The Priesthood of All Believers

Every believer is a priest, a minister of the Gospel! This shouldn’t surprise us. It’s been God’s plan all along.

God chose Israel from among the nations and made her His own. Why? 

You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Exodus 19:4-6, NIV, emphasis added)

God’s intention was for Israel to be an entire nation comprised of priests. The ministry of Israel reached its crescendo in a ramshackle stable in Bethlehem when our High Priest, Jesus, was born.

Jesus began his ministry by choosing, calling, setting apart, and equipping a dozen ordinary men and a handful of dedicated women. He suffered, died, and rose from the grave and, before He returned to be with the Father, He sent His disciples into the world as His representatives, His ministers.

The Church exploded onto the scene and Peter wrote a letter to a scattered and persecuted church a number of years later. What did he say to encourage them? He repeated God’s Exodus 19 promise.

You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9, NIV, emphasis added)

Peter reaffirms God’s intention to create a kingdom of priests. And, he says that this incredible thing is being accomplished in us, you and me! If you are in Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in you. And, if the Spirit lives within you, you are chosen, called, set apart, and equipped to minister to the world!

So, what does this mean? What do priests do? They do a lot. For starters, here are three significant priestly things you can do right away:

Pray – Whenever you see someone in need, whenever someone confesses a hurt or a struggle, whenever someone is doubting or weak, take their need straight to the Father. Your ministry through prayer can be powerful and effective (see James 5:15-16). 

Serve – One of the main reasons God has given you His Spirit is so you’ll have the gifts you need to do the good deeds He’s planned for you. He will work through you powerfully as you serve others in love (see Ephesians 3:20-21). 

Share – Look around. By God’s providence you are right where He wants you to be. You’re interacting with people who need Him desperately. Always be prepared to share the Good News with them in a gentle and respectful way (see 1 Peter 3:15). 

You are God’s special possession. By His Spirit and His Word, you are being made holy. And, you are His priest or priestess according to His eternal plan. If you’re not praying, serving, and sharing already, what’s stopping you?