The Imperial Priesthood of the Believer (Revelation 1:6; 1 Peter 2:5,9) -- By: Robert Clark

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 092:368 (Oct 1935)
Article: The Imperial Priesthood of the Believer (Revelation 1:6; 1 Peter 2:5,9)
Author: Robert Clark


The Imperial Priesthood of the Believer
(Revelation 1:6; 1 Peter 2:5,9)

Robert Clark

Some one has truly said that no believer can “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith he is called” (Eph 4:1) who does not comprehend and practice his function as a priest of the new covenant. Unhappily, this is a part of the Christian calling that is little understood by the average believer. It is a sad commentary on the intelligence and spiritual acumen of believers that they should be so slow to perceive truths that are so clearly stated in Holy Writ. Man clings fatuously to the carnal and temporal, and is indifferent to the eternal and spiritual. He holds rigidly to the shadow and lets the substance go. The type means more to him than the antetype; the prophecy bulks larger in his mind than the fulfillment. And, perhaps, this is nowhere so apparent as in the matter of the priesthood of the believer. We have, today, great ecclesiastical systems, with their priestly orders, rituals and ceremonies, which purport to be the legitimate, Biblical means of grace for the development of spiritual life; but in view of the clear teaching of the Word of God, and of the effects of that kind of ministry, we believe that that kind of priesthood is a hindrance rather than a help. It is a ministry that is patterned after the Aaronic priesthood rather than after that of our Lord Jesus Christ (Heb 5:1–10:39). That priesthood was concerned with carnal ordinances that were temporal, typical and imperfect, and which could never make the worshippers perfect. They had to be offered year by year, again and again (Heb 10:1–4). The whole service of sanctuary priesthood and sacrifices by its very nature, witnessed to its imperfection and transitoriness (Heb 9:1–10). The

exigencies of the Christian calling require a priestly ministry that is based on more secure foundations than these. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews says: “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself” (Heb 7:26, 27). “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.... Fo...

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