Formations Lesson for July 10- A Kingdom of Priests
June 23 2011 by DuPre Sanders, pastor, Roxboro Baptist Church

Focal Passage: Exodus 19:1-6

“Would you please pray for me, pastor? I’m not sure God is listening to me.” “I’m sure if you pray, Reverend, we will see results. You have a direct line to God!”  

As a pastor, I sometimes hear such comments. Certainly some of the comments are made in jest.   Still, I wonder how many people really do believe that the prayers of a minister have a better chance of being heard and answered by God.  

One of our Baptist distinctives is the priesthood of all believers.  

Simply, the doctrine declares that all of us, whether clergy or lay, share in a calling by God to be priests. So, what constitutes being a priest? In the Old Testament, the priests regularly made sacrifices on behalf of themselves and the people they served. Once a year the High Priest (and only the High Priest) would enter the temple and go behind a curtain to enter the Holy of Holies. No one else was to enter this sacred space. The High Priest then would make an animal sacrifice to atone for his sins and the sins of all the people. He was the mediator between God and man. In the New Testament Jesus is referred to as the Great High Priest. Jesus’ death on the cross as atonement for all sin caused the temple curtain at the entrance of the Holy of Holies to be miraculously torn in two.  

Now, because of Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice, all believers have access to God. We do not need a middle man. Through faith in Jesus, all believers’ prayers reach the ears of God. When Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenburg on October 31, 1517, he was declaring war against the idea that God’s favor was mediated through an ecclesiastical priesthood. Luther insisted that everyone who trusts in Jesus Christ is a priest. God declares to Moses in our text for today, “the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:5b-6a). As God’s priests in the world today, we are to be for Him a priestly kingdom.  

We are uniquely gifted and called by God for this task. When we know ourselves — our spiritual gifts, talents, resources, experiences and personalities — and surrender those to the lordship of Christ, we become the most effective priests we can be. We are equipped to give ourselves as living sacrifices to God so that others may know His love, grace, and mercy.
6/23/2011 10:09:00 AM by DuPre Sanders, pastor, Roxboro Baptist Church | with 0 comments

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