1 Peter 2:9-10, “9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

As you know already, the Apostle Peter is writing to Christians who have been dispersed and are being persecuted for their faith.

This epistle was written somewhere between AD 60-68. The Christians according to Peter’s epistle were enduring insults (1 Peter 4:4, 14), slanderous accusations of wrongdoing (1 Peter 2:12; 3:16), beatings (1 Peter 2:20), social ostracism, sporadic mob violence and possibly local police action.

And in our passage today, the Apostle Peter calls these believers (and consequently us) a royal priesthood.

To put that expression in theological terms, we are looking at the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers today. Now, this doctrine was one of the driving thrusts behind the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. It’s the belief that Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no need for a priest to go on your behalf to God. When you become a Christian, you have the ability to go to God the Father through the person and work of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Commentator, Edwin A. Blume says it like this: “[priesthood of all believers] means that all Christians have immediate access to God, that they serve God personally, that they minister to others, and that they have something to give…”[1]

Here are some implications for that doctrine:

  1. You can worship and pray to God through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit anywhere and anytime.
  2. God in Christ is the only forgiver of sin. Priests can’t forgive you of sin, nor prescribe some process by which your sins are forgiven. There is no penance to be paid; there is no need to offer a Hail Mary prayer. The Psalmist declares “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he [God alone] remove our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12 ESV) Jesus alone is our mediator for sin. Jesus alone is our High priest.
  3. You can read and understand God’s Word anywhere and anytime for yourself through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. All Christians have that privilege.
  4. You can serve God anywhere and anytime through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Today be encouraged as the 1st-century church was when Peter reminded them that they are a royal priesthood.

[1] Expositors Bible Commentary, 1048.