“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
(1Peter 2:4-5 ESV)
As we think, today, of the Reformation, this passage stands out. In Luther’s Day, priests were viewed as holier than the people around them. Their work was viewed as greater in the eyes of God than that of others. However, he understood a simple truth from Scripture. He understood that all believers are priests.
This is a truth Peter brings out in the above passage. He points out that, as we come to Christ, we are being built up into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices to God. In this way, he tells us that all believers are priests set apart to serve God.
Even though most of us do not belong to the Catholic Church nor subscribe to Catholic doctrine, we tend to hold a similar mindset. We would never think of ourselves as a priest. We don’t think of ourselves as good enough to serve in this way.
We also think of their work as more significant than our own. We think that they serve God on a daily basis, while we do not. We think of our work as common and their work as spiritual.
We are wrong on both counts. We are good enough to be priests, not because of anything in ourselves, but because of Jesus. By his sacrifice, we have been made holy, and set apart for his service.
We also serve God on a daily basis. We serve him in our vocations. We serve him as a husband, wife, father, or mother. We serve him as a son or daughter. We serve him in our career. We serve him as we seek to be responsible citizens of our community and nation. And we use the gifts that he has given us for the edification of the church. We do everything for his glory and for the blessing of our fellow man.
Through Christ, we are all priests. Through Christ, we are all servants of God. And, through Christ, we all offer sacrifices to God. However, the sacrifices we offer are spiritual in nature. We don’t cut the throats of sheep or bulls. There is no need because Christ, by his death, has paid the penalty of our sin once and for all. We, instead, offer to him the sacrifices of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving. We offer to him the sacrifice of our service, for his glory.