Every believer is a priest.
Jesus is the only mediator between God and humans.
Through Jesus, believers have direct access to the throne of God.
Jesus is our only High Priest.
Some key verses:
1Pe 2:5,9, Rev 1:5,6, 1Ti 2:5, Heb 4:15,16, Heb 10:19,20, Heb 4:14, Heb 8:1,2
It is false to think that some believers are priests and some are not.
It is false to think that some believers do ministry work and some do not.
It is false to think that we must go through a human priest to obtain foregiveness for our sins.
Some key verses:
Rev 5:9,10, Mt 5:16, Eph 2:10, 2Ti 3:17, Tit 1:16, Heb 7:25, 1Jn 2:1
Every Believer is a Priest
Every believer is a priest. (
1Pe 2:5,9, Rev 1:5,6, Rev 5:9,10)
A pastor is a believer who works to prepare God's people for their individual ministries. (
The terms layman, layperson, and laity do not appear anywhere in the Bible.
Every Believer/Priest is an Ambassador for Christ.
Every believer/priest is an ambassador for Christ. (
Every Believer/Priest is Ordained to do Good Works (Ministry).
Every believer/priest is ordained to do good works (ministry). (
Mt 5:16, Mt 16:27, Jn 8:39, Jn 14:12, Eph 2:10, 1Ti 6:18, 2Ti 3:17, Tit 1:16, Tit 2:14, Tit 3:8, Heb 6:10,11, Jas 2:26, Rev 2:19)
Every Believer/Priest is to Keep God's Law.
Every believer/priest is to keep God's law. (
Mal 2:1-8, Heb 8:8-10, Heb 10:15,16, Rev 12:17, Rev 14:12)
Humans Must not Presume to Hold God's Place
Only God can forgive sin. (
Mt 9:2-7, Mt 26:28, Lk 5:20-25, Ro 3:23-25, Eph 1:7, Col 1:13,14, Heb 9:22-28, Heb 10:10-12, 1Jn 1:7,9)
Only God can rightly be addressed as "father" (in the spiritual sense of the word). (
Jesus is the only Mediator between God and Humans
Jesus is the only Mediator between God and humans. (
Ro 8:34, 1Ti 2:5, Heb 4:15,16, Heb 7:25, Heb 8:6, Heb 9:15,24, Heb 10:19,20, 1Jn 2:1)
Jesus is our only High Priest. (
Heb 4:14, Heb 8:1,2)
Parallels between Old and New Testament Priests
|Old Testament||New Testament|
|Made animal sacrifices for sins
(pointing forward to the cross) (
|Proclaim Jesus' sacrifice for sins
(pointing backward to the cross) (
|Washed with water (
||Baptized with water (
|Put on priestly garments (
||Put on the righteousness of Christ (
|Anointed with oil for ministry (
||Anointed with the Holy Spirit for ministry (
Symbolized by the laying on of hands (
|Ministered in the temple of God (
||Ministered through, as the temple of God (
Is Peter the foundation of the church? (
Christ is the referenced foundation. (
Christ is the referenced rock. (
Mt 7:24, Mt 21:42, 1Co 10:1-4)
The keys of the kingdom of heaven represent the gospel message.
Every Christian is an ambassador (representative) of heaven commisioned to share the gospel. (
Mt 28:19,20, 2Co 5:18-20)
The gospel is given to Peter (and the other apostles) to give to the church. (compare
Binding and loosing is not restricted to Peter. (
Binding and loosing represent peoples' response to the gospel message.
Those who accept the gospel are loosed from Satan's prison. (compare
Lk 4:18 and Jn 8:36)
Those who reject the gospel remain bound in Satan's prison. (compare
Gal 5:1 and 2Ti 2:24-26)
Can men forgive sins? (
Clearly, we can personally forgive those who sin against us. (
Mt 6:14, Eph 4:32)
However, Jesus' sacrificial death is the only basis recognized by God for the forgiveness of sin. (
Mt 9:2-7, Lk 5:20-25, Ro 6:23, Ac 4:12, Ac 10:38-43, 1Jn 5:11,12)
We are sent as Jesus was sent by the Father. (
Jesus was sent to carry out His Father's will. (
Jn 6:38, Jn 7:16, Jn 8:28, Jn 12:49)
The Father's will is that people be saved (and forgiven) through His Son. (
Eze 18:32, Jn 3:16, 2Pe 3:9)
As we share Jesus with others, we partake in the remittance of sin solely as labourers for God. (
Mt 9:37,38, Jn 4:34-38)
Can men forgive sins? (
A point of emphasis here is automatic agreement.
Agreement can only be automatic as long as a common, Bible-based doctrine of foregivness is preserved.
The Bible clearly presents forgivness as the unmerited result of the grace of God toward any individual who:
Recognizes the consequences of their sin and accepts Jesus as their Saviour from the penalty of sin.
Repents from their sin by changing their life to model and follow Jesus as their Lord and Deliverer from the power of sin.
A second point of emphasis here is acting as an ambassador of Christ ("in the person of Christ").
A Christian would only ever say to someone "Your sins are forgiven":
As an assurrance of an already accompished fact based on that person's faith in Jesus.
But never as an act they in any way performed.
A final point of emphasis here is the warning not to give Satan any advantage. Based on the context, to heed this warning:
We must never presume to have any power or authority in ourselves to forgive sin (other than our role in forgiving those who sin directly against us).
We must never present any other gospel other than the one written in the Bible. (