Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Westminster Confession Chapter 8:3-8

Christ the Mediator-

Paul says in the book of First Timothy, "There is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." In this section of the confession we learn of the mediatory office of Christ on behalf of the elect. Jesus is our mediator, our surety before the Father. Christ is the only mediator; the only one who stands between the Father and those who are of the fallen adamic race. Just what is involved in this mediatory office of Christ? How is it that He is the mediator? He bore our sins in His body on the tree when He suffered and died on our behalf. As mediator He pleads our case before the Father and ever lives to make intercession for us. He as mediator of a new covenant stands as the one who is behind our salvation. He secures us through His finished work on the cross it is guaranteed.

Christ has perfectly fulfilled his office of mediator. It involved Him willingly undertaking His office in subjection to the will of the Father from all eternity which in the "fullness of time" came to be. In His mediatory office Christ fulfilled the Law perfectly and His perfect standing is given to those who are His. As the lamb of God He takes away the sins of the world. He was the propitiation for our sins. God's wrath has been fully satisfied! "It is finished," was the cry of Christ as He hung on the tree bearing the wrath of God. Christ purchased an everlasting inheritance for the saints. He was crucified dead and buried. On the third day God raised Him from the dead thus conquering death and hell. He ascended into heaven where He now sits at the right hand of the Father.

A question is sometimes raised as to the people who died before Christ took on His mediatory office. What has happened to them and how does Christ's death effect them? To that question a simple answer can be found in the book of Romans. Where we read in the third chapter, "Being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of those who have faith in Jesus." In the Old Covenant God passed over the sins of His people in forbearance He waited until the fullness of time. No one was ever saved through works of any kind in the Old Covenant. God's work in the hearts of the elect has always been through the imparting of faith through the Holy Spirit. "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." Salvation has always been by grace through faith.

1 Timothy 2:5- "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

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