23 Oct Possess A Clear Purpose For Living
October 23, 2018
I have written very boldly to you … because of the grace that was given me from God, to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God.
In Romans 15, we see four characteristics of a life well spent. The first secret of a life well spent is to have a clear purpose for living.
Paul said in verses 15-16, “I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God, to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” Paul was saying, “Some of the things I have written to you have been tough to say, but they fulfill my purpose because God has called me to be a minister of the gospel to the Gentiles.” Paul said he was a “priest” of the gospel. Did you know this is the only place in the entire Bible in which Paul referred to himself as a priest? The reason Paul referred to himself as a priest was to repudiate the idea of a professional priesthood.
In the Old Testament, the priests continually offered sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people. The priests offered sacrifices day in and day out, because those animal sacrifices could never take away the sins of the people. They were a picture of the true Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. When Jesus came and offered Himself as the once-for-all sacrifice for our sins, the priests were out of business. There were no longer any sacrifices to be offered. That is why in the New Testament, a pastor is never referred to as a priest. In fact, 1 Timothy 2:5 says there is no longer a need for a human priest. Paul said, “There is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” The only priest we need today is Jesus Christ. He is our go-between to God. He is the One who offered the perfect sacrifice: Himself. The pastor is not a priest.
Paul was saying to the Christians in Rome, “I am a priest, but not the kind you are thinking of. I am a priest who is offering the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is my purpose.”
Did you know God has called every one of us to be priests? Each of us has as our purpose in life to represent God to people. In 1 Peter 2:9, Peter said, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” You will never make sense of your life until you come to understand that there is only one reason God left you here on earth after He saved you. Why didn’t God take you to Heaven the moment He saved you? He did not leave you here to build a successful career. He did not leave you here to stockpile money. He did not even leave you here to have a happy life. God left you here to be His representative in this lost world, to point as many people to God as possible through faith in Jesus Christ. That is the reason we are here. We are priests of God. Paul understood that.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “A Life Well Spent” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.