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Who is this Mediator — God and Man?

The simple answer that every child learns in church, in Sunday School, and in other children’s programs is that our only Mediator is the Lord Jesus Christ who was sent to us to redeem us from our sins by substituting himself in our place, paying the penalty for our sins and imputing to us his righteousness. And as adults we say, “Amen and Amen.” And all believers respond, whether child or adult, “Praise God! Hallelujah!”

There are many other religions floating around this old world, but every other religion that I am aware of, leaves you in the despondency of human works or fate. They may call it various things — merit, karma, kismet, etc…but it all boils down to one thing: despair. I can’t do enough good works to satisfy my own soul, let alone the demands of a perfect God. And then the idea of fate — I am bound to my miserable lot, so why bother growing and seeking maturity in faith or doing good works. In the end — grief and despair overwhelm. What a radical difference there is between Biblical Christianity and any other faith that the world has to offer!

The real question, for you who confess Christ is whether you really live like you believe Christ is your mediator and intercessor before God. Do you strive to live in a way that honors him? Do you seek to live obediently to his commands? If not, can it be said that you really believe all this you say about the person of Christ? In principle, the things we believe are seen in the way we live. Is Christ visible in the way you live your life? Is he visible in the way you worship? Is he glorified in you?

The Only Mediator Between God and Man

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and man — the man Jesus Christ who gave himself as a ransom for all — the testimony of a unique appointed time.”

(1 Timothy 2:5-6)

So, is there salvation outside of Christ? No. It is a logical impossibility. No human can do it because humans are sinful and no animal can do it on our behalf. Only God is capable of interceding for a fallen man and so to do just that, God took on flesh — Jesus the Christ. To mediate for others, you must also be able to identify with those for whom you mediate (hence Abraham could not effectively mediate for Sodom — see Genesis 18:22-33). 

The one who mediates between God and man must be both fully God and fully man. He must be powerful enough to take on the penalty of man and thus be God, but must be able to suffer and die as a man, meaning he must be man. It is the great and the only solution to our weak and fallen condition. Nothing else will satisfy the demands of the law. Moses could not do it, Abraham could not do it, Buddha could not do it, Mohammed could not do it, Joseph Smith could not do it, none other than Jesus the Christ could do it. And he did it for all sorts of people — for all who come to Christ in faith and repentance.

Notice something about the Apostle Paul’s words above. This is the testimony for Christians, but it was given at a distinct and unique appointed time. Such is a reminder that Christianity is a historical faith…were the events recorded within somehow not to have happened, the whole of our theology as Christian would be for naught. That testimony was in time and space and such must never be compromised by the church.