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The True Priesthood

Filed Under: Luther's Devotions

You also, like living stones, are being builtA)" data-cr="#cen-NIV-30405A"> into a spiritual housea]"> to be a holy priesthood,C)" data-cr="#cen-NIV-30405C"> offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1 Peter. 2:5

The whole world regards the priest's office — his service and
his dignity— as representing the pinnacle of nobility and exaltation
; and so it truly is. If any one would be a priest and exalted
before God, let him set about the work of offering up his body
to God ; in other words, let him be humble, let him be nothing
in the eyes of the world.

I will let every man decide for himself the difference between
the outward priesthood of dazzling character and the internal,
spiritual priesthood. The first is confined to a very few individuals;
the second Christians commonly share. One was ordained
of men, independently of the Word of God; the other
was established through the Word, irrespective of human devices.
In that, the skin is covered with material oil; in this,
the heart is internally anointed with the Holy Spirit. That
applauds and extols its works; this proclaims and magnifies the
grace of God, and his glory. In fact, the two priesthoods go together
about as well as Christ and Barabbas, as light and darkness, as
God and the world.

The priest is not made. He must be born a
priest and inherit his office. I refer to the new birth — the
birth of water and the spirit. Thus all Christians become
priests, children of God and co-heirs with Christ the Most
High Priest.

Men generally consider the title of priest glorious and honorable;
but the duties and the sacrifices of the office are rarely
acceptable. The Christian priesthood costs life, property, honor,
friends and all worldly things; all this is to be endured, not for
the profit of oneself, but for the benefit of his neighbor and
for the honor and glory of God. For so Christ offered up his
body. This priesthood is glorious. The suffering and work of
Christ is to be viewed as grace bestowed on us, a blessing conferred,
requiring the exercise of faith and our acceptance of the
salvation offered ; then also, as an example for us to follow. We
are to offer up ourselves for our neighbor's benefit and for the
honor of God. He who so does is a Christian. This is what
Peter calls offering sacrifices acceptable to God by Christ.

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