Summary: The priesthood of all believers, duty, action, responsibility is that all there is? If so anybody could do it or is there more. Speak it out!
Forest Gump’s mother was a wise woman! When she said that, “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get!”
When I came to Christchurch I read an article about earthquake fault lines on the Southern Alps, when I discussed this with someone they told me “we’ll be right as Christchurch never had earthquakes of any consequence.”
The truth is that while we plan, while we pray that things will go our way, we don’t always know what we will get. Now some may see this as a negative thing but actually it has its advantages.
As you know if you’ve been here in recent weeks, we’ve been doing a sermon series on mentoring.
When I preached a couple of weeks ago I asked a question that went like this: “If I was to ask you to put your hand up if you were a minister of the gospel here, How many of you would raise your hand?” Well the answer to this surprised and shocked me because thought I knew what the answer was going to be but I didn’t know what I was going to get. So I’m now taking a pause in this series to preach on the priesthood of all believers. But firstly if I had asked the question slightly differently I think I would have got a different answer, if I had asked the question this way what would the answer be, “Who here has encountered life change in their relationship with God and now has something that they could say to someone else about that life change?”
The truth is that if you have encountered God’s grace you are qualified to tell others about it, you have your own testimony that is irrefutable, be strong in that! Speak it out for others need to hear it.
Now for some this next wee thing I’m going to say could be a bit scary there may times when you are prompted by God to speak to another about your faith, because you don’t know when God will prompt you to speak. This is not always the easiest thing to do.
This in some respects is about mentoring in its own way; this is about sharing your journey with believers and non believers alike. For believers this will be an encouragement, for non believers this will be a challenge as well as an encouragement as they come to understand your journey and particularly the possibility of life change as they too build a relationship with God, through Jesus and they encounter the spiritual change as the Holy Spirit works in their lives.
Let’s have a look at a passage of scripture that talks about this: 2 Timothy 4:1-4.
This again as in the previous week is a passage from Paul to Timothy, this is part of his mentoring of Timothy, the way he was directing Timothy’s ministry.
Now Timothy was a bit of a special case as this letter points out; he was to follow Paul into full time ministry, but as for those who follow Jesus who are not in full time ministry, they are also able to make a difference in regards to others by telling the truth and making a difference to another’s eternity’s.
This is about what is described as the priesthood of all believers. We are told in scripture that “we are a royal priesthood a holy nation belonging to God.” (paraphrase of 1 Peter 2:9)
Now, just too clear things up a bit, not all priests are preachers but they all ministered in some way. At the time of Paul, the example he had of priests’ was of the Temple Priests and Levities.
Now these blokes came from the family of Levi, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, they were not allowed to own land as the Lord Himself was their inheritance, but they were paid a tithe or ten percent of the other Jewish peoples income.
Among them were some who carried sacred objects of the sanctuary, some who looked after the curtains and coverings of the tabernacle and courts, others who looked after the building, transport and temple security, these security priests were also janitors. There were Twenty- four groups of priests who were in charge of temple sacrifices each serving in this role for two weeks a year. There were some who were musicians. Others taught, preached, judged and studied the scriptures. These priests were all male descendants of Aaron the brother of Moses, all men with out physical defect because if you had a physical defect you were not able to be a priest. Then there were some called Nazirites who took special vows of obedience which marked their consecration to God.
These roles point to a modern equivalent. If we look at the denomination of the Body of Christ, The Church that we belong to The Salvation Army we see that we have people doing different things all of which are ministry male and female alike.