Pray that all the saints would receive the divine revelation concerning the priesthood of the gospel that will revolutionize their entire concept and change their entire practice (Rom. 1:9 and notes 91 and 92; 15:16; Phil. 2:17 and notes 172, 173, and 174; Phil. 3:3 and note 32; Matt. 28:18-19).
Rom. 1:9—For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of His Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you always in my prayers.
Rom. 1:91, serve—The Greek word means serve in worship; it is used in Matt. 4:10; 2 Tim. 1:3; Phil. 3:3; and Luke 2:37. Paul considered his preaching of the gospel a worship and service to God, not merely a work.
Rom. 1:92, spirit—Not the Spirit of God but Paul’s regenerated spirit. The spirit is different from the heart, soul, mind, emotion, will, or natural life. Christ and the Spirit are with the believers in their regenerated human spirit (2 Tim. 4:22; Rom. 8:16). In this book Paul stressed that whatever we are (2:29; 8:5-6, 9), whatever we have (8:10, 16), and whatever we do toward God (v. 9; 7:6; 8:4, 13; 12:11) must be in this spirit. Paul served God in his regenerated spirit by the indwelling Christ, the life-giving Spirit, not in his soul by the power and ability of the soul. This is the first important item in his preaching of the gospel.
Rom. 15:16—That I might be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, a laboring priest of the gospel of God, in order that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, having been sanctified in the Holy Spirit.
Phil. 2:17—But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice, and I rejoice together with you all.
Phil. 2:172, sacrifice—The sacrifice and service of your faith means that the faith of the Philippian believers was a sacrifice offered to God and also became their service to God.
Phil. 2:173, service—Like the priestly service.
Phil. 2:174, faith—Faith here is all-inclusive and includes much more than the act of believing. It is the constitution and total expression of all that the believers have received, experienced, and enjoyed of Christ, including Christ as the basic offerings. Paul’s ministry resulted in the all-inclusive faith of the believers. Such a faith was offered as a sacrifice to God by the believers, and Paul rejoiced even to be poured out as a drink offering upon such a sacrifice.
Phil. 3:3—For we are the circumcision, the ones who serve by the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh.
Phil. 3:32, serve—The Greek word for serve here and the word for service in 2:17 refer to the priestly service.
Matt. 28:18-19—And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The New Testament revelation concerning the priesthood of the gospel is entirely different from the practice in Christianity. Because the priesthood of the gospel is according to the divine, biblical revelation and not according to human thought, we have to receive it. This divine revelation will revolutionize our entire concept and change our entire practice. We are believers chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and regenerated by the Spirit. Now we are priests. A priest is one who is so close to God, who is one with God, and who can have God’s oracle to speak to people. Such a one can also bring God to man and bring man back to God.
The Old Testament priests handled only the types of Christ that pointed to the coming Christ, but we New Testament priests have received Christ, and Christ has entered into us. Now we are in Christ, and Christ is in us. We are even one with Christ, so whatever He is and has is ours. We can go out in the condition of the Triune God being wholly one with us. We go out with the Triune God. We go to command the sinners to repent with the authority of Christ. The Lord Jesus said that all authority had been given to Him in heaven and on earth, and then He charged us to go and disciple all the nations (Matt. 28:18-19). We go to disciple the nations with His authority, baptizing them into the Triune God. We do not just impart the Triune God into them. After they receive the Triune God, we have to baptize them into the Triune God to make them one with God. To preach the gospel is to go out with Christ and with His divine authority to visit our relatives, friends, classmates, colleagues, and neighbors. We have to preach the gospel as priests, making this a part of our daily walk, our daily life.
To go to visit sinners and get them saved that they may be made the sons of God and the members of Christ is the first step of the priestly service, the priesthood. The New Testament priests are linked with the gospel. In the past when we talked about the priests, we never thought about the gospel. We considered that the priests and the gospel were two absolutely separate items. This shows that we were short of spiritual sight, spiritual vision. We did not see that the preaching of the gospel is the priesthood. We need to see that the priesthood is linked with the preaching of the gospel. The preaching of the gospel is our daily life, our daily work, because the preaching of the gospel is the work and the duty of the New Testament priests. (CWWL, 1989, vol. 4, “The Advance of the Lord’s Recovery Today,” ch. 10, p. 147-148)
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