Priests of the church
Even to some who have been Christians in the Lord's Church for quite some time, it might catch you by surprise to talk about the priests of the Church. However, there are indeed priests of the Church and to say otherwise would be unscriptural. Let's take a look at these individuals.
There is no doubt that during Old Testament times the Lord had priests to carry out some of His work. Aaron was a priest for instance. One work of the priest was to offer up sacrifice. With the removal of the Old Testament, tasks such as offering up an animal sacrifice were no longer needed. Thus the office of a "priest" changed.
There are no priests in the New Testament Church like the ones the reader might be thinking of. Let's take a look at one priest who is holding office during New Testament times.
1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
This verse lets us know that Jesus is the only mediator between us and God. There is no "go between" like a priest of Old Testament times or like priests of some churches today.
Heb 5:5-6 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You." As He also says in another place: "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek";
This verse shows us that Jesus Himself is the High Priest of the church. Even the fact that He is high priest alludes to the fact that there are other priests. However these priests just don't rank as high. Who are they?
1 Pet 2:4-5 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Here we find from Peter's words that all Christians are priests. We are members of a royal priesthood. For one man to raise himself up and call himself or allow himself to be called a priest above others is wrong.
Mat 23:8-10 "But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. "And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.
We can find from Matthew's words that it is not right for one to be called Rabbi, Teacher, Father or any such title. The only one who deserves these titles is God. Rather we are all equal in God's kingdom as Christians.
Rom 8:16-17 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
No one has the right to call himself or be called a priest in any since other than the common priesthood that is shared among us. We are all joint heirs with Christ. We are all able to go directly to God in prayer for forgiveness of sins instead of having to go through a priest.
Take a peek at what the Christian Simon was told to do when he sinned.
Acts 8:21-22 "You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. "Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
After Simon sinned, was he told to go ask the priest to pray for him or to offer sacrifice for him? NO!!! He was told to go himself in prayer and ask God to forgive him.
Even Jesus alludes to the fact that we do not need to go through any priest other than Him in His model prayer. Remember? Jesus Himself said we ought to pray something like....
Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
If it were not possible for us to go to God in prayer and receive forgiveness of our sins without the intervention of a priest, would Jesus have taught us to pray this prayer? If our asking God for forgiveness in prayer does not work, then this is the most vain prayer any lips could utter.
I hope this article helps you to identify some denominations that are not Biblically correct since they are not following the precepts set forth in the New Testament. Your salvation is in your own hands. Study the word to see what you must do to be saved and what truly is the Church that Jesus Christ built.