“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light… Live such good lives among the unbelievers that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.” -1 Peter 2:9, 12
Here the Apostle Peter calls all believers “a royal priesthood”, but what does that mean, and how does it look in our daily living? In short, being a priest is being an intercessor or a mediator between God and man. As priests our duty – and privilege – is to pray for people, model godly living for them, and seek to reconcile them to God.
This is not just a task for those who have gone to seminary, it is the responsibility of every believer! To be a priest, you don’t have to have studied hermeneutics and homiletics, or have systematic theology down pat; you simply need to know what God has done for you and who He’s called you to be. As a priest, you are meant to declare God’s praises. What has He done for you? How has He moved in your life, provided for you, healed you, guided you, forgiven you etc.? As a priest you are to share these things with your spouse, your children, your co-workers, friends, etc.
You are also meant to live a holy life, fraught with good deeds. That is, you are to live a life that displays the character of God; demonstrating His genuine love, kindness, and generosity toward others. You don’t have to start a church or organization, you don’t have to move overseas, or even speak in front of great crowds (although some are called to do these things). What is required of every believer is to live the way Jesus would in our respective situations.
As we share about the good things God has done in our lives and model a godly life people will be drawn to God. What people? Where do we do these things? The answer: All people, everywhere. With your family, your co-workers, your sports team, your classmates – whomever, wherever. That’s how the gospel is meant to spread. It spreads through everyday, ordinary believers walking with God each day, declaring His praises and modeling His character in plain view of those who don’t yet know Him, so that they may know Him through our lives, our words and our actions.
How about you? Are you a priest? Have you been seeking to reconcile those around you to God? You can be – you’re called to be! You don’t have to drop everything and get ordained through some institution, you simply need to live fully for God in your day-to-day and watch how God can build His kingdom through you!