The Old Testament gave elaborate ceremonies for the ordination of priests, but the New Testament contains none. There is no New Testament ordination ceremony because the New Testament teaches the priesthood of all believers. Speaking to Christians (not clergy), Peter wrote, “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” (1 Peter 2:5). He adds, “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
Under the Old Covenant, the priest interceded between God and man, and offered the necessary sacrifices to God. Christians, “lively [living] stones,” are “an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices.” Paul speaks of our sacrifices: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). God condemned King Saul for taking it upon himself to offer unauthorized sacrifices (1 Samuel 13:12-13; 15:22), so the priesthood of all believers is a significant change.
The emphasis of the New Testament is that every individual member of the church is important. “For as we have many members in one body and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (Romans 12:4-5). As individual members of the body of Christ, all Christians, as a “royal priesthood,” and a “holy priesthood,” have a ministry to the world. There is no need for any other earthly priesthood to intercede for us with God. We all may approach God directly through prayer. At the same time, each member of this “holy priesthood” has a responsibility to seek out opportunities to minister, living a life of purity before the world.