The Scriptures are clear: the God of the Bible loves freedom. It has always been God’s desire to set his children free and to give them the power to accomplish eternal things for His glory. In Galatians 5:1, the Apostle Paul declares, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Over the years the ministry of Quest has sought to encourage believers to work out their FREEDOM in Christ.
Jesus Himself addressed the importance of freedom in John 8:52 when he said, “And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” The obvious implication of this teaching of Jesus is that discovering the truth is essential to gaining freedom...another way we could say this is...lies enslave.
If you want to free yourself from the lies that will enslave you and evenutually destroy you, then you must discover and apply the truth. Over the years, the ministry of Quest has sought to point out these lies and encourage believers to identify these truth principles and then work out their freedom in Christ.
During the past 2,000 years of church history, the community of believers has often not experienced their freedom in Christ. For example, prior to the Reformation, a gospel was being preached and the church said that it was “good news.” However, that good news of the Gospel was not in reality good news. Why? Because the church was teaching that in order to gain God’s approval and forgiveness, one had to pay for it (penitence).
In reality, since no one was able to be sinless, everyone needed to make payments for their own sin in the form of donations to the church. Therefore, the vast majority of church going people were not experiencing the good news. They were told it was good news but in reality they were experiencing the “Bad News.” The fact is, they were lied to and those lies led them and multitudes of others into spiritual darkness and enslavement.
Luther came along and claimed that the church was failing to preach the "Good News"...
Martin Luther, a Catholic priest, started to publically claim that salvation was a gift offered by God for free. With conviction and clarity He proclaimed the “Good News” of the Bible which said that their sin was already paid for by Jesus’ death on the cross. Luther not only addressed this topic of “salvation by grace alone” but also re-introduced the world of his day to more good news...the Biblical concept of the “Priesthood of Every Believer.”
Though Luther himself was a priest in the Catholic Church he claimed that every believer was in fact a priest with all the rights and privileges that come with that position.
Have you ever viewed yourself as a priest of God? Have you ever consciously recognized that the Bible declares you to be a priest with even more personal access to God than the Old Testament priests? That as a New Testament priest you have a whole range of rights and privileges regardless of what the church says? Let me illustrate by asking you a few questions (both men and woman): •Do you view sharing the gospel as a privilege?
•Do you feel the freedom to baptize new converts?
•Do you feel it is your right and privilege to disciple them?
•Do you view teaching those new disciples as a right and privilege?
•Do you feel the freedom to conduct a communion service at home?
•Would you feel the freedom to start a Bible study in your home?
•Do you feel free to confront a wayward Christian based on Matthew 18?
•Do you exercise your right and privilege to invest God’s money in people directly?
If you don’t feel like you should be doing these things, then ask yourself why. Has the traditions of men and of the church kept you from experiencing the rights and privileges you have in Christ...the freedom you have as a Christian...the freedom you have as a New Testament priest (1 Peter 2:4-10).
The principle of the Priesthood of Every Believer allows us to express our God given freedom to serve Him as we see fit based on the truth of the Scriptures.
The world was turned upside down during Luther’s day, in part, because of this truth. It will do the same today if we insist upon its application in our own personal lives and in our fellowships. The Priesthood of Every Believer allows us to express our God-given freedom to serve Him as we see fit based on the truth of the Scriptures. It frees us and empowers us to “do evangelism”, “make disciples”, “baptize new believers”, “conduct communion services”, and be “servant leaders” without the permission of any man. We are free to do these things and to bring glory to God in these ways because of the doctrine of “The Priesthood of Every Believer.”
Church history has demonstrated that the teaching of the “Priesthood of Every Believer” has been used by God to bring great blessing to individuals and amazing change to nations. In fact, America owes its very existence to the application of the “Priesthood of Every Believer.” So join us as we seek to individually live out our “Priesthood” and to do the things that will lead to God being glorified.