The Priesthood of the Believer

One of the most cherished doctrines that I hold dear, and that is one of our Baptist Distinctive, is the priesthood of the believer. The Bible teaches in I Peter 2 and other places that all born-again believers have direct access to God; we don't have to go through an earthly priest to get God's attention.

In Ezra chapter 2, we see the Jews returning from Babylon to Jerusalem and Judah; everyone to his own city. In verses 59-63, it gives the account of some who claimed to be in the priestly line, but their names were not recorded.

The right seed

"...They could not shew their father's house and their seed, whether they were of Israel." They sought a claim based upon who their parents were, but couldn't take it any further.

Today, many people make a claim on salvation based up on the wrong thing: "my parents said," or "I did this," or "I'm a good person," or "I think." The reality is that nothing matters but being born again: 1 Peter 1:23, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."

There is hope in Jesus Christ

"...Till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim." This is a reference to the high priest. Since their names were not written down, they were told to wait until the high priest came and could get direction from God on the matter. Jesus Christ is our High Priest - Hebrews 4:14-15, "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (15) For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."

If your name is not written down in the Book of Life, turn to Christ today. Then you, too, can be included in the priesthood of the believers (I Peter 2:9).

(Ezra 2:59-63) "And these were they which went up from Telmelah, Telharsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer: but they could not shew their father's house, and their seed, whether they were of Israel: (60) The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty and two. (61) And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name: (62) These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood. (63) And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim."