By: Waylon Bailey ~
Two things usually shock young believers or others without a strong biblical background – – the church is made up of saints and priests.
The word “saint” refers to someone who has been set apart for God’s purpose. Throughout the New Testament, but especially in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, Christians are repeatedly called saints. It is important to know this because it’s important to recognize God’s purpose for setting us apart.
God also called us priests and gives us the ministry of reconciliation. Two essential facts stand out about the priesthood. It is the priest who stands in the presence of God, and the priest brings people and God together.
Because of this emphasis on the priesthood of every believer, the writer of Hebrews calls us to go boldly to the throne of God’s grace. Since we are priests we go – – at God’s express invitation – – to the very throne of grace. This implies an intimacy with God that comes from the work of Christ on the cross, a work which brings forgiveness and new life in Him.
The emphasis on the priesthood of the believer is found prominently in the writings of Simon Peter.
The apostle said this about believers and the churches: “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. . . . But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:5, 9).
The Protestant reformers, who emphasized the primacy of Scripture, saw the significance of what the Apostle Peter wrote to the churches. It is believers who are priests and who have the opportunity to study and follow Scripture and to go to God directly in prayer. It is priests who have the responsibility to take the message of Christ to the ends of the earth. It is priests who are to bring people to the throne of God. It is priests who are to follow Him and serve Him.
It’s important that we know who we are. We are God’s chosen people, a royal priesthood, and people who belong to God.
When we understand who we are, we also understand what we are called to do. We are to give praises unto the Lord and offer spiritual sacrifices in His name.
It is time for the saints of the Lord to be faithful in His service as we carry out our priestly duties.
Have a great week!