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

SESSION: JESUS REIGNS IN HEAVEN

 

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

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. “

SESSION

JESUS REIGNS IN HEAVEN

After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand
of the Majesty in heaven.

HEBREWS 1:3

Christ’s present role in glory is commonly referred to as his “heavenly session.” Session (Latin: sessio) means “sitting.” The New Testament can picture Jesus’ heavenly activity as standing ready to act (Acts 7:56; Rev. 1:1–16; 14:1), walking among his people (Rev. 2:1), and riding to battle (Rev. 19:11-16), but it regularly expresses his present authority by saying that he sits at the Father’s right hand—not to rest, but to rule. The picture is not of inactivity but of authority.

In Psalm 110 God sets the Messiah at his right hand as king and priest—as king to see all his enemies under his feet (v. 1), and as priest to serve God and channel God’s grace forever (v. 4). Though personally the Messiah may be out fighting (vv. 2-3, 5-7), positionally he is always sitting at Yahweh’s right hand. In Acts 2:34-35, Hebrews 1:13 and 10:12, and Matthew 22:44, this picture is applied directly to Jesus Christ, who since the Ascension actively reigns in the mediatorial kingdom of God.

Christ rules over all the spheres of authority that exist, both angelic and human (Matt. 28:18; 1 Pet. 3:22). His kingdom in a direct sense is the church, which he heads as his body and governs by his Word and Spirit (Eph. 1:22-23). The state is not the form of the kingdom of God as it was in the Old Testament: the sword is not to be used to enforce Christ’s kingdom (John 18:36), but Christ from his throne uses secular authority to maintain civil peace and order, and he commands his disciples to submit to its rules (Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:1-7). Christians take great comfort in knowing that Christ is Lord of all; they seek in every sphere of life to do his will and to remind themselves and others that all are accountable to Christ as Judge, whether they be governors or governed, husbands or wives, parents or children, employers or employees. All rational beings will finally give account of themselves to Christ as Judge (Matt. 25:31; Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:16; 2 Cor. 5:10).

Christ’s session will continue until all his and our enemies, including death, are brought to nothing. Death, the last enemy, will cease to be when Christ at his appearing raises the dead for judgment (John 5:28-29). Once judgment has been executed, the work of the mediatorial kingdom will be over, and Christ will triumphantly deliver the kingdom to the Father (1 Cor. 15:24-28).

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

ASCENSION: JESUS CHRIST WAS TAKEN UP INTO HEAVEN

 

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

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. “

ASCENSION

JESUS CHRIST WAS TAKEN
UP INTO HEAVEN

While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.

LUKE 24:51

Jesus’ ascension was his Father’s act of withdrawing him from his disciples’ gaze upward (a sign of exaltation) into a cloud (a sign of God’s presence). This was not a form of space travel, but part two (the Resurrection being part one) of Jesus’ return from the depths of death to the height of glory. Jesus foretold the Ascension (John 6:62; 14:2, 12; 16:5, 10, 17, 28; 17:5; 20:17), and Luke described it (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:6-11). Paul celebrated it and affirmed Christ’s consequent lordship (Eph. 1:20; 4:8-10; Phil. 2:9-11; 1 Tim. 3:16), and the writer of Hebrews applied this truth for encouragement of the fainthearted (Heb. 1:3; 4:14; 9:24). The fact that Jesus Christ is enthroned as master of the universe should be of enormous encouragement to all believers.

The Ascension was from one standpoint the restoration of the glory that the Son had before the Incarnation, from another the glorifying of human nature in a way that had never happened before, and from a third the start of a reign that had not previously been exercised in this form. The Ascension establishes three facts:

1. Christ’s personal ascendancy. Jesus went up to the place of power, pictured as a throne at the Father’s right hand. To sit on such a throne, as the Grand Vizier in the Persian court used to do, is to occupy the position of executive ruler on the monarch’s behalf (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:20-22; 1 Cor. 15:27; 1 Pet. 3:22).

2. Christ’s spiritual omnipresence. In the heavenly sanctuary in heavenly Zion (Heb. 9:24; 12:22-24), Jesus is accessible to all who invoke him (Heb. 4:14), and he is powerful to help them, anywhere in the world (Heb. 4:16; 7:25; 13:6-8).

3. Christ’s heavenly ministry. The reigning Lord intercedes for his people (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). Though requesting from the Father is part of the interceding activity (John 14:16), the essence of Christ’s intercession is intervention in our interest (from his throne) rather than supplication on our behalf (as if his position were one of sympathy without status or authority). In sovereignty he now lavishes upon us the benefits that his suffering won for us. “He pleads [for us]—by his presence on his Father’s throne” (B. F. Westcott). “Our Lord’s life in heaven is his prayer” (H. B. Swete). From his throne he sends the Holy Spirit constantly to enrich his people (Acts 2:33; John 16:7-14) and equip them for service (Eph. 4:8-12).

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

RESURRECTION: JESUS CHRIST WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD

 

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

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. “

RESURRECTION

JESUS CHRIST WAS RAISED
FROM THE DEAD

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find
the body of the Lord Jesus.

LUKE 24:1-3

Jesus’ resurrection, which was a divine act involving all three Persons of the Godhead (John 10:17-18; Acts 13:30-35; Rom. 1:4), was not just a resuscitation of the ruined physical frame that was taken down from the cross for burial. It was, rather, a transformation of Jesus’ humanity that enabled him to appear, vanish, and move unseen from one location to another (Luke 24:31, 36). It was the creative renewing of his original body, the body that is now fully glorified and deathless (Phil. 3:21; Heb. 7:16, 24). The Son of God in heaven still lives in and through that body, and will do so forever. In 1 Corinthians 15:50-54, Paul envisages that Christians who are alive on earth at the moment of Christ’s return will undergo a similar transformation, though in 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 he shows himself aware that Christians who die before the Second Coming will be “clothed” with their new body (the “eternal house in heaven”) as a distinct event, at or after the time of the old body’s return to dust (Gen. 3:19).

Christianity rests on the certainty of Jesus’ resurrection as a space-time occurrence in history. All four Gospels highlight it, focusing on the empty tomb and resurrection appearances, and Acts insists on it (Acts 1:3; 2:24-35; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30-32; 13:33-37). Paul regarded the Resurrection as indisputable proof that the message about Jesus as Judge and Savior is true (Acts 17:31; 1 Cor. 15:1-11, 20).

Jesus’ resurrection demonstrated his victory over death (Acts 2:24; 1 Cor. 15:54-57), vindicated him as righteous (John 16:10), and indicated his divine identity (Rom. 1:4). It led on to his ascension and enthronement (Acts 1:9-11; 2:34; Phil. 2:9-11; cf. Isa. 53:10-12) and his present heavenly reign. It guarantees the believer’s present forgiveness and justification (Rom. 4:25; 1 Cor. 15:17) and is the basis of resurrection life in Christ for the believer here and now (John 11:25-26; Rom. 6; Eph. 1:18–2:10; Col. 2:9-15; 3:1-4).

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

TRANSFIGURATION: HOW JESUS CHRIST’S GLORY WAS REVEALED

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

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. “

TRANSFIGURATION

HOW JESUS CHRIST’S GLORY
WAS REVEALED

After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses,
who were talking with Jesus.

MARK 9:2-4

Recorded in three of the Gospels (Matt. 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36), and evidently planned by Jesus for Peter, James, and John to see and, later, to testify to (Matt. 17:9; cf. 2 Pet. 1:16-18; John 1:14), the Transfiguration was a significant event in the revelation of Jesus’ deity. The transformation that the divine-human Lord underwent as he prayed (Luke 9:29) was from one standpoint a taste of things to come: it was a momentary transition from the concealing of his divine glory that marked his days on earth to the revealing of that glory when he returns and we see him as he is. It was a transition too from humanity as it is in us now to what it will be on Resurrection Day (Phil. 3:20-21).

The bright light that shone from Jesus through his clothes as his face changed (Luke 9:29) was the glory intrinsic to him as the divine Son, “the radiance of God’s glory” (Heb. 1:3). The voice from the cloud confirmed the identification that the vision had already given.

The Transfiguration was also a significant event in the revelation of God’s kingdom (i.e., the kingdom of the Messiah, God’s prophesied Savior-King, in terms of whom God’s kingdom is defined). Moses and Elijah represented the law and the prophets’ witnessing to Jesus and being superseded by him. The “departure” (Greek: exodos) of which they and Jesus talked (Luke 9:31) must have been his death, resurrection, and ascension. This was not just a way of leaving this world but also a way of redeeming his people, just as the exodos from Egypt that Moses led was to redeem Israel from bondage.

Following the Transfiguration, Jesus veiled his glory and went down from the mount to minister once more, and in due course to suffer for our salvation.

Comments F. B. Meyer:

“The door through which Moses and Elijah had come stood open, and by it our Lord might have returned. But he could never, under those circumstance, have been the Saviour of mankind. He knew this, so he set his face toward Calvary.”

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