Study Guide: We Are Priests

Sunday February 21, 2016 | Seth McCoy

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

This week we heard from Seth McCoy during our second installment from the Everyday Influence series. Seth explored how being a priest is the best, hardest and most important job in the world. The primary role of being a priest is in learning how to give and receive mercy based on the good news of the Gospel.

Extended Summary:

Seth McCoy guides us through our second week of the Everyday Influence series on the importance of evangelism and sharing the good news in ways that are actually experienced as good news. The Gospel is such incredibly good news and this series is about learning practical ways to be intentional about sharing this beautiful message with the world around us. This week’s message revolved around the language in 1 Peter 2:9-10 where Peter tells the early church that they are a “royal priesthood” that live under the mercy of God. This reality of being priests is explained by Seth as the best, hardest and most important job in the world.

Being a priest is the best job in the world because the good news is such good news (see week 1 in the Everyday Influence series for more explanation of the true nature of this good news). Seth illustrated this point with a large ladder and made the point that we worship a God who didn’t just stand up on high and LOOK down, but that he actually CAME down. We have the best boss in the world and we get to tell people that their sins are not counted against them. We have been shown an incredible amount of mercy and get to pass that mercy along to others (as illustrated through the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant in Matthew 18).

Being a priest is also the hardest job in the world. Peter is told by Jesus in Matthew 18 that he should forgive someone who sins against him 70 times 7 times. Showing mercy can be a really hard thing to do when we are ignored, taken advantage of, made to feel small, hated or rejected. The task of the priest is to learn how we can live with mercy and look through the eyes of compassion rather than the eyes of judgment.

Being a priest is the most important job in the world because of the immense value of all who are lost. This is illustrated in the three stories in Luke 15 where we see a lost sheep, coin and son and the emphasis is continually put on the value of that which was lost. There is such incredible value as we look to God and reach our hand down to pull others onto the ladder of the Kingdom of God. Seth finishes this section of the sermon with a story about a man named Johnny. Johnny is a bagger at a grocery store who makes a huge impact by providing words of encouragement and blessing to those coming to the store and it changes the tenor of the entire grocery store. The people in our spheres of influence need to hear words of life and we, as priests of God, have the calling and blessing to bring those words to bring a change in the environment.

Reflection Questions:

  1. How has this series made you think differently about the word “evangelism” so far? What were your perceptions coming into this series vs. what they are now?
  2. How do you feel about being called a “priest”? What about that language is encouraging? What about that language is intimidating?
  3. What specific people or areas of influence is God calling you to step into your role as a priest?
  4. Who do you have a hard time showing mercy to? How could you intentionally build reminders of your own forgiveness into your day to help you show mercy and forgiveness to others?