You Are a Priest
Friday - August 27th
Scripture to Read Today: 1 Peter 2:1-12
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 2:9
Since the protestant reformations that swept Europe in the 1500s and 1600s, most protestant theologians and pastors have emphasized the priesthood of the believer. Those with Catholic Church backgrounds are familiar with the premise that clergy priests act as Christ's representatives on earth. They can convey His grace, and as they receive confession, extend His forgiveness to members of the church. They act as mediators between individual Christians and the Lord.
As I read the Scriptures, I find a focus in them (much like the protestant reformers) that we have one mediator in Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:15) and that all of us as Christians serve as priests. We all bring others to Jesus, help others on His behalf, and confess our sins to each other.
1 Peter 2:5 says God has called us "to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." Verse nine of the same chapter says, "you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession." Twice, the passage mentions that everyone who is a follower of Christ is a part of the priesthood - not just official church clergy. We need pastors and clergy in our lives, but none of them stand between us and God.
None of us needs another person to be our mediator in confessing our sins to God. Instead, we can all go directly to the Lord, acknowledging our guilt and sorrowing over our sin. Then, we can directly receive that gracious flow of God's forgiveness as a result of our confession to God. We approach God Himself through the One Who is our mediator - Jesus.
We are all Christ's representatives on earth. Therefore, we are to encourage and exhort each other. As we serve one another, we minister for Christ in each other's lives. James 4:6 says that we confess our sins to each other. We share our sins, failures, and burdens. We journey together in our human frailty and sinfulness. We also extend the grace of God's forgiveness to each other as we point one another to the faithful and just God who continues to cleanse from sin (1 John 1:9).
As we confess our sins to each other, we become the practical, physical expression of God's presence and grace in each other's lives. We journey together out of patterns of sin in which we have been bogged down. As we confess our failures among ourselves, we then move forward together in the path of righteousness. This is the priesthood of the believer. We represent our Savior to the world and each other!
If you know Jesus as your Savior, you are a priest - representing Him to others here on earth!