Summary: The Apostle Peter reminds us that in the church age, every born-again believer is a priest in the sight of God, indeed, we are "a holy priesthood".
THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER
"But you will be called the priests of the Lord. You will be spoken of as ministers of our God." Isaiah 61:6.
"You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." I Peter 2:5.
At first every man was his own priest, and presented sacrifices to God. Afterwards that office devolved to the head of the family (Noah, Abraham, etc.) After Mt. Sinai only men from the tribe of Levi and the house of Aaron could serve as priests. In the church age, every born-again believer is a priest in the sight of God.
I THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A PRIEST:
Under the Law, the privilege was according to natural birth: only Levites of the house of Aaron who had no physical disability or deformity.
Under grace, a new-birth experience is required. The only access to the throne of God is through Jesus Christ; “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16.
II THE DUTIES OF A PRIEST:
Offering acceptable sacrifices to God.
Under the Law, priests offered material sacrifices as commanded under the Law of Moses: the blood of bulls, sheep, goats, turtledoves, etc.
Under grace, sacrifices are of a spiritual nature:
praise, prayer, thanksgiving, a holy life, etc. Our priesthood requires that we "pray one for another"; "bear one another’s burdens" "pray without ceasing"; "let our light so shine before men”; "in all things give thanks", etc.
III THE EXTENT OF THE OFFICE OF A PRIEST:
The office of priest is not only our high privilege but also the grave responsibility of every child of God.
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” I Peter 2:9.
IV NECESSARY PREPARATION REQUIRED BEFORE SERVING:
Under the Law:
“For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet when they come to the altar to minister. So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die.” Exodus 30:19, 21.
“...But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” I Corinthians 6:11.