Kings and Priests -
Revelation 1:5,6 says, ...Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father...
Notice the three statements that shape this scripture. First, Jesus loved us with such a passionate and selfless love that He willingly sacrificed His own life to redeem and deliver man from all the effects of sin.
The word translated loved is the Greek verb #25 agapao which is the highest kind of love, both unconditional and voluntary. Vines Dictionary says that agapao expresses the deep and constant love and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy subjects.
Second, He washed us from our sins; louo hemas apo... where #575 apo is a preposition denoting separation of one thing from another by which the union or fellowship of the two is destroyed.
This verse does not say that sin has been washed off of us like a warm bath washes away the dirt and filth of the world. Rather, it teaches that we have been washed away or removed from our sins; breaking and severing the connection that sin maintained over life.
The Amplified says, ...to Him who ever loves us and has once for all loosed and freed us from our sins by His own blood, and formed us into a kingdom (a royal race), priests to His God and Father...
The third statement says that Christs sacrificial act has made us kings and priests in the eyes of God the Father; basileus kai hiereus. The Greek #935 basileus means a prince, a commander, a king. The Greek #2409 hiereus is the word for priest, one who offers sacrifices to God and performs sacerdotal duties.
Knox translation says, ...a royal race of priests, to serve God, his Father... The NEB says, ...who made of us a royal house, to serve as the priests of his God and Father...
Adam Clarkes Commentary says, The regal and sacerdotal dignities (kings and priests) are the two highest that can possibly exist among men; and these two are here mentioned to show the glorious prerogatives and state of the children of God.
A prerogative is the exclusive right and power that is given to a head of state or a king to command, decide, rule, and judge in an autonomous manner.
In other words, in Gods eyes, every believer in Christ is a king and a priest, empowered through the blood of Christ to rule in His Name and to offer up spiritual sacrifices.
The King of Kings -
The first part of Revelation 1:5 says that Jesus Christ is ...the prince of the kings of the earth... Revelation 17:14 adds that He is, ...the Lord of lords, and King of kings...
The kings referenced here are the saints of God, those that have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
The Barnes Commentary sates, Christians now have an exalted rank and dignity, which they have in common with their Saviour; and will reign triumphant over all enemies, having gained a victory over sin and death and hell.
Rev. 5:10 says, And hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth. The Amplified says, ...and they shall reign [as kings] over the earth.
The phrase we shall reign is taken from the Greek verb #936 basileuo and means to rule, to exercise kingly power, to exercise the highest influence and control.
Paul uses this same Greek verb in Romans 5:17, For if by one mans offence death reigned (#936 basileuo) by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign (#936 basileuo) in life by one, Jesus Christ.
Becks translation says, If one man (Adam) by his sin made death a king... ...far more shall the reign of life be established in those who receive the overflowing fulness of the free gift of righteousness by the one man Jesus Christ (Conybeare).
Just as death and sin have reigned on the earth, every believer has been given the authority to reign in life by the blood of Christ. In fact, Paul uses the words polus mallon where #3123 mallon means to a greater degree, in a larger measure.
The Amplified says, ...much more surely will those who receive... grace.... and the free gift of righteousness.... reign as kings in life...
We have been empowered by God to reign as kings in this life through the blood of Jesus Christ. We have been given prerogative powers that enable us to exercise kingly authority and power upon the earth.
Royal Priesthood -
The priests of the Old Covenant were mediators that stood between God and man, offering up sacrifices for the sins of mankind. But in the New Covenant, there is no longer a need for an earthly mediator, because Jesus bridged the gap between sinful man and the Holy God when He offered Himself as the final sacrifice for mans sin.
I Peter 2:5 says that we are, ... built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Every believer in Christ, regardless of his nationality or the tribe he is from, has been made a member of the New Testament priesthood of God, and called to offer up spiritual (not animal) sacrifices.
I Peter 2:9 says, 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 marvelous light.
We are the chosen (#1588 eklektos - chosen, picked out, selected). Chosen by God to show forth (#1804 exaggello - to publish, to make known by proclaiming) His praises.
The word praises does not refer to the exaltation and laudation of God. Rather, it is the Greek #703 arete and means manliness, excellence, valor, virtue. In other words, we have been called to proclaim the manliness and virtues of God.
The Amplified says, ...that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
We have been called to display to the world the wonderful deeds and the miraculous power of God.
Every time we pray for someone or lay hands on the sick, God works through us to demonstrate His glory by healing the sick and answering our prayer. When we show mercy and forgiveness towards sinners, and help them find their way back to the Lord, God is reaching out and loving them through us.
We have been chosen by God to be a royal priesthood, displaying His power and virtue to a hungry and desperate world. Commissioned by God to demonstrate His presence and His anointing in the lives of hurting people upon the earth.
God has always desired a nation of Kings and Priests -
God has always desired a royal priesthood. We can see this terminology used as far back as Exodus 19:4-6, when God spoke through Moses to the children of Israel saying,, Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles wings, and brought you unto myself.... and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation...
God brought the nation of Egypt, the most powerful nation on the earth at that time, to her knees when she refused to let His chosen people go. He reduced the city of Jericho to rubble when it refused to give up the promised land to His people. He turned the bitter waters of Marah sweet, fed them with the supernatural bread of heaven, and caused their clothes and shoes to not wear out for 40 years.
God is not any less willing to display His wondrous works and powers on your behalf, today; if you ask Him.
The phrase kings and priests represents the authority and power given to every child of God as well as the sanctified and consecrated life that we have been called to live.
(See the notes: Priest, Priesthood, Authority)