It is pure invention that pope, bishops, priests and monks are to be called the “spiritual estate;” princes, lords, artisans, and farmers the “temporal estate.” On the contrary, all Christians are truly of the “spiritual estate,” and there is among them no difference at all but that of office. There is no true, basic difference between laymen and priests… between religious and secular, except for the sake of office and work, but not for the sake of status. They are all of the spiritual estate, all are truly priests, bishops, and popes. But they do not all have the same work to do.”
We are all priests, as many of us as are Christians. But the priests, as we call them, are ministers chosen from among us. All that they do is done in our name; the priesthood is nothing but a ministry. Thus, a “priest” is to be chosen by the consent of the priests of the congregation and apart from self-promotion: Because we are all priests of equal standing, no one must push himself forward and take it upon himself, without our consent and election, to do that for which we all have equal authority. For no one dare take upon himself what is common to all without the authority and consent of the community.Contemporary Reading
Excerpts from written works of Martin Luther
You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.Scripture Reading
1 Peter 2:4-5,9 (NLT)
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