Page 8 - September 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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he terms “priest” and “priest-  indicate that we have been added to the
              hood,” when relating to New     Church in order that we may function as
        TTestament believers, only appear     “a holy priesthood.” In other words, every
        in 1 Peter (2:5,9) and Revelation (1:6; 5:10).   believer is a priest to God, regardless of
        We will look primarily at the two refer-  what his or her church affiliation might be.
        ences in 1 Peter, as they provide for us all   Peter goes on to teach that the purpose
        the information we need concerning the   of this holy priesthood is that we might
        priesthood of believers.              “offer spiritual sacrifices that are accept-
          First of all, I would draw your atten-  able to God through Jesus Christ.” Notice,
        tion to the first readers of this wonderful   then, that the first purpose of our priest-
        epistle. They are described as “strangers   hood is Godward. We do not offer animal
        scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia,   sacrifices, but spiritual sacrifices. For ex-
        Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1:1).  It   ample, in Romans 12:1, Paul exhorts “that
        is evident that these were primarily Jewish   ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
        Christians, living in a variety of communi-  holy, acceptable unto God, which is your
        ties in what is known today as Turkey. This   reasonable service.” The verb “present”
        epistle was not written to one particular   and the noun “service” are terms that
        church, but to believers scattered in a   relate to the functioning of priests. The
        number of locations.                  consecration of our total selves to God is
                                              the function of holy priesthood.
        A Holy Priesthood                       In Hebrews 10:19-22 we read, “Having
          Peter describes them as “being built up   therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into
        as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood,   the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new
        to offer spiritual sacrifices that are accept-  and living way, which he hath consecrated
        able to God through Jesus Christ” (2:5   for us, through the veil, that is to say, his
        NASB). As individuals trust Christ, they   flesh; and having an high priest over the
        are being added, stone to stone, to this   house of God; let us draw near …” This
        building. This verse is not referring to a   indicates that, as holy priests, we can enter
        local church since these believers lived   into the   presence of God as worshippers,
        in different locations. The reference is to   both publicly and privately. Again, in
        the Church of the dispensation, to which   Hebrews 13:15 we read, “By him there-
        every genuine believer is added at the mo-  fore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to
        ment of conversion. The verse goes on to   God continually, that is, the fruit of our
        ¹ Bible quotations in this article are from the KJV   lips giving thanks to his name.” We have
        unless otherwise noted.               so much cause to offer praise to God. He

        264 TRUTH kTidings   September  2023
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