Sermon Text: You are a Kingdom of Priests live like it!

To watch the video as you read the sermon below please go to our

A New Heritage Bulletin >>>


Proper 6A – You are a Kingdom of Priests live like it!

  1. In the wake of the coronavirus and the civil unrest rooted in a history of racial inequality there is a movement afoot to change the way we live, to enter a new reality.
    1. There are many examples of this new reality that have become commonplace in a very short span of time.
      1. We now routinely practice social distancing and mask wearing.
      1. Many wonder why we ever shook hands, hugged, or showed any other physical signs of camaraderie or whether we’ll ever return to them again.
      1. Long accepted memorials or place names that honored a culture rooted in slavery are coming down, even NASCAR has banned the showing of the confederate flag at its events.
      1. We are called to live as a changed nation, a new people, with new values – it’s not enough to talk the talk (which has been done for decades) it’s time to walk the walk which for many observers has not been done yet.
    1. The world expects that if you articulate a certain sets of beliefs you will naturally live by them – you will live authentically by what you believe or your life is a sham
      1. Your actions and your life should reflect what you say; talk is cheap.
      1. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that Scripture calls God’s people to a changed life…an authentic life according to God’s command.
    1. Our OT lesson takes place almost immediately after the children of Israel were delivered from slavery in Egypt under Pharaoh.
      1. They had seen the mighty acts of God as He destroyed the Egyptian army in the Red Sea and manifested His presence in a pillar of fire by night and cloud by day.
      1. Now at the base of Mt Sinai, where they would receive the 10 Commandments, God reveals that they will be His chosen people saying, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
  2. God has always desired fellowship with His creation
    1. After our sin in the Garden of Eden destroyed that fellowship God set about to restore it.
      1. He first chose Abraham to be the father of the Jewish nation through whom He would send the Messiah to restore that fellowship not only for the Jewish nation but all nations.
      1. The Jewish people were to be God’s kingdom of priests and treasured possession pointing the nations to the Messiah who would come for all
    1. And now that Jesus has come and restored fellowship through the forgiveness of sins He won on the cross God’s chosen people are no longer relegated to one nation.
      1. Peter tells us this in his first epistle where he takes this verse from Exodus and applies it to all believers in Christ, “…you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ…you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people…(1 Pet 2:4-5, 9-10).
      1. As we said last week, by virtue of your baptism you have been marked with the Name of God and adopted as His child.
      1. We, who believe in Christ, are His treasured possession – We are a kingdom of priests!
  3. But also in our OT lesson to be God’s child wasn’t to be His child in name only.
    1. The Lord says, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession
      1. That is if you are going to be my people you will live like my people – you are a kingdom of priests live like it!
      1. All too often the Israelites failed miserably at that task
      1. Even at Mt. Sinai, when they had barely received the commandments, they broke them and rebelled against God worshipping a Golden Calf!
      1. But God’s Call stood, His Word irrevocable, and throughout the rest of the OT He sent prophet after prophet to call His beloved people back to the Covenant to remind them that they were His people and through them would come the Messiah for all
    1. We have no less a call to live authentically, you are a Kingdom of Priests live like it!
      1. Our Gospel lesson tells us that, These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them…“And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.” (Mat 10:5-8)
      1. We are to manifest the Kingdom of heaven not in words only but in our deeds – how we live, what we do for those who don’t know the Kingdom to bring that Kingdom to light for them
      1. We are to live authentically as though our faith actually meant something beyond what we say on Sunday at church
  4. We are not saved by our good works but they do two things
    1. First, they provide a witness to an unbelieving world – if the sinful world expects that a person’s actions align with their professed beliefs do you think they’ll excuse us when we fail to live like Christians? Hardly!
      1. By our actions in the world we validate our profession of faith, talk is cheap and for too long in the Western church our walk has not validated our words.
      1. Paul says, For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. (Gal 3:27-29)
      1. There are no racial inequalities in the church, there are no gender inequalities in the church – we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and we need to act like it, welcoming and loving each other as Christ loves us
    1. And we have a call to love those that the church has deemed unlovable and beyond redemption
      1. In this brave new world, we face the challenge of making the Gospel known to those who struggle with gender identity and sexuality and a host of issues we haven’t faced for 1700 years since the Roman Empire became Chrsitian.
      1. Christ’s blood was shed for them no less than us and it is our burden to find a way to lovingly articulate the Gospel, not just condemn and shun them, while maintaining biblical integrity.
    1. Secondly, our good works provide a personal check on our own spiritual maturity to tell us whether we’re alive in the Spirit,
      1. Our own Confessions say, For it is true that in the doctrine of repentance works are required, because certainly a new life is required…Christ often connects the promise of the remission of sins to good works, not because He means that good works are a propitiation (payment), for they follow reconciliation (forgiveness)…because good fruits must necessarily follow. Therefore He reminds us that, if good fruits do not follow, the repentance is hypocritical and feignedThe godly on the other hand, embrace [good works], and rejoice that they have the signs and testimonies of so great a promise.
      1. And we produce these fruits of faith, these good works, by the power of the Holy Spirit in us, whom we have received in Baptism
      1. Our faith is further strengthened through Communion where our Lord nourishes us with His body and blood – we have not been left alone in this task, God is with you to will and to work according to His Word.
      1. You are a Kingdom of Priests, live like it through the Holy Spirit!