> Distinctives > Priesthood of the Believers
Did you know the Bible teaches that every born-again believer is a priest
and we need not confess our sins or have them remitted by anyone else?
| "Ye also,
as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to
offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."
~ 1 Peter 2:5
| Where does the Bible teach
that only ordained "priests" can hear confessions and determine penence?
The Baptists will tell you that no such indication exists in all of Scripture
and they are right.
The Word of God makes it
clear that the believer has direct access to God in all matters including
confession and seeking His forgiveness. Who needs a priest when we
are already priests ourselves (1 Peter 2:5)?
This distinctive held by
the Baptists is not theirs alone. The mainline Protestant denominations
also hold this doctrine to be true. However, due to the emphasis
on evangelism in Baptist churches, many Roman Catholic people have been
reached with the saving message of salvation by grace instead of by works.
Consequently, this particular doctrine is often taught in their churches
so as to free the minds and hearts of those who have been taught that only
a human priest can hear their confessions and remit their sins.
| According to the Scriptures,
every born-again believer has access to God. This was secured by
Christ's redemptive work on the cross. We are to have "boldness to enter
the Holiest by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19)." Furthermore,
the Holy Spirit enables our access as we "have access by one Spirit to
the Father (Ephesians 2:18)."
Every believer takes part
in the New Testament doctrine regarding priesthood. Direct access
to God, through Christ, was granted the moment the rebirth took place.
We need no intervention by any other human being on our behalf, “For there
is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ (1st
Timothy 2:5)?" Although, all believers need and appreciate the prayers
of others (intercesory prayer), being able to go to God in prayer and approach
Him directly is assured by the Word of God.
There are also contrasts
to be seen in Scripture regarding how believers mirror their Old Testament
counterparts who were priests. We, like them, are set aside as, “A
holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through
Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:4)." What we are to offer up is indeed ourselves.
That is the best sacrifice God wants of us. Paul told the believers
in first century Rome to, “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service (Romans 12:1)."
| "But ye
are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar
people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you
out of darkness into his marvellous light:" ~ 1 Peter 2:9
|Slippage Questions: Priesthood
of the Believers
we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard,
lest at any time we should let them slip." ~ Hebrews 2:1
|Are you truly a born-again believer who
realizes that you have direct access to the Father, through Jesus, and
by the Holy Spirit when you pray?
|Does the church you attend support the
doctrine that all believers can approach God Directly for the forgiveness
|Does the church you attend deny this doctrine
by stating that only ordained priests can hear confessions and remit sins?
|If so, have you studied the Word of God
on this matter and can support the view that only ordained priests can
hear confessions and remit sins?
|Which Scriptures support that view?
Did you find any at all?
|As one who has been redeemed, do you seek
God's forgiveness on an intermittant basis or are you one who daily asks
for His guidence, help, and forgiveness?
|Is your spirit calm with the assurance
that God has forgiven you in Christ Jesus?
|Have you found peace of soul and mind
|Has the cleansing of your own soul produced
a humble sweet spirit that seeks to help others along the way as a believer
who knows the true forgiveness of God?