MEDIATION: JESUS CHRIST IS THE MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MAN

jesus_christ_one_mediator

Hey everyone! How are you? I hope all is well!

I know it’s been a while but here we are continuing our discussion on J.I. Packer’s Concise Theology.

Understanding basic theological truths is important in the life of the believer. Again I reiterate what J.I Packer says,

theology is for doxology and devotion—that is, the praise of God and the practice of godliness. “

MEDIATION

JESUS CHRIST IS THE MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MAN

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

1 TIMOTHY 2:5

The saving ministry of Jesus Christ is summed up in the statement that he is the “mediator between God and men” (1 Tim. 2:5). A mediator is a go-between who brings together parties who are not in communication and who may be alienated, estranged, and at war with each other. The mediator must have links with both sides in order to identify with and maintain the interests of both and represent each to the other on a basis of good will. Thus Moses was mediator between God and Israel (Gal. 3:19), speaking to Israel on God’s behalf when God gave the law (Exod. 20:18-21) and speaking to God on Israel’s behalf when Israel had sinned (Exod. 32:9–33:17).

Every member of our fallen and rebellious race is by nature “hostile to God” (Rom. 8:7) and stands under God’s wrath (i.e., the punitive rejection whereby as Judge he expresses active anger at our sins, Rom. 1:18; 2:5-9; 3:5-6). Reconciliation of the warring parties is needed, but this can occur only if God’s wrath is somehow absorbed and quenched and man’s anti-God heart, which motivates his anti-God life, is somehow changed. In mercy, God the angry Judge sent his Son into the world to bring about the needed reconciliation. It was not that the kindly Son acted to placate his harsh Father; the initiative was the Father’s own. In Calvin’s words, “in an inconceivable way he loved us even when he hated us,” and his gift to us of the Son as our sin bearer was the fruit of that love (John 3:14-16; Rom. 5:5-8; 1 John 4:8-10). In all his mediatorial ministry the Son was doing his Father’s will.

Objectively and once for all, Christ achieved reconciliation for us through penal substitution. On the cross he took our place, carried our identity as it were, bore the curse due to us (Gal. 3:13), and by his sacrificial blood-shedding made peace for us (Eph. 2:16; Col. 1:20). Peace here means an end to hostility, guilt, and exposure to the retributive punishment that was otherwise unavoidable—in other words, pardon for all the past and permanent personal acceptance for the future. Those who have received reconciliation through faith in Christ are justified and have peace with God (Rom. 5:1, 10). The mediator’s present work, which he carries forward through human messengers, is to persuade those for whom he achieved reconciliation actually to receive it (John 12:32; Rom. 15:18; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Eph. 2:17).

Jesus is “the mediator of a new covenant” (Heb. 9:15; 12:24)—that is, the initiator of a new relationship of conscious peace with God, going beyond what the less effective Old Testament arrangements for dealing with the guilt of sin could ever secure (Heb. 9:11–10:18).

One of Calvin’s great contributions to Christian understanding was his observation that the New Testament writers expound Jesus’ mediatorial ministry in terms of the threefold office (“office” means set task, or defined role) of prophet, priest, and king.

The three aspects of Christ’s work are found together in the letter to the Hebrews, where Jesus is both the messi~anic king, exalted to his throne (1:3, 13; 4:16; 2:9), and also the great High Priest (2:17; 4:14–5:10; chs. 7–10), who offered himself to God as a sacrifice for our sins. In addition, Christ is the messenger (“apostle,” the one sent to announce, 3:1) through whom the message of which he is himself the substance was first spoken (2:3). In Acts 3:22 Jesus is called a prophet for the same reason that Hebrews calls him an apostle, namely, because he instructed people by declaring to them the Word of God.

While in the Old Testament the mediating roles of prophet, priest, and king were fulfilled by separate individuals, all three offices now coalesce in the one person of Jesus. It is his glory, given him by the Father, to be in this way the all-sufficient Savior. We who believe are called to understand this and to show ourselves his people by obeying him as our king, trusting him as our priest, and learning from him as our prophet and teacher. To center on Jesus Christ in this way is the hallmark of authentic Christianity.

Source: Packer, J. I. Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1993.

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Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez

The Nature of Saving Faith

The-Nature-of-Saving-Faith--

Hey everyone! How are you? I hope all is well!

I want to share my sermon notes I recently preached on with you all!

It’s important we have a proper understanding of what saving faith is. Once we understand it let’s go and share the gospel with others!

The Nature of Saving Faith

1. Question: What must I do to be saved?

2. Answer: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

3. Problem: What does it mean to believe?

4. Difficulty: Faith is easily counterfeited

• James 2:19 …the demons also believe, and shudder

• Luke 8:13 And those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away

• John 2:23, 24 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men

• John 8:30 As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him …John 8:59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him

• John 12:42, 43 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God

5. Helpful: Consider interchangeable terms.

1. COMING TO CHRIST

A. Used interchangeably

• John 6:35 I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst

• John 7:37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me

B. Used often

• Mat 11.28 come unto Me

• Luke 6:47 Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them

• Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own

• Isa 55:1 Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost.

• Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost

C. Meaning: to change locations [spiritually]

2. RECEIVING CHRIST

A. Used interchangeably

• John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name

B. Also seen in …

• Mat 10:40 He who receives you receives Me

• Rom 5:17 those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness

• Col 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him

C. Receive as a …

1) Receptionist at a place of business

2) As a guest is received into the house

3) As a gift – that of eternal life

3. LOOKING TO CHRIST

A. Used interchangeably

• John 3:14, 15 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness [that whoever looks shall live], even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whoever believes

• John 6:40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life

B. Looking is also in reference to sanctification and glorification

• Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus

• Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him

C. Meaning?

1) The eye of faith

2) Gaze of trust, confidence, expectation

4. COMMITTING TO CHRIST

• John 2:23 many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing. John 2:24 But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them [Note: same Greek word in both places reveals the meaning]

5. CALLING ON THE LORD

A. Used interchangeably

• Rom 10:11 For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed … Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

B. Meaning? A desperate appeal

6. SUBMITTING TO CHRIST

A. Seen in

• Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

B. Meaning? To put oneself under the rule, authority and plan of another

C. We are to submit to the God-given righteousness – Christ

7. FLEEING TO CHRIST

A. Seen in

• Heb 6:18 … we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge

• Mat 3:7 … You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

B. Fleeing is in the backdrop of fear and danger

8. PARTAKING OF CHRIST

A. Seen in

• John 6:53 Jesus therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.

• Heb 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end

B. Meaning? Finding nutrition and life for the soul

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez

Justified

justification-9

Hey everyone! How are you? I hope all is well!

Quick thought for today!

and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Romans 3:24 ESV

And are justified by his grace as a gift,- All who believe upon Jesus Christ have their sins thus blotted out, being freely, as a divine gift, justified (that is, counted just, or sinless) by grace,

through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.- Christ redeems the sinner who puts his trust in him. His blood pays the debt that the sinner owes to justice. Since Christ, the sinless One, has suffered for sin, God will accept his suffering for the debt of those who love and trust in him.

Not on my guilty head

The wrath of God shall fall–

The lamb has suffered in my stead;

His blood atones for all.

I see no other way–

My soul is satisfied,

To know that God forgives today,

Because my Savior died.

Source: People’s New Testament

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez

Jesus Is Our Champion!

Jesusisourchampion

Hey everyone! How are you? I hope all is well!

 If you wish to be disappointed, look to others. If you wish to be downhearted, look to yourself. If you wish to be encouraged…look upon Christ.

-Erich Sauer (1898-1959),  Wiedenest Bible School, West Germany

We ought to continually look to Jesus,

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Hebrews 12:2 NLT

I like the word “champion” to describe how we look upon Jesus. Jesus is our champion! He initiates and perfects our faith. Isn’t that awesome?! Let’s look more into this verse:

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2 ESV

Looking to Jesus - We are exhorted to look to the Saviour. We are to look to his holy life; to his patience and perseverance in trials; to what he endured in order to obtain the crown, and to his final success and triumph.

The founder/author/champion and perfecter finisher of our faith - The word “our” is not in the original here, and obscures the sense. The meaning is, he is the first and the last as an example of faith or of confidence in God – occupying in this, as in all other things, the pre-eminence, and being the most complete model that can be placed before us. The apostle had not enumerated him among those who had been distinguished for their faith, but he now refers to him as above them all; as a case that deserved to stand by itself. It is probable that there is a continuance here of the allusion to the Grecian games which the apostle had commenced in the previous verse. The word “author” – ἀρχηγὸν archēgon – (marg. beginner) – means properly the source, or cause of anything; or one who makes a beginning. It is rendered in Acts 3:15; Acts 5:31, “Prince”; in Hebrews 2:10, “Captain”; and in the place before us, “Author.”

It does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. The phrase “the beginner of faith,” or the leader on of faith, would express the idea.

JESUS IS OUR CHAMPION!

He is at the head of all those who have furnished an example of confidence in God, for he was himself the most illustrious instance of it. The expression, then, does not mean properly that he produces faith in us, or that we believe because he causes us to believe – whatever may be the truth about that – but that he stands at the head as the most eminent example that can be referred to on the subject of faith.

We are exhorted to look to him, as if at the Grecian games there was one who stood before the racer who had previously carried away every palm of victory; who had always been triumphant, and with whom there was no one who could be compared.

The word “finisher” – τελειωτὴν teleiōtēn – corresponds in meaning with the word “author.” It means that he is the completer as well as the beginner; the last as well as the first.

As there has been no one hitherto who could be compared with him, so there will be no one hereafter; compare Revelation 1:8, Revelation 1:11.

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last.”

Who for the joy that was set before him - That is, who in view of all the honor which he would have at the right hand of God, and the happiness which he would experience from the consciousness that he had redeemed a world, was willing to bear the sorrows connected with the atonement.

Endured the cross - Endured patiently the ignominy and pain connected with the suffering of death on the cross.

Despising the shame - Disregarding the ignominy of such a mode of death. It is difficult for us now to realize the force of the expression, “enduring the shame of the cross,” as it was understood in the time of the Saviour and the apostles. The views of the world have changed, and it is now difficult to divest the “cross” of the associations of honor and glory which the word suggests, so as to appreciate the ideas which encompassed it then. There is a degree of dishonor which we attach to the guillotine, but the ignominy of a death on the cross was greater than that; there is disgrace attached to the block, but the ignominy of the cross was greater than that; there is a much deeper infamy attached to the gallows, but the ignominy of the cross was greater than that. And that word – the cross – which when now proclaimed in the ears of the refined, the intelligent, and even the frivolous, excites an idea of honor, in the ears of the people of Athens, of Corinth, and of Rome, excited deeper disgust than the word “gallows” does with us – for it was regarded as the appropriate punishment of the most infamous of mankind.

We can now scarcely appreciate these feelings, and of course the declaration that Jesus “endured the cross, despising the shame,” does not make the impression on our minds in regard to the nature of his sufferings, and the value of his example, which it should do.

When we now think of the “cross,” it is not of the multitude of slaves, and robbers, and thieves, and rebels, who have died on it, but of the one great Victim, whose death has ennobled even this instrument of torture, and encircled it with a halo of glory.

We have been accustomed to read of it as an imperial standard in war in the days of Constantine, and as the banner under which armies have marched to conquest; it is intermingled with the sweetest poetry; it is a sacred thing in the most magnificent cathedrals; it adorns the altar, and is even an object of adoration; it is in the most elegant engravings; it is worn by beauty and piety as an ornament near the heart; it is associated with all that is pure in love, great in self-sacrifice, and holy in religion. To see the true force of the expression here, therefore, it is necessary to divest ourselves of these ideas of glory which encircle the “cross,” and to place ourselves in the times and lands in which, when the most infamous of mankind were stretched upon it, it was regarded for such people as an appropriate mode of punishment.

That infamy Jesus was willing to bear, and the strength of his confidence in God, his love for man, and the depth of his humiliation, was shown in the readiness and firmness with which he went forward to such a death.

And is set down at the right hand of the throne of God – Exalted to the highest place of dignity and honor in the universe; Mark 16:19 note; Ephesians 1:20-22 notes.The sentiment here is,

“Imitate the example of the great Author of our religion. He, in view of the honor and joy before him, endured the most severe sufferings to which the human frame can be subjected, and the form of death which is regarded as the most shameful. So amidst all the severe trials to which you are exposed on account of religion, patiently endure all – for the glorious rewards, the happiness and the triumph of heaven, are before you.”

Source: Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez

What Could Remove Her Sin?

Hey everyone! How are you? I hope all is well!

I recently preached a message titled, “The God Who Saves.” I talked about sin, humanity’s inability and unwillingness, the need of a mediator, and the great salvation found in only Jesus Christ.

“Salvation belongs to the LORD!” 

Jonah 2:9 ESV

What Could Remove Her Sin? 

At a great parliament of religions, held at Chicago many years ago, practically every known religion was represented, and many were the learned discourses delivered. 

During one session, Dr. Joseph Cook, of Boston, suddenly rose and said: “Gentlemen, I beg to introduce to you a woman with a great sorrow. Blood stains are on her hands, and nothing she has tried will remove them. The blood is that of murder, and nothing will take away the stain. She has been driven to desperation in her distress. Is there anything in your religion that will remove her sin and give her peace?” A hush fell upon the gathering as the speaker turned from one to another for an answer. Not one of the company replied. 

Raising his eyes heavenwards, Dr. Cook then cried out, “I will ask another question. John, can you tell this woman how to get rid of her awful sin?” The great preacher awaited, as if listening for a reply. Suddenly he cried, “Listen, John speaks:

“The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (I John 1:7).”

Not a soul broke the silence; the representatives of Eastern religions and Western cults sat dumb. In the face of human need, they were without message of hope. The Gospel of Jesus Christ alone could meet the need. The sin of the race demanded the blood of Calvary. 

—The Evangelist

I’m reminded of the old hymn What can wash away my sin?

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Source: http://www.hymnal.net/hymn.php/h/1008#ixzz1z1U8qqgl

Picture Source: http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/6900000/Blood-of-Christ-the-bible-6970135-500-375.jpg

Read more on the gospel: http://kevinnunez.org/the-gospel-message/

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez