3C. Exalted believers (1.6)
(1.6) And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
1. We have been introduced by John to the triune God as the source of grace and peace. John did this in verses 4 and 5. Beginning in the last half of verse 5, John begins to focus our attention on the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is probably why he mentions the persons of the Godhead in the sequence of the Father, the Spirit, and then the Son instead of the more usual Father, Son and Spirit.
2. Notice, if you will, that verse 6 is, properly, a continuation of the sentence that was begun in verse 5. Let us read the entire sentence that spans these two verses: “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
3. To review, we know that Christ “loves” us and that He “washed” our sins away in His Own blood. Now we turn to additional proof of His love for us and more proof of our cleansing.
4. “And hath made us kings and priests . . . .” There are numerous passages I could refer to which show our future reign in the millennial kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. A few observations are in order at this point:
a. The phrase “hath made us kings” appears to be past tense in English, but the phrase “hath made” is an aorist tense verb in Greek. This means that time is not a consideration in John’s mind, since the aorist tense was the normal tense used by the Greeks to indicate some kind of action without being specific as to when or how. Why is this important to note? We are not yet kings are we? Though believers shall certainly be kings some day. This phrase reveals that John is looking into the distant future to see something “which must shortly come to pass.”
b. Look at First Peter 2.9: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” Here we see that a future priesthood is planned for Jewish Christians in the Diaspora, based upon Peter’s choice of words in First Peter 1.1: “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,” where the word “strangers” translates the Greek word diaspora, and which refers to Jewish Christians.
c. But what about reigning as kings? And what about Gentile Christians? Turn to Revelation 5.10: “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” We will see in chapters 2 and 3 that the Revelation is addressed to 7 Churches, which included both Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians as members. So, it is clear that both Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians have a future as kings and priests.
d. Quite literally, we will rule alongside Him as He rules this world. This is a part of our great salvation. We who were once slaves to sin and under the domination of the devil will preside over whole populations. Consider the possibility that there are unfallen and unsinful inhabitants who populate other planets in God’s vast creation. If that is so, and I have absolutely no proof that it is so, I imagine us someday ruling over them.
5. “And hath made us kings and priests”
Unbelievably, Christians are priests! By the way, what group of Christians throughout history have been the only ones to believe and strongly affirm the priesthood of the believer? Not Roman Catholics with their frocked priesthood. Not Protestantism, with their sometimes-frocked clergy and their refusal to espouse and stand by the doctrine of the priesthood of the believer. Friends, only Baptists have historically affirmed the priesthood of the believer, while only infrequently practicing the doctrine.
6. In the Word of God, a priest performs varied functions as a representative of the people to God.
#1 The priest offers up sacrifices for sins
#2 The priest offers up prayers on behalf of others
#3 The priest approaches God when others cannot
Now, since our Lord Jesus has offered Himself up for our sins, there is no need for a priesthood to offer sacrifices for sins:
Hebrews 9.24-28: “24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
Hebrews 10.11-18: “11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”
So you see, one priestly function is no longer required, the function of offering a sacrifice for sins. However, we can approach God. We can also pray on behalf of others and ourselves as priests. What a great High priest we have in the Lord Jesus Christ, Who has made us priests. Amen?
7. So, what do you say about a Savior Who gives you grace and peace? What do you say about a Savior Who is shown to be a coequal member of the triune Godhead? What do you say about a Savior Who has not only loved us and washed our sins away, but Who has also elevated us to the position of kings and priests?
8. Notice that He “made us kings and priests unto God and His Father.”
What does this mean? Why did not John say that Jesus made us kings and priests unto God and our Father? Because the Lord Jesus Christ’s relationship to God the Father is unlike our relationship to God can ever be, and is unlike our relationship to the Father can ever be. God is my God by creation. The Father is my heavenly Father by adoption. However, the Lord Jesus Christ’s relationship to God and His Father is a peer-to-peer relationship, since they two with the Holy Spirit are one God. So, the Lord Jesus Christ has exercised His divine prerogative by elevating believers to kingly and priestly status. It has not yet happened in time, but it will certainly happen at the right time because these things “must shortly come to pass,” Revelation 1.1.
9. So, what do you say about such a Savior as this? John said it for us, did he not? “to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
a. “Glory” is a frequently used word in the Bible. The lexicon describes the word in this context as referring to “fame, honor, recognition, or prestige.” Thus, John reckons that the Lord Jesus Christ’s fame, honor, and prestige should be acknowledged by His servants.
b. “dominion,” translating the Greek word kratos, simply refers to the exercise of ruling ability, power, sovereignty. John does not fear the lordship of Jesus Christ. He is unconcerned about the exercise of Jesus Christ’s rule or the demonstration of His sovereignty. He rejoices in it. He delights in it. He is thrilled by it.
c. “for ever and ever” is a phrase that is used 21 times in the Greek New Testament, 14 times in the book of the Revelation alone, as the particular designation of eternity. It should then be asked, For how long will the Lord Jesus Christ’s fame, honor, prestige and sovereign rule be acknowledged, be praised?
1) “The LORD shall reign for ever and ever,” Exodus 15.18, so it will be for as long as God reigns.
2) “The LORD is King for ever and ever,” Psalm 10.16, so it will be for as long as God is king.
3) I could go on, but I think you get my point. John speaks of eternal things here, things that are timeless, things that are beyond the scope of our understanding, which have to do with our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.
d. The verse ends with the word “Amen.” Fritz Rienecker tells us “The word is acknowledgement of that which is valid.” This word is more important than most people think it is. My sermon next Sunday morning, titled “Amen,” will help you to see the importance of the Word in Scripture.
10. My friends, it is now a good time to pause and spend some time in self-examination and reflection. All of what John has written about the elevation of the believer to the status of king and priest is based upon the Lord Jesus Christ, the second person of the trinity, having washed your sins away in His Own precious blood. But has He? Have you come to Christ and trusted Him to do that for you? For you see, unless you have personally trusted Him His sacrifice does you no good and you are not saved, much less are you a king or a priest.
11. I would like you to reflect on whether you really are washed from your sins in His blood. If, after consideration of your standing before God, after rehearsing in your own mind and heart whether you know Him Who to know is life everlasting, you would like to talk to me, I urge you to call the Church office and make an appointment so you and I can sit down and address the issue of your soul’s salvation.
 A. T. Robertson, A Grammar Of The Greek New Testament In The Light Of Historical Research, (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1934), page 831.
 Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Israelology: The Missing Link In Systematic Theology, (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries Press, 1994), page 993.
 Bauer, Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature, (Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 2000), page 257.
 Ibid., page 565.
 William R. Newell, The Book Of The Revelation, (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1935), page 13.
 Fritz Reinecker & Cleon Rogers, Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Regency Reference Library, 1980), page 812.
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