Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Luther and the priesthood of all believers

Today in history: Martin Luther was ordained as a priest on April 3, 1507 and celebrated his first Mass on May 2. Thirteen years later, following Luther's conversion, he wrote The Freedom of a Christian (1520), one of the classics of the Reformation. In it he gave voice to the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers:

"Nor are we only kings and the freest of all men, but also priests for ever, a dignity far higher than kingship, because by that priesthood we are worthy to appear before God, to pray for others, and to teach one another mutually the things which are of God. For these are the duties of priests, and they cannot possibly be permitted to any unbeliever. Christ has obtained for us this favour, if we believe in Him: that just as we are His brethren and co-heirs and fellow-kings with Him, so we should be also fellow-priests with Him, and venture with confidence, through the spirit of faith, to come into the presence of God, and cry, “Abba, Father!” and to pray for one another, and to do all things which we see done and figured in the visible and corporeal office of priesthood."


Ligon Duncan said...

Thanks for this post Derek. R.C. Sproul tells a great story about Luther's ordination service. Did you know that Luther, during the ritual prostration, was lying over the top of the crypt of the Bishop of Constance, who had condemned John Hus to be burned at the stake? Sproul tells how this fits in to Hus' famous prophecy before his death.

Anonymous said...

I was first taken to a church (full gospel) when i was 10. i received Christ at age 10, was water baptised at age 11. I went through an extremists offshoot baptist cult that was extreme and anti-gov. for one year. I then went through several years in the United Pentecostal Church, after which i settled into an Assembly of God with my husband since 1983. The past several years, I have been searching. I tried Methodist, and Nazarene, been counseled by a Baptist. Just ended a 13 week stay in a Church of Christ.
my eyes are on the Presbyterian movement. I listen to R.C. Sproul all the time and love his Ligonier Ministries.
I got lost in the Church of Christ because i found i had no Pastor, i was used to a real Pastor at the headship. There was massive confusion and a sense of no direction.
I wondered if this was the Priesthood of believers, the Church of Christ had no central Pastor and there were all these elders to look to, like having many step parents instead of one parent. I felt lost and confused and sucked into a system of small groups and no leadership to look to.
Is this what is meant by the Priesthood of Believers?
my next move is to contact a Presbyterian church.

a searcher for a church that will help me grow and worship Christ without using me, where there are not leaders who are freemasons and where there is accountability and leadership and solid biblical teaching.

thanks for listening

an aching hurting sheep who is searching