What is a Christian?

Prince, Priest, & Prophets

Prince: our position

Nobody can buy their way into being a prince. No amount of work can get you here, even the most loyal of servants to a monarch may be knighted, or made a duke and given land but they would never be made a prince. A prince is born of a king.

Rom 8:14-17 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out,”Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

  • Adoption G5206 uihothesia hwee-oth-es-ee’-ah From a presumed compound of G5207 and a derivative of G5087; the placing as a son, that is, adoption (figuratively Christian sonship in respect to God): – adoption (of children, of sons). Spirit of adoption (πνεῦμα υἱοθεσίας) The Spirit of God, producing the condition of adoption. Ὑιοθεσία adoption, is from υἱός son, and θέσις a setting or placing: the placing one in the position of a son. Mr. Merivale, illustrating Paul’s acquaintance with Roman law, says: “The process of legal adoption by which the chosen heir became entitled not only to the reversion of the property but to the civil status, to the burdens as well as the rights of the adopter – became, as it were, his other self, one with him… this too is a Roman principle, peculiar at this time to the Romans, unknown, I believe, to the Greeks, unknown, to all appearance, to the Jews, as it certainly is not found in the legislation of Moses, nor mentioned anywhere as a usage among the children of the covenant. We have but a faint conception of the force with which such an illustration would speak to one familiar with the Roman practice; how it would serve to impress upon him the assurance that the adopted son of God becomes, in a peculiar and intimate sense, one with the heavenly Father” (“Conversion of the Roman Empire”).
  • So by the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit we receive adoption to the Family Of God. And in contrary to what we may think of as being a “second class son” but have the full rights of a Son in that we are heirs and joint heirs with Jesus with all the rights and responsibilities of Sonship (more on those later).
  •  We can go to God and cry Abba, Father. We have that relationship now. Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
  • I can go to my Father and say “hey Dad, can I have $5 to go out with my friends?” He may say yeas or no but if my friends asked him the same question, he would probably say something like “get a job.” Why the difference? I have a relationship with my Dad.
  • My relationship with God allows me access to heaven when I die.
  • My relationship with God gives me the indwelling Comforter, the Holy Spirit, within me. Teaching me, guiding me, helping me pray and grow. Rom 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Priest: Our reasonability towards God

1 Peter 2:4-6 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

  • A holy priesthood offering spiritual sacrifices. A priest makes sacrifices to God, but God is no longer interested in animal sacrifices, or blood sacrifices (His Son satisfied that requirement, but there are still sacrifices to be made.
  • To offer up spiritual sacrifices – Not bloody offerings, the blood of lambs and bullocks, but those which are the offerings of the heart – the sacrifices of prayer and praise. Since there is a priest, there is also involved the notion of a sacrifice; but that which is offered is such as all Christians offer to God, proceeding from the heart, and breathed forth from the lips, and in a holy life. It is called sacrifice, not because it makes an covering or atonement for sin, but because it is of the nature of worship. 
  • Acceptable to God by Jesus Christ – Through the merits of the great sacrifice made by the Redeemer on the cross. Our prayers and praises are in themselves so imperfect, and proceed from such polluted lips and hearts, that they can be acceptable only through him as our intercessor before the throne of God.

1 Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

  • A royal priesthood to proclaim the praises of God. If you are struggling in your prayer time and seem to run out of things to say, it comes down to a 5-10 minute laundry list of things you want in “Jesus’ name” try adding two things to your prayer time: a time of thanksgiving for how God has already blessed you and a time of praise for all He is and all His promises. Think sacrifice of praise (Jer 33:11; Heb 13:15) Heb 13:15 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.
  • 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. –Romans 12:1
  • Our desire to serve God should penetrate every fiber of our being and every aspect of our lives. Our flesh crucified daily to live for Christ.

Prophets: Our ministry to men

 Heb 13:16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Our Sacrifices towards men 

  • Share the Gospel: (Spiritual needs) Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Teach them and help them grow (Matthew 28:19-20) · Help the man (Physical Needs) Matt 25:34-40 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
  • God can work through agencies like the COL but we need to realize that the point of contact, where the “rubber meets the road” is one on one, man to man. We need to be our brother’s keeper and caretaker reaching out to give a helping hand to those in need, not those in greed. I lived in Arlington and there was a lady in our apartment complex that needed money to see her baby in the hospital so I gave her some gas money, later some money for food and it was not long before she was at my apartment every night. I had to stop as my Pastor at the time said “it is no longer a matter of need but greed.”

Wrap-up/Application

To truly be a Christian we need to apply all three offices to our lives. If we are not princes, then we are fooling ourselves: Unsaved and destined for hell. We need to take up the priestly garb and the prophets mantel and serve God and man, both are expected, both are necessary to truly live up to the name of Christian, that is “little Christ”.

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2 thoughts on “What is a Christian?

  1. Technically although at present in European culture Princehood is inherited, it is possible to, and there are plenty of historical examples of people becoming princes.

    Most people who have become princes have been of noble birth, and probably related to a royal family, although even that isn’t always the case. Interestingly in rank a Prince and a Cardinal are the same, and any man can be made a Cardinal if he becomes a priest and rises through the ranks.

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    1. Interesting thoughts but it is not just modern or just Euopean the idea. Even Sundiata of Malli going back to old oral traditions was born prince of Mali because his father was the ruler of Mali. Even using the most senerio, the argument still holds. And I would like to know where the concept comes from that a prince and cardinal are of the same rank? A Cardinal is a leader in the Roman Catholice church and a prince is a ruler (or future ruler) of a nation.

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