Baptist Distinctives 2
Here are somethings that are distinguishing characteristics of the people that call themselves Baptist
Bible is the only rule of faith and practice
Autonomy of the local church
Priesthood of the believer
Individual Soul Liberty
Saved, Baptized Church Membership
Separation of Church and State
Priests in the Old Testament
God gave the priestly ministry to the tribe of Levi Exodus 40:13 Numbers 1:47-54
It was the priest who entered the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement
The entire nation of Israel were also functioning as a kingdom of priests Exodus 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
The priest in the Old Testament could only enter the Holy of Holies once a year
A thick veil separated the people from God’s presence
The Old Testament priest had three main duties
Serving at the altar
Proclaiming God’s revelation
Interceding or praying to God
Bible verses to consider about each believer being a priest
All of us are part of the holy priesthood I Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
We all offer up spiritual sacrifices
There is no one else between you and God I Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
He made us priests when He redeemed us Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Every believer may enter into the presence of God in prayer directly. We enter via Jesus and No other John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
We can study God’s Word on our own
We can pray for others
We do not need to be a preacher to have access to God
We all stand before God for others
We do not have to have a priest, a special church ritual, a sacrament, or anything to go straight to God in prayer. We do not believe in or accept any priests or ritual to speak to God
This doctrine makes us equal, a family, with no one who has something special over the brethren.
We do not have to wait and go in once a year, their is no veil separating us from God, there is no need for a human priest between us and god. Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
This priesthood of believers making us equal leads to the idea of congregational authority
We can all worship, serve at the altar, sacrifice now Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
We are all witnesses and responsible for the world today I Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
We all can pray for others James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
The idea is that you are to be involved in your church serving and you do not have any excuse to sit on the sidelines with the excuse of not being one of the special ones
The church was never meant to be a spectator sport, He included us all
Timothy George, in “The Priesthood of All Believers” states that the priesthood of all believers means: in the community of saints, God has so tempered the body that we are all priests to each other. We stand before God and intercede for one another, we proclaim God’s Word to one another and celebrate His presence among us in worship, praise, and fellowship. Moreover, our priestly ministry does not terminate upon ourselves. It propels us into the world in service and witness. It constrains us to “shew forth the praises of him who has called (us) out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9).
This doctrine can be abused
Being a priest doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want or interpret the Bible any way you want
Since I am able to speak to God on my own I do not need others, the church
I am my own boss and do what I want
This also speaks to those preachers etc that somehow claim to be above others and want special recognition