Priest; Priesthood

Concise Bible Dictionary:

It is remarkable that the first priest spoken of in scripture is Melchizedek: he is said to be “priest of the most high God.” Nothing is said of his offering sacrifices, but he brought forth bread and wine, and blessed Abraham (Gen. 14:18-19). He is a type of Christ, who is constituted a “priest after the order of Melchizedek,” and who will come forth to bless His people in the future. See MELCHIZEDEK.
Before the institution of the Levitical priesthood, Israel had been redeemed out of Egypt. The object of priesthood was not therefore to bring them into redemption, but to maintain their position based on redemption before God. At first it was said that they should all be priests (Ex. 19:6), but law afterward came in, and the service of priesthood was very definitely confined to the house of Aaron. The names of the twelve tribes were engraved on the breastplate and on the plates on the priest’s shoulders: whenever he went in to the presence of God, the people were thus represented. So Christ is the great High Priest at the right hand of God, not for the world, but for His saints: “We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Heb. 8:1). He represents His saints there, and in virtue of His presence there, and of His experience here, He is able to sympathize with them in trial and to succor them in temptation.
The Lord was not nor could be a priest on earth, for He was not of the order of Aaron (Heb. 7:14; Heb. 8:4); but on the cross He offered Himself to God, the antitype of Aaron on the day of atonement. He was really Offering, Priest, and Victim in His own person, and, being perfected, is now the great High Priest above for the Christian (Heb. 4:14-16). See AARONIC PRIESTHOOD.
Christians are priests by calling, as being risen together with Christ, and have access to God: “an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5,9; Heb. 10:19; Rev. 1:6).

“Priesthood of Believers, The” From Anstey’s Doctrinal Definitions:

There are three spheres of privilege and responsibility Christians have in the house of God—priesthood, gift, and office.
As to the priesthood of believers, the book of Revelation teaches us that all Christians are “priests unto God,” and that they have been made so by the finished work of Christ on the cross (Rev. 1:6; 5:10). The Apostle Peter confirms this, stating that we are “an holy priesthood” who have the privilege to “offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable unto God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5, 9). Since we are all priests, the epistle to the Hebrews exhorts Christians as a whole to approach God within the veil (in the holiest of all), and to engage in something that only priests can do (Heb. 10:19-22). Such an exhortation would not be given to any but those who are priests. Moreover, the fact that this epistle says that the Lord is “an High Priest” implies that there is a cast of priests under Him.
Since Scripture teaches that all Christians are priests, and that all brothers have an equal privilege to exercise their priesthood publicly in the assembly, in meetings for worship and prayer, we simply need to wait on the Spirit of God to lead out the prayers and praises of the saints. If we allow Him to lead in the assembly, in the place that is rightfully His, He will lead a brother here and another there to audibly express worship and praise as the mouth-pieces of the assembly. Of course, the exercise of priestly functions are not confined to the assembly but can be exercised privately as well—in any place and at any time.

“Priesthood of Christ, The” From Anstey’s Doctrinal Definitions:

This is one of two functions which comprise the Lord’s present work on high for His people—His priesthood and His advocacy. Both have to do with intercession (Rom. 8:34), but in different ways:
His intercession as a Priest has to do with maintaining His people in the path of faith so that they might not fail (Heb. 7:25).
His intercession as an Advocate comes into operation if and when they do fail in the path of faith and are in need of being restored (Luke 22:32; 1 John 2:1-2).
As to the Lord’s priesthood, He intercedes to help us in the path. The effect of His intercessory work is that we are kept on track, and are thus saved from spiritual dangers in the way (Heb. 7: 25). As our High Priest, He sympathizes with our weaknesses and infirmities, but not with our sins (Heb. 2:17-18; 4:14-16).
Many have wondered why any of the Lord’s people fail when they have the Lord interceding for them so that they wouldn’t. They are perplexed because our failure in the path surely couldn’t be due to a fault in His high priestly work. R. F. Kingscote wrote to Mr. Darby asking him about this. He replied, “Intercession is a general term, used even of the Holy Ghost in us (Rom. viii); but priesthood (in Hebrews) is with God, for mercy and grace to help in time of need: advocacy is with the Father to restore communion when we have sinned. You do not have it for sins in Hebrews because the worshipper once purged has no more conscience of sins. This answers your first three questions, save the end of the third; ‘Why do we fail?’ It is because it is part of the government of God to have us responsibly exercised, though not without grace sufficient for us and strength made perfect in weakness. But if we forget our weakness and dependence, we forget the grace, too, and are in the way of a fall. See Peter’s case, the Lord did not ask that he might not be sifted; He wanted it. The evil is not in the fall, really grievous as that is, but in the state it manifests. God may allow it that we may learn this” (Letters, vol. 2, p. 274).
Thus, if our state is low and we are not hearing the Lord’s voice to us about it, He may allow us to learn dependence through a humbling failure. Thus, on certain occasions, He may cease to intercede for us in His normal way. With Peter, the Lord did not pray that he wouldn’t fall, but when he did, that his faith would not fail (Luke 22:32). His intercession led to Peter’s restoration. Thus, to gain from the Lord’s priestly intercession, we must be responsibly exercised to “come unto God by Him” (Heb. 7:25), which implies expressed dependence in prayer. If we habitually neglect this, we cannot expect to be kept.
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