THE MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MAN
“”I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all goodness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
(I Tmothy 2:1-6).
In this message we shall study the one Mediator between God and mankind. As there is but one God, there is also but one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. One of the most fundamental truths in the Bible is that the human race cannot be saved without a Mediator. Jehovah God is a most holy being, and He will not allow human beings to approach Him in their own name. However,in the name of Jesus we may humbly draw near with great confidence because Christ is our Mediator. Under the Old Covenant no Jew could approach God without a Mediator. The Jewish religion was given through angels by the hand of a mediator, and that mediator was Moses. Galatians 3:19. But Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant which is a better covenant, and it was established on better promises. Hebrews 8:6. A mediator is an arbitrator, one who intervenes between two parties in order to restore peace and friendship. The very meaning of the word mediator indicates that two persons are on unfriendly terms, and the work of a mediator is to get them reconciled. God and mankind are on very unfriendly terms. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” Romans 1:18.
First of all, let us consider the character of Christ, our Mediator. What are the qualifications required for such an endeavor? He is called "Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6. Having two natures, the Divine and human, He stands related both to God and man. He is the beloved Son of God, and the despised Son of Man. He was without attractive form or good looks in his human nature, but in the Divine nature, He was “the brightness of His Father's glory, and the express image of His person." Heb. 1:3. Before coming to earth He was the Word, and the Word was God. John 1:1. The Word was God, and the Word was made flesh. John 1:14. That one of the Divine three in the Godhead became flesh and dwelled among us is a deep mystery, which the human mind cannot fathom, but which we are bound to believe on the authority of Divine inspiration. We cannot explain it because it far exceeds the 1imits of our contracted understandings. The best method for us to take is to give full credit to that which God has revealed, without either attempting to pry into hidden secrets, or to explain that which is inexplicable. Had a11 men adopted this plan, many painful disputes in the Christian world would never have been known, and
the real character of our blessed Mediator would have been. maintained on scriptural principles. For my part, I see nothing in the union of Godhead and manhood, in the person of Christ, contrary to reason, and he who objects, merely because it is above reason, must to be consistent with himself, object to every part of God's creation.
The wisdom of our Mediator exceeds all our conceptions. Peter said to him; “Lord, you know all things." John 21: 17. And the apostle Paul informs us, that in Him “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Col.2:3. He is perfectly acquainted with sinfulness, weakness, frailty, and temptations and with the best methods oof deliving s
delivering us from these evils. Thus we may depend on him as an infallible guide to heavenly glory. His power is equal to His wisdom. He made and preserves the world. “ For by Him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him.” Col 1:16,17. All this power is employed in saving a 1ost world. Well might the apostle to the Hebrews say, "He is able to save them to the uttermost, who come unto God by Him.” Heb. 7:25. Let us commit ourselves wholly to Him, remembering that He is able to keep that which we commit unto Him against that day, that great decisive day, which will determine the everlasting state of all mankind.
Furthermore, our Mediator is perfectly holy. “Such a High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” eb. 7:26. Because of this, sinners can have no union with Him till they are saved from their sins, but his people are saved, and in reference to this the angel of the Lord aid to Joseph, “You shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.” Matt. 1:21. In addition to all these attributes, Christ our Mediator is full of compassion for the human race; yet such is His regard for the honor of God, that he ill not save them who obstinately live and die in sin. Possessed both of Divinity and humanity, he regards the One as much as the Other, and it is as much His plan to secure the Divine glory, as it is to save the .world. This should never be forgotten, lest while we view His unbounded love, we should. indulge ourselves in those things which will ever be hateful in His sight. These things duly considered lead us to conclude that He is in every espect a fit person to mediate between God and men. Have we to deal with God? He is God. Are we nen? He is man. Are we ignorant? He is wise. Are we weak? He is strong. Are we unclean? He is pure. Are we miserable? He is compassionate.
We now proceed to consider His mediatorial work. Our Lord, as Mediator; fulfilled the Law of Moses and made it honorable. His obedience was perfect. In all his works the precepts of the law shone specially bright. Every command appeared in its native beauty and grandeur, and the world beheld what God designed man to be at first, and what he actually was, while he remained in a state of innocency. The following prophecy was remarkably accomplished in His holy conduct:“The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness‘ sake. He will magnify the law, and make it hon urable. ” Isaiah. 42: 21. By his death He made atonement for sin. Man was guilty and condemned. God required satisfaction, and a sacrifice of infinite value must be offèred up, before guilt could be removed. No sacrifice was of sufficient value but that of Christ Himself. The blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin. They were offered up to God under the ceremonial law, as types of the great Redeemer, who had mercifully undertaken to atone for sin; and they directed the Jewish Church to Christ, as the only foundation of hope to man. In the fulness of time He came and suffered for sins, the just for the unjust that He might bring us to God. He was wounded for our transgressions. Isa. 53:5. He redeemed us to God. by his blood.” Rev. 5:9. He tasted death for every man. Heb. 2:9. By His resurrection He conqured and opened the grave The sentence pronounced on man when he first was , “Dust you are and unto dust you shall return.” Gen. 3:19. But by the resurrection of Christ a way is opened to a blessed immortality. Death yielded to His superior power, and the grave was opened. What a cause of thanksgiving to us! What glorious prospects are before us!! We also shall arise from the dead, and heaven will be our final home.
Before His ascension He appointed a gospel ministry. Chosen men were out into all the world to preach the gospel to every creature. Having fulfilled their mission tbey died, and others were raised up to fill their place, and able preachers will be raised up by Jesus as long as time lasts. They warn men of danger and direct them to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. By their instrumentality sinners are awakened , mourners are comforted, Christians are edified, and those who wander away are restored to the favor of God. After the ascension of our Mediator into heaven, He sent the Holy S pirit down, to carry out His gracious designs towards the children of men. The influences of the Holy Spirit were either extraordinary or ordinary. On the day of Pentecost He communicated extraordinary gifts to the holy. apostIes, to qualify them for an extraordinary work; but those gifts were not continued long. There are other ordinary gifts of the Spirit communicated to all Christians in all ages, because they are absolutely necessary to salvation. Without His sacred influences we have neither inclination nor power to return to God. But He enlightens that we may repent; He quickens that we may live to God, and He cleanses that we may be bappy. Our gracious Mediator ever lives to make intercession. He appears for us in the presence of God, and pleads the merit of His death. It is on this ground alone that a sinful world is not destroyed. When a guilty sinner returns to God, Jesus pleads for pardon and peace. Through Him the choicest blessings of heaven are sent down upon us; and through bim our prayers, praises, and duties ascend and meet wit Divine acceptance.
Finalyy consider the happy consequences of His mediation. By His mediation God is gloriIied. The plan of mediation will reflect everlasting honor upon God because it it both secures His glory and the happiness of His creatures. Here we see all the attributes of Deity graciously used in the salvation of men. Justice is satisfied, truth is vindicated, purity is displayed, the channels of mercy opened,; and both the wisdom and power of God are made manifest in the skillful making and execution: of this marvelous plan. A sufficient reason is provided for guilty man. His guilt may be pardoned; he may be reconciled to God; his nature may be renewed; and lost happiness may be fully recovered. Shall mankind then turn down this gracious offer of God? Are they determined to perish in their sins? God is not willing that any should should perish but that all should come to repentance. and eternal salvation. O h, that all would accept his offered mercy and live forever. A way is opened into the kingdom of glory by the mediation of Christ Millions of people have been saved by the mediation of Christ. The worst people upon earth may become a glorious saints in heaven. The crown of glory and the palm of victory are freely offered, for the great design of Christ in all His work as our Mediator has been, “to bring many sons to glory. Heb. 2:`10. Let us pray that God will grant us to be of that happy number. Let us unite in praising God for the gift of His Son; let us love and serve Christ in all sincerity; let us accept the gracious offer of the gospel and follow on to know the Lord Hereafter, may we join all the glorious saints in heaven in singing he following song of praise to the Redeemer: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.” Rev. 5:12.*
* Several thoughts in the message came from a sermon written by Jonathon Edmondson, a 19th century preacher.