The apostle Paul says in Ephesians 3:14-15: So I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the perfect Father of every father and child, in heaven and on the earth ~TPT.
Whereas the ESV puts it this way: For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.
So, the question must be asked: For what reason?
For reason of the apostle Paul’s ownership claim of the gospel of grace that’s been given to us in Christ, for Paul writes in verse 6:
Here’s the secret: The gospel of grace has made you, non-Jewish believers, into coheirs of his promise through your union with him. And you have now become members of his body – one with the Anointed One! ~Ephesians 3:6, TPT.
But then, the result and outcome of the personal effect of the gospel of grace – its modus operandi in our lives and the way it works in us – is described in verses 11-12.
This perfectly wise plan was destined from eternal ages and fulfilled completely in our Lord Jesus Christ, so that now we have boldness through him, and free access as kings before the Father because of our complete confidence in Christ’s faithfulness ~Ephesians 3:11-12, TPT.
There are parallel outcomes to these claims of the apostle Paul’s, stated-as-written in Ephesians 3:6-12, but they’re also recorded in parallel as a priest’s commissioning in Zechariah 3:7.
In Zechariah chapter 3 the prophet Zechariah records the vision that the Lord gave him of the commissioning of Joshua the high priest. The vision along with the prophet’s prophetic words describes the Angel of the Lord’s instruction and His promises to Joshua for the effectiveness of his high priesthood, for these are parallel instructions and promissory outcomes with the apostle Paul’s in Ephesians 3:6 & 10.
Here’s the secret (says Paul): The gospel of grace has made you, non-Jewish believers, into coheirs of his promise through your union with him. And you have now become members of his body – one with the Anointed One! ~v6, TPT.
Therefore we’ve become in Christ: the royal priesthood of this great and merciful High Priest, just like Joshua’s commissioning! ~cf. Hebrews 4:14-5:10. Us-with-Jesus, the Son of Righteousness who’s passed through the heavens and now is glorified on our behalf, interceding for us, advocating for us in the court of heaven, and transferring His divine counsel and judgments to us for our use and for our overcoming and triumph in all of life!
The purpose of this was to unveil before every throne and rank of angelic orders in the heavenly realm God’s full and diverse wisdom revealed through the church ~v10, TPT.
Since we have it, then let’s use it!
So, it all comes together in vv11-12:
This perfectly wise plan was destined from eternal ages and fulfilled completely in our Lord Jesus Christ, so that now we have boldness through him, and free access as kings before the Father because of our complete confidence in Christ’s faithfulness ~vv11-12, TPT.
Our cheif Shepherd leads us beside still waters
and restores our souls ~cf. Psalm 23.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? ~Romans 8:31-32, ESV.
So we take our priestly place in the auspice of God, as a flock of birds, wheeling and swooping in unison as if choreographed of course: by our Author’s providence!
Zechariah 3:7 Our priestly place in our King’s court and counsel:
“Thus says the Lord of hosts:
If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge,
then you shall rule my house and
have charge of my courts, and
I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here”, ~ESV.
“…those who are standing here” included the Angel of the Lord: Christ himself, Zechariah the prophet and a number of servants whether people or heavenly spirits, also Satan.
So, our Lord promises to give Joshua the high priest and us as His new covenant’s priesthood: the right of access!
He promises to graciously give us the right of access to divine wisdom, enabling us to walk in God’s ways and keep His charge of – whatever the charge you know, is given to you by God!
Your charge in life could be fatherhood, motherhood, family nurture, vocational authority in your workplace, alliances with your peers, friends and acquaintances, and/or the loving charge of an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher of His people etc.
He’s graciously promised us the right of access to the Divine Counsel that righteously rules His house, whether ‘His house’ is your family, your whole workplace, your group of peers and friends, or a small church group or a large one, He’s given you the right of access to the Divine Counsel that you need for them and for yourself.
He’s graciously promised us the right of access to our Judge’s judgments that rebuke and overthrow Satan’s lies and strongholds in each, every and all those realms.
And our Lord’s promise to Joshua that He will give us the right of access to all these things, is promised ”among those who are standing here”, meaning all these roles, response-abilities and authorities are being performed in the presence of our Overcomer: the King of the ages, in the presence of His servants, in the presence of His honouring and honourable prophets, and in the presence of the angelic host who long to look into this perfect salvation we’ve got.
I write this with this hope that this writing and holy ownership claim will restore any reader’s focus in God’s heavenly kingdom, that we are commissioned by Him as priests, causing praise and worship in heaven’s court of the Most High God who is our King-Priest and judge, the Commander-in-Chief of angel armies, our Redeemer and all judgments’ Deliverer!
The commissioning of Christ’s priesthood is quite simple:
If you will walk in My ways and keep My charge,
then you shall rule My house and
have charge of My courts, and
I will give you the right of access.
That is, it consists of just two things: If you will walk in My ways and keep My charge.
Surrender is surely the key to knowing God’s ways and doing things His way.
There’s a preaching & teaching video by Art Katz called: Eternal Rule and Rewards
which is really enlightening on walking in God’s ways and keeping His charge.
Therefore, I think we could all do with these encouraging and instructive words of the apostle Paul’s, which will surely bring comfort:
~2 Timothy 1:7-14, TPT.
“For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control/spirit-strength.
“So never be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor be embarrassed over my imprisonment, but overcome every evil by the revelation of the power of God!
“He gave us resurrection life and drew us to himself by his holy calling on our lives. And it wasn’t because of any good we have done, but by his divine pleasure and marvellous grace that confirmed our union with the anointed Jesus, even before time began!
“This truth is now being unveiled by the revelation of the anointed Jesus, our life-giver, who has dismantled death, obliterating all its effects on our lives, and has manifested his immortal life in us by the gospel.
“And he has anointed me as his preacher, his apostle, and his teacher of truth to the nations. The confidence of my calling enables me to overcome every difficulty without shame, for I have an intimate revelation of this God.
“And my faith in him convinces me that he is more than able to keep all that I’ve placed in his hands safe and secure until the fullness of his appearing.
“Allow the healing words you’ve heard from me to live in you and make them a model for life as your faith and love for the Anointed One grows even more. Guard well this incomparable treasure by the Spirit of Holiness living within you”.
Since Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Holiness – is given to us as on that day of Pentecost when He was given to the 120 disciples of Christ who had waited worshipfully in that upper room, and He has been given to us in our baptism of fire, also since He is given on the irrevokable grounds of Christ sacrifice, then I reckon we can keep the apostle Paul’s charge: Guard well this incomparable treasure by the Spirit of Holiness.
A ‘rough but ready’ priesthood we are, and a royal priesthood we shall be!