Doctrine of the Royal Priesthood of the Believer

Every person born of God is born into royalty. The believer is in Christ, who is King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus is of the lineage of David according to the flesh; He is very God of very God according to the spirit.

1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

All that Christ is, and all that Christ has, the believer is, and shares. Christ is a priest, and so is the believer. Christ is a king, and those who love Him shall rule and reign with him.

Revelation 1:5-6 …Unto him that loved [lit. loves] us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

The royal reign of Christ, and His priestly function, is a present reality.

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Hebrews 6:20 …Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

The Christian has the right, and the responsibility to function in the royal priesthood of the New Testament era. The prerogatives of the priesthood are best done in the following manner.

In holy boldness, the believer is to draw near the throne of grace in faith. Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

In sincere humility and repentance, the believer is to confess all known sin in order to be cleansed. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The believer is to apply the blood of Christ to His conscience. Heb 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

The believer is to perfect holiness in the fear God. 2 Cor 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. To fear God, is to dread putting a frown upon His face. To fear God is to tremble in remembrance of His awesome majesty, for He holds in His power life and death. To fear God, is to honor Him so highly that the heart does not want to sin lest it be a reproach against His holy character.

The believer is to offer praises, and thanksgiving, along with personal petitions. Phil 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

The believer is to express adoration to God the Father and God the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and in the beauty of holiness. 1 Tim 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The believer is to intercede on behalf of others. 1 Thess 5:25 Brethren, pray for us. 2 Thess 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: 2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. Heb 13:18 18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.

As priestly functions characterize the New Testament era believer, so do kingly functions. The kingly functions of every believer priest are best done in the following manner.

The believer is to render righteous judgments in spiritual matters. 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?

The believer is to execute church discipline. Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

The believer is to show royal benevolence, by exercising excessive forgiveness. Matt 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

The believer is to generously bestow bounty on others. 2 Cor 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The believer is to protect, and safeguard the Word of God. Jude 1: 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

The believer is to protect, and safeguard the future of the Church. 2 Tim 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

The believer is to be stately, and dignified in speech, and behavior. Heb 13:5 5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

The concept of Christians being kings, and priests unto God, must not be thought of in fleshly earthly terms, but heavenly spiritual ones, for the dignity of each office is determined not by outward ceremony, but by inward integrity.

In recent years, much shame and reproach has been manifested by members of the household of Queen Elizabeth II. The private conduct of family members has brought great public shame and embarrassment. There is nothing truly noble about course conduct. And so the Christian has the true nobility of soul, and character, in as far as the heart reflects Christ.

In order to avoid bringing shame and dishonor to the name of Christ, in order to function in a courtly manner that reflects the King of kings and Lord of lords, in order to function in a worthy manner in a holy priestly office, the Christian must remember who he or she is, and to whom he or she belongs.

To think of one’s self in terms of royalty, and in terms of priestly conduct, the Christian is not under self-delusions of grandeur. The God of the universe has decreed that such exalted terminology and concepts be applied to the Church.

Years ago, an Archbishop of Canterbury was rushing to catch a train in London. In his haste, he accidentally jumped on the wrong passenger car, and found himself on a car full of inmates from a mental hospital.

They were all dressed in mental hospital clothing. Just as the train pulled out of the station, an orderly came in and began to count the inmates, “1-2-3-4.” when suddenly he saw this distinguished looking gentleman there wearing a business suit and a clerical collar and he said: “Who are you?” The answer came back: “I am the Archbishop of Canterbury!” And the orderly said: “5-6-7-8.” The world may not know who Christians are. The world may mock when the Church proclaims to exercise a royal priesthood. But it is the gospel truth, and so must be embraced, for behavior follows belief, as form follows functions.

If objections are raised against the Doctrine of Divine Appointment, and comments are made that it is not fair that God should appoint individuals to be offended by Christ, let the spiritual leader rejoice, for the same objections were anticipated in the teaching of the apostle Paul.

Rom 9:19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonor? 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Writing to Erasmus, the German Reformer, Martin Luther commented that it takes more grace, and more faith to love God as He is revealed, than as the heart wants Him to be. While the secret counsel remains hidden, what is revealed is to be acted upon in gospel obedience, so that all are without excuse, and none without hope. Deut 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

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