The Church Age Priesthood

 

Preparation for Study:  James 1:21, Hebrews 4:12

 

Scriptural support for the Church Age priesthood.

1.      Revelation 1:6 and He(Jesus) has made(aorist of poieo) us(all believers) to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

2.      1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

3.      1 Peter 2:9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

4.      Jesus Christ is now our High Priest therefore we are His priests.  Heb. 2:17, 3:1, 4:14, 15, 5:10, 6:20, 7:26, 8:1, 9:11

 

 

History of the priesthood:

1.      Before the law, the head of the family acted as a priest.  Gen. 8:20, 26:25, 31:54, Job 1:5

2.      God offered all of Israel to be a “kingdom of priests” if they would obey His voice and keep His covenant. Exodus 19:6

3.      After Israel failed, God restricted the priesthood to the family of Aaron, the tribe of Levi, which was the start of the Levitical priesthood.  Exodus 28:1

4.      After the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Jesus ascended to the Holy of Holies to function as High Priest.  This changed the priesthood for many reasons.

a.       Christ as High Priest cannot function in the Levitical priesthood because He was not from the family of Aaron.  Therefore, He is High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek.  Hebrews 7:11-17

                                                                          i.      Both were appointed by God

                                                                        ii.      Both were king-priests

                                                                      iii.      Both were King of righteousness

                                                                      iv.      Both were King of Peace

b.      Jesus as High Priest holds His priesthood permanently.  Heb. 7:24

c.       There is no longer a sacrifice for sins. 7:26, 27

                                                                          i.      This does not mean that there is no longer need for confession, however because of our High Priest, confession of sin is made without an offering. 1 John 1:9

                                                                        ii.      This means that there cannot be a sacrifice for sins.  No guilt offering, no “I won’t do it again” offering, no tears, no giving up something, no promise to study more.  Absolutely nothing.

                                                                      iii.      Every time someone tries to make an offering for sin they insult the grace of God and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  Unwittingly they reveal a lack of faith in what their High Priest accomplished.

d.      There is now unlimited access to the throne of grace, because Jesus is now in the Holy of Holies permanently. Hebrews  8:1-2

e.       The Levitical Priesthood presented a shadow and type of what was to come.  8:5, 9:11-12,  10:1

5.      During the Millennium there will be a return of the Levitical priesthood.  Ezekiel 40-46

 

Parallels to the Levitical priesthood and Church Age priesthood:

 

  1. Born into the Priesthood.  The Family of Aaron served as priests and believers in the family of Christ serve as priests.  Exodus 28:1, Hebrews 2:10, 11, 3:1
  2. Coming of age (25) to do the service as a priest.  Numbers 8:24.  Likewise,  spiritual growth is needed to fully function as a church age priest.  1 Peter 2:5, Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:11, 12
  3. Preparation or washing for service so they would not DIE. Exodus 30:19, 20.   Cleansing for the believer for service.  1 John 1:9 
    1. The believer should always be in service.  Hebrews 13:5.
  4. The priest’s food was provided from God.  Leviticus 2:3   Likewise, God provides spiritual food for the believer to grow and be sustained in the priesthood.  Hebrews 5:12-14, 1 Cor. 3:2, 1 Peter 2:2
    1. Also, the food the priests ate were from the sacrifices that were holy and set apart to God.  Consider our responsibility to make sure what we eat is set apart to God.  1 Tim. 4:5 
  5. The high priest had access to God once year. Hebrews 9:7  We now have access to God at all times.  Hebrews 4:16, 10:19-22

 

The Church age priesthood according to 1 Peter 2:5 -

 

  1. As Christ is the Corner Stone and we are living stones, so Christ is the High Priest and we are living priests.
  2. The passage does present a prerequisite to offering spiritual sacrifices.

a.       Keep on being built up.  A present passive imperative of oikodemeo. 

b.      This imperative represents the fact that spiritual growth is a choice and there is no spiritual growth without positive volition.

c.       The passive form represents the fact that the means for spiritual growth is provided by God’s grace.  Ephesians 4:11, 12, Acts 20:32

  1. After spiritual growth one becomes prepared to function as a priest and offer spiritual sacrifices to God. 

a.       Praise to God.  The offering of the lips.  Hebrews 13:15

                                                              i.      Praise is defined by this verse.  It is an offering of the lips. And it is a confession to His name.  Homologeo when referring to praise always speaks truth to the works or Character of God. 

                                                            ii.      This offering should be done at all times and through all circumstances.

1.      True praise does not require a band and a “praise and worship leader”.  Emotion leaders are often leaders of selfish praise.     

                                                          iii.      True praise speaks the truth about God and does not try to prove one’s love for God.  It focuses on who God is rather than what God gives.  Revelation 4:8-11, 5:9-13, 7:11, 12, 15:3, 4,  Rev. 19:1, 2

                                                          iv.      All offering should point to the grace of God rather than focus on self and what you gave up, just as all Levitical offerings pointed to grace and never to personal merit.

b.      Offering of the body:  Romans 12:1, 2

                                                              i.      An offering to God to serve with all of your being.  It is the logical thing to do.

                                                            ii.      The service points to your priesthood.  Heb. 9:1

                                                          iii.      This requires renewing of the mind to know and do what is well pleasing and acceptable to God.  This helps gravitate thinking of God’s will from being about you to being about God.

                                                          iv.      Paul recognized his ministry as an offering acceptable God.  Romans 15:15, 16, Phil. 2:17, 2 Timothy 4:6

c.       Offering of goods or sharing.  Hebrews 13:6

                                                              i.      2 Corinthians 9:12-13, Philippians 4:18

  1. The believer priest is to keep the word of God with honesty and integrity and be to teach and provide truth to those who need it.  Malachi 2:7, Hosea 4:6, 1 Peter 2:9

                                                              i.      Gives more meaning to keeping the Word of God. John 14:23,  Revelation 14:12

1.      This requires love and respect for the Word of God.

                                                            ii.      An ambassador for Christ.  2 Corinthians 5:12

  1. One of our greatest privileges is to be an intercessor on behalf of others and ourselves since we represent ourselves before God.  Only through Christ do we have this access to the throne of Grace.  Hebrews 4:16

                                                              i.      Intercession requires knowledge of God and the Word of God as per Moses.

                                                            ii.      Intercession is not to be selfishly motivated.

                                                          iii.      Intercession focuses first on the glory of God.

                                                          iv.      Asking others to pray without praying yourself is a lack of understanding of this privilege. 

 

The Future and our present priesthood as preparation:

    1. Revelation 5:10 - He made(aorist) priests, and we will(future) reign upon the earth.
    2. Revelation 20:6 - Priests in the millennium.