The Life of A New Testament Priest

1 Peter 2:5,9
Audio MP3

January 20, 2013 PM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (Exodus 19:6)


A.     Israel was supposed to be a kingdom of PRIESTS


1.      Mediators. Men who represented God to the people of the world, and represented the People back to God

2.      They were responsible for the sacrifice of animals.

3.      They had one High Priest, the head Priest. Only he was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies in the Jewish temple. This especially sacred place was separated from the rest of the temple and from the other priests and from all the worshippers by a great curtain or veil.


B.     With the crucifixion of the Messiah Jesus, everything changed.


1.      The great veil in the temple “was rent in twain from the top to the bottom” (Matthew 27:51), indicating that anyone can access Almighty God directly because of His Son, Jesus Christ! Jesus, the great High Priest, now mediated between God and humankind.

2.      No longer was the sacrifice of animals needed, because Christ, the Lamb of God, had given himself as a sacrifice for sin. This was a once-and-for-all act.

3.      No more mediators! No longer were the priests of the Old Testament needed. Human mediators are no longer needed.  All who believe in Jesus become priests themselves, with direct access to God. We can go directly to God in prayer, in confession, to praise, and to worship. What an opportunity!

4.      Everything of the Old Testament was done away (Heb 10:5-14):


a.       The Jerusalem Temple as the main centre of worship

b.      The High Priest – fired!

c.       Every normal priest – redundant!

d.      Lambs – now only for stew!


5.      All so that God could establish something BETTER!


a.       A Better Temple – the BODY of the Believer

b.      A Better High Priest – Jesus!

c.       And a Better Priesthood


C.      The world has many Unbiblical ideas about Biblical priesthood. So do so many Christians as well!


1.      Celibacy - Cannot be married (1Tim 4:1-3; 1Tim 3:1-5) – not allowed!

2.      Continuing the Sacrifice of the life of Jesus

3.      Confessions

4.      Clergy and Laity


a.       Clergy – those people who are specially ordained by their religion to lead the people

b.      Laity – two words – Laos (people), ity (small as in ity-bity) – “small people”. But the word goes deeper, and is actually idiota people – idiots who are in need of someone to rule them!


5.      Hierarchy


a.       Bishops

b.      The Pope

c.       Patriarchs

d.      Major archbishops

e.       Cardinals

f.        Primates

g.       Metropolitans

h.      Archbishops

i.         Diocesan bishops

j.         Ordinaries and local ordinaries

k.       Presbyterates

l.         Vicars general and vicars capitular

m.    Monsignor

n.      Ordinary Priests


6.      No woman priests!

7.      Thinking the “Pastor” “Reverend” “Guru” “Master” is higher up and closer to God than other people!


D.     Well, God has a different view of priests today!


1.      There was a CHANGE in the priesthood when Jesus died

2.      All believers became priests the moment they became Born Again!

3.      No need for ordination, orders, archbishops, holy Sees, Councils, or Magisteriums

4.      There is only a need for believers to SEE themselves as PRIESTS, and NO LONGER as small people, or as idiots!


E.      Let’s take a brief look at What it Means to Be a New Testament Priest


II.    Message – The Life of a New Testament Priest


A.      New Testament Priesthood Is a Life (1Peter 2:5,9) – Not an Occupation – Something We ARE!


1.      We become Priests by the New Birth – Not by Choice (Num 3:5-10)

2.      We are Anointed to be Priests (Ex 28:41; 1John 2:20,27)


a.       Chosen by God to draw near unto Him

b.      Empowered by the Holy Spirit of God


3.      We never stop being priests (Rev 5:6,9,10)


B.      All New Testament Priests Are under One, Great, High Priest (1Tim 2:5)


1.      Heb 2:17 “faithful high priest”

2.      Heb 3:1

3.      Heb 7:25,26 “perfect”

4.      No hierarchy (Mt 23:8,9)

5.      We follow Him only, and do as He did in this world


C.      New Testament Priests Wear Special Clothes – Distinctive of their relationship to God


1.      We stand out from “common people” – unsaved, unbelieving- we are different, peculiar

2.      Holy Garments (Ex 31:10) – clean and pure


a.       Not holy underwear like the Mormons!

b.      But Clean and Godly lives (Ps 132:9,16; Ex 40:13; 19:22)

c.       Old Testament priests were not to touch dead things (Lev 21:1) – things that would ruin, soil or defile us

d.      Neither should we (2Cor 6:14-18) – dead things


3.      Beautiful Garments (Ex 28:3-8) – beautiful to God


a.       Not drab or sad, or mournful

b.      Just like the Armour of God – a godly life and attitude is part of God’s protection of a Christian!

c.       Garment of Praise and Joy (Isa 61:3)


4.      Clothed with Humility (1Peter 5:5)

5.      Visibly Loving of the Brethren (John 13:34,35)

6.      What do YOU wear around your house, and when at school or at work?


D.     New Testament Priests Minister to God (Ex 30:3; Acts 13:2)


1.      Blessing HIM

2.      Walking with Him

3.      Obeying HIM

4.      Worshiping HIM

5.      Making Offerings / Sacrifices to God (Lev 1:7-ff; 1Pet 2:5; Heb 13:15,16)


a.       No longer of lambs, or bulls, or goats, or wheat or oil

b.      But of Praise

c.       Of Prayer

d.      Of Fellowship – Communication

e.       Of Ourselves – sacrifice of our own lives for others (Rom 12:1)


E.      New Testament Priests Minister to People for God


1.      We Can Make it Possible for the Unclean to Get Cleansed


a.       Lepers

b.      The Defiled

c.       The Sinful (Heb 7:26, 27)

d.      Through pointing them to the ONE great FINISHED sacrifice in their place

e.       Through Intercession to God for them (1Tim 2:1)


2.      Teach the Word of God (Ezek 44:23)

3.      Preserve the Word of God (Dt 17:18; 31:9, 25,26; 2Cor 2:17)

4.      Settle Controversies (Dt 19:17; 1Cor 6:1-7)

5.      Encourage People (Dt 20:2; 21:5; 1Thes 5:11) Edify, bless, make better, not bitter!


III. Conclusion


A.      That is quite a list of duties and characteristics of New Testament priests

B.      And it is a present reality whether we believe it or not, in every one of our lives


1.      Direct Access to God, through the One mediator, Jesus Christ

2.      Simple, honest confession to God

3.      Intercession for sinners