Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One Mediator

1 Tim. 2:5-6 (ESV)
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, [6] who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
Paul seems to pack theology into each and every sentence of the Pastoral Epistles, wasting no words. He reminds us that there is only one God. Christianity has never acknowledged more than one God, and spent a long time reconciling this, and finding the right language to express the reality of the Trinity. That is the fact that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all three one and the same God. This is an ontological reality, it is a oneness of essence, being, and substance, it is a distinction as to persons. That is the three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are distinct, separate entities, or as the Early church liked to say hypostasis. Yet they are united by more than will. They aren’t acting independently of each other for the same purpose like a 3 man basketball team. It isn’t as if they are God only when they are working together. Each one of these persons are God in and of themselves, they are one in this, that all three are God. You can say the Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit is God. Yet there is one God. And between this one God and man there is but one mediator, the man Jesus Christ.
I am sometimes dumbfounded by the idea that I need someone else to pray for the mediator for me, so that he can petition the Father for me, especially when that someone else is a dead saint. The fact that they are dead is enough evidence for me that far from being capable of mediation, they themselves need a mediator. It isn’t that I want to slander the saints. Actually, I enjoy reading about many of them, and reading their works. I have a high regard for the way many of them lived life, and the great things they did in the name of Christ. I find these things to be inspiring for my own life. Yet, I don’t see an ability in them to mediate for me on account of my sin. They had their own sin to contend with, for which Christ, the one mediator between God and man, died. He gave himself as a ransom for all.
Again Paul comes back to this, that Christ died for all. This does not mean that all will go to heaven. It does meant that in an objective way all have been saved, it is the subjective application of this salvation that may be lacking. It does free me up as a pastor though. I don’t necessarily have to worry about whether or not a guy has faith, or if he is elect, or anything like that. I don’t have to get them to make a decision for Christ. I can quite simply discuss with a person, any person, the consequences of sin and tell them unequivocally that Jesus died for them. Whether or not they believe that is really not my problem.

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