Eastside Baptist Church
  • Created to Draw Near: Our Life as God’s Royal Priests by Edward Welch

    “Be Sent Out” (Chapter 36)

    “The plan had always been that priests would meet in the staging area of God’s house in order to be sent out into the world. His house is a place of rest, yet it is also very busy. It is life with a purpose. Following are elements of that mission.” - Edward Welch
    Do Battle
    Priests were an integral part of Israel’s warfare.
    We are in spiritual warfare every day. Our enemy can be found in the world or what is earthly:
    1 John 2:16 NIV
    For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
    A primary battlefield is in our own hearts:
    Selfish ambition
    The battle strategy is clear and detailed: We turn from Satan and turn to the Lord.
    James 4:7–10 NIV
    Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
    Another favorite battlefield of the devil is the community of believers.
    “Priests discern the body of Christ, which means that we know that the body of Christ is set apart for unity through humility and love, and we work for peace and reconciliation when we see interpersonal fractures.” - Edward Welch
    The spiritual battle is also in the world.
    “We hope to fit in by being good neighbors who contribute to the good of the community, and we hope to stand out in the way we love. When we encounter the inevitable relationship hassles, this is our opportunity to shine.” - Edward Welch
    Pray and Bless
    How do we do spiritual battle in our own hearts, preserve the unity of the body of Christ, and love even our enemies?
    The life of God’s saints is one of prayer.
    “This is an extension of the normal back and forth that characterizes growing relationships: God speaks to us, especially through his word, and we speak from our hearts to him.” - Edward Welch
    Prayer is one of our greatest opportunities to bring Christ to the world.
    “During trouble, most people welcome prayer. They might think prayer is silly during easier times, but real humanity emerges especially in difficulties, when they are grateful that we pray for them and have them on our hearts.” - Edward Welch
    The partner of prayer is blessing.
    God blesses us and uses us to bless others.
    To speak blessing to others, we must know God’s blessings:
    Grace and peace to you (2 Pet. 1:2).
    May the Lord deal kindly (Ruth 1:8).
    May the Lord give you peace (2 Thess. 3:16).
    May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ (2 Thess. 3:5).
    Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered (Ps. 32:1).
    Our words of blessing to others mature and deepen as we understand more deeply the goodness of God to us.
    We move from physical blessings to spiritual and heavenly blessings, which are eternal and more significant.
    Psalm 65:4 NIV
    Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.
    “After going out into the world, sent by the Lord yet also with his presence, we invite others to come near to him and return to his house where together we bless him.” - Edward Welch
    Psalm 134:1–2 NIV
    Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.

    “Walking Uphill” (Chapter 37)

    On a Journey
    Priests are on a journey, and God is near.
    Psalm 23:1–3 NKJV
    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
    Jesus is our Good Shepherd.
    “Jesus the shepherd is with us, always close. With sins forgiven, there is nothing that can separate us from his love... We have everything we need, and the waters are quiet rather than turbulent. We are refreshed by him and in him.” - Edward Welch
    The Holy Spirit is the presence of God with us.
    “The Spirit assures us of the presence of Jesus, and he gives us power to follow him during trouble—and there will be trouble. Those reminders strengthen us.” - Edward Welch
    Psalm 23:4 NKJV
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
    Jesus is with us in the wilderness, in the troubles of life.
    Jesus walks with us with his rod and staff - one protects us from attacks, and the other keeps us from wandering or picks us up when we fall.
    Psalm 23:5–6 NKJV
    You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
    “The image of the shepherd and sheep gives way to the image of the Lord as host, and he has prepared a lavish banquet. His hospitality begins with the anointing of the head with oil, which was customary with honored guests, but this anointing doubles as anointing to the royal priesthood.” - Edward Welch
    “Our destination is always God’s house, which he has actually prepared for us, so it is our house. It has always been that way. For now, you can pray for endurance and eyes to see these spiritual realities. One day, we will stay put.” - Edward Welch
      • 1 John 2:16NIV2011

      • James 4:7–10NIV2011

      • 2 Peter 1:2NIV2011

      • 2 Peter 1:2NIV2011

      • Ruth 1:8NIV2011

      • 2 Thessalonians 3:16NIV2011

      • 2 Thessalonians 3:5NIV2011

      • Psalm 32:1NIV2011

      • Psalm 65:4NIV2011

      • Psalm 134:1–2NIV2011

      • Psalm 23:1–3NIV2011

      • Psalm 23:4NIV2011

      • Psalm 23:5–6NIV2011

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