THE DEFINITE STEPS NEEDED FOR PRACTICING THE NEW TESTAMENT PRIESTHOOD OF THE GOSPEL
We need to see the definite steps needed for practicing the New Testament priesthood of the gospel. We may agree with the new way, but this does not mean much. We must also exercise and practice it.
The Elders’ Leadership and Stirring-up Action
The first definite step needed for practicing the New Testament priesthood of the gospel depends on the eldership. The elders in every local church should exercise their leadership in preaching the gospel. As the New Testament priests of the gospel, they have to preach the gospel, and they have to stir up a gospel preaching atmosphere in their local church. The elders must take the lead to create such an atmosphere so that their church can be a gospel preaching church according to God’s ordained way. All the elders need to forget about the old way and pick up the new way. They should go out by themselves to practice the New Testament priesthood of the gospel.
The Saints’ Determination and Consecration
Presenting Our Bodies to God as a Living Sacrifice
The saints need to make a determination and consecration. We must all make a strong determination that we will practice our God-given New Testament priesthood. Because of our determination, we have to consecrate ourselves, to present our bodies as living sacrifices to God (Rom. 12:1). The best way to exercise and to practice is to preach the gospel to our close relatives—to our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. By doing this we will learn.
Praying and Being Revived
Then we have to pray desperately. In our prayer, the Lord will shine over us. We will be exposed under His shining, and we will see all our failures, defects, and imperfections. We can then make a thorough confession and be revived by the Lord. We should not remain in our present passive situation. We must be aggressive and take the initiative in the spiritual life.
Going to Visit Sinners on Definite Days
After being revived through our prayer, we must go to visit sinners on definite days to redeem our time. We must set aside a certain day and time each week and only use it for our priesthood of the gospel. We should not say that we have no time. As long as we have time to do other things, we surely have time to visit sinners.
Exercising Persistence, Patience, and Faith
Then we must exercise persistence, patience, and faith. If we do not gain anyone in one year, we must thank the Lord that He has given us another year. We must be persistent. We still have to preach the gospel. If we speak Christ to others week after week, we will surely gain someone. Eventually, we will reach the goal. We all must exercise in the gospel with persistence, patience, and faith.
The Churches’ Participation and Prayer
To practice the New Testament priesthood of the gospel requires the churches’ participation and prayer. The churches should participate in the saints’ labor of visiting sinners with the gospel. The churches should also have prayer meetings to pray desperately for this. It is a great matter for the church to participate in and pray for the saving of sinners.
(The Exercise and Practice of the God-Ordained Way, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)