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

    “Saints” (Chapter 32)

    Priests in the NT
    The NT only calls believers “priests” in a few instances:
    “A holy priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:5)
    “A royal priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:9)
    “Priests to our God” (Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6)
    Romans 15:16 NIV
    16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
    The label “priest” had fallen in disrepute in the early NT era. It was associated with pride and power more than with holiness and service.
    The NT more often refers to Christians by another priestly name: “Saints.”
    “Saint” means “holy one.”
    Our priestly identity resides in the word “holy.”
    Exodus 28:36 NIV
    36 “Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: holy to the Lord.
    Priests were always set apart as holy to the Lord.
    Christians are “saints,” “holy ones.” The term is used over 60 times in the NT and is always used for all of God’s people, not just a special class of Christians.
    Holy Mission
    The mission of the Holy God to bring people close to himself and to enter his holiness.
    “You belong to God, and everything that belongs to him carries the imprint of his holiness.” - Edward Welch
    The mission of God that we grow into that holiness and become holy.
    “Scripture sometimes emphasizes that God is the one who makes us holy. Other times it assumes that because he has set us apart, we become increasingly more like him.” - Edward Welch
    Deuteronomy 7:6 NIV
    6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
    Psalm 15:1–2 NIV
    1 Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? 2 The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart;
    “Saints” and So Much More
    Members of God’s household (Eph. 2:19)
    Chosen (1 Pet. 2:4)
    Precious (1 Pet. 2:4)
    His own possession (1 Pet. 2:9)
    Rich (Dan. 7:18)
    Servant of God (Titus 1:1; Rev. 1:6)
    Friend of God (John 15:15)

    “Shining Faces” (Chapter 33)

    Moses and the Glory of God
    Exodus 34:29 NIV
    29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.
    Moses relayed the Word of the Lord while his face shined.
    Moses veiled his face as the brightness of his face faded.
    Moses was a priest robed in light, reflecting the glory of the Lord. He was transformed by his nearness to God.
    Moses reflecting the glory of God illustrates how we are changed by his nearness:
    Moses reflected light because God is light.
    Lamps in the Holy Place (in the Tabernacle) symbolized God’s presence and always faced the bread, which symbolized the people.
    The Lord has made his light to shine upon us (Ps. 118:27).
    Jesus himself is the light that shines in darkness (Matt. 4:16).
    Jesus revealed his true glory as he shined in brilliant light on the Mount of Transfiguration.
    Jesus will be our sun when we are with him face-to-face (Rev. 22:5).
    We pray, “Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord” (Ps. 4:6), and he does.
    Our Shining Faces
    The apostle Paul revealed to us that we too have shining faces due to our faith in Christ through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
    Paul’s “point is that the reflected glory of Christ in his people is better than Moses. Jesus brought us into a new era in which the Spirit opens our eyes to the glory of Jesus. The Spirit also assures us that the glory reflected in us will never fade.” - Edward Welch
    2 Corinthians 3:12–13 NIV
    12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away.
    2 Corinthians 3:16 NIV
    16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
    2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV
    18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
    “The Spirit brings you into the presence of God, and you shine as you reflect the light of Jesus. As with holiness, you have it, and you can grow in it. When you believe, you receive the Spirit, who shines the light of Christ in you. You can also grow 'from one degree of glory to another' as you continue to draw near to him.” - Edward Welch
    Opportunities to Shine
    Sharing Jesus with others with joy, after spending time in his light
    Expressing gratitude instead of grumbling in difficulties
    Philippians 2:14–15 NIV
    14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
    “It turns out that there are shiny priests around us most every day who follow the course of faith and love in ways that make them appear spectacular and beautiful as they reflect the character of the Lord.” - Edward Welch
      • Romans 15:16NIV2011

      • Exodus 28:36NIV2011

      • Deuteronomy 7:6NIV2011

      • Psalm 15:1–2NIV2011

      • Exodus 34:29NIV2011

      • Psalm 118:27NIV2011

      • Matthew 4:16NIV2011

      • Revelation 22:5NIV2011

      • Psalm 4:6NIV2011

      • 2 Corinthians 3:12–13NIV2011

      • 2 Corinthians 3:16NIV2011

      • 2 Corinthians 3:18NIV2011

      • Philippians 2:14–15NIV2011

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