Believers in Christ are called “priests” in the New Testament.
… “and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:3-9)
But what does this really mean?
Every believer is a priest.
When the Lord fulfilled the Law by His death upon the Cross, there was no longer a need for the Levitical priesthood system.
Nor has that Levitical system been replaced by another “Christian” system of priesthood.
Whether that takes the form of the Roman Catholic system, the Orthodox Christian system, the Mormon priesthood system, the Episcopal system, nor any other religious priesthood system that binds Christians to some new form of “law”.
Or that would give men some ability or authority to dispense salvation; as Catholics believe that priests can do.
Nor that would give any men the authority to dispense and determine truth outside the word of God.
As with Papal Infallibilty, or Apostolic Succession, or as with some newer heresies such as those where men today presume themselves to be “Apostles” (as in the New Apostolic Reformation); who have the supposed authority to speak outside of the word of God. And to lead a church into bondage to their own dictates or according to the tyrannical pronouncements of some larger denominational system.
Which seeks to overthrow God’s work in speaking to men directly through His word and His Holy Spirit to lead men into truth.
The Intercession Ministry
In fact, the Bible teaches that every believer is a priest.
What this means is that we have the responsibility to intercede, or pray, for other people. For everyone whom the Lord brings to our minds. As he brings them to our minds.
This is not said to start some burdensome prayer “work”. Or to create some list we must go through every day. Or to require any special discipline that we must follow to properly pray.
It’s just a reminder of how important it is that we take the time to speak to the Lord about those in our lives.
Or to pray for those who used to be in our lives. Or to pray for people we don’t know and may never know. Whom we see in the news or from some other source that could use our prayers in their lives.
Even if they would never think that they have that need. Or ever want anything to do with the Lord.
This is the real meaning of our being “priests”.
We stand before the Lord with the responsibility to bring people and their needs before Him.
What an amazing thing this is!
One Basic Thing
But we are missing this in our churches today.
Because our churches have become so focused on the outward social and economic problems of people. We seek to become Christian activists for this or that Progressive-Christian cause. While neglecting our Real, Prime-Directive responsibility.
Which begins with our ministry of Intercession.
Everything must begin with prayer.
Because we are in a spiritual battle against unimaginably wicked and powerful spiritual enemies.
Meaning that our primary way to help people in this battle is by our “priestly” ministry. By not failing to pray or intercede for them.
Above all else.
Churches today, even Bible churches, are too focused on the outward needs and physical or emotional problems of the world. And, consequently, we have entangled ourselves in battles we were never called to fight.
We have chosen, to a large extent, to fight “carnal” battles instead of spiritual ones. To fight with “carnal” weapons instead of prayer and the word of God.
We bring carnal “knives” to a spiritual “gunfight”. Or to be more accurate, we bring sticks and stones to fight a nuclear war.
Our greatest ministry in this world is when we fulfill our duty as “priests” for the Lord. Which is done by abiding in Christ, abiding in His word, and speaking to Him without ceasing for the needs of others.
“Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:” (I Samuel 12:23)
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