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.

Cover of "Concise Theology: A Guide to Hi...
Cover via Amazon

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

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.

Cover of "Concise Theology: A Guide to Hi...
Cover via Amazon

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.

Cover of "Concise Theology: A Guide to Hi...
Cover via Amazon

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

Kevin Nunez

Greater Love Has No One Than This… Memorial Day.

 

Memorial Day

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.

-Joseph Campbell

Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. God bless all the women and men who have served in the past and who are serving in the present.

“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”

-Billy Graham

What makes a person a hero?

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”

-Arthur Ashe

The ultimate hero is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13 ESV

Greater love has no one than this, - No higher expression of love could be given. Life is the most valuable object we possess; and when a man is willing to lay that down for his friends or his country, it shows the utmost extent of love. Even this love for friends has been rarely witnessed. It greatly enhances the love of Christ, that while the instances of those who have been willing to die for friends have been so rare, he was willing to die for enemies – bitter foes, who rejected his reign, persecuted him, reviled him, scorned him, and sought his life, 1 John 4:10; Romans 5:6, Romans 5:10. It also shows us the extent of his love that he gave himself up, not to common sufferings, but to the most bitter, painful, and protracted sorrows, not for himself, not for friends, but for a thoughtless and unbelieving world.

“O Lamb of God, was ever pain was ever love like thine!”

God bless you all!

Source: Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

Picture: http://packerchatters.com/wp-content/uploads/memorialday1.jpg

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

Kevin Nunez