Rev 1:5  "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

There is an order of events listed in the above verses.  First he loved us, then he washed us from our sins in his own blood, next he made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, subsequently we owe him praise, honor and glory, and finally he has dominion for ever and ever. 

One of the four things the scriptures say that "God is" is love.  Love is the motivating cause of all that God does for his people.  The scriptures say that we love him because he first loved us.  God's election of a people is based on His love: Rom. 9:11 "(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."  Works or goodness in the one elected was not a factor, but God's love was the reason for the election. 

Similarly, the spiritual birth is brought about because of God's love: Tit. 3:4 "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."  Our salvation from sin is also brought about because of God's love: Rom. 5:8 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  Love is more than just a feeling, but it is manifested through action.  Jesus loved us and that is why he "washed us from our sins in his own blood." 

Sin was the great enemy of the Lord's people.  For this cause Jesus came into the world as the angel proclaimed to Joseph, "Fear not to take unto thee Mary, thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost, and she shall bring forth a son and thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins."  Out of the love he had for those that God chose before the world began, Jesus came to save his people from their sins.  The scriptures say that without the shedding of blood is no remission.  It took the shedding of blood to remit our sins.  However, the blood of animal sacrifices would not suffice as atonement for the elect.  God requires perfection.  Only the blood sacrifice of a perfect man would be sufficient to redeem the elect from their sins.  But where could a perfect man be found?

All of Adam's posterity were made sinners in the sin of Adam according to Romans chapter 5.  But God provided himself a sacrifice as the Son of God left the portals of glory and came down and was made of a woman and was made under the law to redeem them that were under the law of sin and death.  Through his virgin birth he was made holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners.  He kept the law to a jot and a tittle, and then at the appropriate time, he was made an offering on Calvary's cruel cross to redeem his people from their sins.  2 Cor. 5:21 "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."  As Jesus was made sin for us, we were made the righteousness of God in him.  This atonement was to perfection for ever: Heb. 10:14 "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."

 There is a washing through the blood of Jesus as the following verses proclaim:

          1.  Heb. 10:22 "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."

          2.  Heb. 12:24 "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."

          3.  1 Pet. 1:2 "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:"

          4.  1 John 13:10 "Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all."

          5.  1 Cor. 6:11 "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."

          6.  Tit. 3:5 "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;"

This washing is from sin and was brought about because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Rev. 1:6(a)  "And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

There are two things this verse tells us that Jesus Christ has made us: kings and priests unto God and his Father.  In this essay we will deal with the subject of our being made kings.  In the next essay we will deal with the subject of our being made priests. 

In order for someone to be a legitimate king he must be a descendant of a king and he must be anointed.  Now it is God who established the office of a king in Israel and he started it with King Saul.  But because of Saul's disobedience and rebellion, God turned the kingdom to David and his descending sons.  It was God who had the prophet Samuel to anoint both Saul and then David to be kings over Israel.  Afterwards the high priests anointed the kings that were to reign over Israel and then Judah.  Thus for us to be kings today we must descend from a king and be anointed to be a king.  First through the new birth we are born of God: 1 Pet. 1:23 "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."  Thus thru the new birth we are spiritually born of Christ (the King of kings) the living word.  Next, we are anointed of God also thru the new birth as the following verses show: 

          1.  Acts 10:38  "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."

          2.  2 Cor. 1:21 "Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;"

          3.  1 John 2:20 "But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things."

 Reference 1 above shows us that Jesus was anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power.  Whereas ref. 2 tells us that God has anointed us and ref. 3 tells us this anointing was also from the Holy Ghost.  Thus as Jesus was anointed with the Holy Ghost so are we anointed with the Holy Ghost.  Thus when we are born of the Spirit we are anointed with the Holy Ghost to be a king. 

 A king wears a crown and God has crowned us as well:

          1.  1 Th. 2:19 "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?"

          2.  2 Tim. 2:5 "And if a man also strives for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strives lawfully."

          3.  2 Tim. 4:8 "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."

          4.  James 1:12 "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him."

          5.  1 Pet. 5:4 "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."

          6.  Rev. 2:10 "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."

          7.  Rev. 3:11 "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."

 From the above we can see that it is God who crowns us with joy, righteousness, life, glory, and discipleship.  Also we see that we can lose that crown of discipleship if we are not diligent.

 Next, a king has a realm or dominion in which he is to rule over:

           1.  2 Cor. 1:24 "Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand."

           2.  Col. 3:15 "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."

           3.  Rom. 6:12 "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."

           4.  1 Cor. 4:8 "Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you."

           5.     Prov. 25:28 "He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls." 

Thus we can gather from the above that each of us is to have dominion or rule over our heart, and over our mortal bodies, and over our faith, and over our spirit.  Therefore it is over our own life that we are to bear rule and reign as a king.  Please note in ref. 4 that just because we are kings doesn't mean that we are always reigning.  The Corinthians had reigned as kings and then were no longer reigning, but Paul desired that they would once again reign.  We can live our lives in exile and not reign!  It takes an effort on our part to reign. 

There are at least four main responsibilities of a king.  First a king is to establish the rule of law in his kingdom.  The rule of law we are to establish is not our own.  Since Jesus is said to be King of kings, we are kings under King Jesus.  As a king under King Jesus we are to establish his rule of law in our realm.  God himself begins the process when in the new birth he wrote his laws in our heart and in our mind (Heb. 8:10; 10:16).  Our responsibility is to establish his rule of law in our lives.  This rule of law is found in the scriptures. 

Second we as kings have a responsibility to establish a judicial system and be governed by that judicial system.  The framework for this judicial system is established in our hearts and mind in the new birth: 

1.  Rom. 2:14 "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)"

2.     1 John 3:20 "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God."

 All the framework of a judicial system is present here as the conscience serves as the witness, the work of the law is the rule on which the judicial system is founded.  The thoughts are both the defense attorney and the prosecuting attorney.  The heart is the judge and jury to condemn or excuse us.  As we measure ourselves by the rule that God has given us in his word, we bring this to our internal judicial system and it serves to either condemn us or excuse us. 

Third a king is to lead in the battle against the realms enemies. 

According to Eph. 6:11 we are to, "Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"

Additionally, Paul instructs in 1 Cor. 10:3 "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled."  Furthermore, we are to "endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ."

Fourth we are to make provision for our realm.  Since the provision is given to us by our King, we are to distribute this provision to our realm.  This provision is distributed to our realm thru reading, studying, praying, and meditating on the things of God whose word is a thorough furnisher unto all good works.  

As kings we are to reign with Jesus in his kingdom.  Also there will be a people reigning with him throughout this New Testament age according to Rev. Chapter 20.

Rev 1:6(b)  "And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

 In our previous essay we considered God's people as kings.  In this essay we will consider God's people as priests.

 In the Old Testament the priests were the male descendants of Aaron.  Their primary duty was to offer sacrifices.  They often were responsible for the killing of the sacrifices, the flaying of the sacrifices, the skinning of the sacrifices, the separating of the fat of the sacrifices from the rest of the body.  Anyone who has ever worked in a slaughter house can tell you that the labor the priests were called on to do was hard. 

As the Old Testament priests were descendants of the High Priest, today the New Testament priests are born spiritually of their High Priest, Jesus Christ.  Thus only those who are born again can be New Testament priests.  The existence of New Testament priesthood is set forth in the following two verses:

           1.  1 Pet. 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."

          2.  1 Pet. 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 marvelous light:"

 Thus the New Testament priesthood is called a "holy" and a "royal" priesthood.  "Royalty" generally refers to kings.  Thus the priests are also the kings.  In the Old Testament the priests could not be kings and the kings could not be priests under the law.  However, Jesus came as a King and he also came as a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec.  Now Jesus has made those he has cleansed from sin, both kings and priests. 

The work of the new testament priests are not to offer up animal sacrifices, but to offer up spiritual sacrifices to the praise of him who hath called them out of darkness to his marvelous light.  If we do the work of this priesthood we will be busy doing it.  There are seven spiritual sacrifices which are set forth in the following verses:

          1.  Ps. 4:5 "Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD."

          2.  Ps. 27:6 "And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD."

          3.  Ps. 51:17 "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."

          4.  Ps. 107:22 "And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing."

          5.  Phil. 2:17 "Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all."

          6.  Heb. 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."

          7.  Heb. 13:16 "But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." 

The first sacrifice we will consider is the sacrifice of a broken spirit.  It is God who breaks the spirit.  Man is full of pride and selfishness.  He thinks extremely high of himself.  Thru the new birth and thru the courtroom of the heart God humbles man and breaks his spirit causing him to realize he is a condemned sinner in the sight of a just and holy God.  From this condition comes a broken and contrite heart.  Until a man has been humbled he is of no value as a spiritual priest unto God.  Once he has his spirit broken, then he humbles himself and shows forth contrition and this pleases God and is to the praise of God, for God is the moving cause of this process.  From a broken and contrite heart come the other spiritual sacrifices.

The second spiritual sacrifice we will consider is the sacrifice of righteousness.  Man has no righteousness of his own and the scriptures point out that "all of our righteousness are as filthy rags before God."  God's elect, however, are clothed with the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.  It is this fact that gives us a desire to do right.  "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled."  Doing what is right is often unpopular and comes with ridicule from the world.  The spiritual priesthood of Jesus Christ is called on to do what is right, regardless of what the world or so called friends think.

 The third spiritual sacrifice we will consider is the sacrifice of joy or praise.  As one verse said it is "the fruit of our lips giving thanks to God."  We are admonished to speak to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in our hearts unto the Lord.  Our songs should be songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God.  They should never be to glorify man.  While we have a song service in our worship service, this should not be the extent of our singing of praise unto God.  Often times we can sing in our hearts, even without our lips moving.  Other times we can sing audibly either alone or with others.  Never should the main focus of our singing be on the quality or tone of our voice, but on giving praise and thanksgiving unto God.

The fourth spiritual sacrifice we will consider is the sacrifice of thanksgiving.  While this seems to overlap with the sacrifice of praise or joy, yet it goes beyond just giving of thanks in song, but also we should give thanks in prayer as well.  Too often we approach prayer as to what we can ask for from God.  We should be even more ready to give thanks to God in our prayers.  Sometimes we will hear someone say that I don't know what to pray for.  Well at such times we should be pouring out our prayers of thanksgiving to God for his mercy, grace, deliverances, for the gifts that he has given us, and for the church and his word.  Furthermore, we should be willing to speak to others of our thankfulness of the grace and mercy and deliverances of God.

The fifth spiritual sacrifice we will consider is the sacrifice of faith.  We are told to walk by faith and not by sight.  Stepping out on faith rather than the sight of our eyes is sometimes difficult to do, but is always the best thing to do.  Our faith is to be in God and his word.  It involves a trust that His will is better for us than our will is.  Walking by faith says that I want what God would have for me to do rather than what I would naturally desire to do.  It also says that I want God to make my major decisions for me, rather than relying on myself and carnal reason.

The sixth spiritual sacrifice we will consider is the sacrifice of doing good.  The scriptures say, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven."  Also we read, "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bring forth much fruit."  We also read in Ephesians, that "we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works."  Furthermore, the scriptures are a thorough furnisher unto all good works.  To do good is a sacrifice that is well pleasing unto God.

The seventh spiritual sacrifice we will consider is to "communicate."  The context of ref. 7 above as well as the following verse: Phil 4:18 "But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God" teaches that the sacrifice of communicating means to communicate to the needs of other.  John 15:13 says "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."  Communicating to the needs of others is one form of laying down our life for others.  This manifest the greatest love we are capable of and points to the love of God towards us.

A sacrifice indicates that we are giving something up.  Rom. 12:1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."  This verse summarizes the spiritual sacrifices we are to make as a spiritual priesthood.  In presenting our body a living sacrifice, we are sacrificing the living of our lives to the desires and deeds of the flesh, that we may live our lives to the praise and glory of God.  In all seven of the spiritual sacrifices, something is given up in order that we may praise and glorify the name of God.