You may have heard that all believers function as a Prophet, Priest, and King, but you may not know how you function in those ways. I have often wondered myself. Yesterday, I came across an article, entitled Movement Dynamics, by Timothy Keller that helped me to understand the biblical reasoning behind these categories, as well as the ways in which we act as a Prophet, Priest, and King. Today, I want to share with you what I learned from that article.
A prophet is one who interprets Scripture, judges by Scripture, and witnesses to the truth of their faith. He is also one who admonishes, counsels, nourishes, and encourages other believers from the Scripture.
Joel 2:28-29 predicts those in the New Covenant will act as prophets, and we do. In Matthew 11:9-11, we are told that we are in a greater position and calling than the prophets of old, specifically, John the Baptist who is said to be the greatest prophet.
Then in Colossians 3:16 and Hebrews 3:13 and 10:24-25 our prophetic duties are spelled out, telling us that we are teach and admonish others, exhort others, so that they will not be hardened by sin, and we are to stir one another up to love and good deeds. We are also called by Jesus to take His message to our neighbors and the nations (Matt. 28:18-21).
A priest is one who has access to God. He is able to enter into His presence and intercede for others.
The veil to the temple was torn in two at Jesus’ crucifixion (Matt. 27:51), resulting in all of us having access as priests in the name of Christ, the great High Priest, to the presence of God (Heb. 4:14-16).
We all are given priestly work (Rev. 5:10). We are to pray for others (James 5:16). We are to offer ourselves as living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1-2). As well as we are to offer sacrifices of deeds and mercy (Heb. 13:16), along with offerings of worship: praising God and acknowledging His name (Heb. 13:15).
A king is one who sits on his throne ruling and reigning over those He has been given authority over. He has the power to make decisions and fight off attackers that would threaten his kingdom.
Every believer has these same abilities, having been made a kingdom through the blood of Christ (Rev. 5:9-10) and seated with Him in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:6) we reign now over the powers of Satan. We are able to fight and defeat the world, the flesh, and the devil (1 Tim. 1:18; 6:12). One day, we will reign on this earth alongside our One True King, Jesus Christ (Rev. 1:5-6; 5:9-10). As well as those who are apart of the New Covenant church have the power to make decisions regarding church governance even now.
Jesus is the Ultimate Prophet, Priest, and King
While every believer is a Prophet, Priest, and King, the ultimate Prophet, Priest, and King is Jesus Christ. He is the One that brings us God’s Word (Prophet). Stands as our advocate before the Father (Priest), and orders the life of His people through His Law (King). Without Him and His sacrifice, we would not be able to exercise our offices as Prophet, Priest, and King. So may we not forget that Jesus is the ultimate Prophet, Priest, and King, who makes it possible for us to function in these offices, as well as stands as our perfect example.
Questions for Reflection:
- How are you doing at exercising your role as Prophet, Priest, and King?
- Do you exercise your role as a Prophet by speaking the truth in love to others, calling them to repent and believe the gospel, as well as calling those who are Christians to live as Christ?
- Do you exercise your Priestly role by interceding for others, and offering yourself as a living Sacrifice?
- Do you fight against evil, the flesh, and the world in your life as a King?
Post adapted from Timothy Keller, Movement Dynamics, 3-4.
7 thoughts on “Prophet, Priest, and King”
Casey, thank you for this Interesting and enlightening information. I had not really thought about this before.
Happy Fourth of July! How great it is that Christians get to celebrate Independence Day every day. Thank you,Jesus.
Happy Fourth of July to you as well. We are blessed to live in a country where we can celebrate freely. And we are even more blessed to live as those who are free in Christ. Amen!
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How do people today live in the life of a priest, prophet and king?
Thanks for the question. Not to sounds snarky, but that’s what the post is about. In other words, I answer the question you’re asking in the post. Give it another read.
Casey, thanks for the article and the scripture references you provided. We touched on this briefly in Formation class and I
always believed that it applied only to Christ. For as little as I’ve studied the subject,I think one may be able to discover their calling by looking more deeply into it. The Peace of Christ be with you.
Thank you Christopher. I appreciate your feedback.