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The Priesthood of all Believers

Do we need a priest/pastor/church to have access to God? According to the Catholic Church, one cannot have access to God outside of the official priesthood. Is that what the Bible teaches?

You can listen to my sermon here, or watch it below. Scroll down to read my sermon notes.

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God bless!

 

The Priesthood of all Believers

The Priesthood of All Believers

Note: I this sermon was written in French. I was sick the night before I preached, and didn’t have time to translate the notes, so I ran them quickly through Google Translate. There will be some typos and expressions that didn’t translate correctly: but I hope that the basic message will still come through! Thank you!

Introduction

  • It’s an important idea to know the differences between the Protestant / Catholic Church
  • This preaching is not « anti-Catholic »
  • I have nothing against Catholics
  • I have family, and Catholic friends, including a friend who is preparing to be a priest
  • We have a good friendship!
  • But a sign of a good friendship is to be able to do the right discussions
  • What I do often enough with my friend, who is preparing for the ministry!
  • It is important to be able to express oneself, and to distinguish oneself, to be offended

The universal priesthood is …

1 of the pillars of the Protestant Church

1 of the reasons for the Reformation in 1517

1 major differences between Catholics and Protestants

1 of the cornerstones of the Protestant Church

… let’s talk about this central and important doctrine!

I. Brief History of Priests in the Bible

God always wanted an intimate relationship with his creatures. But to the causes of sin, humans were always afraid of God and hid. So, God created a system of religion to mediate between God and his people.

Adam (Genesis 3,8-13)

God wanted to walk with Adam and Eve

But after sin, they were very afraid of God

They were hiding behind a bush, and were dressing up leaves of a fig tree

They were chased out of the garden

Abraham (Genesis 15)

God called him, and Abraham answered him

Abraham walked with God, and God made a covenant with him and his descendants

Once became numerous, his descendants were the Israelites

The Israelites (Exodus – Malachi)

God tried to have a relationship with his people, but …

Their sin horrified the eternal, and often set off his wrath (Exodus 33: 5)

God made them afraid (Exodus 20: 18-19)

Moses

So they could Moses ahead, saying, « Speak to us, and we will listen; but of which God does not speak to us, otherwise we would die. (Exodus 20:19)

Moses spoke face to face with God (Numbers 12: 8)

After, they were even afraid of Moses! (Exodus 34: 34-35)

His face shone in the presence of God (Exodus 34:29)

They asked that he hide his face (Exodus 34: 34-35)

God created the priestly system, and the priests, to mediate between God and his people

The sacrificial system in the Old Covenant

  • God lived in a tent (the tabernacle), hidden from the view of the people
  • Moses can return at any time to speak with God (Exodus 33: 7-9)
  • But not the people! (Leviticus 16: 2)
  • A thick canvas separated God from peoples:
  • God was in the place « very know, » in the tabernacle
  • Only one priest had to return, once a year
  • But no one else, to death!
  • Priests can enter the holy place
  • The people of Israel can enter the Tabernacle court
  • Non-Jews can approach the tabernacle, not to return

Comments:

… for the average people of Israel, religion was …

  • Follow the rules of God (there were 613 in the Old Testament, plus those added by the traditions of men Matthew 15: 9, Mark 7: 9-13)
  • Approach time 2-5 times a year (or more if you want) to the temple to see the priest: the priest will do business with God on your behalf
  • Pay a dime so that the system can continue
  • 90% of your time and your money is yours

Problems :

  • There is always a way to get around the law to be mean, selfish, cruel, merciless (Isaiah 58: 1-6)
  • It does not touch the heart! (Isaiah 29:13)
  • All this leads to power, corruption, and idolatry (because if the heart remains unchanged, the people will finally find a way to live for themselves. Matthew 6:24)
  • After all, God wanted a personal relationship with his people

… that’s why God created the new covenant …

Question: do you think the Old Covenant was a good system? Yes or no?

If so … why did God abolish it? Hebrews 8:13

If no … why did God create him in the first place? Galatians 3: 24-25

The new Covenant

  • Sealed by the blood of Jesus (Mark 14:24), once and for all! (Hebrews 7:27)
  • It starts with a changed heart (Psalms 51: 16-17)
  • We live a transformed life with God (John 16: 1-11)
  • The Kingdom of God is no longer a building, a country: it is the community of believers (Matthew 18:17)
  • The true religion (the only time in the New Testament that the word « religion » is used of a positive sense and not negative) is James 1:27

II. Brief history of priests in the history of the church

The early church (30-330 AD)

The church had no power, and was often persecuted

The church was pure, but he suffered a lot

Priests and bishops had an important role because …

They had a living connection with the apostles (especially in 30-200 BC)

There were many heresies, so the true doctrine was important

Constantine (AD 313)

Given that Christianity represented an important force to unite his huge but fragmented empire

He declared Christianity a legitimate religion: ten years later, he became the religion of the state

Very important changes were needed for Christianity to be the cement of Constantine’s empire, this gift …

He needed to unite the church

He needed to control the church

He needed to lower the standards, so that everyone could become a Christian

Only the priests were obliged to follow the principles of Jesus: the « laymen » could live their lives as he wanted them to …

Followed the rules

Visited the priests and the church a few times a year

Paid their dime

… and they can have 90% of their time, their money, and their heart to them!

The Middle Age

With the fall of Rome, the age of darkness has begun

All the libraries, the universities, the big cities were burned: there was no more peace nor unity nor prosperity in Europe during 500-1000 years

It was not a good time for education

There could be theologians, libraries, books

The Bible

Written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek

Translated into Greek

Translated into Latin (405 CE)

… but not translated into contemporary language for peoples after

So the Bible remained in the sole possession of the church

The church

To play a very important role in uniting the empire, especially at the beginning

With the Crusades (1095-1291 AD) and the Inquisition (1231-1826 AD), the church took the sword into its own hands

Power and money have begun to decay the church from within (even Catholics will recognize that this was a very difficult time for the church)

In the darkness of ignorance, many practices began and were repeated and quietly became the official doctrines of the church

Reform

When the Bible was rediscovered by Luther and the other reformers in 1517 …

They saw that many of the doctrines of the church did not relate to the Bible

(in short) they started the Reformation to put the clock back, and to base religion on the Bible, and not on the traditions of men

(Parenthesis) Between 1545-1563, the Catholic Church made the Concil of Trent

 They corrected many of the problems of the church in the Middle Ages, this gift …

Concubinage (before, priests were entitled to concubines)

The lives of the popes (before, the popes often lived in debauchery)

For their doctrines

They specified them very closely the doctrines of the Catholic Church (before, there was so much diversity)

Their points were often against the Protestant Church: this is why Protestants call it « counter-reformation », but Catholics call it « Catholic reformation »

They authorized the force against the Protestants (just as the Protestants authorized the force against the Catholics). 100 years of war followed, decimating Europe

III. Differences between Catholics and Protestants

Catholic Church

The tabernacle (the church) is a holy place

The Lord’s Supper is an offering made by priests for our sins (Council of Trent, II, 2.) It is not given to non-Catholics

The priests (and brothers and sisters) are the special pesons: we are « laymen » (catechisms of the Catholic Church, second part, article 7, 1581-84)

God gave authority to priests to forgive sins: therefore we must really do business with them if we want to be saved (catechisms of the Catholic Church, part one, article 2, 984-986)

Normally, they will ask the faithful to do from there Penang (Catechisms of the Catholic Church, Part II, Article 11)

« Outside the church, there is no salvation » because it is the church that the sacraments control, and it is through the sacraments that God saves

The Protestant Church

We are all priests! (1 Peter 2: 9, Revelation 1: 6, 5:16)

Jesus Christ is our high priest

He replaced the priests (Hebrews 10: 1-25 <- to read!)

He is our only mediator (1 Tim 2: 5)

Jesus forbade us to give names as « father, teacher, rabbi, leader » to men, because it is Jesus alone our guide (Matthew 23: 1-12)

We are saved ! (Rom 8:24, 10: 8-9, Ephesians 2: 7-8)

We are all saints! (Romans 1: 7, 1 Corinthians 1: 2, 2 Corinthians 1: 1, Philippians 1: 1, Ephesians 1: 1)

There are no « lay » Christians

Those who take the name « Christian » but who do not see the words of Jesus are the false Christians (Matthew 7:23).

It’s not just negative! God to wonderful plans for you! (Ephesians 2:10)

We can go directly to God!

We can call it « dad » (Romans 8:15, Galatians 4: 6)

We can talk to him! (Mat 6: 9-13)

We are the church! The church is all the Christians of the world, who are (together and separately) the tabernacle of God (1 Corinthians 6:19)

The sacrament is a remembrance (1 Corinthians 11:24) of the sacrifice of Jesus, and not a sacrifice made time after time

This sacrifice was once and for all !! (Romans 6:10, Hebrews 7:27, 9:12, 10:10, 1 Peter 3:18)

It is not the sacrifices that save, but the heart breaks in the repentance that counts (Psalms 51: 16-17, Hebrews 10: 8)

Penance does not exist anywhere in the New Testament: everything has been paid for by Jesus. We can not complete the grace of God with good works! (Galatians 3, Ephesians 2:10)

(Purgatory exists nowhere in the New Testament either … 1 Corinthians 3:15 speaks of how our works may be burned in this life, not in a life to come)

(Do we not need the church? Matthew 18:20, Proverbs 27:17, Hebrews 10:25, 13:17) Conclusion:

God calls us back to the « torn veil » (Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38)

God is holy

We are sinners

But by the blood of Jesus, we can return! (Hebrews 10:20)

He wants everything!

All your heart

All your energy

All your love

All your money

All your strength (Deuteronomy 6: 5, Matthew 22: 36-40)

He wants us to redo his image (Ephesians 4: 23-24)

He wants to sanctify you (Romans 8:30)

It’s attractive! His love attracts us (Romans 2: 4)

But it’s also scary!

This God with such intense love …

Three times know …

His name is. By my own name.

He calls me to enter the fire, in the darkness of the most holy place

To become his son, his daughter

To ripen, in fact … to reborn in him. To be a newborn in him,

but do I have courage?

No, Lord! GIVE us a PRIEST!

He’s going to talk to you, and we’re doing everything he tells us (Exodus 20: 18-19)

He’s going to talk to me about God

He will make the sacrifices in my place

He’s going to give me the rules

That way, you’re far away, and I’m safe!

… we find ourselves outside the presence of God, trembling behind the church drink, trying to cover ourselves with the leaves of religion

… but the holy Bible says …

« This is why God fixes again one day – today – saying a long time later by David this word already quoted: today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart. Hebrews 4: 7

« Since we have such hope, we are very confident. We do not do like Moses, who put a veil on his face so that the Israelites would not look at the end of a passing reality. But their intelligence has darkened. Until today, the same veil remains when they read the Old Testament, and it does not rise because it is in Christ that it disappears. Until today, when the writings of Moses are read, a veil covers their hearts; but when someone converts to the Lord, the veil is removed. 2 Corinthians 3: 12-16

amen, pray …

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