Derek Prince - You Are A Chosen People, A Royal Priesthood
So we look now in 1 Peter chapter two, verse nine. 1 Peter 2:9. And you’ll see that Peter is quoting from Exodus 19, but he’s applying it to New Testament believers. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation... Where Moses said a kingdom of priests, Peter says a royal priesthood. But royal is kingly, it’s the same vision reaffirmed. So tonight I want to dwell on this aspect of being a kingdom of priests. What is the job of kings? To rule, that’s right. Or, to reign. Everybody knows that. Let’s just look at a few affirmations of this.
For instance, we look in Revelation chapter 1, verses 5 and 6, the salutation, at the beginning of the book of Revelation. Or rather, shall we say, the doxology or the benediction. Revelation 1:5–6, starting in the middle of verse 5: "To him who loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and has made us kings and priests to his God and Father"... Notice the same affirmation, kings and priests. The modern translations will say: a kingdom and priests. But whichever your translation, the truth is the same, we are to be a kingdom of priests. It was stated by Moses, reaffirmed by Peter and confirmed in Revelation.
Now we’ve all agreed, we know, the responsibility of a king is to rule. Let me just give you two Scriptures there. Well let me give you three Scriptures, I don’t want to be stingy. Colossians 1:13, speaking about what God the Father has done through the death of Jesus: He has delivered us from the power [or domain] of darkness, and translated us [or transferred us] into the kingdom of the Son of His love. So we’ve been taken out of satan’s kingdom. And transferred into the kingdom of God.
As I’ve said once or twice, the bridge from one kingdom to the other is the cross. Once you get on the bridge, you’re saved. But don’t hang around on the bridge. That’s not your destination. That’s the way out and the way in, but your destination is the kingdom of God. And you frustrate the purposes of God until you move in that. If you look in Romans chapter five, verse seventeen, which is a very rich verse. it’s also a complicated verse. But the essence of this passage in Romans is a contrast between what was achieved or what resulted from the disobedience of Adam, and what resulted from the obedience of Christ.
So, Paul says in Romans 5:17: "For if, by one man’s sin", one man’s offense, "death reigned through the one", that one man is Adam, "much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ".
Notice, the end of the verse is that we shall reign in life through Jesus Christ. Not in the next life but in this life. We are to reign in this life. And it’s made possible because we received abundance of grace. Not just grace. But grace more than all that we could ever need. And remember, grace you can never earn. It’s received freely by faith. Anything you can earn is not grace. So, don’t stop at what you can earn. because that’s not what God’s purpose is. God wants to pour His grace upon you in overflowing measure. Abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness. This is a vital truth, that we receive righteousness from God through faith in Jesus Christ as a gift. We cannot earn it, we’ll never achieve it by our efforts. We receive it as a gift by faith.
2 Corinthians 5:21: "God made Him", Jesus, "who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him". Notice, not our own righteousness. But the righteousness of God. That’s the only thing that’s good enough for heaven; it’s the righteousness of God. And that’s by faith. Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness, that in return we might be made righteous with His righteousness. And, it’s a gift. So, when we receive overflowing grace and the gift of righteousness, we are qualified to reign as kings in life. The way to it is identification.
We turn now to Ephesians chapter two, And we read verses four, five and six. And we find... Ephesians 2:4-6: "But God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved", notice, you didn’t earn it, "and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus". You’ll see there that we are identified with Jesus Christ in three successive experiences. First of all, we have to be identified with Him in His death. We have to acknowledge that He died our death, He took our place, He paid our penalty, and as Paul says in Romans 6:6: "Our old man was crucified with him".
When we accept that identification, then the door is open to be identified with Him in every subsequent experience. We are buried with Him by baptism into death. And then in these verses in Ephesians we are made alive with Him, we’re resurrected with Him, and we’re seated on the throne with Him. God has made us alive together, He has raised us up together, He has seated us with Jesus. And remember, Jesus is seated on a throne. The New English Bible says, God has enthroned us with Him. This is on the basis of our identification with Him. So, whatever way you look at it, our destination is the throne. God doesn’t want us to stop short. But, not only are we to be kings, we are to be a kingdom of priests.
So, the only people who qualify to be in the kingdom are priests, it’s a kingdom of priests. Like if I talked about a society of botanists, to be in that society you would have to be a botanist. Otherwise, you wouldn’t qualify. Or, if I talked about a race of giants, to be in that race you’d have to be a giant. So, when we talk about a kingdom of priests, to be in the kingdom you have to be what? A priest, that’s right. The thing is lots of people know what the job of a king is. Comparatively few people know what the job of a priest is. There is one key word that absolutely distinguishes the priestly ministry. What is it? Sacrifice, that’s right. The only people entitled in the Bible to offer sacrifice to God are priests.
So, brothers and sisters, this is very practical. If we’re going to reign, first of all, we have to learn to offer sacrifice. And if we don’t learn the sacrificial ministry, we don’t qualify for the kingly ministry. If you turn back to 1 Peter chapter two, briefly, you’ll see that in verse five, Peter speaking to believers in Jesus, 1 Peter 2:5 says: "You also as living stones are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood", what’s the next word? "To offer up spiritual sacrifice". If you’re a priest you have to offer. Why does Peter say spiritual sacrifices? He’s contrasting it with what? With the Old Testament where they offered physical sacrifices, the bodies of animals. They were Levitical priests. We are not Levitical priests. We offer spiritual sacrifices.