Home > Gospel > The Wednesday Word: The Wonderful Priesthood of the Believer!

The Wednesday Word: The Wonderful Priesthood of the Believer!

1Peter 2:5, “You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood.”

Who better to tell us that all believers are priests than Peter? He, after all, was, according to Rome, the first Pope. So, speak up Peter and tell us what you know about Priests. …. And Peter, pointing to the Scriptures, declares boldly that all believers are now Priests.

The Old priesthood has gone. Our High Priest, Jesus Christ, has made us a kingdom, priests before the Father. Because we are made priests, we, therefore, do not need human priests or so-called holy men to represent us before God. Every believer, without exception, is now a member of the royal priesthood. As priests, we go directly to God through Christ alone.

We, as believers, enjoy direct access into the very presence of God through Christ Jesus!

All believers are now in Christ, and it is in Him that we are a holy priesthood. Since repetition is the price of learning, let’s repeat it… we go straight to the Father because of Christ alone. We do not have to attend seminary, don fancy robes or take the title of Reverend to do this. No indeed! Even if we have recently been converted and know little about the Bible, we are a part of the Holy Priesthood because of the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is our High Priest and,

He is Perfect,

His birth was perfect,

His life was perfect,

His death was perfect,

His suffering was perfect,

His sacrifice was perfect,

His Blood was and is perfect.

And because of Him, we are qualified to bring our petitions and praises to the Father.

In the Old Testament, a Priest was a minister of God who offered sacrifice for sin. However, this kind of priesthood was abolished by the Gospel. Jesus Christ “offered one sacrifice for sins for ever” (Hebrews 10:12), and now, “there remains no more sacrifice for sins.” (Hebrews 10:26)

The office of Priest has disappeared. Consider this, when Christ gave gifts to the Church (Ephesians 4:11), he gave some Apostles, some Prophets some Evangelists some Pastors and Teachers. Notice how in this 5 fold ministry, there is no gift of priest. That’s because every believer is already a priest.

You may feel like a failing believer, but you are a Priest. Worship God in freedom. Let the blood deal with your sins and your conscience.

You may have no education, but you are a priest.

You may never preach from a pulpit or open your mouth at a meeting, but you are a priest unto God!

So away with this sham of professional priests who supposedly bring us to God. We don’t need them! The Gospel is finished. It is complete. The mammoth work of redemption and reconciliation has been accomplished by our High Priest, Christ Jesus, who efficiently and successfully offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sin! In Him, the door to heaven is wide open.

Every believer is a priest, regardless of his or her full-time occupation.

You may be a gardener, but you are a priest.

You may be a Barrister at Law, but you are a priest.

You may be a businessman, sailor, engineer, council worker…whatever! If you are a believer, you are a priest!

As priests, we continue to offer sacrifices. However, these are no longer animal sacrifices but sacrifices such as prayer, praise and thanksgiving. 1 Peter 2:5 spells out this function. Indeed, as priests, we are to offer our lives as “living sacrifices,” (Romans 12:1) and as priests, our lives are to be characterized by praise (Hebrews 13:15).

If we allow our identities to be shaped by this great truth of our priesthood, we will eventually act accordingly.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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  1. March 25, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    The Catholic Church also teaches that all believers of Christ are priests, whether they are males or females – they become priests through Sacrament of Baptism. Why does the Church still retain special priesthood (or ministerial priesthood) comprising male only members, specially ordained for that purpose if New Testament does not even mention such priesthood?

    The answer is in the Old Testament. Universal priesthood of all believers is not something introduced in New Testament, but it is already prefigured in Exodus 19:6. Yet God also established special priesthood from the House of Aaron (brother of Moses) of the Levi tribe (Exodus 28:1, 29:1) – they are known as Levitical priesthood. Whenever Scripture mentions priests and levites (2 Chronicles 23:4, Ezra 3:12, Nehemiah 13:30, John 1:19 etc.), it refers to this priesthood (the levites are those of the tribe of Levi but not belonging to House of Aaron). Following Reformers, you believe that this Levitical priesthood was abolished after the coming of Christ. But the Bible prophesied that God will perpetuate this priesthood, i.e. they will continue offering sacrifices (Jeremiah 33:18, 21-22). This prophecy cannot be fulfilled by Levitical priesthood of Judaism, who still exist today. All male Jews with surname Cohen (or Cohn or Coen) were born priests (kohen is Hebrew word for priest). After the destruction of Jerusalem Temple in c. 70 AD., the sacrificial system of Judaism came to an end. The Bible also prophesied in Isaiah 66:21 that Levitical priesthood will be extended to include all nations, i.e. they don’t have to be Jewish and descendants of Aaron of the tribe Levi. Thus Ministerial priesthood in the Catholic Church fulfills both prophecies as they are male only and are from all nations. Priests without sacrifice are not priests, so they continue to make present the same sacrifice of Christ on the cross in every Catholic Mass. They do not re-sacrifice Christ in every Mass as caricatured by many Protestants. The sacrifice of Christ took place on the cross around two thousand years ago, once for all (Hebrews 9:26) but as the Lamb he has been slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8), i.e. when God created the world. The Greek verb “to slay” in Rev 13:8 is in passive perfect tense. Unlike that of English passive perfect tense in English denoted a completed action with continuing result to the present, i.e. Christ remains slain forever and ever. As Scripture says (Her 9:26) his sacrifice appeared once for all around two thousand years ago.

    Examining Hebrews 7:12, it talks about change of priesthood, not abolishment of Levitical priesthood. The change here refers only to priesthood of Christ. According to Old Covenant only descendants of Aaron of the tribe of Levi can be priests and High Priests (Hebrews 7:13-14) – Christ as human belongs to tribe of Judah. Priesthood of Christ is, therefore, not Levitical, but prefigured in the priesthood of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:15-17).

    • April 13, 2018 at 6:10 am

      Hello Vivator. Thanks for visiting my blog.

      You stated that the reason the Church still retains special priesthood (or ministerial priesthood) is to be found in the Old Testament and this is where the Roman Catholic Church does err. Most false views of scripture begin by reaching back into the Old Testament and using scripture to interpret the New Testament. Dispensationalists and Paedobaptists both commit this error. The Old Testament does not interpret the New, but the New Testament interprets the Old.

      The verse that you gave from Hebrews 7:12 not only mentions a change of the priesthood, but an abolishment of the priesthood seeing that the old covenant has also been abolished. You should also read the verse above verse 12 and it states:

      Heb 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

      Perfection did not come through the Levitical priesthood. It took a High Priest who was sinless, who fulfilled the law, and whose Priesthood was higher than that of the Levitical priesthood. We have that High Priest in Christ. Heb 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus…

      You also state: “). Following Reformers, you believe that this Levitical priesthood was abolished after the coming of Christ. But the Bible prophesied that God will perpetuate this priesthood, i.e. they will continue offering sacrifices (Jeremiah 33:18, 21-22).”

      The problem with the text you reference in Jer 33:18 is that it states that the Levites will not want a man before me to offer burnt offerings… The Roman Catholic Church is not in line to fulfill the Levitcial Priesthood, even if it were to continue till today. They are not Levites.

      Secondly, when we read something in the Old Testament, such as: Exo 12:14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. The word ‘forever’ in Hebrew is olam and means until that era has come to completion or an end. We see that the offerings are no longer needed, once every day, because Christ has come and fulfilled the Old Testament ceremonies, by giving himself as a sacrifice.

      Yes, Protestants do believe that the RCC offers afresh Christ in the Mass and this is exactly what the RCC does and it is an abomination before God.

      Finally, I will just give a few quotes from several commentators, to show that what I have stated concerning Hebrews 7:12 is spot on.

      John Gill

      Heb 7:12 For the priesthood being changed,…. Not translated from one tribe, family, or order, to another, but utterly abolished; for though it is called an everlasting priesthood, yet that is to be understood with a limitation, as the word “everlasting” often is, as relating to things under that dispensation; for nothing is more certain than that it is done away: it was of right abrogated at the death of Christ, and it is now in fact; since the destruction of Jerusalem, the daily sacrifice has ceased, and the children of Israel have been many days without one, and without an ephod. And the Jews themselves own, that the high priesthood was to cease in time to come (m), and which they say Azariah the son of Oded prophesied of in 2Ch_15:3.

      Albert Barnes

      Heb 7:12
      For the priesthood being changed – According to the prediction in Ps. cx., that it would be. When that occurs, the consequence specified will also follow.

      There is made of necessity a change also of the law – The Law so far as it grew out of that, or was dependent on it. The connection requires us to understand it only of the Law “so far as it was connected with the Levitical priesthood.” This could not apply to the ten commandments – for they were given before the institution of the priesthood; nor could it apply to any other part of the moral law, for that was not dependent on the appointment of the Levitical priests. But the meaning is, that since a large number of laws – constituting a code of considerable extent and importance – was given for the regulation of the priesthood, and in reference to the rites of religion, which they were to observe or superintend, it followed that when their office was superseded by “one of a wholly different order,” the Law which had regulated them vanished also, or ceased to be binding. This was a very important point in the introduction of Christianity, and hence, it is that it is so often insisted on in the writings of Paul. The argument to show that there had been a change or transfer of the priestly office, he proceeds to establish in the sequel.

      John Calvin

      Heb 7:12

      12. For the priesthood being changed, or, transferred, etc. As the authority of the Law and the priesthood is the same, Christ became not only a priest, but also a Lawgiver; so that the right of Aaron, as well as of Moses, was transferred to him. The sum of the whole is, that the ministry of Moses was no less temporary than that of Aaron; and hence both were annulled by the coming of Christ, for the one could not stand without the other. By the word Law, we understand what peculiarly belonged to Moses; for the Law contains the rule of life, and the gratuitous covenant of life; and in it we find everywhere many remarkable sentences by which we are instructed as to faith, and as to the fear of God. None of these were abolished by Christ, but only that part which regarded the ancient priesthood.

      Adam Clarke

      Heb 7:12
      The priesthood being changed – That is, The order of Aaron being now abrogated, to make way for that which had preceded it, the order of Melchisedec.

      There is made of necessity a change also of the law – The very essence of the Levitical law consisting in its sacrificial offerings; and as these could not confer perfection, could not reconcile God to man, purify the unholy heart, nor open the kingdom of heaven to the souls of men, consequently it must be abolished, according to the order of God himself; for he said, Sacrifice and offering, and burnt-offering, and sacrifice for sin, he would not; see Psa_40:6, Psa_40:7, compared with Heb_10:5-10, and with Psa_110:4, where it is evident God designed to change both the law and the priesthood, and to introduce Jesus as the only Priest and Sacrifice, and to substitute the Gospel system for that of the Levitical institutions. The priesthood, therefore, being changed, Jesus coming in the place of Aaron, the law of ordinances and ceremonies, which served only to point out the Messiah, must of necessity be changed also.

      Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown

      Heb 7:12
      For — the reason why Paul presses the words “after the order of Melchisedec” in Psa_110:4, namely, because these presuppose a change or transference of the priesthood, and this carries with it a change also of the law (which is inseparably bound up with the priesthood, both stand and fall together, Heb_7:11). This is his answer to those who might object, What need was there of a new covenant?

      My final comment: The law (not the ten commandments or moral law), but the ceremonies and rituals have waxed old (which is also called ‘the covenant’) and has been fulfilled and abrogated by Christ. We now are under a new covenant:

      Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

      So there is no longer a need for a sinful high priest, called after the order of the Levites, to stand ministering and offering sacrifices everyday. We have a high priest who can perfect us:

      Heb 9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
      Heb 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
      Heb 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
      Heb 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
      Heb 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
      Heb 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
      Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
      Heb 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
      Heb 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

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