Monday, 15 August 2011

The Priesthood of all Believers

I have been struck recently on the amazing fact that we, as believers, are indeed priests, and as such we have direct access to God. We no longer need to go through a mediating person (i.e., a priest) – I have direct and open access to the Most High God, and what's more, His Spirit dwells within me. This is too wonderful for me to grasp.

So what does this mean for us? I think there are some critical things for how we live today. First, I can read and interpret and understand God's message, through the Bible, myself. Now I am not saying that this is simple or easy, but it is what God wants me to do. This means that I should and must read and study the Bible myself. Primarily, I should be finding out about God and the Christian life through reading and studying the Word myself.

I have from time to time gone to Christian bookshops. I am amazed at how small the section is that is devoted to Bibles and study helps (e.g., concordances, commentaries), AND, how big the space is that is devoted to other Christian books, cds, videos, and other religious icons. It worries me that now, rather than reading, studying and interpreting the Bible for ourselves, we would rather understand our faith and how to live, by reading books written by others about the Bible. Now don't get me wrong, I think there are many good Christian books and they can be helpful, but it seems that many Christians have now given up their God-given privilege to hear from Him directly through his Word through diligent study, and are happy to read the interpretations of others.

We don't need gurus. We can study and understand God's very Word for ourselves. We are priests, but unfortunately it seems to me that we are too willing to give up our priestly rights and accept the Word secondhand through books, blogs, or even songs and cds.

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