things pure, even when they are not. We are labeled bigots, homophobes, misogynists, and worse simply because we see a blemish or disease and call it what it is. But in our role as priests, we must have the courage and wisdom to speak the truth in love with the purpose of redemption for those inflicted with ungodly beliefs.
Perhaps one of the most damning statements in the New Testament is in Paul’s opening to the Roman church when he calls out those who know those things that God condemns, yet “not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:32). We must never disgrace God’s word by hiding the truth about sin. It only serves to hurt us and those we should be helping.
At the same time, the goal must always be the salvation of sinners, never the destruction. This requires the ability to approach their imperfections without being stained by their sin, and the spiritual strength and maturity to shine His light into their darkness.
A. R. Bernard, the brilliant pastor of Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York, he said to me in an interview, “Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Grace is God’s extended mercy, [which] allows Him to bypass His moral standards and go into the human condition for the purpose of bringing change. But it’s only truth that brings the conviction necessary for change.”
This is the balance when we align ourselves with the mind of Christ. Grace gets us into the sinners’ world; truth brings them out.
Randy Robison is a producer, writer, and guest host for LIFE Today. His new book, The Age of Promise, is available now. Follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. This is an excerpt from The Age of Promise (www.AgeOfPromise.com).
Copyright ©2018 by James Randall Robison. Published by Thomas Nelson, a division of Harper Collins. Used by permission.