Sermon #19¨ Leviticus
Text: Leviticus 8:1-36
Subject: The Priesthood of Believers
Date: Sunday Morning – November 4, 2001
Tape # W-67a
Reading: Leviticus 8:1-36
Everything in the ceremonial worship of the Old
Testament was typical. The whole system of carnal ordinances in Jewish worship
was designed by God to show us in type and picture the way of true, spiritual
worship by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
was a type of Christ our great High Priest, who made atonement for the sins of
his people by the sacrifice of himself.
paschal lamb, slain on the day of atonement, represented Christ, the Lamb of
God who, by his death, put away our sins.
the temple, the house of God, was a type of the church, God’s spiritual house,
the people of God in whom he dwells by his Spirit. We who believe are the
temple of God. God dwells in us!
It is idolatrous for men and
women today to call upon any priest, other than Christ our High Priest. It is
blasphemous for sinners to offer any sacrifice to God for sin, other than
Christ who was once sacrificed to put away sin. And it is base superstition to
look upon any material building as a holy place, as though it were the temple
of God. God’s church is his temple. The church universal is the temple of God.
Every congregation of true believers, gathered in the name of Christ, is the
temple of God. And every individual believer is the temple of God. God dwells
in his people! And our worship of God, if it is true worship, is entirely
spiritual (John 4:23-24; Phil. 3:3).
this spiritual worship of God every believer is a priest. The Roman
church has its priests. The Episcopal Church has its priests. And the Mormon
Church has its priests. In each of those societies of wickedness, blind,
ignorant, deluded men are kept in bondage and taught that they cannot approach
God except through the medium of the priest, who is himself only a sinful man.
I tell you, upon the authority of God’s Holy Word, that no man will ever draw
near to God in faith, until he approaches God, not through the medium of some
pretended earthly priest, but through Jesus Christ himself, our only true
Proposition: And all who come to God by
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are themselves priests unto God. Every
true believer in Christ Jesus is a priest, one who has perpetual access to God
by faith through the merits of Christ.
will be Leviticus chapter eight; but I want you to turn for just a minute to 1
what Peter tells us (1 Pet. 2:5). – “Ye
also, as lively stones, (you who come to Christ the Living Stone), are
built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood.” That is my subject this
morning, -- “An Holy Priesthood.”
You who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are “an Holy Priesthood.”
As priests of the most high
God, it is our privilege “to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to
God by Jesus Christ.” Read verse 9 – “Ye are a chosen
generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people: that ye
should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into
his marvelous light.” We need no earthly priests, for we are priests
not be able to read or write, but if you are truly converted, you are a priest
unto God. You may never stand behind a pulpit, or even lead the people of God
in public prayer, but if you believe on Christ you are a priest unto God. You
ladies are commanded of God to be silent in the public assembly of God’s
saints. Yet, you, too, belong to this holy priesthood. All the children of God
As in the Old Testament
there was one sin atoning high priest, though all the sons of Aaron were
priests in the service of God, even so, the Lord Jesus Christ alone is our
great, sin-atoning High Priest and all the sons of God are priests in him.
Divisions: in Leviticus 8 the Holy
Spirit shows us how priests were made under the Mosaic law. In this chapter we
are given many things which are richly suggestive and typical of our spiritual
priesthood. We will come back to this chapter again; but in this message, I
want to show you seven things by which believers are made to be priests unto
God. Here are seven characteristics of those chosen, redeemed sinners who are “an
holy priesthood” unto God.
who are priests unto God have been chosen by God himself.
priest must be cleansed before the Lord.
the Lord’s priests are clothed with the same garments.
only way anyone can enter this priesthood is by birth.
this holy priesthood is anointed for the service of God.
member of this holy priesthood is consecrated to the Lord.
this holy priesthood offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable and well-pleasing
to God by Christ Jesus.
who are priests unto God have been chosen by God himself (v. 2).
8:2) "Take Aaron and his sons with
him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin
offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread;"
said to Moses, “Take Aaron and his sons.” The priesthood was not
something men decided upon, voted upon, or chose for themselves. Only those
chosen, elected, and ordained by God were allowed to serve as priests (Ex.
28:1; Heb. 5:1-5; 1 Pet. 2:5-9).
If you are
a part of God’s “holy priesthood,” it is because God from eternity chose
you, elected you, and ordained you to be his own. Salvation does not begin with
man’s will, but with God’s will. Salvation is not caused by man’s will. It is
caused by God’s will. Men and women are not saved because they will to be
saved. We are saved because God from eternity willed to save us. All who are
born of God readily confess that they are debtors to sovereign grace alone.
‘Tis not that I did choose
Thee, For Lord that could not be;
This heart would still
refuse Thee, But Thou hast chosen me:
Thou from the sin that
stained me Washed me and set me free,
And to this end ordained me,
That I should live to Thee.
‘Twas sovereign mercy called
me, And taught my opening mind;
The world had else
enthralled me, To heavenly glories blind:
My heart owns none before
Thee, For Thy rich grace I thirst,
This knowing – if I love
Thee, Thou must have loved me first!
priest must be cleansed before God (v. 6).
8:6) "And Moses brought Aaron and
his sons, and washed them with water."
brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.” That is one
cleansing. It was done with water, ceremonially. But throughout the chapter we
see them cleansed several times, not by water only, but by blood and water. In
verse 2 we are told that they brought a bullock for a sin-offering and two
rams. The blood of the bullock was poured out at the bottom of the altar. And
the blood of one of the rams was sprinkled upon the altar. In this manner the
priests were cleansed before God. Without the shedding of blood, none were
clean. This is exactly the way we are cleansed from sin before God.
Let the water and the blood,
From thy wounded side which
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt
typical, ceremonial cleansing of these priests is full of spiritual
A. Our cleansing from sin
was accomplished at Calvary.
When Christ was slain, we were cleansed from all sin
and guilt before God. When Christ died, we were redeemed. When the Son of God
offered his own precious blood, atonement was made (Heb. 9:12).
B. But the atonement, effectually accomplished at
Calvary, must be applied to our hearts experimentally by the Spirit through the
Though we were cleansed of all sin before God when
Christ died, we knew nothing about it until the blood was applied to our hearts
by the Holy Spirit. Our consciences were yet defiled with the guilt of sin,
until the Holy Spirit showed us what Christ did for us by the gospel. Then, in regeneration,
we were experimentally cleansed. This is what the washing with water
represents. It does not represent baptism. It represents the regenerating grace
of God and the cleansing power of the gospel, the Word of God (Eph. 5:26; Tit.
3:4-7; Heb. 9:13-14).
3:4-7) "But after that the
kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, (5) Not by
works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved
us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (6) Which
he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; (7) That
being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of
C. And the cleansing atonement of Christ must be
personally received by faith (vv. 18-19).
8:18-19) "And he brought the ram
for the burnt offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head
of the ram. (19) And he killed it; and Moses sprinkled the blood
upon the altar round about."
and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram slain for their
cleansing, we who believe lay our hands of faith upon the head of Christ, the
Lamb of God, trusting him alone to cleanse us from all sin, accepting him as
our sin-atoning Substitute.
have no priests in his sanctuary who have not been cleansed by the blood of
Christ. Until you trust Christ, all your religious exercises are vain
oblations, unacceptable and abominable in God’s sight. Before you can serve
God, you must be cleansed. Go to Christ, the true Altar. Lay your sin upon
Christ, the true Sacrifice. Until you do, you cannot be cleansed from sin. And
you cannot be a part of this holy priesthood.
D. Another thing that strikes me about the cleansing
of the Aaronic priests is the fact that they had to be cleansed everyday.
Initially they had to be completely bathed, washed
from head to toe. But each day, before they began their service, they had to
wash their hands and feet. You who are the priests of God know the need of this
daily cleansing (John 13:1-10).
III. Now, look at this third feature of the
priesthood – All the Lord’s
priests are clothed with the same garments (v. 13).
how clean they were, these men had to be clothed with suitable attire, or they
could not appear before the Lord. Aaron, as the high priest, was distinctly
arrayed in gorgeous garments (vv. 7-12). But all the sons of Aaron were clothed
alike. None of them had even a thread of their own stitching. The garments were
made for them, given to them, and put upon them by another.
8:13) "And Moses brought Aaron's
sons, and put coats upon them, and girded them with girdles, and put bonnets
upon them; as the LORD commanded Moses."
A. Every priest had a
coat put upon him.
These priestly coats were like the coat worn by our
Lord Jesus, all of one piece, woven from top to bottom, hanging from the
shoulder and draping the body. You know what that coat represents – The
righteousness of Christ imputed to us and given to us at the moment of
Illustration: “Bring hither the best
Jesus, Thy blood
My beauty are, my glorious
Midst flaming worlds in
With joy shall I lift up my
Until God puts this robe upon you, you cannot serve
him. But I tell you, as soon as you come to Christ he will put this robe upon
B. Every priest was also
girded with a girdle.
We are told that our Lord Jesus Christ, as our great
High Priest, is “girt about the paps with a golden girdle.” (Rev. 1:13).
That is the girdle of his faithfulness, truth, and love. And Christ Jesus gives
each of his own a girdle of faithfulness, truth, and love.
were used as huge belts to hold up the long, flowing garments men used to wear,
as well as to lend strength and support to the body. Men engaged in labor,
travel, or battle strapped on a girdle to brace themselves and hold their robes
up. Every priest of Christ is given a girdle of faithfulness to carry him
through his appointed labors.
C. And each priest was
given a bonnet, or a turban.
These turbans distinguished the priests from other
men. They were given for glory and beauty. This too applies to us. The Lord has
made his people glorious, honorable, and beautiful in his own eyes. We are not
merely accepted, but beloved. We are not merely washed, but admirable. We are
not merely free from condemnation, but full of imparted beauty (Ezek. 16:8-14).
16:8-14) "Now when I passed by
thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I
spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee,
and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest
mine. (9) Then washed I thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away
thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. (10) I clothed thee
also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee
about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. (11) I decked thee
also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy
neck. (12) And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine
ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head. (13) Thus wast thou decked
with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and
broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast
exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. (14) And thy
renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect
through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD."
The Lord Jesus says to every
saved sinner, “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee…Thou
hast ravished my heart!” (Song of Sol. 4:7, 9). Our Savior so falls in love
with his own image in each saved sinner, that his own heart is captured.
IV. Fourth, I want you to notice that, the only way anyone can enter this priesthood
is by birth.
The only way anyone could be a part of the Aaronic
priesthood was by being born into the family of Aaron. And the only way you can
become a part of that holy priesthood, of which Jesus Christ is the Head, is to
be born again into the family of God. In order to be a priest, capable of
serving God acceptably, “Ye must be born again.” You cannot and will not
serve God until you are given a new heart, a new will, and a new nature, by the
sovereign, regenerating grace and power of God the Holy Spirit.
this holy priesthood, all who are washed in the blood of Christ, clothed with
his righteousness and born of God, are anointed for the service of God
8:30) "And Moses took of the
anointing oil, and of the blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it
upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his
sons' garments with him; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments, and his
sons, and his sons' garments with him."
anointed with the holy oil poured upon his head. Then all the sons of Aaron
were anointed. Even so, the Lord Jesus Christ was anointed with the Holy Spirit
without measure and all who are in Christ by faith are also anointed as priests
A. All of God’s elect have the anointing of the
Holy Spirit symbolized by the holy oil (1 John 2:20, 27).
John 2:20) "But ye have an unction
from the Holy One, and ye know all things."
John 2:27) "But the anointing
which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man
teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth,
and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."
that men talk about this anointing of the Holy Spirit, as though it were some
mystical, second work of grace, which some believers have and others have not.
But that is not the case. This anointing flows to all believers freely from and
through the Lord Jesus Christ. According to John, the thing that distinguishes
the believer from the unbeliever is this anointing of the Spirit (1 John
NOTE: I do not suggest that there are no special fillings
of the Spirit, demonstrations of Divine power, manifestations of the Spirit’s
presence, by which we are enabled to carry out the work he would have us to do.
Without the power of the Holy Spirit our praying, preaching, worship, singing,
witnessing, writing, all our labor for Christ is vain. We must have the Holy
Spirit. I do not minimize his power or his work. Without him we are nothing and
we can do nothing for Christ. But I do mean for all to understand that all of
God’s children are complete in Christ. The Holy Spirit is the “Heirloom” which
our Savior passed along to his children (Gal. 3:13-14).
3:13-14) "Christ hath redeemed us
from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed
is every one that hangeth on a tree: (14) That the blessing of
Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive
the promise of the Spirit through faith."
God for the anointing of the Spirit he has given you.
for the power of the Spirit to be upon you.
B. This anointing of the Spirit is our
sanctification in the experience of grace.
As Aaron and his sons were sanctified symbolically
by the anointing oil poured out upon them, we are truly sanctified, made holy,
by the Spirit of God’s anointing in regeneration.
election we were set apart for holy purposes, separated unto God, and
sanctified (Jude 1).
redemption we were declared to be holy, sanctified by the blood of Christ (Heb.
in regeneration we are made holy, sanctified, by the grace of God imparting to
us and creating in us a holy nature (2 Thess. 2:13).
VI. Sixth, I want you to see that every member of this holy priesthood is
consecrated to the Lord (vv. 22-24).
8:22-24) "And he brought the other
ram, the ram of consecration: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the
head of the ram. (23) And he slew it; and Moses took of the blood
of it, and put it upon the tip of Aaron's right ear, and upon the thumb
of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot. (24) And he
brought Aaron's sons, and Moses put of the blood upon the tip of their right
ear, and upon the thumbs of their right hands, and upon the great toes of their
right feet: and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about."
of Christ, when applied to the hearts of men and women by the Holy Spirit,
causes them to be consecrated to the Lord. This consecration is not
perfect, but it is entire. The whole man is consecrated to Christ.
God’s priests are not partially consecrated to Christ. They are entirely
consecrated to him.
A. The believer’s ear is consecrated to God by
the blood of Christ.
The consecrated ear hears the voice of God. The
believer hears what unregenerate men cannot hear. He hears the voice of God in
his Word, in the preaching of the gospel, and in providence. He listens, not
for an audible voice from heaven, but for the still, small voice within,
saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it.”
B. The believer’s hand is consecrated to God by
the blood of Christ.
The hand refers to work and labor, and to all the
activities of life. The believer is a person who works for God. All that he
does is done with an eye to his God. Whether he eats or drinks, works in the
factory or labors in the ministry, all that he does, he does for the glory of
God. His garments are praise. His meals are feasts unto the Lord. His work is
God-service. All his days are sabbath days. The blood is upon his hand, so that
all he does is consecrated to God.
C. And the believer’s foot is consecrated to God
by the blood of Christ.
As the ear refers to hearing and the hand to
working, the foot refers to your manner of life as you travel through this
world. The consecrated foot follows his Master. The believer’s life is governed
not by riches, pleasures, or comforts, but by Christ. He seeks not wealth, or
even economic stability. He seeks Christ (Song of Sol. 1:7).
of Songs 1:7) "Tell me, O thou
whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to
rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of
feet carry a man to the house of God, never away from it.
feet carry a man in the way of obedience, never in the way of rebellion.
feet pursue the cause of Christ, not the interests of self.
NOTE: Anything not consecrated to and used for god must be
destroyed (v. 32).
8:32) "And that which remaineth of
the flesh and of the bread shall ye burn with fire."
this holy priesthood offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable and well-pleasing
to God by Christ Jesus (1 Pet. 2:5, 9).
Peter 2:5) "Ye also, as lively
stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up
spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."
Peter 2:9) "But ye are a
chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that
ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness
into his marvellous light:"
and women always come to God through the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God. They
offer no sacrifice of expiation. Christ alone is our sacrifice of atonement and
expiation. But we offer the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving.
A. The believer first
sacrifices himself to Christ (Rom. 12:1-2).
B. Then he offers to God the
sacrifices of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving -- The calves of his
C. He sacrifices his
possessions to the cause of Christ and the service of the gospel (Phil. 4:19).
D. All the sacrifices made by
believers to their God are willing, voluntary sacrifices (2 Cor. 8:12; 9:7)).
1. There is a Priest before God through whom sinners
may come to God and be saved (Heb. 7:24-27).
2. Now, I have one word to you who believe, to you
who by the grace of God have been made “an holy priesthood”.
Let us one and all consecrate ourselves afresh to God as priests dedicated to
his service, whose ears and hands and feet have the mark of blood upon them. “Ye
are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your
body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
¨ Misc. Ser. #740 – An Holy Priesthood – (1 Pet. 2:5) – Danville (AM – 07/