The Priesthood of Every believer
I believe in the Priesthood of every believer. We are not all call to stand behind a pulpit, nor do we all have to be named prophet or evangelist, but we are all called to give an account for why we believe in Jesus Christ.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
There is a great deal of responsibility that goes with the idea of being a priest. It is a role that should never be taken lightly. That’s because the life of many depend on it, especially in the Marketplace. I believe that God has strategically called everyone of us to shine His light in every corner of our world. For many, it is the Marketplace. The question is – How can one effectively and actively share his faith in the marketplace? I have five suggestions:
Cease opportunities but don’t over play your hand
We need to listen and look for opportunities to introduce Jesus to our friends and co-workers. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear co-workers share things they are struggling with. Use tact and wisdom to introduce Jesus, offer a prayer or a godly advise. But sometimes, the reason why they confide in you is because they see something extraordinary in you.
Acts 17:19-30 English Standard Version (ESV)
19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.
Paul Addresses the Areopagus
22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[a] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for
“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[b]
as even some of your own poets have said,
“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[c]
29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,
Tell your story and tell it well
The act of storytelling is useful in telling your story about who Jesus is and what He means to you. Simply tell your story. It is good when you are led to speak with razor sharp precision by the Holy Spirit, but also learning how to tell your story without confusing or freaking out your friends can prove very useful in peaking their interest.
John 9:25 English Standard Version (ESV)
25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
Value friendship no strings attached and show interest in the life of co-workers without reservation
1 Thessalonians 2:8 has always stirred something powerful in me. Paul says, “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.
Let’s look at it in the Message Translation:
1 Thessalonians 2:8The Message (MSG)
6-8 Even though we had some standing as Christ’s apostles, we never threw our weight around or tried to come across as important, with you or anyone else. We weren’t aloof with you. We took you just as you were. We were never patronizing, never condescending, but we cared for you the way a mother cares for her children. We loved you dearly. Not content to just pass on the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts. And we did.
How many of us seek to only share our gospel with others but could care less about sharing our lives? Speaking about sharing one’s life in the book he writes with Mark Batterson, Richard Foth says,
Being with someone is an entirely different paradigm than speaking at someone. The difference between pushing my agenda or just living life determines whether a listener feels like a target or a friend. If in fact the good news is embedded in us, as opposed to a cliche that we spout on occasion, the implications are monumental.
Don’t fake it
I believe one reason we are ineffective in our witness in the workplace is – we want everyone to think of us as having it all together. Well, we know we don’t have it all together, so we fake it. Friends, that is a really bad idea. Walking around with a ‘holier that thou’ attitude really hinders one’s witness. Do your best to represent Christ, but when you blow it – own it and show genuine repentance. Your friends will respect you for that. It’s all about living with authenticity.
Romans 2:24 English Standard Version (ESV)
24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[b] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Know your stuff and know it well
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have and the faith you profess. You don’t have to memorize every verse in the bible, but you have to be well versed. You’re gonna have to master the grand themes and realities of our time. Don’t worry, you don’t need to become a scholar. All you need to do is sum up everything in Christ and Him crucified. It was Spurgeon who said,
“A sermon without Christ in it is like a loaf of bread without flour. No Christ in your sermon Sir? Than go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching. A sermon without Christ is a mistake in conception and a crime in execution. However grand the language, it will be merely much-ado-about-nothing if Christ be not there. And I mean by Christ not merely his example and the ethical precepts of his teaching, but His atoning blood, his wondrous satisfaction made for human sin, and the grand doctrine of ‘believe and live.'” [ 7/9/1876 Sermon #2899; 10/23/1881 Sermon #1625]
1 Peter 3:15 English Standard Version (ESV)
15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect
When it comes down to it, I think being light in dark places and being salt in our world are the keys to making a difference in the world. It is a close walk with Jesus and a willingness to take Him with us everywhere we go. Do you actively witness or share your faith in your corner of the world? Could you take a minute to share a story of someone coming to faith in Christ through your witness?
Stay useful in the Master’s hand!