Pray that the saints would become energizing priests in practicing their New Testament priesthood by being revived and renewed day by day (Rom. 15:16 and note 161; Lam. 3:22-24 and 241; 2 Cor. 4:16 and 163; 1 Cor. 15:10 and note 101).
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.
Rom. 15:162, laboring—In Greek, from the same root as energizing.
Lam. 3:22-24—It is Jehovah’s lovingkindness that we are not consumed, / For His compassions do not fail; / They are new every morning; / Great is Your faithfulness. / Jehovah is my portion, says my soul; / Therefore I hope in Him.
Lam. 3:241, portion—This word concerning Jehovah being our portion and our hoping in Him bears a New Testament flavor (Col. 1:12, 27). Jeremiah enjoyed Jehovah as his portion, and he put his hope not in himself nor in the people nor in anything else but only in Jehovah. On the one hand, Jeremiah realized that God is a God of lovingkindness, that He is compassionate, and that His word is faithful (vv. 22-23). On the other hand, Jeremiah realized that we still need to contact the Lord every morning, put our entire hope in Him, wait on Him, and call on His name (vv. 23-25, 55).
2 Cor. 4:16—Therefore we do not lose heart; but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
2 Cor. 4:163, renewed—By being nourished with the fresh supply of the resurrection life. As our mortal body, our outer man, is being consumed by the killing work of death, our inner man, that is, our regenerated spirit with the inward parts of our being (Jer. 31:33; Heb. 8:10; Rom. 7:22, 25), is being metabolically renewed day by day with the supply of the resurrection life.
1 Cor. 15:10—But by the grace of God I am what I am; and His grace unto me did not turn out to be in vain, but, on the contrary, I labored more abundantly than all of them, yet not I but the grace of God which is with me.
1 Cor. 15:101, grace—Grace, mentioned three times in this verse, is the resurrected Christ becoming the life-giving Spirit (v. 45) to bring the processed Triune God in resurrection into us to be our life and life supply that we may live in resurrection. Thus, grace is the Triune God becoming life and everything to us. (See notes 171 in John 1 and 211 in Gal. 2.) It is by this grace that Saul of Tarsus, the foremost of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15-16), became the foremost apostle, laboring more abundantly than all the apostles. His ministry and living by this grace are an undeniable testimony to Christ’s resurrection.
If the offering of the sacrifices were taken away from the Old Testament priests, they would have nothing to do; they would have no daily living. Everything would be meaningless to them. The daily work and the daily living of the New Testament priests is also to offer the sacrifices in reality. While we are preaching the gospel, we are the energizing priests, fulfilling our daily duty to offer the saved sinners to God as acceptable sacrifices. From now on, whenever we preach the gospel to sinners, we must have the deep sensation that we are the energizing priests, struggling and endeavoring to do our daily duty to fulfill our priesthood. This realization will make a great difference in our daily life. If we do not understand that our preaching of the gospel is the fulfilling of our priestly duty, we will only preach the gospel when we feel like it. When we are happy, we will preach the gospel. When we are not happy, we will forget about preaching the gospel. If something is our duty, however, we do not do it according to how we feel…
To fulfill such a duty, we must be the energizing priests. To be a mother raising up children, in a certain respect, is a joyful thing, but in order for a mother, a housewife, to fulfill her daily duty, she must be energizing. Paul practiced the priesthood in the same way. In Romans 15:16 he says that he was a minister of Christ Jesus, an energizing priest of the gospel of God. He was an energizing priest to offer the Gentiles to God as acceptable sacrifices. Because Paul saw and realized this, he took this as his daily duty…What we need is a daily revival. We need to live a priest’s life. We have been chosen, saved, regenerated, and ordained to be the New Testament priests of the gospel. Now we are not so free because we have a priestly duty to fulfill. (CWWL, 1989, vol. 4, “The Advance of the Lord’s Recovery Today,” ch. 10, p. 148-149)
In order for us to practice this God-ordained way to preach the gospel, we all need a revival. Every morning we need to have a new beginning in our Christian life. We need to be revived and renewed day by day (2 Cor. 4:16). (CWWL, 1989, vol. 4, “A Summary of the Study of the New Testament Way of Christian Service,” ch. 1, p. 166)
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