HOW are WE part of “a royal priesthood”?
No doubt you have read in 1 Peter 2:9 which says we are a part of a “royal priesthood”. Why is that? How does that happen? Which priesthood makes us royal?
Frankly, I’ve heard a lot about the Aaronic Priesthood and even the Melchizedek priesthood, but I’m not sure I’ve heard others preach HOW you and I become ROYAL Priests – and of which priestly lineage that is! To be a priest, you have to be part of a priestly line. To be a royal, you must be the child of royalty. So how are you and I royal priests?
You and I cannot be a part of the Aaronic Priesthood, because we are not a descendant of Aaron. Only Aaron’s male descendants within the tribe of Levi were allowed to be bona fide priests of Israel. Even if you were a bona fide descendant of Aaron, there is no priesthood currently certified and working in Jerusalem. And Aaronic priests were never “royal” or royalty.
And besides, there’s a far greater and more glorious royal priesthood you are being called to be a part of.
Yeshua was born as a son or descendant of David of the tribe of Judah. Yeshua was a Jew, something a lot of Christians don’t realize. A Jew could not be a part of Aaron’s priestly line. Yeshua was also the son of God Most High and was resurrected to eternal life, and endless life. But those of the tribe of Judah could not be part of the Aaronic Priesthood.
Hebrews 7:14-17 “For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest 16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. 17 For He testifies: "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek."
That is why Yeshua challenged the Jewish leaders of his day to explain Psalm 110:1 – how King David would call his descendant “My Lord”. The answer of course is that Yeshua was both a son of David – a man – as well as the Son of God. So on earth, as God-made-flesh (John 1:14), Yeshua was worshipped and never once did he attempt to stop it. Why would he? He was also God, while on earth, or else being worshipped would have been a terrible sin. But it wasn’t a sin to worship him.
He also demonstrated other powers restricted to being part of the Godhead – such as forgiving sin, knowing people’s thoughts and much more. Remember Yeshua was the Word of God, and the “Word was with God and was God” (John 1:1-3), and the Word – who was God -- “became flesh” (John 1:14).
Yeshua is also definitely called our High Priest (Hebrews 2:17; 3:1; 4:14, etc.) Hebrews 5:10 says GOD himself called Christ to be High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
So for Yeshua to be called our High Priest, he could not have been so under the Aaronic priesthood. No, there was a higher priesthood prior to Aaron’s priesthood from the tribe of Levi. That higher priesthood was the priesthood of Melchizedek, who was king of Salem (future Jerusalem), which means “King of Peace”. He was also the High Priest of the Most High God. So HE was both: royalty and the High Priest of God Most High. He was a Royal Priest, in other words.
Melchizedek posted no genealogy. He had no mother or father. Hmm, who could that be? The priests of the Aaronic line had to prove their lineage back to Aaron. Melchizedek was frankly one of those visual appearances of the Godhead – as we’ve been discussing in my recent sermons.
Click on “Continue reading” to finish learning which priesthood you are a part of that makes YOU a “royal priest”.
Melchizedek means “King of righteousness” and he was also king of Salem – so he was also King of Peace. Folks, who is that? Remember we’re told in Genesis 14 that this same Melchizedek went out to meet Abraham and his 300+ warriors who had defeated King Chedorlaomer and his allies. They met in the Valley of Shaveh, which means “the King’s Valley”). Melchizedek brought bread and wine – which I believe was a foretaste of the Passover.
Abraham then gave 10% -- a tithe – of all the booty taken from the enemy (See Genesis 14:17-20). Tithes were normally presented directly or indirectly to Deity, so by Abraham giving a tithe to Melchizedek, he was actually acknowledging the divinity of Melchizedek.
Every indication from especially the book of Hebrews is that Melchizedek was a theophany – a visual appearance of God the Word Yeshua the Messiah in ancient times. The One who offered Abraham bread and wine was the future Jesus Christ, and he today is head of that Melchizedek priesthood.
We’re told in Psalm 110:4 that the Messiah would be “a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”.
Hebrews 5:6-11 “As He also says in another place: ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek"; 7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek," 11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.”
Hebrews 7:1-10 “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated "king of righteousness," and then also king of Salem, meaning "king of peace," 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, REMAINS A PRIEST CONTINUALLY.”
(Please read the rest of the Hebrews 7.)
So in Christ, we see both offices of kingship and High Priesthood coming together in one Person, Yeshua the Messiah. That’s just another way of saying – Royal Priesthood.
So how are WE royal priests?
First of all, quit thinking of being a royal priest as a future event. I’ve heard many sermons about how we’re “preparing” to be priests. No, no. We are priests right NOW. It’s not just a future event – but we are called royal priests TODAY. Let that sink in. Peter says “you are – [right now] – a royal priesthood…” He doesn’t teach that we will someday become priests. No, no – we’re priests right now, whether you’re male or female, whether you’re Jew or Gentile, if you’re in Christ, you are right now a royal priest of God.
So HOW are we “royal priests”?
Well, we TOO are part of the Melchizedek priesthood. We are not Melchizedek himself, who was both king and high priest of God Most High. That is Christ’s role. But remember you are “in him”, “in Christ” when we repent, are baptized by water immersion and then receive God’s Holy Spirit – we are immersed into the body of Christ by His holy spirit.
Also by God’s spirit we become children of God. Who is God? He is King over all. If you are in Christ, and begotten of God, you too are a child of the Highest. You're of a royalty that cannot be exceeded. Yeshua is coming as King of Kings, and is above all -- with the exception of God the Father. Only those who have and are led by God’s spirit are children of God (Romans 8:14-17).
Verses 16-17 say, “the Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of GOD and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together.”
So you are a child of God Most High; one of his sons or daughters (2 Cor. 6:18). You – with God’s spirit – are royalty. And you are in Christ (Colossians 1:2; Philippians 1:1). You’re a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), and therefore are also part of the Melchizedek priesthood. Yeshua is High Priest of the Most High God (Genesis 14:18-19) and we are the regular priests assisting Him.
In Christ, it doesn’t matter spiritually if you or I are male or female -- or Israelite or Gentile (Gal. 3:26-29).
That’s how you and I each become a ROYAL PRIEST. Right now. Today. Again, how? By being a newly begotten child of God Most High and part of the Melchizedek priesthood of our Messiah. And remember, Melchizedek was a king and was the High Priest of God Most High.
For many years I’d heard I was a son of God. But I don’t think I had heard that you and I are part of the Melchizedek priesthood. But that’s the only way I can see that we are royal priests! Hallelujah.