Thursday, September 28, 2017

Green: priesthood of all believers

Thursday, September 28, 2017
    And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.
    —Hebrews 10:10-12 (NIV)
    We instinctively contrast the ministry with the laity, the priesthood with the people, the professional with the amateur. But the New Testament church knew nothing of this. This is perfectly astounding when you recall that every society in the world, including Israel, had had its specialized holy seasons, holy places, and holy people. In Christianity, all three were abolished. The keeping of holy days was a matter of indifference to the early Christians. They had no holy buildings, but met in private houses—the incarnation of God had made the secular sacred. As for holy people, why, all believers were called to be that holy people, that universal priesthood envisioned long ago in the Old Testament but never hitherto realized. The mediation of Jesus has abolished the need for an intermediary caste of priests: all can have access to God in virtue of the sacrifice of Christ; all have the priestly responsibility of interceding for man to God; all have the prophetic task of speaking God’s message to men. There is no priestly body within Christianity. It is a one-class society, though you would never guess as much, so grossly has conformity to pagan and Old-Testament models distorted this unique facet of Christ’s community.
    ... Michael Green (b. 1930), “Mission and Ministry”, E. M. B. Green, in The People of God, Ian Cundy, ed., vol. 2 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 69-70 (see the book)
    See also Heb. 10:10-12; 1 Tim. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:5; Rev. 1:6
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant that I may speak the Gospel clearly.
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