A Royal Priesthood: How Can You Be a Spiritual King and Priest Simultaneously?

by | Nov 16, 2021 | Purpose & Identity

Discover Your Spiritual Identity!

The Revelation of the Names and Titles God Has Given His People

“But you are a chosen generation, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, a holy nation, His own special people” (1 Pet. 2:9, NKJV).

Jesus was both king and priest.

As the “King of kings,” He manifested divine dominion in this world: reigning over sin, over sickness, over Satan, over evil spirits, over temptations, over negative circumstances and over His own flesh (Rev. 19:16). He ruled over hate with love, over depression with joy and over judgmental attitudes with the mercy of God. Irresistible in power, He even brought the greatest arch-enemies of the human race under subjection: death, hell and the grave bowed to His sovereign authority.

As the “Great High Priest,” Jesus lived a life of service, serving the Father with adoration and serving the human race with compassion, even the lowliest (Heb. 4:14). In priestly intercession, He stood in the gap for the needy, providing atonement for their sins and reconciling their wayward hearts to God.

In both of these areas, the firstborn Son of God became a living example of how we are to walk in this world—as spiritual kings and priests—or as 1 Peter 2:9 puts it, “a royal priesthood.” All children of God bear this dual image. Revelation 1:6 boldly declares that Jesus already “has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” So, this is not just a futuristic calling.

– As kings, we wield God-given authority over the sin nature and over a demonically infested and broken world system filled with fear, anxiety, perversity, lust and unbelief. We reign by manifesting the nature of the kingdom of God—traits like courage, peace, purity and faith.

– As priests, we minister to God in worship and serve the needs of others. Our greatest privilege as priests is to reconcile fallen human beings to a right relationship with God. (See 2 Corinthians 5:18-19.) Old Testament priests did that by officiating over the sacrifice of animals at an altar to atone for sin (providing a temporary covering). We do it by leading people to the cross where the blood of Jesus blots out their sins forever.

At the onset of Israel’s wilderness journey, God revealed that this dual calling was His original will for all the seed of Abraham, even under the Old Covenant. He told Moses to communicate to the people:

“Now therefore, if you will faithfully obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My special possession out of all the nations, for all the earth is Mine. And you will be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exod. 19:5-6, MEV).

Yes, God wanted every Israelite to be a part of His kingdom—both male and female, old and young—to reign in life victoriously and to have priestly access into His presence. That intention was never fully realized, however, because the law was not able to change the hearts of God’s people. It put a restraint on human behavior but did not change human character. But when the Father made a way for the Lord Jesus Christ to dwell within the hearts of repentant and believing human beings, one of His primary purposes was and is to transfer His image to them—which includes this marriage of both the “King” and “Priest” callings.

Our hearts should be filled with awe even now at the profoundness of such a great blessing. But surely when this earthly pilgrimage is over, we will realize even more the goodness of God toward us when we join the heavenly multitude singing to the Lamb of God:

“‘You are worthy . . . for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests unto our God; and we shall reign on the earth'” (Rev. 5:9-10).

So apparently, even into eternity, we will continue in these complementary roles. Until that glorious era comes, let us walk in our spiritual identity by reigning and by serving—and all for the glory of God.

To explore this wonderful subject more deeply, listen to past episodes of Mike Shreve’s weekly podcast called, “Discover Your Spiritual Identity”: A Royal Priesthood and A Holy Priesthood. Some of our podcasts are also available in a video format on our YouTube channel: YouTube.com/mikeshreveministries. {eoa}

A product of the Jesus Movement Era, Mike Shreve has traveled evangelistically in the United States and overseas since 1970 with an emphasis on healing and the prophetic. His primary biblical teaching for over 35 years has been the spiritual identity of believers. This powerful insight is featured on his weekly podcast on cpnshows.com and his TV program—both titled Discover Your Spiritual Identity. It is also the theme of his Charisma House book titled WHO AM I? Dynamic Declarations of Who You Are in Christ. The first three categories on his YouTube website expand on this amazing revelation: YouTube.com/mikeshreveministries.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

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