Friday, February 20, 2009


By W.C.Ketcherside

There is no priesthood in God's program now but that which is common to all Christians. That which makes one a Christian makes him a priest of God. The literal priesthood has been supplanted by the spiritual; the limited has been succeeded by the universal. Yet the religious world has been captivated by a special clergy.

Designate it what you will, this is but a limited priesthood, arrogating to itself those rights which belong to all. Nothing is more certain than the fact that the average religionist believes that this special group of ministerial functionaries is a product of New Testament teaching. Yet it is apparent that the system which produces them is a denial of the very essence of the New Covenant and an espousal of the program of the Old Covenant. Those who seek justification for a special priesthood in this dispensation are also seeking to be justified by the law and are fallen from grace.

The time of reformation has come. It has brought with it certain changes. Those changes must be recognized. To deny them or abrogate them is to flout God's purpose.

1. There has been a change of sacrifice. The animal sacrifices once required are no longer demanded. To offer such sacrifices now would be to crucify the Son of God afresh and put him to an open shame.

2. There has been a change of law. No longer are we subject to the "regulations for worship in the earthly sanctuary" (Heb. 9:1). The law had "but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities" (Heb. 10:1). The man who chooses to be justified by the law shows a preference for a shadow rather than the reality.

3. There has been a change of priesthood. The limited has given way to the universal. With the introduction of the priesthood of all believers, no particular class or caste has an exclusive right "to perform ritual duties." Indeed it is one of the absolute essentials to priesthood that each person who is a priest "have something to offer" (Heb. 8:3). The change in the priesthood has conferred upon all of God's priests the right to minister unto God subject to the restrictions of the Great King.

This great truth was recognized in the primitive church. "The devotional exercises of the Christian assemblies, like those of the Jewish synagogues, consisted principally of prayers, singing of hymns, and sacred discourses. Every one who had the power and the inclination to speak in public was allowed to do so with freedom" (A History of the Christian Church, by Dr. Charles Hase. Pages 40,41).

From W.Carl Ketcherside's "The Royal Priesthood", which is available as a free PDF download HERE

Reprinted with Permission

*Special thanks to Mike Hutchison for assembling this quotation and posting it on his Facebook page as part of an ongoing series called "Tales from the Ketcherside".

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