Only the Mediatorial Work of Christ Can Bring Man to Peace with God
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (I Timothy 2:5.)
The text is axiomatic. To the sincere Bible student no proof or argument is necessary. Surely as the Bible teaches anything, it teaches that there is only one true God, that all men by nature are in rebellion against Him, and that only the mediation of Christ can remove the barrier of sin that men have raised up against their Creator. Yet the world is full of people who refuse to accept or even to face up to these obvious truths.
Emphasis on the obvious is needed when men insist on shutting their eyes to plain facts. Plainly revealed truths of God's word are blatantly denied today not only by a world of sinners professing no knowledge of God but also by a religious world full of false gods and false ideas of God.
NEED OF A MEDIATORVital to any understanding of our text is recognition of our need of a mediator. If God were as weak as man might wish, or if man were as good as man might imagine, perhaps they might get together without mediation. But no: God is God, which means that He is not only the God of love but also the God of truth, holiness, justice, wrath, vengeance; and has all wisdom and power to accomplish His will without consulting any creature. And man is man, which means that he is a sinner, a proper object of divine wrath and judgment.
How far apart are men from God? He tells us: "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:9.)
"God is jealous," says one of His prophets, "and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies." (Nahum 1:2.)
Should some unknown and unknowing unbeliever complain that this language is quoted from the Old Testament, and that maybe God has changed, let it be noted that it is the great apostle of love that wrote by divine inspiration: "He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36.)
PROVISION OF MEDIATORKnowing our need infinitely better than we could know it ourselves, God in His great love provided the Mediator. Just as there is one God, so there is one Mediator. The provision is both exclusive and inclusive.
Only one mediator is provided. Angels or saints, real or imaginary, cannot perform this office. "Mother Mary" is as helpless here as any other mother. So-called priests, bishops, or popes are at best useless and at worst barriers to approaching God. Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6.)
Although the way is exclusive, it is inclusive enough to admit all who are willing to come this way. "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:17.)
QUALIFICATIONS OF MEDIATORPerhaps we could say that the mere fact that God appointed Christ to the mediatorial office is sufficient qualification. God is well pleased with His Son; when we agree with God to accept Christ (that is, to submit to His mediation), we may reasonably expect Him to accomplish the assigned task of giving us peace with God.
Christ, however, is qualified not only by appointment but also in the character of His own person. He is the Man Christ Jesus, but He is also Son of God, and God Himself. So He died for our sins, rose again for our justification, and presently intercedes at the right hand of God for all who have put their trust in Him. In every way He is personally qualified to do His work.
WORK OF THE MEDIATORWe should expect, then, in view of His qualifications, that Jesus would do a successful work in His mediatorial office, and so He does. Multitudes of professing believers seem to have more profession than faith; but whether we believe it or not His mediatorial work for true believers is effectual, complete, and eternal.
It is effectual. He never fails. His power, His wisdom, His love, His grace, are always sufficient. Our work for Him may fall far short of what it ought to be, and be rather weak and ineffectual; but His work for us is perfect and effectual.
It is complete. Jesus is never a half-way Savior, but always finishes what He begins. He removes the guilt and power of sin; He saves our souls from death, and gives us new life in Him; He purifies our minds and hearts; in due time He will change even these mortal bodies into the likeness of His resurrection glory. His work is complete.
It is eternal. His gift is eternal life. That means life that lasts for ever. That means it never dies. That means life that knows God, and that God knows. That means life that cannot be lost. How else can I say it? Believe it, receive it, by believing Him, receiving Him. His work is eternal. Get in on it now!
[From the Ashland Avenue Baptist paper, March 31, 1972, pp. 2, 3. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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