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  • Writer's pictureLeon Valley Church of Christ

What Is A Priest?



...you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy (1 Pet. 2:9-10).


For most folks the mention of a “priest” evokes images of men in elaborate robes, perhaps encrusted with precious gems and stones, or maybe a fella who wears his collar backwards, or someone in a funny looking hat.


When the New Testament speaks of Christians as priests, it is not referring to a special caste within the church who have distinguishing garbs, educations, or appointments, rather it is referring to the church itself. That is to say, Scripture identifies ALL Christians as priests.


I once knew a convicted felon who decided to follow Jesus; he made a fine priest. He cast aside his past, repented of his sins, and put on Christ (Gal. 3:27)—indeed Christ is the only “priestly robe” Christians wear (Rom. 13:12-14), and continues to present his body as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2). It is Christ who makes a man acceptable to serve in this role and no one else:


“Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and has released us from our sins by His blood, 6who has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father— to Him be the glory and power forever and ever! Amen" (Rev. 1:5-6).


He alone has the power to purify and transform, and He alone has the authority to appoint priests in His service (He gives the right… Jn. 1:12).


So my friends, I say with loving concern, any priest of a special caste distinct from their brethren or belonging to some hierarchy of priests is anti-Christ:


“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth your father, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matt. 23:8-12).

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