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Acceptable Priesthood: Who should serve as priests today?

Should we have a special class of priests who perform ceremonial rites that the people in general cannot perform?The Jews in the Old Testament had a special class of men who offered animal sacrifices and performed other rites of worship on behalf of the people. These men served as mediators or representatives through whom the people worshiped God. What about today? Should we have a special class of priests who perform ceremonial rites that the people in general cannot perform?

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is our high priest. He offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for our sins - Hebrews 9:11-26. But 1 Peter 2:5,9 speaks of another group of people who have become a "holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices" to God. Who are these people? The context shows that this priesthood includes all people who believe in Christ, obey the gospel, and are born again into God's house which is the church (1:22,23; 2:5,7; 1 Timothy 3:15). In other words, according to the gospel, all Christians are priests. We ourselves can worship God through Christ. We need no other man to be our mediator.

Why then do some churches have special classes of priests? Some people think we should have priests like those in the Old Testament. But that priesthood was abolished when the Old Law was removed by Jesus - Heb. 7: 11-18.

Other people say that the priesthood has been handed down through the centuries from the original apostles. But where does the Bible say that the apostles were a special priesthood? Nowhere! How could the apostles hand the priesthood down to others when they never had it themselves?

Truly, "There is ... one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" - 1 Timothy 2:5. No one but Jesus has the right to stand as priest or mediator between you and God.

(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2015

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