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Created to Draw Near: Our Life as God's Royal Priests (Welch)

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Many Christians prefer to keep God at a safe distance—a distant God makes fewer demands. They imagine God has rules just for the sake of obedience, missing the point that God delights in making them holy so they can draw near to him. God’s plan from the beginning has been for his people to draw near to him as a kingdom of priests.

In 40 short, meditative chapters, best-selling author Ed Welch traces iterations of the priestly job description from the garden of Eden to the heavenly city. Along the way, believers will discover their identity as royal priests and learn what it means that they were created to be made holy as they draw near to God and receive his lavish hospitality.

Read Chapter 1



Table of Contents:

1. Longing for Closeness

Part 1: Our Past


2. In the Garden of God

3. In God’s Image

4. Not Yet Dressed 

5. Discern Right from Wrong

6. An Intruder

7. Discernment Lost

8. Life Outside the Holy of Holies


9. Sanctuaries and Ladders

10. Jacob

11. Moses

12. A Nation of Priests

13. Holy

14. A Meal with God

15. In God’s House

16. Priests Clothed

17. Job Descriptions

18. Priests at Work

19. “Be Holy As I Am Holy”

20. In God’s Courtroom

21. A Tumultuous Interlude

Part 2: Jesus Our Tabernacle 

22. The Holy One Descends 

23. Jesus our Passover Lamb

24. Interrupted by a Wedding

25. Jesus the Temple

26. Jesus the High Priest

27. Believe

28. Descending Further

29. The Lamb Slain

30. His Ascent 

Part 3: Almost Truly Human

31. Priests in Plain Clothes

32. Priests Descend and Ascend

33. Saints

34. Shining Faces

35. Living Stones, Flowing Fountains

36. Enter In

37. Be Sent Out

38. Walking Uphill

39. The High Priest Prays for You

40. Epilogue



Edward T. Welch (PhD, University of Utah) is a counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation. He has been counseling for more than 35 years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions. His books include When People Are Big and God Is SmallCrossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away From AddictionRunning Scared: Fear, Worry and the God of RestShame Interrupted, and Side by Side. He blogs regularly at



“You have your grace books and your older holiness books. At times, they exist in two different worlds. Not for Ed Welch. In a book full of rich insights that link the Old and New Testaments, Welch paints a picture of holiness and intimacy with God that makes you want to be holy. He widens our view of holiness, working to craft it into a vision of beauty. You’ll want to obey after reading this book.”
Paul E. Miller, author, A Praying Life and J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life

“Scripture is a strange book that tells a different story about who we are. It feels strange to hear that priesthood is a key theme of our identity in this life, so full of work stress, broken relationships, and personal failure. But Welch shows us that being near to God, secured by the priestly work of our Lord Jesus Christ, is what we were made for. This book will help you see yourself in this strange, wonderful light.”
Jeremy Pierre, Dean of Students, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

“There is no greater human longing than for relational intimacy. This is because we are created for intimacy with our Creator and others. Sin destroys this intimacy, and the gospel restores it. The best news we will ever hear is that the perfectly holy God invites us into table fellowship as his adopted children. By faith every believer has full access as priests to boldly approach the throne of grace. Ed Welch offers great help in understanding these astounding results of the finished work of our Great High Priest. I hope this book has a great influence in encouraging God’s people to seize our priestly privileges in Christ.”
K. Erik Thoennes, Professor and Chair of Theology, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University; Elder of Congregational Life, Grace Evangelical Free Church, La Mirada, California