Three Functions of the Believer
God does not save us and then turn us out to wander aimlessly around the cosmic system until He returns. The instant we are saved, we are given three assignments that define the purpose of the rest of our lives and tell us how to deal with everyone we meet. No believer ever has to wonder, "What am I here for?" Those three assignments are:
  1. Priesthood: our relationship to God (1Pe 2:5–9). Every believer is a priest to God and has the right to represent himself before the throne of grace. In Heb 10:19–22, we are urged to "draw near" to God, from the Greek proserchomai, which means "to come face-to-face." Because our approach is built on confession, we can walk boldly into the throne room of God, knowing every sin has been paid for and we have been redeemed (Heb 4:16). God wants us to live face-to-face with Him. 
    Our priesthood is private—between us and the Lord. No one sees what goes on between any believer and God. We function as priests through the study of the Word, which is God’s communication to us, and prayer, which is our communication to Him. Our responsibility is to stay in fellowship (1Co 11:28–32; 1Jo 1:7–9), to pray (Heb 13:15; 1Th 5:17–19), and to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2Pe 3:18).
  2. Ambassadorship: our relationship to unbelievers (2Co 5:17–20). God has given us the ministry of reconciliation so that we might serve as ambassadors of Christ. We have a duty to the unsaved (Act 1:8). Jesus Christ came to earth "to seek and save that which was lost" (Luk 19:10)—He began his ministry in the flesh but He continues it in us (Act 1:1). Our responsibility is to urge men to be reconciled to God. 
    Heb 10:23 tells us to "hold fast the confession of our hope." Katecho is a nautical term that means "to steer a straight course toward an objective." Elpis, "hope," is absolute certainty. Confidence in God produces courage before man. As our intimacy with God grows through the function of our priesthood, so does our effectiveness as ambassadors.
  3. Ministry: our relationship to believers (1Co 12:7, 1Co 12:11; Rom 12:1–8). Each one of us is called to be a servant to every other Christian, and our spiritual gift defines the area in which we are to concentrate our service. At salvation, every believer is given a spiritual gift through which he is to minister to the Body of Christ. That gift, bestowed sovereignly by the Holy Spirit as He wills, outlines the plan of God for our lives. Through the gifts of the Spirit, the Church is built up and strengthened. 
    In Heb 10:24–25 we are exhorted to "consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds … encouraging one another." The word translated "consider," katanoeo, means "to bear down with the mind, to concentrate." In the exercise of our spiritual gifts, we should bear down in intense concentration, meditate, and exercise some mental energy in considering other people and their needs. We should constantly ask ourselves: How can I stimulate someone else to live in the energy of the Spirit? How can I use my gift today to encourage and strengthen someone else?
This material was originally a highlighted topic in "The Basics".

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