These two words are so closely linked together that it may be difficult to distinguish between them. The definition of a minister is: one who serves, a worshipper. The definition of worship is: to minister to God, to render religious homage. Let’s look at a few examples of ministering to God from the Old Testament.

2 Chronicles 13:10, “But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and the priests, which MINISTER UNTO THE LORD, are the sons of Aaron, and the Levites wait upon their business.”

Ezekiel 44:15, “But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to MINISTER UNTO ME, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD.”

In both of those verses, and many more, we see that it was the PRIESTS that ministered unto the Lord. It was the priests that set up and moved the tabernacle. The priests took care of the daily functions of the tabernacle and later, the temple. It was the priests that offered sacrifices on behalf on the Lord’s people. So, it was the priests who were the true ministers of the Lord.

What about today, are only the priests allowed to ‘minister unto the Lord’? The answer to that is: YES, only the priests can minister unto the Lord. Who are the priests that can minister? Is it the humanly ordained men and women who can minister? Is it the local priest, pastor, or preacher that only can minister unto the Lord? Let’s seek the answer in the only place that has the answer…God’s Word.

We read in 1 Peter 2:5-9, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, AN HOLY PRIESTHOOD, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But 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 marvellous light.” According to what the Apostle Peter is telling us, ALL believers are now PRIESTS. We are a ‘holy priesthood’. We are a ‘royal priesthood’. If you read through 1 Peter 1, you will see that Peter is writing to ALL believers, not a select few. As priests, ALL of the Lord’s people today are able to minister to the Lord. What a grand privilege we have! Where the Lord’s people under the Law were forbidden to enter the tabernacle, the most holy place, we read in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace…” We ALL can approach the Lord on His throne.

We read of the Old Testament priests in Hebrews 8:3, “For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.” We don’t offer similar sacrifices today. Their sacrifices were sheep, oxen, doves, etc. Sacrifices that would be killed on behalf of the bearer. As priests, what kind of sacrifices do we make today? Again, the Word of God is faithful to give us the answer. Hebrews 13:15-16 teaches us, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” The sacrifices we offer today are spiritual sacrifices…the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of our lips. This is true worship! We also ‘do good’ and ‘communicate (give)’. In these ways, and others as the Lord directs us, we ‘minister unto the Lord’. May we all be faithful in ministering unto the Lord and “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name.” (Psalm 96:8) (257.2)