believer priests,priesthood of all believers, a nation of Kings and Priests

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Puritan Board Junior
I picked up a book at a second hand store called the Greening of the Church.It was written in 1970 by a SBC theologian named Findley Edge who wrote often on the subject of local churches.
What he lays out in this book is;
Israel was called out by God in the first Exodus to be;

4Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.

5Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

He then shows that more or less when Jesus comes He tells them failed to bring forth fruit! The two parables in MT 21 are used to establish this. [the two sons, the vineyard]

28But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

29He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

30And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

31Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

43Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

He then shows that In Jesus {the New Exodus} we are described in exactly the same language 1 Pet2:9

9But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

10Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

11Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

12Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

So..... then he says the church has been looking to the wrong people{clergy} in the wrong place{church} to accomplish His Mission in the world.
God's mission in the world is redemptive in he makes the point that we are not {only} called to salvation as wonderful as that is.
But we are called to Mission as believer priests to intercede for the world and bring saving truth to them.
I am currently going through Deuteronomy ,and the other parables to look for clear words from God on what it means to count the cost,in this way of bearing fruit, with a view to better use my time to do what God has called for.
Old copies of this book were available on the used book site called Alibris if it interests anyone

Alibris: Search Books
....I might not agree with all of Mr.Edges theology or ideas, but there was substantial agreement on most of what I have read in there so far.
Mr Edge approaches Eph.4 from the point of view that The People are called to do these works of ministry, being equipped by the pastor teachers. Not that the elders alone are called and equpped as seperate from the "The People". It deals with How are we Priests unto God?
What do you think?
As a Presbyterian, I'd just point out that the the OT nation was a priesthood to the world, and the Levites were a priesthood to the nation. And just because the NT age is upon us, and now the priesthood is the church before the world, doesn't mean that the church isn't staffed with "priestly" administrators, although to call Christ's Ministers 'Priests' today is flawed, just as much as to call us 'Prophets' or "Kings'. We do some of those same sorts of duties, but in significant ways, those duties have changed with the change of administration.

I think the author misreads Eph.4:11-12, which is correctly parsed/punctuated by the old KJV, which understands that "the work of THE ministry," is a function of office which has been assigned to the pastors/teachers, along with "the equipping the saints," and "the edifying of the body."

The point is, that none of the general offices of the believer (which have been in existence through all time), dispenses with special office. But, there is a leveling factor in the independent-movement within the church that has and continues to work its way out toward the abolition of "structure" in the church. It has to do with the radically "spiritualized" principle that side believes is part and parcel of this age. If there is no external administration of covenant in our age, then I reckon this is a natural direction that one's exegesis takes him.

To the extent that people now or ever have taken the presence of special office, and use that as an excuse to shirk one's general-office duties, is wrong. But it is also wrong to presume to call everyone to precisely the SAME duties, as if all who live were called with the same facility of speech, or ability.
Yes, on page 43 he speaks to what is sometimes refered to as the "heresy" of the comma. He does try to establish that God has given "specialized officers"eph4:11, but he contends that the original call in ex19 :4-6 was not for a special group, but rather for "people". He says the people of God are called by God to bring forth fruit,hence the two parables.
he keeps repeating ; What does it mean to be the people of God, in covenant with God? He then says means we are co-laborers in God's work of mission [redemptive work in the world].
He was concerned that all too often the church only speaks to the an introverted sense, bible study,bible conference,bible fellowship,homeschool,etc.
But where does the church speak to the world? Where does the vineyard work happen? Appealing to Mt 25;
34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
I think you have identified were the potential for abuse could come in, but I sort of think there is something to this priesthood of the believer being expressed visibly in the world ,bearing fruit for the kingdom of God.
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