Priesthood of the Believer
The priesthood of the believer is one of the “Baptist Distinctives”. When a church identifies its self with the name Baptist, then there are certain doctrines that are identified with that church. We will list them below, but for now this lesson is concerned with the priesthood that the believer. While eternal security and baptismal regeneration are often disputed and well known, your priesthood seems not to get as much attention, though it is a very important part of your Christianity.
B- Biblical Authority (Believe the Bible and be under its Authority)
A- Autonomy of the Local Church (Only Accountability is to God)
P- Priesthood of the Believer (expounded below)
T- Two ordinances (Baptism and Lord’s Supper)
I- Individual Soul Liberty (Your Eternal Security)
S- Separation of Church and State (Separate Authorities both ordained by God)
T- Two Church Offices (Pastor and Deacon)
S- Saved Church membership (Only Saved Born Again Believers received into Membership)
You have been made a Priest
[Rev.1:6] “hath made us kings and priest”
[Rev.5:10] “and hath made us unto our God kings and priest: and we shall reign on the earth”
Both these verses speak of us also being kings, and too often we then turn our attention to [2Tim.2:12] and realize that we must suffer to reign, then we go to [Luke 19:11] and see that we will reign over cities according to how well be do with our pound.
But what about the priest part? You have been made a priest.
Your Priesthood allows you Direct Access to God
Your Priesthood requires you to Minister to God
Your Priesthood requires you to Offer Sacrifices
Your Priesthood requires you to Worship God
Your Priesthood allows you direct access to God[Heb.5:1] The Old Testament priest were “ordained for man” so that they might represent man before God “in things pertaining to God”. They served as a mediator. Man’s only access to God was through a priest.
Imagine living back on the Old Testament when the Temple and the law was in effect. The Levites were the only men allowed to minister unto the Lord. Once a year Aaron (high priest) would enter into the very presence of God and make atonement for his sins and the sins of the people. [Ex.30:10] [Ex.25:8] The Lord set up this system, [Ex.25:22] Only the high priest could enter
[1 Tim.2:5] Jesus Christ is our mediator, the only one! [John 14:6] [Heb.9:14-15] Everything changed with our new testament!
[Rom. 5:1-2] By faith we have access to his grace. [Eph.2:18] We have access to the Father! [Eph.3:12] your access comes with boldness and confidence. [Heb.4:14-16] access not because you are a king, but because you are a priest.
Your priesthood implies Representation, you can not only represent yourself before the throne of God but you represent God to your family, your spear of influence, and the lost world. You are an Ambassador for Christ [2 Cor.5:18-20] You are his representative!
Your Priesthood requires you to Minister to God
Old Testament Ministry of the Priest
[Ex. 28:1] Priest ministered to the Lord (have you ministered to the Lord this past week?)
[Num.16:9] Priest ministered to the congregation
[2 Cor.5:18] Ministry of Reconciliation
[2 Cor.1:3-7] Ministry of Consolation
[2 Tim.2:2] Ministry of Discipleship
[Rom.12:1-2] All God requires is your reasonable service.
Old Testament priest needed to sanctify themselves before the served God, it was not a “come as you are” kind of a deal, [Ex.28:41] Your testimony is of great help or harm to the service of God as a priest.
[2 Cor.6:14-18] We need to be separated, [1 Pet.2:9] Chosen, royal, holy, and peculiar, zealous of good works
Your Priesthood requires you to offer Sacrifices[Heb.8:1-3] Priest are ordained to offer Sacrifices
[1 Pet.2:5] Spiritual Sacrifices, no blood of bulls and goats!
Sacrifice of your Person [Romans 12:1-2] Reasonable is available, dependable and flexible
Sacrifice of your Prayer [Ps.141:2] As incense, a sweet savor unto the Lord, [Rev.8:1-4] Sacrifice of your Possessions [Heb.13:16] “communicate” is giving [Phil.4:15] Sacrifice of your Praise [Heb.13:15] Described here as “the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name”
Sacrifice of your Pride [Ps.51:17] Humility, when is the last time you had a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart?
Your Priesthood requires you to Worship God[Ex.24:1] God required worship, [Rev.4:10] It will still be going on in Heaven
When you come to God is your heart prepared to worship?
Seek Him in Prayer [Ps.10:17] [James 4:8] “draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you…”
Forsake the World [James 4:4] “know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God”
Have the right Concept of Who He Is [1 Pet.1:16] “Be ye holy; for I am holy”
We are to be holy in order to come before Him who is holy.
What is Worship?
Dr. Peter Ruckman:
“Worship is different from prayer and praise; for example, “Lord, save my soul” or “Lord, give me this” can be a prayer. “Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul”, is a praise, or “Thank you, Lord”, for whatever the lord has given you, is a praise. But worship is thanking God for what He is. Worshipping is adoring God as a living person, a living being, an Almighty Creator who is God of gods, King of kings, Lord of lords, the Almighty, the Everlasting, the Alpha and omega, the Beginning and the Ending.”
Meaningful Quotes on Worship
“True worship can only take place when we agree to God sitting, not only on His throne in the center of the universe, but, on the throne that stands in the center of our heart.”
“God is not moved or impressed with our worship until our hearts are moved and impressed by Him.”
Robert E. Webber
“For years, the church has emphasized evangelism, teaching, fellowship, missions, and service to society to the neglect of the very source of its power – worship.”
“First, the SPIRIT of worship is important. We are to render “such homage to God that the entire heart enters into the act.” Whether we are in a time of private praise and adoration, or gathered with the church in corporate proclamation, we are to respond to who God is from the SPIRIT, from the whole of our innermost being.”
“Second, we are to do “this in full harmony with the TRUTH of God as revealed in his word.” The concept of responding to God in SPIRIT can give rise to confusing individual expressions if those expressions are not guided by Scripture. There must be a balance between SPIRIT and TRUTH. One without the other is not complete.” “Genuine worshipers worship in SPIRIT and TRUTH.” [John 4:23-24]