We are to live like we are a heavenly people, a people who live above all the nonsense and filth of this world. Another view of what the believer is in Christ is that we are priest and kings unto our God. In the early days of the Reformation, one of the doctrines that was being taught was that of the Priesthood of all Believers. This was a reaction against the priests and the whole clergy system and hierarchy of the Roman Church. Only a few of the Protestant denominations followed through on this doctrine as what we call the mainline denominations maintained a strong clergy system. For our purpose here, we will think in terms of what the Bible teaches without regard to what is actually practiced. There are two main references to Believers as priest, the first is found in I Peter 2:5; 9-12; and the second Revelation 5:10.
There are a number of descriptions of the Believers in the New Testament, such as a building, a temple, a body, an assembly (church) and as a priesthood. These descriptions are all true of every believer, in other words, there is no one description that refers only to a special class of believers such as a clergy. Therefore, when we read, “…you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 2:5). This applies to all of those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ as Lord, hence the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. The text goes on to state, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” (I Peter 2:9). Here the reference is to a “royal priesthood” which combines together the thought of being both kings and priests. This is exactly what we have in store for us during the Millennial kingdom, “And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:10). People ask me all the time, why I have not gone to tour the Holy Land? My reply is that I am holding out for the Millennial kingdom when I will see the Holy Land as a king and priest or a representative of the King of Kings seated on David’s throne. I feel it will be safer then and there will be no question as to where the things in the Bible took place, it will all be very clear then. This does not mean that if I were offered a trip, I would not take it, it is just not my present priority.
This now raises the question of what does it look like to be a priest unto the Lord our God as we live out our lives in the here and now?
As priest, it makes sense that we offer up “spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”. Lord willing, in our next installment we will think about what these sacrifices will look like and more about the behavior of these priests. So be thinking about what a priest should look like, act like and talk like.