All Christians Are Priests

by David J. Riggs
from Catholic Teaching Examined

A study of the New Testament reveals that all Christians are priests. Peter said, "You too are living stones, built as an edifice of spirit, into a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (I Peter 2:5; The New Catholic Translation). Thus, all Christians are of that holy priesthood and can offer unto God spiritual sacrifices. All have the right to go directly to God through Jesus Christ, our High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Peter continued, "You, however, are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people he claims for his own to proclaim the glorious works of the One who called you from darkness into his marvelous light" (I Peter 2:9). Revelation 1:6 says, "...Who has made us a royal nation of priests in the service of his God and Father." Consequently, the New Testament repeatedly teaches that all Christians are priests. When one obeys the gospel of Christ, he is added to the body of Christ and is thereby part of God's holy priesthood. As priests, all can offer up spiritual sacrifices and draw nigh to God through the mediatorship of Jesus.

A sacrificing priesthood of men was indeed appointed under the law of Moses, but the animal sacrifices offered by the priests of the Old Testament were mere types and shadows of the one sacrifice made by Christ. By the one sacrifice made by Jesus, He put an end both to the Levitical priesthood and the Old Testament law. (See Hebrews 7:23-25; Colossians 2:14-17).

Jesus is now at the right hand of God and ever lives to make intercession for His people (Hebrews 7:25; 9:24). Through the one sacrifice of Himself, He became the sole mediator through which men have access to God (I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 7:26-27; 9:24-28; Ephesians 2:18). He is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him (Hebrews 5:8-9).

There is no priesthood on earth that has the right to forbid each Christian to go directly to God through Christ, or to assume the authority to administer graces and obtain mercy for others. All Christians are of that royal priesthood of God, and have but one great High Priest, Jesus Christ.