In 1 Peter 2:9, the Bible calls all Christians “a priesthood.” It says: “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 marvelous light.” We do not need a physical human priest on this earth to go between us and Jesus Christ: we are able to go to God ourselves as believers in Christ. We are priests before God!
But if this is true, then how do we do what priests are supposed to do? Priests offer sacrifices, but we believe that Jesus has paid the sacrifice for us “once for all.” Since Christians are priests before God, they should offer spiritual sacrifices. One of these sacrifices is described in Psalm 116:17, where it says: “I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.” We should offer sacrifices of thanksgiving to God as a form of worship, but what does this mean?
1. It means remembering God’s past wonders, and living in thankfulness for those things. Psalms 116:7 says “the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.” Verse 12 says: “What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?” We offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, not only when we thank God for all that we have, but when we deflect thanks others have for us to God alone. Someone may say: “Good job!” and a sacrifice of thanksgiving makes us say: “Praise God for what I am able to do! It is by His power!”
2. It means realizing that we owe God, and living in deference to Him. When we thank someone, we are essentially saying, “I would not have what I have without you. I owe you.” Offering sacrifices of thanksgiving means remembering that we owe God everything we have, and living in gratitude of that fact.
3. It means praying our thanks to God. Verse 17 says “I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.” That verse equates the sacrifice of thanksgiving with prayer. Prayer is one of the easiest ways to thank God for what He has done, and to offer this spiritual sacrifice.
God is pleased when His priests offer spiritual sacrifices. First, however, you must become one of His priests through the salvation that comes from Jesus Christ. Then, you can feel free to worship Him as one of His priests!