PRIVILEGE(S)

Students studying for their exams in a park, Soviet Union late 1960s.
Students studying for their exams in a park, Soviet Union late 1960s. (Or like a ‘Confession Booth’).

Often result from being trustworthy:

‘My father made me swear an oath and said, “I am about to die; bury me in the tomb I dug for myself in the land of Canaan.” Now let me go up and bury my father; then I will return.’ “ –  NIV Genesis 50:5

Joseph had proved himself trustworthy as Pharaoh’s adviser. Because of his good record, Pharaoh had little doubt that he would return to Egypt as promised after burying his father in Canaan.  Privileges and freedom often result when we have demonstrated our trustworthiness.  Since trust must be built gradually over time, take every opportunity to prove your reliability even in minor matters.

 

Tied to responsibility:

Through him and for his name’s sake, we receive grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.  – NIV Romans 1:5-6

Christians have both privilege and a great responsibility [i.e. “I love the way they do ‘a Job Description Item’ “]. But they also received the responsibility to share the message of God’s forgiveness with others.  God also graciously forgives our sins when we believe in him as Lord.  In doing this, we are committing ourselves to begin a new life.  Paul’s new life also involved a God-given responsibility – to witness about God’s Good News to the world as a missionary.  God may or may not call you to be an overseas missionary, but he does call you (and all believers) to witness to and be an example of the changed life that Jesus Christ has begun in you.

 

Don’t make us better than others:

Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God. – NIV Romans 3:2

The Jewish nation had many advantages. (1) They were entrusted with God’s laws (“the very words of God”), Exodus 19:20; Deuteronomy 4:8).  (2) They were the race through whom the Messiah came to earth (Isaiah 11:1-10; Matthew 1:1-17).  (3) They were the beneficiaries of covenants with God himself (Genesis 17:1-16; Exodus 19:3-6).  But these privileges did not make them better than anyone else (see 3:9).  In fact, because of them the Jews were even more responsible to live up to God’s requirements.

 

Of being admitted into God’s presence:

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.  – NIV Ephesians 3:12

It is an awesome privilege to be able to approach God with freedom and confidence. Most of us would be apprehensive in the presence of a powerful ruler.  But thanks to Christ, by faith we can enter directly into God’s presence through prayer.  We know we’ll be welcomed with open arms because we are God’s children through our union with Christ.  Don’t be afraid of God.  Talk with him about everything.  He is waiting to hear from you.

 

That come with our new life in Christ:

let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleans us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  – NIV Hebrews 10:22-25

We have significant privileges associated with our new life in Christ: (1) we have personal access to God through Christ and can draw near to him without an elaborate system (10:22); (2) we may grow in faith, overcome doubts and questions, and deepen our relationship with God (10:23); (3) we may enjoy encouragement from one another (10:24); (4) we may worship together (10:25).

 

©Kingsway “International” Church 1973.

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