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The Real Issue- Is Jesus King of our Lives? (Part 2) PDF Print Write e-mail
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 21:30

Is Jesus King of our Lives?

Note: This is Part 2 of a two part article. You may not have seen the first part, because we have had problems with the site in the past month. We apologize for the problems with the site. We hope the problems are corrected and that the site will now work normally again. To fully understand the thoughts in this article, we encourage you to read Part 1 of the article first. Thanks for visiting and participating in our site.

We are a Kingdom of Priests

I have heard about the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers for most of my life. It is something that most Christians say they believe, but my conviction is that the practices of many churches hinder people from really living in the reality of their priesthood.

The centerpiece and focus of the vast majority of protestant church services is the sermon. There is certainly a need and a place for teaching God’s word and for hearing from gifted teachers; but is it the best practice to make it the pinnacle of the church gathering each and every week? Though I know of some churches who have a sermon every Sunday and who also do an effective job of getting people into small group settings; and I can see God is working in many of those churches, but I still often ask myself -When the sermon given by the pastor is esteemed as the primary focus of the gathering of the church, do people really understand Christ’s Headship and their own role as priests? Do they fully capture and experience what is on God’s heart for their lives?

I love the story in Numbers 11 where Moses has become weary of caring for all the people. He complains to God about the burden he is carrying. Moses, as most of us know, had been given the Holy Spirit to fulfill his special leadership role. God says this to Moses, “

16 The LORD therefore said to Moses, "Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. 17"Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone. Numbers 11:16, 17

So God gives them the Holy Spirit and in verses 25 and 26, it says the elders began to prophesy. Just a word of definition before we go any further. To prophesy means they had the ability, given by God’s Spirit, to speak God’s truth to the people in a way that could pierce and challenge their hearts. As I will explain later, God still wants to prophesy through His people, but it will always be in accordance with what we already have in the written Word of God.

As the elders prophesied, Joshua questioned Moses about allowing this to happen. After all Moses was the leader, the anointed one. I think Moses answer reveals the heart of God, what God was planning for the day when His church and His kingdom would be unleashed.

29 But Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD'S people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!" Numbers 11:29

Remember again, during the time of the law and prophets, only certain people had the Holy Spirit for a defined time and a defined purpose, but a time was coming when all of God’s people were going to have His Spirit. They were all going to be His priests. They were all going to be His prophets. This is God’s heart- to make Jesus King, and to have a people that represent Him to the world.

9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. I Peter 2:9, 10

20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20

Lets tie this in with a few other insightful verses that I believe also reveal God’s heart and plan:

In I Samuel 10: 1-13, we read the story of Samuel anointing Saul as king. First, Samuel ceremonially anoints him with oil, but then in verses 6 and 7, he tells Saul what will happen when he is anointed with the Holy Spirit.

6"Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man. 7"It shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what the occasion requires, for God is with you. I Samuel 10: 6, 7

Some of you may have never seen this before, but these verses tell us some amazing things about the work of the Holy Spirit.

  • The anointing of God’s Spirit changed Saul into another man. He was told he could do whatever he was called to do because God and God’s power was now with Him.

    This is the same Holy Spirit that has been given to every believer. Reading this story, I think about these verses that we find in the New Testament.

    Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

    20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know… 27As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. I John 2:20, 27

  • As the Holy Spirit came upon Saul, he began to prophesy. This may not seem significant until you put it together with Numbers 11 and a number of other verses where we discover the connection between the Holy Spirit and the ability, that accompanies the Spirit, to prophesy, to speak forth God’s word( I Samuel 19:20, 23; 2 Chronicles 15:1, 2; Nehemiah 9:30, 31; Joel 2:28, Zechariah 7:11, 12; Luke 1:67).

    Now look at what Peter said when the Spirit came at Pentecost.

    14Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! 16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17" 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. Acts 2:14- 18

    As we have said before, under the Law and the Prophets only certain people spoke for God and only certain people had God’s spirit. Now the long awaited moment has come where God’s spirit is made available to all His sons and daughters. The Holy of Holies is open. God’s people can each hear from Him. They can each represent Him, the King, and speak His word. They are a kingdom of priests( I Peter 2:9 and Revelation 1:6, 5:10).

    Is it any wonder why Paul corrected the problems of chaos and disorder in the Corinthian church the way he did( I Corinthians 12-14). He did not, as we might expect, just address the leaders. He did not say, “ to correct this problem, we should just have one or two elders preach a sermon. “ No instead he reminded them that they should all desire to prophesy and that each person should take an active part, in order that everyone would be built up and edified.

What are the implications of all this for us?

It cannot be said enough. We are to have Christ as King and Lord of our lives, and Head of our churches. He is the King and we are His priests, His prophets, and His ambassadors.

Without question, God has given gifted leaders to the church. They are to equip and give foundations. However, we should battle against the lie of professional ministry and the clergy-laity divide that so often exists in the church. Many have been made to think that you can only hear from God, and know God’s word if you have a special calling or special training. Though God wants to speak through every believer, many believers are not encouraged in this and don’t have a consistent context in which to do it. The expansion of God’s kingdom is hindered because so many do not realize that God wants to use them in proclaiming the good news and the making of disciples.

Thankfully, like never before, there is a fresh awakening among many believers around the world to gather in the presence of Christ in simplicity, to hear His voice and walk in obedience, and to be actively involved in expanding His kingdom.

You can be a part of this. You can be the priest that God has called you to be.

  • Recognize that God wants to speak to you personally. Take time to listen to Him. Obey what He is saying to you. 23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. 25"All this I have spoken while still with you. 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:23-26
  • You have the privilege and responsibility of encouraging and building into the lives of the believers with whom God has placed you. Take this responsibility seriously. As you spend time with God, think and pray about what you might share with others to encourage them. This encouragement and building up of one another should take place both in one on one settings and when you are gathered together in a group. Don’t go to the gatherings of your church thinking about what you will receive, but what you can give to others.

    12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. Hebrews 3: 12, 13

    24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24, 25

    31For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. I Corinthians 14:31

  • By nature, I am a very quiet and shy person, but when I begin to believe that God had given me His power and wanted to use me, God begin to change me and work through me to share with others and disciple others in ways I never dreamed possible. God has given you His Spirit so that you can be a witness for Him, so that you can speak His Word boldly. Though you may feel weak and afraid, God’s power is in you. He wants to use you in mighty ways, if you will just yield to Him.

    8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

    9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Your church can be a part of this. You can experience living under the Headship of Christ and seeing every member of the Body be the priest God called them to be.

  • Make Christ the focus. It is all about Him. Invite him to speak. Yearn for His presence. Don’t be like the religious leaders of Jesus day who allowed the traditions of how they had always done things to obscure the reality of really knowing God.
  • Nurture a spirit of participation. Develop a mindset of the responsibility we have of encouraging and building into one another. Realize that participation does not mean just having a bible discussion, but it is really giving opportunity for God to speak through His body.
  • As you hear from God together, always think in terms of application and obedience. What Is God saying to us as a group? Is there something He is calling us to obey Him in, as a church?
  • If you are considered a leader in your group, learn to let the Spirit lead. Don’t be afraid of times of silence. Think about how to equip people so that they will all participate, rather than feeling like you must prepare a teaching or sermon for the time. If you regularly dominate the time, it is likely people will not grow in the practice of their priesthood.
  • There is very little to compare with the experience of what happens when we allow Christ to be our Head, and when He is able to speak, not just through one man, but through His body that is gathered together in His presence. If your church is not experiencing this, get desperate for it. Ask God to speak to you, and to change you and to make His presence real among you . If most people are only accustomed to listening to a sermon or having a question/answer Bible discussion, it may take time for people to grasp this, but believe me, it is worth the price when you experience it.
  • Realize that the making of disciples, the maturing as followers of Christ does not happen at a two hour gathering on a Sunday. We are called to 24/7 life in the kingdom. The life of the church must go beyond once or twice a week and become a day by day reality of the kingdom community that God wants us to experience. Think about ways to grow this in your church.

Questions to Consider

It is not about a model or a system. It is about Jesus. It is about 24/7 life in His kingdom. A kingdom where we all have instant and free access to the King-able to personally interact with Him and hear directly from Him, a kingdom where we are all His priests and prophets- representing the King, speaking His truth to others, and vitally involved in the building and expansion of His kingdom.

And so the questions we must ask ourselves individually are not about rituals and activities, but instead asking- Is what I am giving myself to leading me to the fullness of an intimate friendship with Jesus? Am I experiencing 24/7 life in the kingdom? Am I actively living out my priesthood? Am I hearing from God? Am I communicating to others what God is speaking to me?

Likewise, as churches we must not focus so much on size, structure, and model but ask- what things are we doing that encourage intimacy with Jesus, 24/7 life in the kingdom and the active priesthood of each believer and are there any things we are doing that may hinder or discourage these kingdom realities?

Final Note:

I am still learning in many of the areas I have written about here. I don’t claim to be an expert or a theologian in these things. These are just convictions that God has given me. I know there are brothers and sisters that love Jesus who have very different perspectives. I respect them and recognizing that none of us have it all figured out, I welcome the opportunity to learn from others. I encourage you to post your thoughts, comments, and questions.

I also hope to address the role of elders, the Ephesians 4 equipping gifts, and the place of teaching in the church in a later article.

Timmy Powers Timmy is a missionary living in Kiev, Ukraine for twelve years. He is actively involved in disciple-making and church planting. He has a passion for helping people discover the reality of life in the kingdom of God. If you would like to contact Timmy, you may write him at timmy.powers@gcmweb.org ( Russian or English is acceptable)



#1 Николай Плутенко 2010-04-02 22:36 Я много раз обращался к Вам но никак не могу получить устойчивой связи. И сейчас я не понимаю как я могу потом прочитать написанное мной сейчас.
Пожалуйста свяжитесь со мной по эмэйлу.


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