The Priesthood of Every Believer
By James King’ara
‘A person whose office is to perform religious rites and especially to make sacrificial offerings.’
‘one authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion especially as a mediatory agent between humans and God.’ (English Dictionary)
‘One who represents the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sin.’ (Hebrews 5:1)
Priesthood in the old covenant
- Priesthood was for specific chosen people to represent the whole nation to God.
- The House of Aron as the high priest. Exodus 29; Lev 8
- The tribe of Levi as priests in the temple.
- The life of the priest was completely devoted and dedicated to God, and only the could perform religious rites.
- Only priests would enter the Holy place section of the temple and only the high priest would enter the Most Holy place section of the temple, and that only once in an year.
- The priests didn’t share in the inheritance of the people. Rather, God was their inheritance.
‘They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the Lord is their inheritance as He promised them.’
Priesthood in the new covenant.
In this covenant;
- Priesthood is for all that believes, everyone represents themselves to God.
- It is through sanctification that God called us and qualified us in Christ to be His priest and of the new covenant serving under Christ who is the High Priest.
‘Grace to you and peace from Him who is and was and is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us Kings and Priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
‘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.’
1 Peter 2:5
‘But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood…’
1 Peter 2:9
- Priesthood is our true vocation in life in which we have been called and ordained.
‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatsoever ye shall ask of the father in my name, He may give it unto you.’
- We serve under one High Priest who is our Lord Jesus Christ.
‘where Jesus, who went before us, entered on our behalf. He has become a High Priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.
- We are priests of a superior covenant.
‘But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which He is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.’
‘By calling this covenant “new”, He has made the first one obsolete and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.’
Priesthood leads us into our divine assignments
‘for we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’
‘It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of God.’
‘And in the Church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues…’
1 Corinthians 12:28
‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.’
‘Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good…
…All these are the work of one and same Spirit, and He gives to each one just as He determines.’
1 Corinthians 12:7, 11
‘Each should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be glory and the power for ever and ever Amen.
1 Peter 4:10-11
Being a priest to the Most High God, He predestined us for a specific purpose, for the work of His Kingdom. One thing, our assignments unites us in one body for these purposes are for the edification of the Church. So that no one can claim to be complete and sufficient for the good work of the gospel, or another claim to be a ‘faithful follower’ (Church goer), who is insufficient to do any work of the Kingdom. Everyone has a divine assignment.