Bill Hull came up with five basic principles of church polity and practice based upon a composite understanding of the five biblical passages that address the priesthood of the believer; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9, Rev. 1:5-6, Rev. 5:9-10, and Rev. 20:6. I am not saying that Hull’s five principles are wrong, but I am not sure that all of them are necessary inferences from the these particular texts. Take a look at his list, and the Scripture passages that follow them. Do you think the list of principles he shares are natural conclusions from the five biblical passages? If not, do you think they are accurate? If accurate, where would you go in Scripture to argue for their truthfulness?
1. The priesthood of the believer must be held in healthy tension with other basic concepts; it is not absolute.
2. The believer can delegate some of the authority of his life and ministry to other believers.
3. The priesthood of the believer is conditioned by the gifts and roles in the life of the fellowship.
4. The priesthood of the believer implies shared responsibility and ministry as well as shared authority.
5. The priesthood of the believer is the basis for decision-making in the church.
1 Peter 2:5 – you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Revelation 1:5-6 – and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 5:9-10 – And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”
Revelation 20:6 – Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.