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Is the priesthood of all believers really that important?

Posted by on Oct 20, 2011 in blog links, service | 9 comments

Is the priesthood of all believers really that important?

Is the priesthood of all believers really that important? Well, my friend Eric from “A Pilgrim’s Progress” thinks so. He writes about this in his post “Pleading for the Priesthood of All Believers.”

After listing several passages in which all believers are exhorted to do the work of priests, Eric makes a very impassioned and – I think – a very scriptural plea. If you are in Christ, then you are a priest in Christ (the only kind of priest that matters), so do the work of a priest!

Eric writes:

I plea to all followers of Jesus Christ to fully embrace this great privilege and responsibility. Since we have direct access to God, let’s live like it. We don’t need to go through others to get to him. Instead, let’s help others see this incredible news. As we make disciples, let’s be sure to let them know that they have no need of anyone to stand between them and God. Christ alone is our high priest…

Now, the happy reality is that if we are Christians we are priests. There is no choice in the matter. It is fact.

In light of that, let’s live in this reality. Let’s encourage all our brothers and sisters in Christ to grab hold of this wondrous gift. Not only are we saved from hell, but we are saved to a life of direct communication and experience with God Himself.

This is good stuff… important stuff for all believers to understand. You are as much of a priest – and just as “ordained” – as anyone else. Teaching, leading, discipling, exhorting, admonishing, rebuking… these are all within your realm as a child of God indwelled by the Holy Spirit.

And, get this… the church only grows in maturity when ALL believers are working as priests.


9 Comments

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  1. 10-21-2011

    In my opinion, this is one of the most important messages that needs to be taught and retaught among the redeemed today. Living in a highly catholic area, I have to spend huge amounts of time helping people see that once in Christ, they are a priest and minister in God’s kingdom. Here they spend all their life as a spectator, watching the priest do “his thing.” Once they believe on Christ, they must go through a paradigm shift to understand that they are a member of the body and have a function. 1 Corinthians 12 made a huge difference in our church when I preached through it last summer.

    Great quote Eric. Thanks for copying it Alan!

    Alan, your post on preaching in today’s church is a great dialogue to help change this in the church. Here, while I speak mostly in “monologue” on Sundays, often I will open up for discussion and let all participate. I do this for 2 reasons. First, the Holy Spirit speaks through His body. Secondly though, I do it to emphasis the truth that all members are valuable and can speak, teach, and learn from all.

  2. 10-22-2011

    Hi Ron,

    As a Catholic, I can assure you that the priesthood of all believers is taught within Catholic churches.

    “Once they believe on Christ” – do you believe that Catholics do not do so as Catholics?

    If you imagine that Catholics do not believe each member has a function within the body, you’re very wrong. Opus Dei, for instance, was founded in order to help articulate this to the Catholic laity. You would be better served spending your “huge amounts of time” not creating strawman arguments and instead addressing what the Catholic Church actually teaches.

  3. 10-22-2011

    Josh,

    I can’t speak for everyone else here, but I was not thinking of the Roman Catholic church when I wrote this. However, from talking with some of my Catholic friends, Roman Catholic believers struggle with this as much as other believers.

    -Alan

  4. 10-23-2011

    Hi Alan,

    I didn’t say anything to you or about your post. I was commenting on Ron’s stuff. Anecdotal evidence is typically skewed towards what point one wants to prove, so I don’t really care for it. I just go with what the Church teaches.

    Best,
    -Josh

  5. 10-23-2011

    Josh – Wow

    Just Googled “Opus Dei.” Seems they practice some strange stuff.
    Seems they practice “Corporal Mortification” – self inflicted pain – deprivation.

    ———-

    Official website. ;-(

    http://www.opusdei.us/art.php?p=16367

    Do members of Opus Dei use the cilice?

    “Some of the celibate members of Opus Dei use the cilice. It’s a small, light, metal chain with little prongs worn around the thigh. The cilice is uncomfortable–it’s supposed to be–but it does not in any way hinder one’s normal activities”

    ——————

    ODAN – Opus Dei Awareness Network – NOT so official website… ;-)

    What is Opus Dei?

    http://www.odan.org/what_is_opus_dei.htm

    ——————-

    Opus Dei’s Questionable Practices

    The following practices of Opus Dei are not common knowledge and need to be examined and questioned. The serious issues ODAN raises are based on a collection of first-hand personal experiences.

    * Corporal mortification
    * Aggressive recruitment / undue pressure to join
    * Lack of informed consent and control of environment
    * Alienation from families

    Corporal Mortification

    Corporal mortification (self-inflicted pain and deprivation) is perhaps the most shocking practice. See the corporal mortification web page for more details.

    ——————-

    Think I’ll stick with Jesus.

    My “Anecdotal evidence” of living in a very Catholic area – shows me…
    Most Catholics are steeped in the rules and regulations of being Catholic…

    But very few know Jesus, or know the Bible, or desire to know the truth,
    or desire to “Hear His Voice” and follow Jesus. :-(

    But when Jesus gets a hold on them and they hear His Voice – lot’s and lot’s leave
    “The Corrupt Reigious System.” Lot’s of ex-catholics today – where I live. ;-)

    … Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
    John 18:37

  6. 10-23-2011

    Alan

    Yes – The priesthood of ALL believers is “really” important.

    So are some other positions God gives to, and calls, ALL believers. ;-)

    Kings – Priests – Brides – Servants – Sons – Disciples – Ambassadors

    1,2 – Kings and Priests
    And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father;
    Revelations 1:6

    And hast made us unto our God kings and priests…
    Revelations 5:10

    3 – Brides
    For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD* of hosts is his name;
    Isaiah 54:5

    … Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
    Revelations 21:9

    4 – Servants
    If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am,
    there shall also my servant be:
    John 12:26

    And on my servants and on my handmaidens
    I will pour out in those days of my Spirit;
    Acts 2:18

    5 – Sons
    But as many as received him,
    to them gave he power to become the sons of God,
    John 1:12

    And because ye are sons,
    God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts…
    Galations 4:6

    6 – Disciples
    Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man
    will come after me, let him deny himself…
    Matthew 16:24

    John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified,
    that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

    7 – Ambassadors
    Now then we are ambassadors for Christ…
    2nd Corinthians 5:20

    … a faithful ambassador is health.
    Proverbs 13:17

  7. 10-23-2011

    And, since an Ambassodor is – The highest – diplomatic representation
    that “ONE” soverign power – sends to another…

    In the body of Christ – NO one is higher, greater, more important, than an “Ambassodor for Christ.” ;-)

  8. 10-23-2011

    And…

    Kings – Priests – Brides – Servants – Sons – Disciples – Ambassadors

    If I’m a king? – I report directly to “the King of Kings” – Jesus.

    If I’m a priest? – I report directly to “The Great High Priest” – Jesus.

    If I’m His bride? – I report directly to, and submit to, “My Husband” – Jesus.

    If I’m His Servant? – I report directly to, and obey, “My Master” – Jesus.

    If I’m His son? – I do nothing of myself , but what I see the Father doing.
    Like Jesus did and taught His Disciples to do.

    If I’m a “Disciple of Christ? – I “learn” directly from “My “ONE” teacher” – Jesus.

    If I’m His ambassador? – I’m to get my messages directly from Jesus. ;-)

    Jesus loves me this I know…

  9. 10-23-2011

    Josh,

    Sometimes anecdotal evidences demonstrates that we’re not practicing what we think we’re teaching.

    A. Amos Love,

    I agree, with one caveat. Often, the Spirit teaches, disciples, etc. us through other people.

    -Alan