In our last lesson, we saw how that we are a holy priesthood, followed by the question, what does a priest do? Our text is I Peter 2:5, 9-17 and the first thing that we see is that we “offer up spiritual sacrifices” (vs 5). We understand from Romans 12:1 that the first of these sacrifices is to be our entire self, “I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Take note of this sacrifice that it speaks of our bodies which contain our soul and spirit and so it is our entire selves that are to be laid on the altar. It is a living sacrifice as it has been said that at times it is easier to die for someone than it is to live for someone. To die, is to get it over with once and for all, but to live is a day by day, moment by moment sacrifice of ourselves to be confined by the will of God. This can be hard work, but in the end, well worth it. This sacrifice is our reasonable service. In view of all that our Lord has done for us, as seen in the eleven chapters preceding this one, it is only reasonable that we make this sacrifice. We tend to think of this as some BIG DEAL, it is not, it is our reasonable service and is to be done with great joy and satisfaction that all that is done for Christ will last for eternity. This sacrifice is to be holy, to be holy as He is holy, to be set apart unto set apart living. We are not our own, we have been bought with the price and now our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit who is within us. We not only know how to live but we have the power to live that way through the indwelling Holy Spirit. This life that we live as a sacrifice unto our God is not that complicated or difficult, it is a matter of submission to His will as taught in the Scriptures and yielding to the power of the Holy Spirit within us to carry out what we have learned from His Word.
Another sacrifice that we have to give is that of the praise of our lips, “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Heb. 13:15). Again, we read in Ephesians, “…speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (5:19-20). As priest we always speak well of our Lord and we have a melody in our heart which will come out in our singing. I must confess that I am not a singer, but I do have the melody in my heart and I enjoy listening to the congregation of the Lord sing. There are two keys to remember here, the first is that it is that which comes out of the heart, for it is from the heart that the mouth speaks (Mt. 12:34-35). The second, is that in everything there is the giving of thanks, we praise the Lord with our lips out of the abundance of our heart always with thanksgiving.
There is more to come as to what a priest looks like, acts like and talks like.