Unlimited: The Duty of the Gospel
Nov 23, 2023 353
He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God (Romans 15:16b).
Because Paul was a Pharisee, steeped in Jewish tradition and religious law, he had a profound understanding of the meaning of the Jewish Scriptures. This is evident in the language and ideas he uses in his letters.
Paul has understood that the Old Testament priesthood and its associated rituals have been ended by Christ at the Cross. However, Paul, together with the other New Testament writers, often draws on this rich tradition to illustrate specific spiritual points that he wishes to make.
In Rom. 15:16, the apostle Paul transfers the solemn obligations of the Old Testament priesthood to the New Testament’s call to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those of us who have believed in Jesus Christ have a “priestly duty” to proclaim the Gospel.
Those of us who have believed in Jesus Christ have a “priestly duty” to proclaim the Gospel.
Throughout his epistles, Paul by analogy refers to the followers of Jesus as “priests” and to the priestly function of the Christian church. He writes,
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Pet. 2:9.)
Peter tells us that the purpose of this new priesthood is to declare the praises of Christ in terms of his salvation, which is another way of referring to the Gospel.
Whether we are men or women, young or old, we are all metaphorical priests in the kingdom of God. We have been made holy through the Cross and we live to announce Christ’s salvation. Take some time to reflect on the privileges and the duties that you have as a result.