Summary: This message delivers a biblical perspective on the depth of the meaning of water baptism and how powerful the baptism of Jesus is concerning our role in the Kingdom

The Priesthood of All Believers

Intro.: There is little understanding of the role of priest in today’s church. We understand ruling & reigning & we understand the priesthood in respect to pastors, but we’ve missed the reality of the priesthood of believers. I hope that changes today

I. Historical perspective of the priesthood

A. Melchizedek – READ: Genesis 14:18

1. This is the FIRST mention of “priesthood” in the Bible

NOTE: When Abraham returned from the Valley of Siddim where he defeated the King of Elam, Melchizedek greeted Abraham with bread and wine (the 1st shadow of communion) and he blessed Abraham in the name of the Most High God.

NOTE: David also recognized the priesthood of Melchizedek when he spoke of the coming Messiah – READ: Psalm 110:4

II. A First Century Perspective on the Levitical Priesthood Responsibilities

A. The high priest oversaw the morning and afternoon sacrifices (9am and 3pm)

1. He stood all day, questioned the priest, spoke the “negmar” & then sat down

a. Sitting confirmed that the sacrifices were acceptable & complete

B. Compare this to what happened on the cross

1. Jesus, as the High Priest oversaw His own sacrifice

2. His arms were stretched out and he spoke the “negmar”: “It is finished!”

3. He was seated w/the Father, declaring His sacrifice “perfect and complete”

NOTE: Jesus is our High Priest forever… READ: Heb 4:14, 5:5-6 & 7:24

C. But how could Jesus be a High Priest?

1. He was not a Levite, he was of the tribe of Judah

2. So, who was the rightful High Priest?

a. It wasn’t Caiaphus, he was just a corrupt appointee of Rome

3. Caiaphus removed himself from the priesthood – READ: Exodus 28:31-32

a. Caiaphus had a roomful of witnesses to this act

b. This act was a prophetic statement that his service was no longer needed

c. The rightful heir to the priesthood was John the Baptist- the line of Aaron

d. But it was Jesus who would offer the sin sacrifice as High Priest

D. So how did the mantle of High Priest pass from John the Baptist to Jesus?

1. To find out, we need to look at the baptism of Jesus – READ: Matt 3:13-15

a. Jesus was born King of the Jews – READ: Matthew 2:2

2. He came to the Jordan River

a. The Jordan has always been a place of change

1. From the wilderness to the Promised Land

2. The office of prophet from Elijah to Elisha

3. The healing of Naaman

3. Jesus came to John, the rightful priest, what did he see–READ: John 1:29

4. John immersed Jesus in the waters of the Jordan

a. Jesus went into the waters King of the Jews

b. He came out of the waters as the King of Righteousness – How?

1. Matthew 3:15 says that He fulfilled all righteousness

2. God made Him a priest after the order of M. “King of Righteousness”

5. At Jesus baptism a necessary change took place – READ: Hebrews 7:11-17

NOTE: The current High Priest always passed the mantle on by water immersion. John passed the mantle of High Priest to Jesus at His baptism – His right of passage

III. Present Perspective of the Priesthood of all Believers

A. At salvation, we are brought into the family and kingdom of God

1. Our spiritual inheritance changes from hell to heaven

B. At baptism, we are brought into the priesthood of all believers

1. When we are immersed, the mantle of priesthood is placed upon us by Jesus

2. Jesus extends His mantle to us

C. We are set apart to accomplish the purposes of God as His priests

1. We oversee the daily sacrifice–personal introspection READ: Rom 12:1-2

2. We speak the “negmar” – Daily declaration to God that, for that day, our

life has been pleasing and acceptable to the Lord

a. This means that we can say that we have offered God our best

3. We must be seated in the Father’s presence – READ: Ephesians 2:6

a. This is a place of rest or completion

NOTE: We must declare to those around us, by our actions and lifestyle, that we have satisfied His desires and expectations of us as priests, by resting in His presence rather than living in turmoil and condemnation. This is a daily process.

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