March 21, 2019

A Holy Priesthood

1 Peter 2:4-10

You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

—  1 Peter 2:5

In the Old Testament, God’s people had a priesthood. Just as people in a church know who their pastor is, God’s people in Israel knew who their priests were. A whole tribe, the Levites, were set aside to lead Israel as priests and worship leaders.

Today all of God’s people are a holy priesthood. Each believer has the privilege of coming into the presence of God— not through a local priest or on one’s own but through the one Mediator, Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:1-6).

What a privilege this is! Unlike the Old Testament priests, we don’t have to wear special garments, go through elaborate ceremonies, or live apart from the people we serve. Today God is building us into a wonderful spiritual house.

Being a priest involves an individual calling and a corporate calling. Each believer is a priest, and together we are all priests. Any body of believers must strive to act as priests who are holy to God. The apostle Paul calls us to be living sacrifices; this is our spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1).

We may be tempted to step back and shy away from being called a priest. But the Bible calls us to step forward and embrace this role. Following Jesus’ example of praying for and caring for others, how can you serve as a priest today?

Father in heaven, you have called me to be a priest here on earth. Help me to love and be a living sacrifice for you and your kingdom. In Jesus, Amen

About the author — Pete Byma

Pete Byma has served as a pastor of congregations in Michigan and in Washington state. Serving now as a pastor in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he is also a consultant/coach for churches experiencing conflict, and he enjoys equipping and establishing people in ministry. He is married to Cheri, and they have four grown children and six grandchildren. Pete is also a registered soccer official and enjoys bicycling.

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